The name “Diptyque”
Added to this evocative name is the oval, a symbol of art and history in which meet a host of influences, from the Pharaonic cartouches of ancient Egypt and the ellipses of Baroque architecture to the medallions of the 18th century. It provided a sensory framework for the creative freedom that united the founding trio from the start. They turned this oval into an emblem, Diptyque's natural hallmark, and applied it to candles, perfumes, boxes and everyday objects. This singular figure, poised between gentleness and rigour, holds the promise of infinite possibilities. Its confident contour invites us to look between the lines in order to read its dancing, calligram-like letters. The oval is the gateway to a world rich in meaning, influences and allusions.
The fragrance burner
At the heart of the oval, Diptyque’s emblem comes to life in the form of a fragrance burner. This iconic signature, inseparable from the Maison’s identity, reflected its founders’ new vocation as perfumers and artisans of the imagination. Its mysterious shape conjures up images of ancient rituals. In the glow of its dancing flames, it releases wisps of heady fragrance, filling the space with a captivating ambiance. More than a simple object, the perfume burner is an integral part of Diptyque’s heritage whose symbolism spans the ages.
The dancing letters
A vibrant source of inspiration for Diptyque, calligrams take centre stage in a silent ballet where letters come to life as they step gracefully across candle labels. The Diptyque alphabet, with its infinite variety of characters, invites us to observe and contemplate. Each motif can be interpreted anew at every glance. In a playful visual game, the compositions of interwoven letters are often inspired by the fragrances themselves: Cypress and Sandalwood rise to form tree-like silhouettes, while Gardenia and Roses bloom into delicate petals. The letters of the word quince (“Coing”), meanwhile, unfurl at right angles to form a corner (“coin”) in an amusing play on words. These riddles to decipher echo Desmond Knox-Leet’s past at Bletchley Park, where he helped to crack coded messages during the Second World War. In awakening our fantasies and stirring our imagination, the poetic typography reveals the eloquent power of words and shapes. It transforms each name into a drawing, spoken aloud in the universal language of the senses.
Drawings at Diptyque are like storytellers leading us on a journey of fragrant discovery. Diptyque creates an authentic olfactory landscape for each scent. Each fragrance has its drawing and each drawing its fragrance; these are stories told in tandem. This is one of the Maison’s unique attributes, inherited from its founders, who brought their memories and sensations alive in panoramic illustrations. They would select a section of these enchanting panoramas by passing over them with an oval-shaped slider, ensuring that each element of the drawings on the front and back of the perfume bottle label would tell the story of the fragrance – a tradition that lives on today. This stationary journey pushes the boundaries of eras and styles, from Greek mythology to Art Nouveau and Orientalism, and from tropical jungles to Mediterranean orchards.
Black & white and colours
Deep, powerful black is integral to the Diptyque universe: the black ink of our dancing letters and drawings which, through their graceful gestures, are the raison d'être of white; a symbol of rigour; a source of contrasts. White is the hue of the canvas that greets and reveals the artist. Black and white rise in a play of solids and voids to better reflect on the space, like a diptych. Bright, luminous colour is also part of the Diptyque universe: colour inspired by the Maison's first fabrics; colour that seems to flow from ancient paintings and ceramics, as well as that from natural pigments rooted in the earth. Desmond Knox-Leet transformed these tones into watercolours, while Christiane Montadre-Gautrot made use of them in pearl necklaces and zellige tiles. Diptyque also expresses colour in the shades of its tissue papers, like an ode to joy and the art of giving and receiving. Each scent is a blend of three colours; a sheath of whimsy and gaiety; a shimmering veil that conceals a world of black and white.
The story of O
In this whimsical world, where the senses are constantly stimulated, the founding trio entered into a playful dialogue with the letter O. The O of a window onto a unique olfactory world. The O of the sound formed by the three letters, “Eau”, the name of Diptyque’s first eau de toilette. The O of the leitmotif present as a phoneme in every eau de toilette and perfume name: L'Eau, L'Autre, Philosykos, Olène, Fleur de Peau, Vetyverio, Tam Dao, Orphéon... The O as a poetic echo. The O as the note that unites these fragrances in an olfactory symphony. The O of the first breath of the Diptyque oval. The O of its elegant form. Could O be the first letter in the Diptyque alphabet?