Five years ago I completely dismissed Eau d'Elide. I went through the sample March of the Posse sent me, trying to figure it out, but could smell nothing but candied bitter orange and weirdness. Months later I woke up with the memory of Eau d'Elide in my head and nose, and not only did I get it, I was craving this odd perfume. A bottle was quickly purchased and all was well in my world. Then came the big mayhem of 2008 and Diptyque discontinued four of their most unusual (and under-performing) perfumes, including Eau d'Elide.
Diptyque released Eau d'Elide in 1988, which should help us all appreciate it even more. Can you even imagine this oddball in the same universe with Eternity and Cool Water? I would have loved to see my 18 year old self smelling Elide then for the first time (that year I wore Tamango by Leonard and Ted Lapidus Creation).
Eau d'Elide walks a fine line between being very foody and very outdoorsy. The candied orange peels here were cooked in lavender honey and were sprinkled with lavender sugar, instead of my mother's homemade vanilla sugar. Well, maybe there is some vanilla there. A whole unbroken bean. There are other aromatics there, with a sharp Mediterranean edge. I'm pretty sure I can smell thyme (or is it thyme honey?) and marjoram. Maybe a wild oregano, slightly dried in the punishing sun of a summer afternoon.
With all the candied fruit and honey you'd think Eau d'Elide is horribly sweet and cloying. It isn't, and it's not even feminine. This perfume is somewhat linear, which is probably a good thing considering how unusual it smells as it is, straight from the bottle. One needs to get used to the bitterness, dried herbs and candy.I can't blame Diptyque too much for discontinuing Elide, as I can't imagine it being a big or even medium seller. But I am sad this beauty was taken away from us (well, other than my lifetime supply, that is).
Notes (from the Perfumed Court, where samples and decants are still available): bitter orange, wild lavender, musk and aromatic shrubs.