Eau Lente 
Diptyque (1986)

Average Rating:  44 User Reviews

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Eau Lente by Diptyque

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About Eau Lente by Diptyque

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Based on a description of a scent used at the time of Alexander the Great

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Reviews of Eau Lente by Diptyque

There are 44 reviews of Eau Lente by Diptyque.

Rumor has it that this current version of the overlooked oldie from Diptyque pales in comparison to older formulations, and if thats so, it must be thoroughly impressive, as this bottle is quite a pleasure: cinnamon and cloves anchored in opoponax.

While somewhat linear, its joviality and warmth makes me grin. Cinnamic notes really sing on my skin, bringing out the woody and balsamic elements. It reminds me of this Christmas decoration we had when I was a child, it was shaped like a candy cane, yet it was made of intertwined wooden twigs and was redolent of cinnamon and spices. I was enamored with it just as I was with the Paine's balsam fir incense we would light up during the season.

I also am reminded (as others seem to be) of charming shops selling various wares and bric-a-brac, souvenirs and such in small resort towns, or even of Vermont excursions to villages with country stores, shops with new age books, crystals, and spiritual paraphernalia. I must admit I have a soft spot for visiting these places; with just the right energy for an ambivert much like myself who can only handle so much extroverted fare.

Do I want to smell like this? Hell yes I do. Especially when it dries down to an earthy, somewhat honeyed and caramelic opoponax base. What can I say? I am a tree hugger and a dreamer at heart. Seasons greetings.

When I first discovered Diptyque, many of their scents and candles were in this older style - wild spices and resins. This is a difficult smell to disassemble. I definitely smell clove and powdery soap, with hints of red hot cinnamon and woods. Is that Nag Champa in there? There's also a forward green facet that reminds me of the smell of green vegetables cooking, like boiling celery or lettuce.

This is an incense scent only in the sense that it smells like a spice bazaar or store where incense is being burned, but not incense in the "perfume" sense - this doesn't smell like oud or smoky frankincense or anything like that. It's more like the soap section of an Indian grocery.

I agree with Vagabond that this makes more sense as a candle or an ambient room smell than a perfume for the body. But I still quite like it. This could work for fans of Santa Maria Novella's complex powdery clove base or Diptyque's own Vinaigre du Toilette, which I personally prefer, as it does much of what Eau Lente does, but wrapped up in a strong vinegar note.

Autumn is a time of ripeness, the completion of the yearly cycle of growth and maturity, and so, to the weary farmer - whose fields are full of waving grain - it’s a time of plenitude and celebration.
But there is another side to autumn, the decline of summer into barren winter, a shift from growth to decay, from life springing forth - to its return back to the earth.
And it’s this poignant, melancholy side to autumn that Eau Lente captures. Its russet resiny scent is full, over ripe, almost putrid.
It is said that the formula derives from an ancient scent which was known to Alexander the Great, and it wouldn’t surprise me to learn it was used to embalm his body, such is the sweet spicy ripeness of it all.
With Eau Lente I was looking for an autumn perfume, but instead of a harvest festival I found something more akin to a funeral.

An excellent concoction, no doubt, with dry herbs and spices; a lot of cinnamon, woods. There is a dry, dusty vibe that persist from start to finish. It is one of the interesting orientals, in similar category as Noir Epices and Chanel Coco - with barely any sweetness. However, my main issue is that Eau Lente smells more like a parfum d'ambience rather than a personal scent. I also find sillage to be underwhelming, though duration is adequate at over six hours.

Among similar spicy orientals, I find Coco or Noir Epices to be more striking and complete. While Eau Lente is substantial, it is perhaps too quirky, and eventually not very interesting.


A scent from the past

Diptyque's journey and region-inspired scent library is a unique concept in its own way. But recreating scents based on historical accounts is in a totally different world, in my opinion.

As historical accounts go, Pedanius Dioscorides, a physician, pharmacologist and botanist (c. 40-90AD), wrote De Materia Medica in his native Greek - Opoponax is described in it several times for its "medical properties".

Whether or not Alexander the Great or his generals enjoyed the scent that Eau Lente is today I'll leave up to you to decide. But I will say that I have struggled to find an incense or myrrh-based scent that reminds me of anything close to Orthodox incense. The sweet, baby-powder like scent of opoponax, spices and cinnamon are very strongly reminiscent of Orthodox Church incense. To me the scent instantly conjures up images of ancient Greece, Byzantine churches and indeed the landscape of a once Imperial Empire.

Don't get me wrong though. Eau Lente is not everyone's cup of tea. You could easily mistake this for a sweet incense scent; it's simplicity is what is most notable as is the quality of the ingredients. I would struggle to wear this at times, but perhaps my most envisaged moment would be to church during Holy Week.

Those who like Eau Duelle's mystical vanilla or Tam Dao's woody-ambery base could easily be seduced by Eau Lente's powdery-soapy trail. May your journey through history be as fragrant as the churches of Mystra!

Oh no...just not for me. Received this fragrance in a recent sampler of Incense Fragrances. Incense? Perhaps I'm missing something but this fragrance has little to do with incense, IMHO.

Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves...not in a good way. Smells like Glade Air Freshener, yes the cinnamon type.

Thankfully, it all fades away within 45-60 minutes. Uggggh. Not sure who would want to walk around smelling like this.

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