Diptyque is a French fragrance brand founded in 1961 by three artists—Yves Coueslant, Desmond Knox-Leet, and Christiane Gautrot. Both its fragrances and its designs are original and evocative, making Diptyque one of the most recognizable brands straddling the niche and luxury markets.

Welcome to the 31st issue of B.

During a recent trip to New York, I came across Le Labo, a perfume brand based in the city. It offers a very unique experience: you go to a laboratory-esque store, and choose a fragrance that is then formulated for you on the spot from essential oils and alcohol. Your fragrance is bottled and labeled with the name of the place you had it compounded, the name of the clerk who made it, and a name of your choice. I was intrigued to learn that the brand was founded by a brand marketer, not a fragrance expert. Le Labo’s story begins with the fanciful-sounding belief that “there are too many bottles of perfume and not enough soulful fragrances,” but their scents have attracted positive responses across the globe, even despite their high prices. That Le Labo has been able to grow purely on the basis of a concept will likely be surprising to those in other industries.

It’s probably not just me who believes that people wear perfumes to appeal to a man or woman they like. As people begin to pay more attention to the scents that best represent them, they start using brands and fragrances as tools for expressing identity. But even a beautiful fragrance becomes less attractive when many other people are wearing it. So we end up having to choose fragrances under different circumstances. This means of self-expression seems to naturally evolve into a medium conveying memories about certain spaces. One writer I met recently said he always takes a scented-candle and a small lamp with him on business trips because turning on the lamp and lighting the candle makes any hotel room as comfortable as his room in Seoul. I’ve always believed that a good space is completed with light, sound, and scent, and I think that scents have the power to evoke memories of certain places.

This month, we are introducing Diptyque, a French fragrance brand. Diptyque started in 1961 as a small fabric shop, but as it expanded into scented candles, the brand established itself as a fragrance brand. This seems like another coincidence, but the founders of Diptyque weren’t experts in that specific area. Diptyque’s main focus is to capture and reinterpret the scents of memorable places and travel destinations, and to do this while maintaining the brand’s own concept and perspective without being carried away by the changes in the world. Diptyque seems to be the only fragrance brand that has created a series of sub-brands underneath the Diptyque umbrella. The unique label on each Diptyque perfume represents each fragrance’s story and individual character.

In general, it’s probably impossible for us to distinguish all the fragrance products in the world. But we can distinguish the stories behind fragrance brands. The first step in learning about a fragrance brand’s philosophy is to see if it was named after a fashion brand or the product of a wide-ranging imagination. As we discuss in this issue of B, it’s not unusual for brands to interpret the same scent—rose, perhaps—in different ways.

In fact, people in the fragrance and cosmetics industry often say that the manufacturing of their products is relatively easier than manufacturing products in other industries. When people choose from a range of products with the same function, however, the cheapest one isn’t always the one that gets picked. I believe this is because people don’t want to just get by—somewhere deep in their minds, they want their lives to be happier and more meaningful. I hope that this issue is an opportunity for us to consider the meaning of the interest people have in products like perfume that are not necessities for survival. Perhaps if we discover why we love those sorts of brands, we’ll also gain some insight into the reasons why we live.

PublisherSuyong Joh

http://www.johsuyong.com

Intro


Publisher’s Note


Comments

Some fragrant moments with Diptyque captured on Instagram


Survey

Lifestyle brand preference survey, with a focus on fragrances


Markets

Perfumes Perfume market brand positioning analysis
Scented Candles
Scented candle market brand positioning analysis


Opinion

Myrto Dimoula, a lover of scented products


Shops

Reputations
Diptyque seen through the lens of concept stores that carry the brand


Inner Space

Lineup
Diptyque’s product lineup from scented candles to skin care products
Representations
Diptyque’s individuality revealed in its interpretations of candle fragrances
Design Language
Perfume brand vision as revealed in bottle and label design


Opinion

Kitae Kang, CEO of Maison des Bougies, a scented candle brand


Recollections

The special memories and objects recalled in Diptyque fragrances


Opinion

St.phane Jaulin, former beauty section director at the select shop Colette


Influence

Niche Startups
Boutique fragrance brands create new possibilities


Lifestyle

Scent Layering
Scent layering reveals the user’s individuality in diverse ways


B’s Cut

Capturing of Memories
Photo essay by photographer Marion Berrin


Brand Story

From the foundation by three artists as a small fabric boutique to becoming an iconic global fragrance brand


Behind the Design

Diptyque’s design language looked through six elements


Episodes

Some of the stories behind the development of Diptyque’s representative materials and products


Celebrity’s Notes

Celebrity comments on Diptyque


34th Blvd. Saint-Germain

A visit to Diptyque’s flagship store


Interviews

Fabienne Mauny, Managing Director Myriam Badault, Marketing & Product Creation Director


Figures

The global scented product market and brand positioning


Facts

Interesting Diptyque facts


From the Editor in Chief

Diptyque’s core values


Outro



PUBLICATION RIGHT

Publisher
Suyong Joh

Editor In Chief
Taehyuk Choi

Issue Editor
Heeyoung Yoo
Senior Editor
Eunsung Park
Editor
Yunseong Jang, Bora Nam
Translation Editor
Heejean Kim
Intern Editor
Jaeeun Shin
Translation
Hyunkyung Yoo, Rancy Kim, Seongae Yang, Soonok Hwang
Copy Editing
Eugene Larsen-Hallok
Proofreading
Simon Chan
Lead Designer
Younghyun Ok
Designer
Ayoon Jung, Minyoung Kim
Film Designer
Onedoe Jung
Distribution
Nohseon Song
Correspondents
Mihye Nam (Tokyo), Nari Park (London), Jungho Lee (New York), Jeewon Lim (Milan), Hyeseon Jeong (Paris)
Publishing
JOH & Company
Printed in the Republic of Korea
ISBN
978-89-98415-62-4 03050

REFERENCES

Diptyque
The Scented Home: Living with Fragrance
Cult Perfumes: The World's Most Exclusive Perfumeries
The Secret of Scent: Adventures in Perfume and the Science of Smell
Discover the Craftsmanship of Diptyque
Perfume - a BBC documentary in 3 parts