Diptyque products! The impossibly chic perfume bottles with equally chic labels on them or the aromatic waxes housed in jars that perform better on social media than our perfectly lit selfies, even when they’ve been repurposed in vessels for makeup brushes, cotton wool, or unglamorous things like house keys. The existential question to ask though, and perhaps a financially-fiscal one, is why we like the Parisian label so much.
I posted this question to several editors who attended its ION Orchard store opening (“It’s Diptyque, duh?”) and when answers ranged from (“It’s Diptyque, duh?!?!?!”) to a lengthy discussion about its Parisian provenance, I decided to embolden myself to ask its Commercial Director Eric Cauvin instead. There was fervent nodding, various analogies that could only be spoken by a Gallic gentleman, and in the end, he came up with five reasons for obsession. Continue reading on to #affirmyourself or sink further into your Diptyque-induced delulu.
No surprises: it’s because it’s French
“I think the brand’s appeal is about how it comes from a country that has centuries of experience creating scents. You can compare it to how a good chef cooks—you can learn how to cook by reading books but you’ll only be good at it after years or even centuries of trial and error.”
“The history of French perfumery started in Grasse but it’s not about the region now. It’s about how French perfumes come from such an amazing culture that they can’t be made elsewhere.”
“I’m not being arrogant about this because I believe you can get equally good perfumes that come from somewhere else or from totally new brands but it’s never the same as those from French brands that have this specifically historical experience.”
But French Cool in a Jane Birkin-kind Of Way
“We are often surprised, especially in Asia, that we have customers who are extremely young kids. They are looking for a product that has a history to it and ours comes from our three founders who came from the West Bank of Paris in the sixties where it was all about jazz music, a cultural community who read literature, and who all had strong personalities.”
“It is important to own a scent that has a real personality because it allows you to make a strong statement of what you are. You might be the only one to like it but you’ll feel reassured and strong.”
It Encourages You to Think About the Most Important Ingredient: You
“At some point in time, there was perfect chemistry between a perfumer and raw materials like flowers but when we now talk about creating one, we no longer debate if natural ingredients are better than synthetics or vice versa. It’s like a musician who works with notes—you can only compose with a set number of them and the most talented person in the room can create something new from them.”
“Perfumes can be described as commercial, unique, or even very strong but how you ultimately perceive it should be based on your point of view. It’s important that you can be proud of wearing it even if you’re wearing something unusual and even happy when people ask you what you are wearing.”
“Good perfumes create a dialogue that allows you to show off your personality and who you are.”
It Instantly Telegraphs “Bougie” Without the Bad Taste
“The design of each Diptyque scent is deeply rooted in the brand. The founders designed every label themselves and each candle has a different way of making its letters “dance” which interestingly, is sometimes impossible to read even for French people. But if you look closer, there are little cues like the letters in the Santal candle ($65) forming the shape of a tree.”
“This is what I believe makes people happy to show off their products on social media or even in real life as it suggests that one has good taste.”
A Potential Surprise Is Part of the Purchasing Fun
“I think the best way to buy your first fragrance from any brand is to try to learn a bit about the brand itself. And if you have no time, you should go to its store, to immerse yourself in its story and start a dialogue with a sales advisor. We’re fortunate to have a large palette of options at Diptyque from perfumes to hand creams and home scents and I think that going down the route of discovering a brand in person is the best way to discover it.”
“You should also try to be open-minded and overcome the fact that sometimes, you won’t like a perfume despite its popularity. Or, you might not like what a product smells like but you might be convinced once you hear a sales advisor talking about its story.”
“The beauty of Diptyque is that you can always end up purchasing things that you wouldn’t have thought you’d even like.”
Diptyque’s latest store is located at ION Orchard, #02-30 and its opening hours are from 10:00am to 10:00pm daily.