Having witnessed history, through its windows.
Having travelled the world, each and every continent,
met and loved so many people, famous or anonymous, from all cultures.
Having looked through all these eyes, watched.
Collecting ideas and multiplying the surprises along the way,
(but not) having aged over time…
diptyque, despite its respectable age, has not lost any of its clever vivacity nor its appetite for all that is vanguard. Loyal to its curiosity, its sense of refinement, its delight in undertaking, today it celebrates the 50th anniversary of its very first eau de toilette launch and, at the same time, announces the birth of two new creations. Respectively the 36th and 37th opuses in a constantly flourishing repertoire.
In Paris, in the early 1960s, three happy artists manage a Parisian corner shop at 34 Boulevard Saint-Germain. Their names are Desmond (Knox-Leet), Christiane (Gautrot) and Yves (Coueslant). This painter,
interior architect and theatre set designer are part of the great upheaval. In this chic bazaar, predecessor to the concept store that they opened at the beginning of the decade, you can find rare and wonderful things. a few homemade treasures including printed fabrics and the brand’s first scented candles (Aubépine (Hawthon), Thé (Tea), Cannelle (Cinnamon), as of 1963) and, spurred by the British influence of Desmond, English colognes (lilacs, lilies of the valley, mock orange, and various exotic frictions such as bay rum, ignored south of the Channel). Since the store had two display windows, the store was named diptyque.
The first niche perfume. The first genderless perfume. The first perfume authored like a tale. L’Eau also distinguished itself with two canons that became integral to the brand: product names bearing the sound O (in homage to “Eau”) sound (Oponé, Tam Dao, Ofrésia, Eau des Sens, Olène, etc.) and the olfactory “accident”, meaning an unexpected note (making a connection, breaking away or making an exclamation), the serendipitous surprise we never imagined… L’Eau, the origin of all that was to follow.
TEMPO & FLEUR DE PEAU
Tempo and Fleur de Peau, the latest works of art by diptyque, are not only new and completely modern, they’re also reverent nods to their big sister, L’Eau, to her historic birth year, 1968…
Tempo, written for diptyque by its long-time friend, the perfumer Olivier Pescheux, revisits the patchouli theme, but (of course) refining it to reveal its most exquisite beauty and artfully combining three different extractions, each from a sustainable supply chain managed by Givaudan on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. A persistent vibration, like an ongoing echo of a musical wake. A bit of moist earth deep within a primitive forest, amidst a fray of ferns, beneath the towering teak trees, laced in the mysterious shadows of the ancient endemic tribes that still live there. They call it Nilam.
Powerful pinnacles of remarkably pure woody notes (softened by a maté absolute) almost camphoric, edged in green (bolstered by violet leaves). Leading to the slightest impression of wild cocoa beans. It resists and embellishes all that chimes in. Pink peppercorns, bergamot and fresh jasmine add peps and colour.
FLEUR DE PEAU
The smell of skin: the smell of musk. Sometimes natural (imported from Tibet where it is still available), but usually synthetic, the most beloved smell that echoes (almost to a tee) that of lovers’ bodies: navel, back of the knee, palm of the hand. That which, on an olfactory level, is rather akin to the soft, surprising scent of the fringed nubuck vests young bare-chested men used to wear.
Opening with Italian notes of mandarin orange and bergamot, and a dash of pink peppercorns that hover between petals and seeds. Aldehydes. Everything awakens, and fuses. Then, an unusual contrast (the happy accident) follows, round and moist.
No doubt the three founders of diptyque were above all visual, tactile artists, so their approach to making fragrances is as visual and tangible as it is ethereal – inviting you to discover the invisible.
Each raw material is like a dab of paint on the artist’ palette, like the memory of a place, a landscape, a time.
The illustrations on the bottles are of utmost importance to each narration.
For Tempo, it’s the vision of a shaman (referred to as a guru in India) communicating ritually with the forest where patchouli was born, where animals and spirits live freely.
For Fleur de Peau, the illustrator was inspired by the word psychedelic, rooted in an ancient Greek myth in which an incomparably gorgeous princess falls madly in love with Aphrodite’s son. He sneaks out at night to meet with her. She wraps herself around him in her dreams.
Just like the first illustration Desmond Knox-Leet designed for the L’Eau bottle 50 years ago, the ones created for Tempo and Fleur de Peau were drawn with Indian Ink. Each is also double sided – the story continues on the back, visible only from the inside, through the fragrant liquid. Floating
images, like in a dream! Figurative, they tell the tale of each fragrance as much as they reflect it. Back and forth, in harmony, like a twin ship. Around the iconic oval, the trademark font stamps the immutable address: diptyque, 34 Boulevard Saint-Germain, Paris 5e.
Tempo, Eau de Parfum, 75 ml
Fleur de Peau, Eau de Parfum, 75 ml