perfume blog

Did you know that the fragrance brand Diptyque started off as a little arty store in Paris, a treasure-trove of wonderful, colourful things? The three friends who opened the boutique used to source and import amazing beauty products from around the world and sell them alongside vibrantly printed fabrics and interesting little gifts. I was lucky enough, on a recent trip to Paris, to be allowed a little poke around in their miniature museum of original pieces – vintage Rimmel, retro soaps from Spain and books stuffed full with carefully preserved press-cuttings.

I love hearing the stories behind brands – for me, it brings the products alive and makes me treasure them that little bit more. Knowing that my favourite figgy fragrance (Philosykos) was an olfactory reminder of the three friends’ favourite Greek holiday gives it, for me, a touch of magic. I can picture the friends ambling through olive groves and sipping wine next to a crumbling villa, already concocting their perfume. I can imagine them wandering around dark, cool cathedrals, taking in the smell of incense and wood and then returning home to recreate the scent. (If you want a candle that literally smells like a cathedral then make sure you grab the limited edition Oliban candle for Christmas – it’s incredible!)

In the sixties and seventies, the Diptyque store at 34 Boulevard Saint Germain must have been quite something – imported beauty products? Funky cushions and off-beat gifts? I would have spent half of my life in there! The need to do things a little differently still shows in Diptyque‘s branding, I think. They refuse to follow the herd – if they didn’t think of it first, they try to avoid it. Reed diffusers? No. Gigantic Hourglass filled with home fragrance? Yes.

There’s a very traditional feel to the products – classic styling, chic, monochrome labelling – but then an artistic, bohemian twist. Every label features hand-drawn artwork on the back, to be viewed through the glass of the bottle. Products have the Diptyque oval “seal” as their focal point. Christmas candles are poured into jars decorated with original fabric designs from the store’s first incarnation. There are lots of little finishing touches that make the products so delectable – and look at the hundreds of candles below, pre-wrapped in their own little colour combinations!

You’ll have to wait for the Christmas Gift Guide for more on Diptyque – but I leave you with my newest fragrance find, L’Ombre Dans L’Eau. I couldn’t believe it when I first sprayed it – it smells exactly like my Grandad’s greenhouse used to when the grapes were almost ripe on the vines. He used to make homemade wine and I liked to sit in the humid greenhouse with the tiny grapes dripping water onto my head! Ah, memories. That’s half of what fragrance is all about, to me.

You can find all Diptyque products online at Diptyque and John Lewis

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10 Responses to Diptyque: Memories and a Touch of Magic

  1. Liz says:

    Love love love Diptyque! My favorite is Oyedo, an acquired scent. The first spray will not tell you the whole story. The scent slowly builds on you and retain its uniqueness through the day.

  2. Soleiday Soleil says:

    I have just been given their new fragrance 34 in the solid form. Reminds me so much of the days when Avon first introduced parfum solide.. . .was it the 60′s I wonder.

    It was unusual then and now in this form, there is so little waste with overspray and the container presented by Diptyque, is simple, small, black and attractive, and alas fits into my bra, where the warmth makes it so easy to use in cold winter weather. Silly, I know!!! But warmth is the key to this type of fragrance when it is not in an aerosol.

    However, the fragrance, freshly applied, which is citrus as in lemon with a grapefruit top note, seems to change significantly on my skin, becoming a softer and more evocative note. And the most important…….he likes it.

    Remember…the way to a man’s heart is not only his stomach. If the fragrance is the one he likes, then you are the one he likes as well.

  3. shannon says:

    What I love about Diptyque fragrances is that every one offers a personal experience and conjures memories for the wearer. I purchased Diptyque Eau Mage when I transplated to NYC as the coolness of the scent just seemed to fit with my surroundings. I also own Eau Duelle which is a beautiful spicy vanilla that has a milky smoothness to it – a weekend scent for me. It’s a cozy reminder of Canadian winters spent by the fire and the warmth of the holidays. Lastly, and perhaps my favorite, Eau Lente – it’s impossible to put into words how much this scent uplifts me. It is reminiscent of candlelit cathedrals, breathing in the incense-filled air. I am not religious but consider churches to be the most beautiful and inspiring places, and this scent just does it for me. A purely fall and winter scent, but I look forward to it every year.

  4. Ekaterina says:

    L’Ombre Dans L’Eau was my 1st Diptyque perfume! Now I’m on my 3rd bottle of their scents having bought Vetiverio for 2 times and waiting for Doo Son to arrive as my Bday present! love their products :) and their Figue candle is right in front of me on my table:)

  5. Queenpette says:

    You should live in Paris. You like french products so much.

  6. Vera says:

    I remember the first time I smelled Diptyque fragrancies and immediately fell in love. I’ve been through a lot of perfumes, but this is still my all time favourite!

  7. Nita says:

    Lovely brand, great perfumes. Often asked what I’m wearing when I use Philosykos. Another Perfume house I’ve discovered is Divine perfumes in Brittany. Their L’ame Soeur is just that; Divine. Check them out if you can. XxX

  8. Annapoo says:

    Loved reading it. Such articles make me want to travel more and experience things first hand.

  9. Cath Lee says:

    We have Diptyque here in Singapore (very limited range, of course) but I don’t think we’ve been properly educated about the brand. Thanks for sharing!

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