Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Review: DIPTYQUE COLOGNES L'Eau de Tarocco

I have to close my eyes to eat blood oranges. The flesh, all peeled and sectioned, really do resemble skinned muscle tissue--I can't help but think of a still-pumping live heart ripped out of the body, and the darker the pulp, the more I think slow-oozing blackening blood.

L'Eau de Tarocco, though, is nowhere near gore--though visceral in its own way. It's very authentically orange fruit: how it smells, just as it being peeled. Bright, juicy, sweet and tart and a tiny bit pithy-bitter. And grows sweeter as it progresses into the mild spices and rose, which form for me a kind of unobtrusive background haze, like a soft, vague, warm dust cloud of saffron and very mild cinnamon and even milder rose. And in this dust cloud is also some generalized woodiness, sheer, dry, not aggressively woody, and I think the incense must add to that general effect, as I cannot really pick it out alone. A nicely blended dust cloud.

It doesn't obscure the orange but neither does it contrast against it, exactly--at least not in a way that renders the orange blinking strange. L'Eau de Tarocco isn't strange at all. Not tremendously ground-breaking (though on the whole I do rather like Diptyque's entries for this recent trend of neo-colognes/eaux fraîches) but something that will get frequent use by me this summer. Refreshing but not harsh. Simple but interesting-ish. A bit like orange peel crushed on sun-warmed skin.

Plus, I find myself totally falling for the (confused) romance of it all. The romance of the 'exotic travels' copy Diptyque is always on about, the tarocco oranges, the palm trees, the spice camels loping in single file in a desert oasis landscape. I'm right there inside the label, like an A-ha video. OK. My only excuse is that the notes read to me like Moroccan cuisine, but even that is not particularly specific and half-written in by my own guilty exoticism about the place. Anyway. My favorite of the Diptyque cologne series.

Notes: blood orange, grapefruit, saffron, cinnamon, curcuma, rose, orange blossom, cedar, incense, white musk.

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