34 Boulevard Saint Germain is more than an address...
To celebrate fifty years of creation, diptyque wanted to encapsulate the essence of its first boutique. The place where the company was born, a place that has a genuine soul. In essence, the intention was to interpret the memory of diptyque and its history, one that is constantly being reinvented through new projects, in the notes of the emerging emblematic fragrance.
Named after the birthplace of the house, the 34 Boulevard Saint Germain is a unique scent for the body and home that encapsulates its first boutique with rare and precious fragrances, to give everyone a little part of this place and its rich history. Each of the five products that make up the line has a connection with the atypical and refined universe dreamed up in 1961 by Christiane Gautrot, Desmond Knox-Leet and Yves Coueslant, the three friends who started diptyque. To mark the release of the collection, we caught up with diptique's very own Olivier Pescheux to hear the story behind this celebratory scent...
Dazed Digital: '34 Boulevard Saint Germain' explores diptyque's history. How did you go about translating fifty years of diptyque in to a scent?
Olivier Pescheux: The idea was born two years ago when Myriam Badault, director of development of diptyque, and Olivier Pescheux, perfumer at Givaudan, met “fragrance thief” Roman Kaiser. diptyque were drawn to Kaiser's methods and asked the scientist to put his technology to capture the scent of 34 boulevard Saint Germain and put it in a bottle. To celebrate 50 years of creation, diptyque has chosen to give this address a signature line.
DD: The idea behind the eponymous fragrance was to capture the main elements of the famous Diptyque quad of L’Ombre dans l’Eau, Philosykos, L'Eau, Do Son. How difficult was it to blend these various disparate accords?
Olivier Pescheux: The task was complicated, perhaps even impossible. And yet so obvious at the same time, with certain odours clearly standing out as soon as you enter the boutique. Four aroma “blocks”, which can be compared to musical chords, were created with Roman’s help. Each one highlights the favourite raw materials that sign the company’s creations.
To extract the essences of such an unusual olfactory palette, a guiding idea was needed, the right balance between the blocks, minding that the composition became perfectly harmonious while preserving the personality of the base notes. To facet the fragrance we decided to intensify certain raw materials belonging to diptyque’s palette.
DD: How would you describe 34 Boulevard Saint Germain?
Olivier Pescheux: The result is a fragrance that does not belong to any olfactory family, neither feminine nor masculine, with fresh green notes for interior scents and a more sensual register for personal fragrances. A unique scent, an innovative and complex signature for the body and the home, called, quite naturally, 34 boulevard Saint Germain. It is a fragrance that doesn’t belong to any olfactory family, with an innovative and complex signature, that is neither feminine nor masculine. Around forty raw materials make up the composition. The initiated will recognize the filiation with the company’s classic fragrances.
DD: On its 50th anniversary, what does diptyque mean to you?
Olivier Pescheux: diptyque is an atypical perfumer that is passionate in making things of beauty. The emphasis is always on harmony. The brand has never forgotten that, above all, a perfume must smell good, yet without sacrificing its signature, the “accident” unique to diptyque. diptyque’s scent dare to be different and the company is fond of taking risks, new creative paths, surprising people by always trying to create something unexpected.
DD: What's next for you and for diptyque?
Olivier Pescheux: I am currently working on interesting projects with the Givaudan perfumery. diptyque is working with different perfumers depending on the nature of their projects. It is always a pleasure to collaborate with the brand, as we both have a passion for beautiful raw materials and daring to explore new facets of perfume making.
The 34 is now available online