It's time for me to properly reveal my signature scent—trust me, this is the best perfume you will ever smell

I'm sharing this with you, but I don't want you to buy it

Shannon Lawlor holding Diptyque Orphéon
(Image credit: Shannon Lawlor)

As I write these words, I'm currently sat at a desk in a Parisian hotel room, overlooking Rue Faubourg St Honoré. Something about being here, situated on one of the most iconic fragrance streets in the world, is making me soft. It is romantically moody outside, in the way that only Paris can be, and I am tired from spending the day nosying around every luxury fragrance boutique this street has to offer. So, I figured now is the time for me to give up one of my biggest secrets—my signature scent. Sure, I've discussed it before (and I've talked about this particular perfume a lot) but now is the time to write the love letter to Diptyque Orphéon that I think the world really needs to hear.

Orphéon is the joy of Paris, on a grey, somewhat dreary day. It is the chic Parisian woman sheltering from the drizzle under a canopy, sipping an espresso while slouched nonchalantly next to an al fresco café table. It is suave business men darting into a dimly lit, velvet-clad bar on their lunch breaks and talking business over old fashions. It is the dancer slipping into her collants and powdering her face in a pokey backstage room of the Moulin Rouge. Diptyque's Orphéon is the comforting and effortlessly cool daily ritual that only exists within this city's perimeter. It is not floral, it is not musky, it is not a skin scent, it is not woody—Orphéon cannot be defined by its notes, only its feeling.

Diptyque Orphéon

(Image credit: Shannon Lawlor)

You see, the reason I consider Orphéon to be the best fragrance ever created is because what it sells is an emotion, not just a scent—and it is one hell of an emotion. It is a cloak of all-encompassing comfort. If I'm ever feeling unsettled, disjointed or am longing for home comforts, a spray of Orphéon brings me back to myself with an immediate sense of ease.

Truly, I believe the best way to comprehend what Orphéon smells like is through really understanding its warming, comforting powers via scene-setting and make-believe anecdotes, but I understand this isn't literal enough for some. So, while I won't talk too much on specific notes (I believe, in the case of Orphéon, it can confuse things to do so), I think it's important for me to discuss what it smells like in literal terms.

To start, it is a total powder bomb—a hit of velvety-soft, clean comfort. And although I use the word clean, there isn't a hint of freshness to it. And although I use the word comfort, there isn't a hint of creaminess or skin-like sweetness. The powdered cosiness is intricately ribboned with a subtle, smoky herbiness and barely-there, velvety, white petals. The fragrance was created as an homage to a late-night bar situated nearby to Diptyque's iconic 34 Boulevard Saint-Germain headquarters in the 1960s that was frequented by the founders of the brand. And there's no doubt the warm, cosy atmosphere of a Parisian bar is perfectly portrayed—it smells like plumes of make-up powder, gin and tonic, unlit cigarettes and vintage floral perfumes mingling in the air.

But what makes it the best perfume I have ever come across? Well, beyond the way it makes me feel and its astounding ability to portray such clear emotion, it is also uniquely complex and multi-faceted. It is soft but punchy, comforting but statement-making. It works for every single scenario—I spritz it on my neck to do the weekly food shop but also lean on it for dinner parties and work meetings. It is an eau de toilette, but it has the long-lasting nature and skin-hugging element typically found in an eau de parfum.

So, as I sit here and watch the rain fall upon the doors of my room's Juliette balcony, against a backdrop of a beautifully melancholic Paris, I am feeling the power of Orphéon deep in my bones. I'm swaddled up in a sense of comfort and ease, I'm grounded, and there's no place in the world I'd rather be.

Shannon Lawlor
Executive Beauty Editor

Shannon Lawlor is the Executive Beauty Editor at Marie Claire. With nearly a decade of experience working for some of the beauty industry’s most esteemed titles, including Who What Wear, Glamour UK, Stylist and Refinery29, Shannon’s aim is to make the conversation around beauty as open, relatable and honest as possible. As a self-confessed lazy girl, Shannon has an affinity for hard-working perfumes, fool-proof make-up products and does-it-all skincare.