Our first store opened in 1961 at 34 Boulevard Saint-Germain in Paris. Three friends from the world of fine arts and decoration, Desmond Knox-Leet, Christiane Gautrot and Yves Coueslant, created this store, where they displayed and sold their own upholstery fabric designs. They also gave their customers the opportunity to discover the leading brands of traditional English perfumery, which were little known in France at the time. The architecture of this first shop inspired the name of the Maison; two windows framed the entrance door, like the two flaps that form a diptych (diptyque) in art. Bit by bit, with finely honed taste, the trio transformed the space into something really special; a kind of stylish bazaar where you could find unexpected objects, unique in Paris, sourced on their travels. The store at 34 Boulevard Saint-Germain still exists and houses the Maison’s precious archives upstairs.
Creatives from the world of fine arts and decoration had the initial idea to create colored candles. The candle-makers they contacted suggested they create scented candles blending aesthetics and fragrance. In 1963, Diptyque created its first three scented candles: Tea, Hawthorn and Cinnamon. This was the beginning of a wide repertoire of more than 50 scents that pay homage to nature simply by enhancing the raw ingredients.
In 1968, Desmond Knox-Leet persuaded his two friends to make their own eau de toilette. Inspired by a potpourri recipe and based on notes of cinnamon, rose, clove, geranium and sandalwood, they named it L'Eau. This is how an entire range of fragrances came to be created in the same spirit, conjuring up an original and unique olfactory landscape... L'Eau is also distinguished by two characteristics that would become inseparable from the brand: names containing the O sound (Oponé, Tam Dao, Ofrésia, Eau des Sens, Olène, etc.) and "an olfactory accident", i.e. an unexpected note slipped into the olfactory composition of the fragrance. Today, guided by its rich heritage, Diptyque perpetuates an olfactory creation that has no equivalent in the repertoire of classical perfumery, no gender distinction.
The oval labels have always been a feature of Diptyque and have come a long way; going back to the textile origins of the Diptyque adventure and unravelling as far as ancient Rome. The elongated shield of a Roman Praetorian Guard soldier adorned one of the early Diptyque fabric designs. Far from being warriors, the founders were simply fans of ancient culture and converted the shield into a clever vignette. It was decided that their paper shield would proudly bear the name of the candles and all future creations.
Over the past 10 years, Diptyque has opened shops in some of the largest cities in the world, including New York, Paris, London, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Berlin, and many more.