Objects of Desire: Diptyque's New 34 Collection
Can you say, "major gifting potential"?
The phrase “cabinet of curiosities” has become a catchy interior-design term that can mean a collection of anatomical accents, an eclectic sensibility, or simply an old-world mood. (Historically, the term reaches back to Renaissance Europe, when such cabinets began to appear. The forerunner of modern museums in some respects, they contained collections of rare, random items thought to be of historical importance.) Rarely, however, does a true cabinet de curiositiés lie at the heart of a brand, as it does for French fragrance house Diptyque. The original store, a bazaar-style boutique founded in 1961 on Paris’s Boulevard St. Germain by Desmond Knox-Leet, Christiane Gautrot, and Yves Coueslant, brought the concept to vivid life. More than 50 years later, the brand’s latest line—named 34 Collection for the historic shop’s street number—takes its cues from the company’s creative heritage, comprising candleholders, fragrance diffusers, and stationery as well as candles and perfumes. Scents reference the lilac in Knox-Leet and Coueslant’s English-style garden in Normandy as well as the warm and woody atmosphere of Knox-Leet’s workshop. The sculptural forms of the candleholders and diffusers evoke peacock feathers, leaves, and the decorative hunting decoys once sold in the Paris store. And the boldly graphic paper goods, designed by Paris-based firm Papier Tigre, are interpretations of patterns from the Diptyque archives. Call it history, refreshed.