Scent Thieves

The 34 Collection by Dyptique encapsulates the scent of the brand’s first store in Paris. Just like in Süskind's novel but without blood.

Ana Fernández Regal. 12/02/2015
Dyptique, collection 34. Make clic to discover it
Dyptique, collection 34. Make clic to discover it
Dyptique, collection 34. Make clic to discover it

“Odors have a power of persuasion stronger than that of words, appearances, emotions, or will. The persuasive power of an odor cannot be fended off, it enters into us like breath into our lungs, it fills us up, imbues us totally. There is no remedy for it”. The urge to trap odors described by Patrick Süskind in his well-known novel Perfume underlies the exquisite 34 Collection.

Precisely is in that number, 34 boulevard Saint Germain, where the Diptyque story begins. The inexhaustible creativity of Christiane Gautrot interior designer, painter Desmond Knox-Leet and the designer Yves Coueslant made possible the emergence of an atypical and refined universe within the four walls of a store that opened its doors for the first time in 1961. The business, which began with the sale of fabrics and wallpapers, was a kind of bazaar where one could find exotic objects brought back from travels around the world and impossible to find in any other store in Paris; and then barely known in France English perfumes. Two years after the opening, they released their first scented candle and almost at the same time as the French May, the first fragrance, L’Eau, inspired by a formula of the XVI century.

Jabón de la colección 34 de Diptyque. Haz clic para comprarlo
Dyptique, Collection 34, soap. Make clic to buy it

Four years ago, Myriam Badault, director development of Diptyque, and Oliver Pescheux, perfumer at Givaudan, met Roman Kaiser, a professional «fragrance thief.» This scientist is a master at appropriating the perfume we inhalate when we lean into smell the corolla –a fragrance that has nothing to do with the one extracted from plants that have macerated in solvents, getting an exact replica of nature. On the occasion of its 50th anniversary, Diptyque proposed to capture the smell of 34 boulevard Saint Germain and put it in a bottle.

Not an easy challenge in which flavorings and stories is mixed just inside the threshold: different colognes, vaporized a thousand times to show them to customers; or candles, released from their jar time and time again to fully appreciate their subtle scents; or the elegant wooden shelves.

Dyptique, Collection 34, soap. Make clic to buy it
Dyptique, Collection 34, soap. Make clic to buy it

The result 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 in which nuances of the classics of the house are recognized: damp mosses, crumpled blackcurrant leaves, sun-dried fig leaves. Spices like those you can smell on the markets in Damascus. Fresh flowers from English gardens…

The 34 boulevard Saint Germain soap has the form of the famous oval label and the delicious perfume of the rest of the collection. Not only softens and nourishes the skin; used before cologne, also serves to reveal and enhance its aroma. Its price is around € 30.

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