Sunshine Caress, Diptyque Ilio

When I was younger summer trips to Croatia and Bulgaria were very exciting as they felt like visiting a whole new world. Different people, behaviours, cuisine & nature. Later when I grew up and spent my own vacations travelling across Italy it felt no less exciting. As a general rule I find all the countries from the Mediterranean Sea basin to be very entertaining. I don’t believe in reincarnation but who knows, maybe I lived in one of them. What’s common for Bulgaria, Croatia or Italy is that guava and prickly pear were growing left and right. I looked at them as at exotic plant species but I know that to locals they were more like a pesky weed, especially the prickly pear.

Even though it’s such a common cactus-like plant of the Mediterranean you don’t see it popularized in fragrances that are inspired by this geographic region. That’s when Diptyque steps in. As part of their 60th anniversary celebration this brand recently introduced a Summer Essentials collection that features Ilio, a perfume with a very pleasant prickly pear accord. This eau de toilette starts with a very refreshing & kind of watery fruity note. It’s juicy and green in a vegetal way, yet at the same time with a little hint of sweetness that makes the opening much more flavorful & captivating.

I would say that the smell of this prickly pear accord lays somewhere between melon, fig and rhubarb – it’s got some traces of all 3. Additionally Diptyque Ilio has got some zingy tartness that’s coming from bergamot, squeezed on top of the fruit. Despite its fruity character I have to admit that from the first moment of putting Ilio on my skin I am also accompanied by the impression of silky smoothness that adds refinement to the composition. Official notes on Diptyque website mention jasmine but here it’s very solar, lightweight, even lighter than in California Reverie (VC&A).

Ilio’s silky powderness that I mentioned a moment ago makes perfect sense due to presence of iris as the final note of this 4-notes-only-perfume. Thanks to the iris this summery Diptyque creation feels more elegant. It’s got some musky and soapy aspect to it, making the scent feel clean, refreshing – in my opinion very fitted for this time of the year. Also allow me to share a personal observation with all of you – for a reasonable amount of time the combination of notes in Diptyque Ilio perfectly mimics the smell of yellow mimosa pom-poms. The vegetal sweetness of flower pollen is there.

If you’re looking for a light & breezy perfume that through its smell evokes the picturesque cliffs caressed by the foamy waves of the Mediterranean Sea, Diptyque Ilio is a fragrance for you. I have to admit that I was quickly hooked by this new composition. It’s inoffensive, simple but at the same time it’s not boring and with a nice level of being original. Plus I simply like the way it interacts with my skin. Ilio makes me feel fresh, bringing me a kiss of the sun. This limited edition composition is an eau de toilette and is available in 100 ml Diptyque oval bottles. Additional cuteness factor of the bottle is the simple & colorful illustration on the oval label by artist Luke Edward Hall.

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1 Swallow Doesn’t Make a Summer, Two from Dusita

First of all I owe you an apology for being quiet for so long – at the end of April I got sick and had a lot of covid symptoms like fever and coughing. I got tested and the result was negative, meaning I simply caught a more nasty spring cold. I’m still coughing a bit but overally I feel fine. Other than that I suffered from lack of inspiration and deficiency of new samples to test and possibly review.


The idea of “my brand” or “not my brand” is not new in the perfume world but I believe that for me it was Undina that introduced this term to my fragrance dictionary. I have a list of “my brands” in my head and for these brands I’m always eagerly anticipating the news about upcoming fragrances or events they organize. Parfums Dusita, despite being a young niche brand (only 5 years old now) quickly gained a worldwide recognition. Currently rocking 12 perfume I also became a fan of Pissara Umavijani compositions. There are small exceptions and today I’ll talk about those.

Le Pavillon d’Or is not my kind of perfume and probably that’s why I haven’t smelled it earlier than over a year after its premiere, which took place in 2019. The composition starts with a sweet & green honeysuckle note – a nice, vegetal scent with hints of honey and hay. After a moment an aromatic mint joins, making the fragrance fresher but far from the toothpaste territory. The scent it gives off is more dry, herbaceous. Orris root adds a touch of earthiness that gradually evolves into more rooty & buttery facets typically associated with iris in perfumery. Heart of Le Pavillon d’Or offers a bounty of green notes. Boronia – flowers native to Australia, offer a fragrance that is slightly honeyed but also feels dusty and aged. Thyme adds a herbal impression that seamlessly transitions into fig leaf accord. You know me and how little of a fan of fig I am when it comes to my perfume. Here this leaf feels dusty too, with undertone of tree sap and something milky underneath. Heliotrope makes the fragrance feel smoother thanks to the creamy floral nuances it adds to this Dusita creation. Hints of frankincense are noticeable just like wisps of smoke floating lazily in the air. The drydown is a woody blend of oak wood – an accord created by Pissara herself. To my nose it really smells like some wooden barrels. Additionally sandalwood intensifies the perception of the woody notes in the base. Like all Dusita perfumes, Le Pavillon d’Or is a very pretty composition. It just doesn’t speak to me like her other perfumes do.

Cavatina is the most recent Dusita creation that joined the brand’s portfolio at the end of this April. As explained by Pissara during Instagram live launch event, the perfume is heavily inspired by vintage Diorissimo. The perfume opens with a very fresh & clean manner. Muted, citrusy scent of bergamot blends with some sparkling fizziness that smells like aldehydes, although they aren’t mentioned among official top notes (but they are in the heart). Slightly woody scent of litsea cubeba (a kind of aromatic shrub) marries with the scent of petitgrain, paving the way for the biggest star of Cavatina. Lily of the valley in Cavatina smells uber-realistic which is not an easy feat knowing that muguet cannot be naturally extracted at an efficient level. Pissara combined a number of other materials to create her own LOTV accord which smells like an open field full of tiny, white, bell-shaped flowers. Heart of this perfume is what makes it bloom – literally. Innocent smell of tea rose plays with tuberose & jasmine for a grand white floral experience. Cavatina is gentle but has a carnal side as well. Ylang-ylang adds an element of solar creaminess to the blend. In the base heliotrope gives off an aroma that sits between creamy tonka and smooth florals. Ambrette and cypress introduce a bit of greenness. Everything is topped with elegant vanilla that feels slightly oriental and a bit gourmand, it compliments the lily of the valley heart beautifully. I’m sure many people will find Cavatina special but it’s a very specific perfume that will find a niche in the niche. Not everyone will love it given that white florals are polarizing among fragrance lovers.

As they say – you can’t love them all. I don’t think there’s anything to be ashamed of if the brand you love and support releases a perfume that doesn’t fit your taste. Afterall perfume is very subjective and things like that are bound to happen on regular basis. You’ll love one perfume more, the other one less. But that doesn’t change the fact that I love Dusita for creativity & ingenuity in raw material use, but most of all for Pissara who is one of the warmest & the friendliest people in the industry. If you tried Le Pavillon d’Or or Cavatina, do let me know how much you liked them.

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