Eau des Sens is an eau des toilette by concentration and a perfume by composition. The name is a play on words – senses and essences – that heralds its polysemous nature as its olfactory accord involves a combination of senses. The notes of Eau des Sens and its words nod to a lineage that goes right back to the origins of diptyque.
Eau des Sens is revolutionary in the basic sense of the word in that it signifies a return to origins. In the history of diptyque eaux de toilette, creative ideas have been ingredient-led. This new eau de toilette goes back to the first ones along a symmetrical path: using bitter orange to achieve the aim of stimulating all of the senses.
The bitter orange fruit of this tree lives in the collective olfactory unconscious, it is connected to childhood, it provides an intense taste sensation, it is sweet and sour therefore not gender-specific which means as a House eau de toilette it appeals to everybody.
This desire for completeness relates to the munificence of the essences of the bitter orange tree, all the elements of which give structure to Eau des Sens: bitter orange oil extracted from the zest of the ripe fruit being the volatile element. The essence of petit-grain, oil extracted from the twigs of the tree, adds a green note whereas the essence of neroli, obtained by distilling the orange blossom, adds an absolute floral note. Here you have the whole cycle of the tree, from hard to soft and sensual and bitter to sweet culminating in this roundness of scent. Plus the silvery shock of juniper berry, the “olfactory accident” that adds a punch of flavour to the mix. The unexpected addition of patchouli plumps up this orb of a fragrance whereas Angelica grain perfects its roundness with a touch of sweetness.
Eau des Sens intertwines five essences – four of which fuse into one. This was the starting point for the initial concept of all five senses being stimulated by one, the sense of smell, inviting and summoning perceptions of the others. The cycle of raw ingredients from the bitter orange tree kick-starts the cycle of the senses, its fragrance becoming an airborne metaphor of synaesthesia, a fusion of the senses at the heart of the initial idea.
Here, Eau des Sens evokes and appeals to the history of diptyque : via the plurivocal sound in the language of birds that works in Eau, Ombre dans L’Eau and Eau Trois… each one conceived to be a mysterious sphere that the passing of time itself cannot reveal. Finally, its composition: this fragmented fullness of complementary facets of fragrance and the profusion of stimuli it generates is consistent with the sensory illusions of Op Art from the early Sixties when diptique was launched.
The harmony of Eau des Sens, the synaesthesia and op art that preceded and prolonged it, will be investigated further in future issues. The main thing was to explain the extent to which everything boils down to senses, the initial idea, raw ingredients, the first years and the first time a scent invariably stirred them into action.