diptyque’s Fragrances Celebrate Their 50th Anniversary

By KENS apothecary

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Having witnessed history, through its windows.
Having travelled the world, each and every continent,
met and loved so many people, famous or anonymous, from all cultures.
Having looked through all these eyes, watched.
Collecting ideas and multiplying the surprises along the way,
(but not) having aged over time…

diptyque’s very first fragrance L’eau in 1968

diptyque, despite its respectable age,
has not lost any of its clever vivacity
nor its appetite for all that is vanguard.
Loyal to its curiosity, its sense of refinement,
its delight in undertaking, today it celebrates
the 50th anniversary of its very first eau de toilette
launch and, at the same time, announces the birth
of two new creations.
Respectively the 36th and 37th opuses
in a constantly flourishing repertoire.


From the Orient, young people also brought back sounds, unusual harmonies and peaceful music. Sitar, tablas and wah-wah guitars. A way for them to share the resonance and rhythm of the (new) world. If for Jack Kerouac the main influence of the “beat generation” came from jazz, for the post-WWII Baby Boomers that followed, it was more the haunting effects of psychedelic music that brought together the incomparable “flower power”.

Tempo, written for diptyque by its long-time friend, the perfumer Olivier Pescheux, revisits the patchouli theme, but (of course) refining it to reveal its most exquisite beauty and artfully combining three different extractions, each from a sustainable supply chain managed by Givaudan on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. A persistent vibration, like an ongoing echo of a musical wake.

A bit of moist earth deep within a primitive forest, amidst a fray of ferns, beneath the towering teak trees, laced in the mysterious shadows of the ancient endemic tribes that still live there. They call it Nilam. Powerful pinnacles of remarkably pure woody notes (softened by a maté absolute) almost camphoric, edged in green (bolstered by violet leaves). Leading to the slightest impression of wild cocoa beans. It resists and embellishes all that chimes in. Pink peppercorns, bergamot and fresh jasmine add peps and colour. An amber accord gives it irresistible sex-appeal. A bouquet of clary sage (the plant version of ambergris) and ambrofix (extract from the same aromatic leaves) that some adore to the point where they use it raw: warm, velvety, cedary, imperceptibly animal – reminiscent of the softness of suede. And musks to hem it all in with flair. The olfactory accident? The contrast between its tangy character and the thickness of the violet leaves and the (mossy) aspects of the patchouli!

Fleur de Peau

The smell of skin: the smell of musk. Sometimes natural (imported from Tibet where it is still available), but usually synthetic, the most beloved smell that echoes (almost to a tee) that of lovers’ bodies: navel, back of the knee, palm of the hand. That which, on an olfactory level, is rather akin to the soft, surprising scent of the fringed nubuck vests young bare-chested men used to wear.

But what’s the trick to making a musk fragrance in today’s world without debasing oneself? By opting to include a hint of iris, matte and cool, long lasting and deep, like yesteryear’s glove makers used to perfume their leather.

Opening with Italian notes of mandarin orange and bergamot, and a dash of pink peppercorns that hover between petals and seeds. Aldehydes. Everything awakens, and fuses. Then, an unusual contrast (the happy accident) follows, round and moist. Speaking of musks…

The 1960s was also a time of great empathy toward Hindu rituals, a spiritual wave swept over the world. Yoga, transcendental meditation, vegetarianism… People began sitting in virtuous circles, chanting the “aum” mantra as long as possible, making love everywhere to everyone. The Summer of Love!

Meticulously selected by Olivier Pescheux, musks share the lion’s share of the spotlight, dancing between leathery, powdery and fruity facets – one minute wild, the next peach fuzzy like the angelic nape of a chubby
baby’s neck.

Among the captivating hues there’s Ambrettolide, which gives a muskiness to the ambrette seeds (as their name indicates), which in turn act as linking agents lacing together the carrot and angelica seeds, so close to the iris essence, similarly pulled from between the stones. A joyous splice.

This then cleverly dissolves to an earthy array of steadfast, ferruginous rhizomes, almost reminiscent of a wine cellar but ever so aristocratic and absolutely refined. Perfect timing for the graceful Turkish roses to arrive on the scene and brighten this introverted heart. Closing with an infusion of ambergris, not only for its ink and iodine accents but also to enhance the lively expression of this Peace & Love perfume.

Shop diptyque’s Fragrance here.

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