“W

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - The Beauty Bazaar -

hen I joined, we de­cided at the time to work on the Dip­tyque book,” re­calls Myr­iam Badault, mar­ket­ing and cre­ation direc­tor, who first learned the ropes from the founders of Dip­tyque – Yves Coues­lant, Des­mond Knox-Leet, and Chris­tiane Gautrot – in 2006, and later took over the busi­ness when they re­tired. “It was a great op­por­tu­nity to learn the uni­verse and the way they in­ter­acted, how they felt when they cre­ate a drawing or a can­dle.”

The trio founded Dip­tyque – an an­cient Greek word that means two pan­els dis­played side by side as a com­plete pic­ture – in 1961. Con­vert­ing a run-down bar into a bazaar on Boule­vard Saint-Ger­main in Paris, it was there that bric-à-brac rang­ing from fab­rics to trin­kets sourced from their trav­els around the world awaited dis­cov­ery. They even in­tro­duced for­eign perfumes from Eng­land to the French, a rar­ity back then. Knox-Leet, a painter, and Gautrot, an in­te­rior designer, were col­lab­o­ra­tors in fab­ric and wall­pa­per de­signs that sold well at Lib­erty and San­der­son. Coues­lant, a theatre direc­tor and set designer, was manager and ad­min­is­tra­tor of the 34 Boule­vard Saint-Ger­main store.

Their first per­fumed can­dle, Aubépine, was cre­ated in 1963, and it re­mains one of the brand’s quin­tes­sen­tial favourites. L’Eau, their first fragrance, was based on a 16th-Cen­tury potpourri recipe and po­man­ders. It is still a dis­tinc­tive scent to­day, time­lessly mod­ern and the per­fect em­bod­i­ment of cre­ativ­ity. The fa­mous per­fumed can­dles are still hand­made, from the cus­tom-blended wax to the hand-straight­ened wicks.

“They are no longer in­volved in prod­uct devel­op­ment, but I love to take time to share with them the new projects and prod­ucts,” says Badault, who has in­deed done jus­tice to the brand’s roots. Ev­ery­thing from the iconic oval – a de­sign with danc­ing let­ters and beau­ti­ful hand-drawn il­lus­tra­tions – to the spirit of the brand, even the bar counter, have been well pre­served as a quin­tes­sence that sets the brand apart. A nar­row stair­way that leads to the ate­lier houses all the orig­i­nal per­fume cre­ations and art pieces as well as fab­rics dat­ing back to the ’60s.

Badault rem­i­nisces, “In 2006, when they asked me to have lunch with the both of them, they told me they were go­ing to re­tire, and that the brand is now mine.” Florabel­lio, the new flo­ral fragrance from Dip­tyque, be­gan with a lab sam­ple left by Gautrot. “They gave me two lab sam­ples when they re­tired, and told me to do what­ever I wanted with them,” re­veals Badault. “We be­gan to work

An im­age of ap­ple blos­soms shot by pho­tog­ra­pher Terri Weifen­bach that in­spired the new fragrance Florabel­lio

The founders of Dip­tyque, Yves Coues­lant, Chris­tiane Gautrot, and Des­mond Knox- Leet

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