Today I’m Wearing: Eau des Sens and Tam Dao by diptyque

Who: Alexandra Falanga, who is part of the creation team for fragrance and skincare at diptyque. Alexandra worked for big international skincare brands before she joined the creative production team at diptyque in 2015, where she has the enviable job of helping to develop fragrance, body and skincare products for the brand. We caught up with her on her trip to London to launch Eau de Minthé, the newest fragrance from diptyque.

Today I’m wearing two fragrances, I’m layering Eau des Sens and Tam Dao, both as eau de toilette. Eau des Sens is like a gathering together of all the aspects of the bitter orange tree, you can find extracts from the flower, from the leaf and from the fruit as well. The orange facets fuse with cold spice notes of juniper berries at the top of the fragrance, then the woody bottom notes along with patchouli, brings depth and a long lasting silage. It’s very warm and enveloping.

Eau des Sens is very special to me because it was the first fragrance I worked on after joining diptyque. It’s also exactly the type of fragrance I love, because it’s both fresh and sparkling with clean facets, like the lovely smell of babies, and also very long lasting and comforting with those bottom notes. I love to mix it with Tam Dao, which is a composition around the exceptional quality of sandalwood. The Tam Dao strengthens the woody aspects of Eau des Sens and also brings this creamy note to the whole, they work really well together for me.

Eau des Sens is like a spray of joy when you put it on, it sparkles, it instantly improves my well-being and makes me feel peaceful and comfortable, as if you were at home in a nice clean shirt or sheets. The emotion of wellbeing is super strong when I spray it.

I layer them because we all want to be unique. At the office a lot of people wear Eau des Sens, because everyone loves it so much. It’s a very addictive fragrance. When we were working on it I was often stopped in the streets by people asking what I was wearing, it was really striking and had never happened before on this scale. I tried layering it last year and found I liked the combination.

Of course, fragrance is part of my daily life, but even when I was not working with a perfume house, it was always my life. I have super strong olfactory memories with my mother, which is classical response I guess, but my mum used to wear very iconic scents like Aromatics Elixir by Clinique and L’Huere Bleue from Guerlain. When I was young, I used to wear scents like Baghari from Robert Piguet and Melograno from Santa Maria Novella, so even at eleven years old I picked quite sophisticated scents and always with those clean soapy facets that I love.

I grew up in the south of France and Corsica so of course the smells of nature were super strong.

I can not imagine going out without wearing fragrance. In the morning I’ll go back home if I forgot to put some on. I chose what fragrance to wear depending on my day, on my mood but also depending on the people I’m going to meet. Fragrance for me is way more important than how I’m going to dress or what make up to wear.

Working at diptyque I have access to some lovely products so I start my fragrance ritual in the shower with Eau des Sens shower gel, which is super strong so you already feel perfumed. We’ve created this range as an alternative to perfume, using a more concentrated fragrance in these products as an alternative to spraying an EDP or EDT. So you can have cleansing gestures and hydrating gestures which are true perfumes by themselves.

I can’t remember who told me but its very good to put perfume onto hydrated skin, so I always use lots of body lotion, it’s good for making your perfume last way, way longer, then I spray my EDP or EDT on my body, on my clothes, my scarf, everywhere!

I think this is a French thing because it’s well known as part of our collective olfactory memory, but I love the Cleopatra glue we use at school, which smells of almonds. It’s super strong and even now I love to smell it.

Photography by Chloe Winstanley