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Embracing a rich history with Diptyque’s latest launch in the Middle East

May’s – ‘The Fragrance Issue’ – Download Now

Having reached its 60-year milestone, fragrance powerhouse Diptyque discusses its incredible brand story and exclusive new fragrance launch for the Middle East.

Diptyque has such a rich history of over 60 years. How has the brand evolved?

Diptyque’s adventure starts with a story of love and friendship that lasted 40 years between Christiane Gautrot, a graduate of the Ecole des Arts Decoratifs, Yves Coueslant, a graduate of the Ecole du Louvre and Desmond Knox-Leet, a painter from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts – three transdisciplinary creatives. They decided to create a place where they would only sell what they like. As “merchants of nothing” they hunted, found, decorated and diverted everything that inspires them. Their chic bazaar opened in 1961 at 34 Boulevard Saint Germain in Paris, they presented a collection of surprising and unique items like magical lanterns, precious toys, homemade treasures like printed fabrics and Diptyque’s very first scented candles Aubépine (Hawthon), Thé (Tea), Cannelle (Cinnamon) in 1963.

The brand’s creations have never been driven by the market or fashion trends, but rather created to arouse the imagination. They only exist out of the desire to share an emotion, a memory, an inspiration, initiate stories and unleash the imagination. No compromises have ever been made when it comes to the quality, the ingredients or the raw materials sourced, that are always the finest used to create our products: the olfactory experience is all that matters.
The years go by and our spirit remains the same: inventive, free, amazed and collaborative to bring enchantment and inspiration.

Diptyque Fragrance

The fragrance market is broad – how do you stay relevant?

What is important is to stay true to yourself, to your values while evolving, innovating. You have to know how to grow without losing your soul and always remaining free to create. We could say that we have a motto at Diptyque or a belief that Imagination gives people wings. As long as our fragrances will arouse this state of mind and the world will love to dream and escape, we will continue to create.

In terms of fragrance, what does Diptyque represent?

Free and fertile, Diptyque shares its creations and its look on the world amongst its community, and everyone that follows the Maison. Artistic, the Maison invites everyone to imagine their worlds, to imagine themselves, to free their wandering imagination, to always be delighted and inspired. The brand speaks to everyone, curious men and women, open-minded and interested in a new approach to the world of fragrance for themselves and for their home. Our clients are looking for quality of course but mostly creativity.

Has the brand pivoted or changed over the last year since the pandemic?

The niche fragrance universe has exploded in recent years because everyone desires to find a fragrance that speaks specifically to them, that evokes what they want to reveal about themselves. But it is also a search for more singular compositions, even sometimes disruptive. The pandemic has reinforced everyone’s needs to create an intimate, warm interior, we could even say protective. It is undeniable that home fragrances still have a bright future ahead. The different fragrance rituals instill moments of happiness that re-enchant everyday life.

Diptyque bring something that people will not find anywhere else. What they look for above all else is the richness of the range of scents, the originality of the fragrances, products with a strong personality, as well as innovative products, especially for home and products with a personal and emotional approach.

Tell us about the exclusive launch for the Middle East?

At Diptyque we have a saying, “Perfume is an art and art is a journey.” Indeed, travel has always been at the heart of creativity at Diptyque. The Maison’s three founders travelled the world. From 1961, as they were establishing their store at 34 boulevard Saint-Germain, Yves Coueslant, Desmond Knox-Leet and Christiane Gautrot made their way to the Middle East. Theirs was a road trip by car, by coach and on horseback through the many landscapes of the region, at the time untouched by tourism. From Damascus, the city of jasmine, to Trabzon, via Palmyra, Aleppo or Baalbek, in search of scents, colours and wonders, they discovered a land of rich olfactory facets.

Today, for its 60th birthday, Diptyque celebrates this same borderless territory with the launch of Eau Rihla, a new Eau de Parfum. The name Eau Rihla is an invitation to travel. It was inspired by Ibn Baṭṭūṭa, a Berber born in the 14th century – a great explorer who travelled nearly 120,000 kilometres during his lifetime. His memories are gathered in a book titled Rihla. By extension, rihla now refers to a genre of Arabic literature: travel narratives. This, once again, calls to mind Diptyque’s roots, as Desmond Knox-Leet used to fill his leather notebooks with notes and sketches to preserve the memories of his past adventures. Eau Rihla is thus a name that resonates as an invitation to travel along the routes of the Middle East.

This olfactory journey, through memories gleaned along the routes of the Middle East, lies at the heart of the inspiration for the creation of Eau Rihla. The new eau de parfum is the olfactory recounting of a long journey where every scent encountered leaves its mark. Leather, inspired by Desmond’s notebooks or by travel trunks, plays a major role in the composition. Fabrice Pellegrin created exclusively for Diptyque a leather note to be used in Eau Rihla. Obtained from Chinese cedarwood, it is a natural ingredient with a leathery scent. Named “cedrocuir”, it is a “vegetal” leather with velvety and sensual facets.

Diptyque scent

How would you say the GCC region is different from others in terms of fragrance?

The Middle East market has grown to become a reference in the industry of fragrance, and even a vitrine, inspiring the world with their taste and take on niche perfumery. At Diptyque, we have always remained close to the Middle Eastern fragrance culture, since our founders were as well always very much connected to that side of the world. Their appreciation of the GCC region led them to create some of the world top-selling fragrances such as Tam Dao, Oud Paolo or Volutes to name but a few.

The GCC region always amazed us with their precise knowledge of fragrances, scents and ingredients. They can easily connect and accept to be transported where the fragrance takes them. For there aren’t any limitations when it comes to the power of fragrances and what it can trigger in terms of inspirations. This market has a deep understanding of the world of fragrance and its subtlety, and it is very inspiring to watch. Creating Eau Rihla – our new exclusive fragrance for the Middle East – is naturally a result of the connection we always want to keep nurturing with the Middle East.

Which Diptyque’s fragrance consistently drives sales?

Do Son, Tempo, Oud Paolo, Fleur de Peau, Eau Duelle and Eau Capitale are particularly appreciated in the Middle East region.

What is your goal for Diptyque this year?

Diptyque’s 60th anniversary in 2021 is the opportunity to celebrate, all through the year, that which has driven the Maison since its creation, that which symbolises the Diptyque spirit and the appropriate moment to bring to life five themes that are particularly dear to the Maison – a passion for graphic design, which was the first highlight of the year; actually, the encounter as a catalyst for creativity; nature, particularly in the Mediterranean, as a source of inspiration – to be revealed this summer; travel as an entryway into the cultures of the world; and finally curiosity, which is not a fault but something to be treasured.

What do you envision for the future of Diptyque?

We envision and hope to continue attracting people from around the world, and look forward to continue creating with passion. This is, for us, the most important. But in order to create, we also need to give it meaning and offer a product that takes into account consideration the evolution of the world by becoming more and more eco-responsible. At Diptyque, more than ever, we are very sensitive to the subject of sustainability which is of course in the heart of creation for many years.

May’s – ‘The Fragrance Issue’ – Download Now

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