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Diptyque Tam Dao

Item Description

This time of year I really like to go through my sandalwood stock. The creams, aftershaves, and of course colognes come out. As you all know "sandalwood" is a scent that is interpreted very differently depending on who does it, but what I like are dry, woody scents that are as close to the (very expensive) essential oil as possible.

Diptyque's Tam Dao shares a lot of similarities with Floris Sandalwood, my previously favorite sandalwood cologne. The dry down of both is dry, spicy, and woody, not the in-your-face sweetness of something like Trumper sandalwood.

Tam Dao starts off with a riot of scents. There is a strong cypress opening mixed with the sandalwood that I like a lot. The scent swirls around for the first few minutes in a quite exciting fashion. It reminds me of what a market in Goa or somewhere else in India might be like. After 10 minutes or so, the cypress recedes and you are left with a very complex, spicy, and dry sandalwood scent that lingers for most of the day.

Where this differs from the Floris offering is that when you spray on Floris, you smell essentially nothing (see my Floris Sandalwood review). Over time it develops, and stays quite close to the skln. The Tam Dao is a bit more intense and outward-facing. You wear Floris for yourself (or someone you are snuggling with), while Tam Dao will be appreciated by those around you (without being overpowering).

I really like this scent, and it has jumped to the top of my favorite sandalwood products. If I had to find one flaw, it is that it is on the pricey side at $65 or so for 50mL.

If you would like to discuss this review without providing numeric scores, please refer to this thread.

Latest reviews

I just received a 50 ml bottle of Tam Dao today and I must say it is the best smelling Sandalwood i have smelled! Very masculine. I just wish my lady liked it. She likes Aramis and Old Spice which is great too, but I REALLY like this Tam Dao and she REALLY hates it. One of them will have to go!
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Just received a sample of Tam Dao from Rorschuck, sprayed a bit on my wrist, and was transported back to the mid-1960s! On a WestPac deployment, I stopped in the China Fleet Club in Hong Kong and there bought, among other things, a small wooden box made of sandalwood from an Indian merchant. It was the type of box you put on your dresser to hold odds and ends. Tam Dao smells just exactly like that sandalwood box did!! Dry sandalwood with the slightest trace of camphor at the beginning. Now if anyone asks me what sandalwood wood smells like, I will tell them exactly like Tam Dao!
This is an exemplary sandalwood. Very strong for the first half-hour and then when it calms down, it becomes quite close to the scent of actual sandalwood (which is my benchmark for scents like these...if I can't detect enough sandal, it's not worth the name in my opinion. Floris is a perfect example of this). A reviewer on Basenotes hit the nail on the head when he said it is evocative of opening an old wooden box: it really is a rich, dry, woody scent with a slight sweetness.

It's not a terribly discreet scent in my opinion, so use with care.

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