Scent Sample Sunday: Diptyque 34 Boulevard Saint Germain

Today’s scent sample is one I am surprisingly close to “thunking”, which I hadn’t expected. I was given a house sample of Diptyque’s 34 Boulevard Saint Germain with my purchase of the house’s Eau Rose hair mist. I was happy to have it, but didn’t anticipate much from it. It has been sitting on my bedside table with some other samples, so I pulled it out earlier this week when I was settling in for my usual bedtime reading. At first spray, I thought to myself, “this is VERY pleasant.” As I continued reading, I periodically sniffed my wrist, and thought, “this is still REALLY nice.” And when I woke up the next morning, having had it on my skin by then for several hours, it STILL smelled really good.

So I did that again the next night. And the next, including last night. And here I am, on a Sunday morning, writing about it as my sample of the week. What is it like, and why am I liking it so much?

34 BSG is classed by Fragrantica as a “chypre floral”, created in 2011 by perfumer Olivier Pescheux to mark the 50th anniversary of Diptyque. It lists the notes as follows: top notes: blackcurrant, green leaves, fir leaf, citruses, pink pepper, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon; heart: rose, geranium, tuberose, iris and violet; base: woods, resins, balsams and eucalyptus. M. Pescheux has created many fragrances for many houses, covering a wide range of prestige and cost, but he has specifically created at least fifteen fragrances for Diptyque. 34 BSG is meant to evoke the complex smell of Diptyque’s first store, which was located at 34 Boulevard Saint Germain in Paris.

I think what makes me like 34 BSG right away is the lively opening dominated, to my nose, by blackcurrant, green notes, and cardamom, all notes I love in fragrance. Hovering behind those are more notes I enjoy: fir leaf, citruses, and cloves. I don’t pick up much pepper or cinnamon, just general spiciness. Of the floral heart notes, the one I smell most strongly is the tuberose, but it is pretty subtle, unlike the way I experience many tuberose fragrances where that is the dominant note. So if you’d like a scent with tuberose but prefer it in small doses, this might be a good option for you, as it is for me. The theme of green notes, given lift and sparkle in the opening by the citruses, blackcurrant, and fir leaf, continues in the heart by way of the geranium note.

The subtlety of the tuberose, combined with the woods, resins, and green notes, also makes this an absolutely unisex fragrance. As I’ve been wearing it over the last few days, I’ve wondered whether I might like it even more on my husband. As it dries down, that lively opening gives way to subtle floral notes, and quite soon those give way to a very warm and comforting base, with its woody notes, resins, balsams, and a touch of eucalyptus to carry on the green leitmotif. That base is what persists until the morning on my skin, when I apply 34 BSG at night — a good 8-10 hours’ longevity, which is excellent for an eau de toilette!

I haven’t really delved into Diptyque fragrances, partly due to their prices and the fact that they rarely go on sale (I’m allergic to paying full retail prices for fragrance). But I’m very taken with this one, in addition to Eau Rose and Eau Rose in the hair mist formulation. I know some of my regular readers are big fans of Philosykos. Any others?

Featured image from PSLABS.

11 thoughts on “Scent Sample Sunday: Diptyque 34 Boulevard Saint Germain

  1. I was all set to spray Si Lolita (the scent of my current mood funk) when this post arrived in my mailbox. I vaguely remembered an untouched Diptyque sample in my stash – lo and behold – 34 BSG. So I’m wearing it today and like you, enjoying it. I was not an instant chypre lover, it took me several years of nose maturation to appreciate. I own a bottle of Philosykos (love fig!) and have travel sprays of Eau Rose, Do Son and L’Ombre dans l’Eau from a holiday set which included matching mini candles- long gone. Eau Rose is the least used, since Rose isn’t my favorite note. L’Ombre is one I have to be in the mood for – it’s very green for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Twins! I’m sorry that the mood funk continues. The nice thing about 34 BSG is that while it has chypre DNA, it’s not so strongly “chypre” that it would scare anyone off. I think it’s a really interesting and clever scent in how it keeps transforming over its development, almost from genre to genre.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey OH,
    You are wearing my favourite Diptyque.
    I also have a bottle of Eau Duelle EdT which is a fabulously comfortable, low key, slightly herbal and resinous vanilla and their 2016 LE Rose de Mai, jammy roses and stuff.
    The only one really left on my list to purchase is Volutes.
    Portia xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I admit black currant and I don’t always see eye to eye,but in a green-floral-spicy context, I think it works pretty well – I do love Guerlain Chamade, which goes in that route… Is 34 BSG any similar? (I see you say it changes a lot as it develops, and I also get a lot of this with Chamade).

    I wish there where Dyptique stores were I live to get to know their line… They do have that “Jo Malone-ish” nature-inspired home fragrance vibe, though, don’t they? (I might be wrong, as I’ve only ever sniffed 2 of their scents…)

    Like

    • I don’t think 34 BSG is like Chamade, though it has been a long time since I wore that. As I recall, though, Chamade was much more floral overall than 34 BSG. Yes, I do get a bit of a Jo Malone vibe from Diptyque, what with the candles and everything, but in my limited experience, the Diptyque fragrances seem to have more staying power and longevity than JM. I like both very much, though.

      Like

      • I’ve recently tested JM’s Osmanthus Blossom and Yuja, from their summer cologne (sadly, limited edition) collection. They’re both quite beautiful!

        I like the overall nature-like vibe of JM scents, and Dyptique also sounds like a very nice line – with more complex blends than JM, too, which is usually a plus for me!

        Like

      • I also like many Jo Malone scents (I mean “home fragrance-like” as in neutral, clean and ambient-evoking, not as a bad thing!). I really like their lavender-centred trio of fragrances… Yuja and Osmanthus Blossom, from their summer collection, are also lovely. So sad they’re all limited edition!

        I like the natural inspiration of the brand, and yes, Dyptique seems to be similar – although, with more complex compositions, which is usually a plus point for me! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Ops! I though my first comment had been deleted by mistake before I posted it, so I wrote another similar one… Sorry for the redundance (I don’t want to spam your post! I wasn’t counting on the first version to appear…)

    Like

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.