In case L'Eau de Néroli bored the genre into a neo-snooze, L'Eau des Hespérides is like waking by a kick in the head. This may be no L'Autre (1973), but it is still reassuring evidence that Diptyque has not lost its knack for creating off and off-putting transgressive scents of the Other. This is one of the things I best love about Diptyque.
But I still find L'Eau des Hespérides all kinds of vile.
The composition, however, is objectively very interesting. There is the requisite aromatic-citric aspect of it as an eau de cologne but standout here is the MINT. Unusual enough as a note in perfume, made still more unusual by putting it alongside an oddly dry orange--and with the addition of thyme, which seems to add a little saltiness, L'Eau des Hespérides somehow ends up a lot like a very cold slap of ocean wind.
Then it dissipates to a grassy, 'green' breeze that's merely cool. It's airy-ozonic--though more in the way cucumber is than melon--and watery, and yet, intriguingly still a little dark and bitter. Like pond sludge. Surprising, since the name suggests at least to me something more frolicking and pastoral. In fact, 'Hespérides' generally seems a misnomer, since even the neroli cologne is more citrus-oriented than this. Really, I think 'Arcadia' suits it better--as in 'et in Arcadia ego.'
Notes: orange, mandarin, petitgrain, red thyme, rosemary, mint, cedar, white musk.