Silver swirls of smoke, Diptyque Volutes

Some time ago I discovered that a certain note that I was sure I would dislike in perfumes turned out to be totally into my cannon of beauty and taste. The note that I’m talking about is tobacco. I refused to try it because I thought a perfume would smell like a cigarette. It did not. In 2012, a French niche perfume brand Diptyque (that was established in 1961) launched a perfume named Volutes. I came across this scent couple of months ago and remembered liking it. Since then I tried to get a sample or a smallish decant in a swap. Few weeks ago I finally reached this goal. Now having a bit of this fragrance I decided to write a review of it.

Diptyque Volutes opens on my skin with a moderately sweet feeling. The first note I detect is honey and to be honest there’s a lot of it in this perfume. It creates a smooth and bright opening that is sweet but not too sweet. After a few minutes the benzoin accord joins the composition adding more balmy and creamy feeling to the initial stage of development. There’s also something bit salty about the note and personally I think that it’s thanks to benzoin that a honey note in Volutes didn’t turn out overly sweet. The game of benzoin and honey lasts 20 minutes, then the smell changes.

At the mark of 30 minutes I begin to notice the characteristic elements of tobacco accord. There’s that “bright” and not heavy smokiness that is also combined with mild spiciness. This note is slightly chewy in Volutes, with shorter-lasting phases of being creamy, drier and transparent. Tobacco in this perfume doesn’t give a black smoke but rather makes silver swirls that float in the air. At some point this stage becomes more powdery and delicately floral thanks to the iris note. There’s also an opoponax resin that creates this moment of Diptyque smooth and mellow, reminding me of raisins.

When the tobacco accord becomes slightly weaker, Volutes takes a twist and allows other notes to appear. A hay note is especially prominent on my skin after more than 1 hour after spraying it on. To me it smells of dry grass, wheat fields and I swear I also smell some coumarine here. Later on a dried fruits accord appears in my nostrils. What I probably smell in this mixture are dried apricots and apples, maybe even a plum. I also have a funny association of smelling dried bananas. Well, it’s probably just me… The entire combination is spicy and warm like a woolen jumper (sweater) that embraces us on cold days.

After more than 2 hours Diptyque Volutes seems to revive the honey accord because it appeared again on my skin, having tobacco and hay as close companions. This surprising stage of return lasts on me for around 20 minutes and then subsides, revealing more ingredients of the perfume. Myrrh and immortelle come up next and those who know me – they know I fear each of them, especially when they are together. Luckily they don’t smell like burnt plastic. What I smell from these two notes is just resinous spiciness, nothing else, nothing unpleasant, phew.

Between hour 4 and hour 5 I can smell a beautiful saffron. Aromatic, bright red, filling the air around with its mighty spiciness what is wild and sensual at the same time. There are also additional notes of pink and black pepper in Volutes from Diptyque. The final stage I get from this perfume is mellow and quite creamy and well-behaved. I was wondering what note could it be. I had a few ideas but I gave up and looked at Fragrantica to discover it’s styrax resin. Thought it was amber and vanilla.

To sum it all up I think that Diptyque Volutes is a great perfume and I wouldn’t mind having a little bit more of it to use. It’s a perfect scent for chilly days and good thing about it is that it’s not overwhelming but more discrete in my case. On me it lasts for 6-8 hours and has a moderate sillage. Volutes is available as 100ml and 50ml EDT (with white front label and white box) or as 75ml EDP (black front label, black box.) My review is based on EDT version. The perfumer behind this composition is Fabrice Pellegrin.

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18 thoughts on “Silver swirls of smoke, Diptyque Volutes

  1. Undina says:

    Great review, Lucas. You know how I feel about this perfume.
    Will 5 ml decant help for a while? If yes, it’s yours.
    It’s interesting: I do not think of Volutes as of a tobacco-centric perfume since that note doesn’t seem to be dominant on my skin at any of the stages of the perfume’s life.

    • lucasai says:

      Thank you dearest Undina! I decided to write this review shortly about your Volutes post 🙂

      Awww, that’s so sweet of you. 5 ml will definitely last for a while, thank you so much. Looks like we’ll have to re-schedule our swap for the next year (or even spring if it gets very cold instantly)
      I see, so what note is the dominating one on you? Honey?

  2. shellyw says:

    My last full bottle purchase was this in the edp level. It is warm, smokey and honey-ish much like the edt. Sillage is not that much more than edt either.

    • lucasai says:

      So there’s not much difference in perception between EDT and EDP? I’m only familar with EDT.
      Sure they have different packagins, sizes and prices, but if they don’t differ too much what’s the reason of paying more, right?

  3. Ania says:

    For me EdT is tobacco and honey centered while EdP is more about iris, saffron and pepper. EdP seems sweeter and richer but less volatile. Both versions have excellent longevity on me, more 12 hours. I like wearing EdT during spring and warm golden autumn, it gives lovely smoky wafts but it seemed to dry for winter. EdP is perfect for chilly weather. So, EdT is my husband’s and EdP mine (in theory only, he never uses it… 🙂

  4. hajusuuri says:

    Lucas, dear…lovely review! I initially preferred the EDT over the EDP and bought a FB of the EDT…then, I got a decant of the EDP in a swap and I loved it as well. So what’s a girl to do? i bought a FB of the EDP!

  5. Dearest Lucas
    Such a comprehensive and well-constructed review of a perfume that I’m rather partial to.
    I agree the combination of slightly bitter tobacco and resionous benzoin calm what could be an overly sweet honey festival into something slight but rather splendid.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

  6. Tara says:

    I just recently bought a bottle of the edp… I confess I did not extensively test the edt vs the edp, and just bought the edp since I figured it would last longer. Now I want to do a side by side test of the two. It is very nice here in the snow of Montreal though. 🙂

  7. fbarreto says:

    the best lesson of a perfum I ever had. You are so minimalist in yours comments thata I almos feel the smell of the perfum

  8. hajusuuri says:

    Hello dearest Lucas…I rocked Volutes EDT twice this week. I’m glad for your reviews because they make me rotate my perfumes more often!

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