Behind the dunes: EAU MOHELI by DIPTYQUE (2013)











The most exciting thing on childhood summer holidays was our enthusiastic exploring of the dunes. I loved the sea and the beach, the sun in my eyes, and especially swimming underwater, but there was always something, up close in the strange roots of broom and other beach plants; dampened, insect-laden, away from the dry ease of the sand granules, that always perturbed, drew my brother and I in; into those dark, cool, salinated shadows. The strange, tunnelled canopies where we would stop arguing for a while and just crawl along together, stopping to examine this and that, our senses and imaginations stimulated.



As soon as I sprayed on Eau de Moheli by Diptyque, it felt very familiar to me, and I immediately got some of this feeling again. A fresh, commercial summer floral it may be, but there is also something quite potently tropical there (despite that freshness); the haze of the midday sun atop the dunes, the plants, alive and drinking in sun, just being…



The idea behind Eau de Moheli was apparently to encapsulate the whole ylang ylang tree and its surroundings; an in situ, ‘solar’ take by perfumer Olivier Pecheaux:  the scented vibrations of the tree and its roots; the leaves and the flowers, and the scent, to me at least, is not ylangishly identifiable straight way (it is certainly not a ylang ylang soliflore).



Yes, there is ylang, and orange blossom perhaps, but all is overlayered with a fuzzy, peppery, gingery incense accord that twists the usual ylang profile into something slightly more savoury, arboreal. The result is quite pleasant, and  it immediately pressed my mental ‘like’ button with no hesitation, a citrussy cologne-like brightness chiming nicely with its uplifting island florality. It is familiar (a ylang-ish Chasse Aux Papillions, perhaps, if slightly more feral), and certainly nothing spectacular, but it is also, on a hot summer’s day, enjoyable, comforting.  It is the kind of perfume I would put on early on a hot summer’s morning: that shimmering, unfurling, time, early, before the heat sets in, when you feel the promise of the day, the flowers about to rise.


Filed under Flowers

11 responses to “Behind the dunes: EAU MOHELI by DIPTYQUE (2013)

  1. Love the writing, as always. I especially resonated to the last sentence: “it is the kind of perfume I put on early on a hot summer’s morning, that shimmering, unfurling, time, early, before the heat sets in, when you feel the promise of the day, the flowers about to rise.” I have trouble with the very hot days we’re having right now but love summer mornings so much that it doesn’t matter. I have a passion for putting on white florals in the early morning, letting them crest and subside, and then enjoying a second, somewhat different bloom when I go out for the day. It may be that this only works because of our very dry air, which diminishes scent perception quite a bit, but my memories of growing up in Louisiana include ladies in luscious white florals in the summer. But then, a gingery ylang with a touch of citrus about it sounds lovely too.

    • Your writing is luscious and exquisite. And you know exactly what I mean: the pungency of the summer dawn, that excitement.

      This perfume is not exciting, but it is extremely pleasant. Come payday I am buying it.

    • Lilybelle

      I love summer mornings, too. And magical summer evenings. I imagine you can easily recall the scent of summer nights, having grown up in Louisiana. I’m originally from Mississippi, and I also remember ladies wearing lush white floral fragrances in summer.

  2. Lilybelle

    Thank you for the mini vacation! I love the beach, and I always have. Too bad I have such fair skin. 😦 I would rather be at the seashore than anyplace else. That sounds like a nice fragrance. I need to try more from Diptique. I think the only two I’ve tried were Olene and Ombre dans l’Eau (was that Diptique?).

  3. I immediately liked this as well and thought it was very well-done as I have been disappointed by many of Diptyque’s more recent launches.

    What wonderful memories of the beach too, Neil! Thank you for sharing!

  4. Beautiful writing. This perfume sounds divine.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s