Friday, July 24, 2015

Review: Diptyque Tam Dao EDP

When I purchased Tam Dao, I went with a safe 12ml, knowing how finicky I have been with woodsy notes. If a fragrance veers too woody, I tend to reject it immediately. However, I've really enjoyed scoping out sandalwood based fragrances; I love the sweeter aspect that comes with sandalwood. It doesn't feel so dry and serious. I felt I needed to experience Tam Dao. I'd love to find this lovely, subtle, slightly urbane woody scent that feels like a modern, minimalistic, yet slightly rustic space; basically all the home inspiration pins that I pin on Pinterest. Like a beautiful, clean, white kitchen, with an abundance of natural light, and beautiful real-wood floors. With my very first test of Tam Dao, my reaction was akin to a pissed off cat; hissing and recoiling. However, as it dried down, it became closer to that pretty, modern, rustic space; I curl up and purr.

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lime, coriander, ginger, sandalwood, cedarwood, musc, vanilla, and amber wood

"Memories of Asia. In the depths of the jungle, the ancient trees intertwine. The magnificence of precious Goa Sandalwood and the brittle dryness of Cedar, blended with the sparkle of exotic spices and the warmth of amber."

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The opening of Tam Dao EDP is a spiced wood, with a slight sweet lime. Katie Puckrik likens Tam Dao to sticking your head in a cedar chest. Actually, after my initial few testings, I've grown to really enjoy the heavier woody opening. I'm impressed and surprised, because typically I won't evolve my opinion too much from what it was at the first test. I don't like to feel as though I'm trying to convince myself to like something, and I've learned that when I have tried to do this, it doesn't work. In the end, my initial dislike usually prevails. 

As Tam Dao dries, I start to enjoy it even more. The spiced wood fades into the background, and a vanillic amber comes out to play. I appreciate that the spiced, dry wood sticks around like a hovering mother, because it keeps the sweet amber-vanilla from becoming sticky or heavy. I spent a great portion of my teens being known for smelling like a vanilla cupcake. I love vanilla, and I still appreciate it (almost as much as I did at 14) small doses. I've found that if a fragrance has a composition with a too-heavy dose of vanilla, my skin will pull it out like a priest performing an exorcism, and I have no desire to smell like Body Fantasies Vanilla Fantasy at age 28. Tam Dao doesn't do that, it somehow keeps a nice balance. 

Overall I really like Tam Dao, it has a clean, modern, milky, woody vibe. Its biggest downfall is that you'll likely have to top up quite frequently in order to enjoy it throughout your whole day. I'm not a huge stickler for pissing on a fragrance with short longevity, simply because my skin tends to eat perfume for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. So, I've grown accustom to having to reapply almost anything I own somewhat frequently. Also, I have not tried the EDT, so I'm unsure of how similar they are.

Tam Dao EDP retails for $140 for a 75ml, the nose behind this fragrance is Daniel Moliere

Longevity: 2/5
Projection: 2/5

WEAR THIS: year round (maybe not when it's humid though), outdoor activities, cozied at home, cuddling with your love, low-key hangs with friends


  1. I haven't tried the EdP yet but EdT version (from the old packaging so I don't know if they've tweaked it as well) stays on my skin strongly for 4-5 hours easily and then another 4-5 as traces.

    1. Awesome! I think I'll actually bump my longevity rating up a notch, because I can still smell it every so slightly after the 3 hour mark. If you try the EdP, you'll have to let me know how they compare. Thanks a million for reading and commenting!

  2. Diptyque is one of my favourite houses but I so wish I went for the EDP instead of the EDT! Great review Krista, and I know what you mean by the "difficult opening", in EDT it's worse with the cypress note. I really need to test EDP on skin to see if I can get that milky sandalwood!

    1. I really admire Diptyque too! Definitely get your nose on the EDP, it's great.

      Thanks a million for reading!

      xo, Krista