Thursday, 5 September 2013

L'Ombre dans L'Eau, substantial south facing garden with mature shrubs

If you ask people who neither know nor care much about perfume to describe a scent you will undoubtedly hear " like a garden." a lot, so I am very reluctant to use this image myself. 

But I will have to, because this is exactly what Dyptique's L'Ombre dans L'Eau reminds me of. Launched in 1983 by the brand that can be described as one of the first niche perfume houses, it's probably their second best known fragrance after the fig based Philosykos. I first came across it during a stroll in the aisles of Space NK and was instantly smitten. It had been in the early days of spring and the weather so abysmal that I had given up on the idea of buying and potting tomato and flower seeds for the garden and wasn't really caring much how the garden would look like in the coming summer. And suddenly I was transported to a garden which I had visited the year before and loved : The garden at the Red House in Bexleyheath, created and owned by William Morris

My visual interpretation of L'Ombre dans L'Eau by Dyptique

The L'Ombre dans L'Eau garden is not the exotic type. There are no orchids, no shangri las, no enchantment, no fairies, no tropical birds. It's a garden where you dig the soil, bury the tulip bulbs, water the tomatoes, prune the hedges, harvest the veggies, dead head the petunias and sit under the apple trees with a book and a glass of wine.
If this doesn't sound appealing then you probably don't have a garden. I do most of these things in my little London back garden, and I love that this fragrance reminds me of them.   
It has leafy, green notes aplenty and there is a good splash of earth as well. And of course it has the roses. What would a garden be without a rose? It's the most intimate and secret of all my perfumes, I love to wear it when no one is around. This is helped by the fact that I own the little roll on perfume oil, there is no spraying and no wafting. I obviously lose the top notes but I don't mind. 
A garden can be home to an astonishing array of colours, but for the postcard of this scent I stick to the greens and some red/pink tones, and the pattern is inspired by William Morris textiles, albeit in a very abstract way. Go visit the Red House in Bexleyheath in late summer, buy a book and sit under the apple trees.

How and where to wear:
First date, the Arts and Craft section in the Victoria and Albert museum, 
Liberty print scarf 

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