Somehow This Perfume Smells Like a Blank Sheet of Paper—I Can't Stop Spraying It

Welcome to Deep Reviews—your one-stop destination to discover the absolute best products and brands the beauty industry has to offer. The Who What Wear staffers you already know and trust will research, test, and review the market's most sought-after and buzzed-about products to see which formulas (of the hundreds up for consideration) are truly worth your hard-earned money and attention. You can expect honest, completely uncensored feedback and no-BS recommendations our hard-to-please testers endorse without reservations.

The majority of our Deep Reviews will feature our editors' honest, ultra-hot takes on entire product categories or multiple products from a particular beauty brand, but every so often, we'll sprinkle in a special single-product format called Honestly, I Love It. As the name suggests, these reviews will hone in on one standout beauty formula our editors quite literally can't shut up about. This time around, I'm highlighting the Diptyque L'Eau Papier Eau de Toilette.



My lengthy love affair with Diptyque can be traced back to the rain-filled spring I spent in Paris, France. It was 2017, and I was spending three months in the City of Love and Light studying three decades of French fashion and the influence of new-wave cinema. The majority of my time was spent learning and living in the city's historical fifth and sixth arrondissements among a collection of Paris's most recognizable storefronts. I stood in awe in front of one of them—Diptyque's original location at 34 Boulevard Saint-Germain—more times than I can count.

Now, as a beauty editor, I've had the unique opportunity to experience the brand through a sweetly perfumed version of la vie en rose I've yet to depart from since my initial introduction. My admiration for Diptyque was further underscored by one of its newest releases, the L'Eau Papier Eau de Toilette. For those of you who didn't take French in school, the product's name translates to "water paper," in reference to the simple act of artistic expression that is, in itself, creation.

Its unique bottle alone is an expression of this, featuring the abstract and dreamlike works by ink purist Alix Waline. The bottle's double-paned design is also a tribute to creativity, with both sides decorated with the work of Waline. I was more than delighted to find that the layered and delicately balanced fragrance housed inside echoes the ode to creativity that reached far beyond my expectations.

When it comes to developing my first impression of a fragrance, I have to remind myself not to jump to conclusions. The best fragrances reveal themselves over time, starting with the most recognizable notes before unfolding and developing with time. Before putting Diptyque's L'Eau Papier to the test, I reminded myself of the inspiration behind the eau de toilette and the key notes that would bring the fragrance to life: white musks, steamed rice accord, Grasse mimosa, and striking blonde woods accord.

It was the inclusion of steamed rice accord, however, that struck a chord with me. How could steamed rice be used in tandem with the other notes to invoke the very essence of a creative spirit? My hesitation dissipated after Julien Gommichon, the president of Diptyque Americas, conducted a deep dive into the eau de toilette for me, explaining its background and inspiration.



According to Gommichon, one of the most important aspects of working with Diptyque fragrances is the role of time. "This time for artistic consideration and development is what allowed this eau de toilette to take shape," says Gommichon. He also shared artist Waline's influence on its overall presentation. As a friend of the brand, Waline's work has been featured in Diptyque boutiques with her "artistic sensibilities and process" aligning with that of the brand, especially the use of black and white. What's more, each quadrant of the illustration is a visual representation of the fragrance's olfactory notes.

The nose behind this eau de toilette was that of perfumer Fabrice Pellegrin, a Diptyque perfumer and close friend of the founders. "Each olfactory note was carefully selected to reflect the many facets of paper. The prominent use of white musk evokes a stark white page soaking up India ink," he explains. "The blonde wood accord calls to mind the materiality of paper itself, while the rice steam accord captures the tactile grains of a sheet of paper. A bright mimosa, like an exclamation point, punctuates the composition like an artist's creative impulse."



There's something so refreshing about L'Eau Papier. From the moment I sprayed it on my inner wrist, I knew this would be my go-to fragrance for the fall and winter months. While the steamed rice accord and mimosa are at the heart of this eau de toilette, the white musks and blonde woods stand out to me the most without being overwhelmingly loud. In fact, they're more of a whispered testament to the brand's luxurious legacy. I've worn this fragrance every day since receiving it (going on two weeks at the time of publishing) and fall a little more in love with it each time.

If you check in with me in a month, there's a good chance I'll still be reaching for this one along with a number of the brand's best-selling fragrances. Eau Rose and Philosykos, for example, are both recommended by Gommichon to pair with L'Eau Papier. If you're interested in seeing what else this Parisian brand has to offer, keep scrolling for six more of my favorites.

Discover More From Diptyque

Key notes: Rose damascena, centifolia rose, chamomile, litchi, artichoke

When I think of the perfect rose scent, this eau de parfum immediately comes to mind. Balanced with soft centifolia rose and chamomile, Diptyque's Eau Rose is my springtime fragrance of choice.

Key notes: Fig leaves, fig tree sap, black pepper

If you're a fig lover like me, you'll want to get your hands on the brand's cult-classic Philosykos. Rather than a sweet, fruity scent, it tends to lean more fresh and green with a hint of warmth through woodsy notes.

Key notes: Prickly pear, bergamot, jasmine, iris

Fans of André Aciman's novel Call Me by Your Name will want to get their hands on this eau de toilette ASAP. It smells like the ideal sun-drenched summer spent in Northern Italy thanks to its medley of Mediterranean notes.

Key notes: Black currant berries, rose

Introducing the candle that has claimed a permanent spot on my nightstand since my Parisian spring. The best way I can describe the blend of black currant berries and flowery rose accents is effortlessly chic.

Key note: Amber

A few sprays of this will fill any room with smooth and wonderfully warm notes of amber. A tribute to the resin, this room spray will give your space the ideal "je ne sais quoi" quality.

Key note: Honeyed mimosa

Slightly honeyed notes of mimosa make this home fragrance diffuser a must for setting the mood. The set comes with six natural rattan reeds and a gorgeous glass vessel.