As the circle of societal and regulatory pressures increase at a steady pace you can’t fault a fragrance brand for looking for ways to prosper in this atmosphere. One of the obvious ways is to stop calling it perfume or cologne. If people don’t hear those words perhaps they will see things differently. Maybe the brand doesn’t want to call it perfume anymore and are looking for semantic alternatives. Diptyque is a perfume brand which has been one of the most influential for over 40 years now. Which is why I have such mixed emotions at their first release of 2015, Eau Plurielle. Diptyque is calling it a “multi-use fragrance”.
In the press materials I received announcing this at the beginning of the year they say, “It is the link, the connection that delicately perfumes both skin and fabric, the body and all the materials that encompass it.” That is a worthy goal but at least for me the perfume I wear and the fragrance I spray on bed linens or scarves have very different constructions. There is an old proverb which I think describes Eau Plurielle, “Jack of all trades, master of none.” In trying to please two very different masters there was no way it could succeed unless it chose to hew to one or the other. Instead Eau Plurielle charts a middle course which satisfies neither.
Eau Plurielle opens on that citrus and geranium green-tinged fruity floral that Diptyque does so well. This by itself would do well as a room spray it has a lift to it and a diffusion that would make a room feel less claustrophobic, especially in the winter months. The heart of ivy and rose does almost the opposite as it is pitched at a very intense concentration and it made me feel as if the walls were closing in on me. It flips back to the lighter side of things using a cocktail of musks to produce a linen accord of its own paired with sandalwood. This has become so common now that it feels like it is Eau Plurielle’s attempt to be inoffensive so as to forget the over exuberant heart.
Eau Plurielle has 12-14 hour longevity on skin with above average sillage and on fabric it has 24-36 hour longevity with above average sillage.
When I spray room fragrances I want something which helps me feel like the four walls of the room have expanded. When I wear perfume on a scarf I want it to be a hint of fragrance, transparent and distant. When I wear perfume on my skin I mostly want it to have a presence which comes from a complete composition containing development. Eau Plurielle never rises to the level of any of those desires. It is funny that one of Diptyque’s earliest home fragrances Essence of John Galliano is one of my favorite perfumes to wear. That fails as a home fragrance because it is too complex for its own good. Eau Plurielle fails as a home fragrance because it was irritating when I had it on a scarf and sprayed it in the room. The rose and ivy were too much. As a perfume that I wore I liked the rose and ivy but for all intents and purposes that is all there is. The top and base notes barely have any presence. There might be a great “multi-use fragrance” out there which can be all things to all fragrance lovers. Eau Plurielle is not that because it tried to be a jack of all trades and mastered nothing.
Disclosure: This review was based on a sample I purchased.