Given Diptyque’s creative heritage (the brand name refers to the ancient Greek word for a two-part painting or sculpture), an artistically influenced installation for its 60th anniversary is befitting. This month marks the beginning of Le Grand Tour, a month-long pop-up at The Selfridges Corner Shop dedicated to five cities which were of influence to the brand’s founders interior designer Christiane Gautrot, artist Desmond Knox-Leet, and theater manager Yves Coueslant.
The fragrance house describes the space as “an interactive capsule in which time and space are suspended, celebrating and bringing together, within an unprecedented framework, the destinations that have inspired diptyque and its perfumed creations.” This translates into curated artworks, five limited-edition products dedicated to each city, and a deep dive into the brand’s history. “The Grand Tour pop-up echoes the history of the Maison, while focussing on the brand’s contemporary vision,” comments UK Managing Director Amanda Morgan.
The installation first leads visitors into the Paris room, filled with illustrations from the Maison archive, with a special focus on the antiquarian bookstores, paid homage to in the brand’s Paris candle (a chypre fragrance with lavender notes). Following on is the Venice space, exploring the scents of the city’s lagunas which inspired the Venise eau de toilette, a basil, green pepper, and mandarin concoction. The fragrance is released into the room via the foam covering of a mirrored steles sculpture. Next up is the Greek village of Milies, represented through a range of traditionally colored white, blue, and ochre ceramics, plus the company’s signature oval ceramics diffusing the scent of fig trees, immortelle bushes, and maquis shrubs. The Lebanese city of Byblos, brought to life in olfactory form via notes of cardamom, coffee, and cedar, builds the basis of the next space, accompanied by baskets of overflowing grains and an overhead build made of thick natural cords. The final installation celebrates ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement,, coinciding with Diptyque’s Kyoto eau de toilette, comprised of three dominating scents: The rose for the people, incense for the heavens, and vetiver for the earth.”
Aside from purchasing each scented product, be it a candle, an oval, or a perfume, visitors can also acquire artist’s editions, pieces created and signed by Zoë Paul, Johan Creten, Joël Andrianomearisoa, Hiroshi Sugimoto, and Rabih Kayrouz. The best fragrances take one on a journey, and as a visually impactful and creatively devised project, Le Grand Tour delivers exactly that.
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