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Volutes EdP – This is what a winner smells like - April 15, 2013 New Fragrance Listing

It’s always fun to discover that something you think is great gets an award. Like when you watch the Oscars and the movie/actor/actress you thought was Oscar-worthy actually does win.

That’s how I felt when I read this: The 2013 FIFI Award of the best niche perfume, awarded by a jury of experts, is for Volutes, by Diptyque. This perfume, with its tobacco-honey notes, has been inspired during a long-distance trip between Marseille (France) and Saigon (Viet-Nam) by one of the brand's creators, and composed by Fabrice Pellegrin, perfumer-creator in Firmenich.

My first encounter with Volutes was in Blue Carreon’s blog, Style Intel: Diptyque‘s new scent Volutes is inspired by an incredible journey. One that took one of Diptyque’s founders, Yves Coueslant, on a sojourn from Marseilles to Saigon via transatlantic liners. Thus, Volutes is layered with scents and essences from exotic locales like Colombo, the Suez Canal, Singapore. Think spices and wood paneled cabins and cigarette smoke and unique perfumes. Diptyque’s perfumer  Fabrice Pellegrin was given the task of bottling Coueslant’s memory into a new scent. “Interpreting a story into a perfume, especially if the story is visual and very precise, gives my work a structure that is already defined. The key to this memory is the atmosphere of the boat crossings Yves Coueslant travelled on from Marseilles to Saigon. A blend of scents from the boat, the wood, the tobacco smoked by the women on the upper deck…“. Now that’s a journey I want to take!

My second encounter with Volutes was at Diptyique’s Le Marais store in Paris. It’s the EdP that I fell for and we’ve been meeting regularly ever since.

Volutes means ‘curls of smoke’ and it opens with sensuous note of tobacco from the combination of the pungent, bitter scent of Egyptian cigarettes balanced with the honeyed, floral and dried fruit notes of aromatic pipe tobacco. Iris is here too but it’s smoothed with musk making it full and fatty, which plumps up the tobacco. The iris playing off the tobacco is what makes the opening so OMG. As it blooms, it gets warm and spicy from pink and black pepper. The iris starts to fade but the tobacco stays – it smells smoky, woody and sweet from immortelle. I also get a note of hay. At the base it gets resinous, and leathery from styrax, benzoin and opoponax with a note of bitterness from myrrh.

The drydown of the EdP is smokey and sweet, with a slight bitterness that makes it stand out. It’s not at all heavy or harsh but refined, polished and wearable.

I thought Volutes was a winner the first time I sniffed it, whether anyone else agreed with me or not. Now, that it’s won a FIFI I get to feel smug about my excellent taste in perfume (Ha!) for a few minutes, but long after my little superiority dance has ended, I get to wear this winning frag whenever I want to.

Volutes is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.