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The oval shape of the labels originated long ago. Its roots can be traced back to the fabrics designed at the very beginning of the diptyque adventure, the same thread that dates back to ancient Rome. The distinct oval shape of the Pretorian shield is found in one of the original diptyque fabrics. The furthest things from soldiers, but true fans of ancient culture, our founders converted it into their hallmark. The decision was made: their paper shield would proudly bear the names of their candles, and of all their creations to come.
Even the letters are non-conformists. Their rebellious patterns sprawled across the iconic ovals an act of poetry as well as one of beauty.
Desmond Knox-Leet spearheaded the merry upheaval of the letters on the label. Her Majesty’s subject helped decode the enemy’s messages during the Second World War and his knack for encrypted messages and enigmas never wore off. For diptyque, he invented these joyful letters that the eye figures out with delight.
DRAW ME A TREE
C at the top of the pyramid. Followed by the Y and the P, on the second line. Finally, the R, the E, and the S. In six letters, the cone shape of a stylized tree appears. The text and the image fit together and make sense! The label of the cypres scented candle is a visual poem. A nod to the poet Guillaume Apollinaire, inventor of the calligram.
THE DIPTYQUE ALPHABET
Helvetica, Arial or… diptyque? By hand, with India ink, Desmond created a plethoric alphabet. A typography with different Bs, As and Vs for each Eau de Toilette. Where the Es sprout tiny branches, the Os spread thick and round, the consonants swirl and the vowels tremble randomly. This makes more than 80 letters and thousands of possible combinations to describe a fragrance with words.
THE design factory
diptyque expresses itself through fragrances and the senses. Our founders – a painter, an interior architect and a theatre set designer in their parallel lives – embody their fragrances with images. Each of their compositions arises from an artistic approach. Each detail makes sense. Each image tells the story of a journey.
… Desmond Knox-Leet, the chief alchemist, creates the motif to accompany it, a genuine I.D. card for the fragrance, executed with absolute precision. The motif will then be found on the label. He creates more and more Eaux de Toilette along with many images; Art Nouveau illustrations, stylized Oriental visions, Asia’s jungle-like vegetation, Mediterranean orchards… Every time, the dreams lead us to an extraordinary elsewhere. After the founders’ time had passed, other artists perpetuated the diptyque spirit. Each new Eau de Toilette fuses the concept of perfumer and artist by working hand in hand.
Each image is a journey. Ôponé boasts the spices of a dream-like voyage. L'Eau Trois evokes Mount Athos, the memory of a very special stay in Greece, as well as the Wise Men who brought myrrh to baby Jesus. Volutes recalls the childhood scent memory of tobacco that filled the air on the giant ships that connected Saigon to Marseille. Smell, look, breathe… and anchors away.
Black ink on a white background. The power of each brush stroke makes an impact with radical graphics. The intense colors of the initial diptyque fabrics, inspired by ancient plant-hued ceramics, constitute the other source of influence.
Pompei red pigment for the Paladin fabric, indigo blue for the Pretorian print…Since the beginning, diptyque firmly asserts its polychromatic palette. It echoes a 19th century Arts & Crafts movement that revived the rich, natural-dye ornaments and thrives on old mosaics and Moorish “zelliges”. It also bears witness to our founders’ admiration for 1950s paintings.