The official version: It started in 1961 in Paris, the era of the hippy movement. It had a quaint, intimate space to display and sell things that the three founders – English painter Desmond Knox-Leet, textile and mosaic designer Christiane Gautrot, and theatre director and set designer Yes Coueslant – liked. These ranged from fabrics to artefacts – whatever they brought back from their travels.
But the version of the story that catapulted the still-under-the-radar brand to stratospheric levels was S4 of Sex and the City, when Carrie Bradshaw used Diptyque’s candles– specifically Baies – at bedtime, during bathtime, and before and after intimate time.
Baies was never the same again (it was sold out for many months after), and neither was Diptyque.
Creating scented candles hadn’t been part of the French brand’s agenda until a candle maker suggested it. The first was introduced in 1963; there are 45 now. In 1968, it made its first perfume, an EDT called L’eau, which was gender less – a progressive move that continues today, because everyone should be able to wear what they like. To differentiate its 41 perfumes (the bottles themselves are identical), Diptyque commissioned illustrations for the front and back of each. For L’eau’s 50th anniversary, it celebrates with two new fragrances, Tempo and Fleur de Peau. Respectively, they feature patchouli and musk, scents that were popular in the ’60s. – SW
Above: The first Diptyque store in Singapore opens at #B1-33A Ngee Ann City (tel: 6732-0538) with the full range of candles, fragrances, skincare, and a selection of lifestyle products. From near right: Tempo and Fleur de Peau.
A Lip Gloss That Doesn’t Stick to Your Hair
Dior’s Addict Lacquer Plump isn’t gloopy, sticky or overly glossy. The opaque liquid colour dries slightly regardless of which of the three textures (cream, neon and glitter) you choose. Which means nothing gets a chance to stick to it. In 16 shades, $50 each. – SW