Launched in 2012, Volutes was created by perfumer Fabrice Pellegrin who is also the nose behind Diptyque’s tuberose and vanilla fragrances, Do Son and Eau Duelle respectively. Top notes for Volutes are iris flower, honey, tobacco and dried fruits; middle notes are pink pepper, black pepper, saffron, hay and immortelle; base notes are opoponax, myrrh, styrax and benzoin.
I was grateful to Vanessa of Bonkers About Perfume for giving me samples of both the EDT and EDP because I understood that there were significant differences between the two concentrations. Both turn out to be predominantly honey, iris and tobacco on a bed of slightly smoky vanilla, but there are differences aside from strength.
On spraying the EDT a bright iris steps up first, quickly joined by a natural-smelling honey note. The first time I tested Volutes, the honey was overwhelming but it’s been fine on subsequent wears. As it settles, it becomes a little powdery and the iris and honey are joined by a very mild, medicinal tobacco accord. The tobacco mellows into the scent of dried tobacco leaves, as opposed to the aroma of a lit pipe.
A few hours later and the opoponax adds a subtle smokiness to the vanilla base, which gradually rises up through the layers. At this point I can understand the comparisons with the much heavier oriental, Shalimar. It’s that distinctive combination of iris, vanilla and opoponax.
Compared to the EDT, the EDP has more tobacco, some leather and a hint of spice. It’s drier and a little acrid but still honeyed. The EDT is fresher and more diffusive while the EDP is quieter and deeper, though still quite sheer. On balance I prefer the EDP because it’s darker and less powdered but both formulations have just a bit too much honeyed sweetness for my current tastes. Vanessa and Undina however, both went for full bottles of the EDT.
Volutes means “swirls” in French and the name is very apt. It is a scent caught on the breeze rather than inhaled up close. Unlike the much stronger honey tobacco fragrance Back to Black from By Kilian, you could easily spray Volutes in either concentration and not think twice about it. It’s interesting, yet unobtrusive and wearable.
Volutes is currently available in 50ml and 100ml EDT (white packaging) and 75ml EDP (black packaging)
Have you tried Volutes? Do you have any favourite fragrances from Diptyque?