Like most fragrances, Diptyque Eau de Minthe comes with a flowery story. It was inspired by the tale of the Greek naiad Minthe who, after attempting to seduce Hades, was transformed by the jealous queen Persephone into a mint stalk. Eau de Minthe is thus the symbol of romance and metamorphosis distilled into a bottle expressing notes of mint, geranium and patchouli.
The reality is that the Parisian luxury goods company needed a fragrance in the fougere category (French for “fern” and one of the eight major olfactory families in perfumes) and wanted to distinguish its product from the competition by using a nontraditional ingredient – mint – as its base. But Diptyque believes we could all use a little more poetry in our lives, and so its raison d’etre has always been to share the French art of living.
“Rather than look for products that come from the major players, there’s a growing trend of people looking for something more special, something close to their personalities. They want to be able to express their world through the fragrances they wear,” says Diptyque’s managing director, Fabienne Mauny, who was recently in town for the launch of the Eau de Minthe eau de toilette.
While Diptyque is best known for its luxury candles and home fragrances, it has seen an increased interest in the personal fragrance department. Now that individualism and self-expression are this era’s principles du jour, the popular and the mass-produced are facing more competition from the lesser-known but equally well-made. “When you try our perfumes, you are immediately started on a journey through your emotions, your memories, and our inspirations. These are special experiences that we deliver visually as well.”
Mauny is referring to the illustrations on the back of the label, viewable through the back of the bottle. Each fragrance has its own accompanying picture; Eau de Minthe has the naiad hidden in a growth of ferns, tuberose-based Do Son depicts the Vietnamese resort that inspired it, and Tempo celebrates the psychedelic ’60s, the decade where patchouli was all the rage.
Moving forward, Mauny would like to grow Diptyque’s identity as a gifting brand. “When you look at a Diptyque product, it is always beautifully done,” she says. She’s not wrong. Every item, from patterned drawer liners to sculptural diffusers, is an object of art, each carefully wrapped in a trio or quartet of silk paper by trained staff at the boutique. Christmas can’t come soon enough.
TEXT CHARMIAN LEONG