The diptyque questionnaire was based on the one completed by Marcel Proust which had become popular and out of the 34 questions, the diptyque partner answering them will choose which they wish to share on memento.
Cécile Matton is a creator of perfumes: they say she has a “nose”. After studying science and then medicine, she became a pharmacist, before discovering the profession that used her special talent and appealed to her inner being: perfumery. She graduated from the Givaudan perfumery school, and then became assistant to Jean Guichard, an extremely knowledgeable man who unlocked all the secrets of the profession. Since then, Cécile Matton has created many famous perfumes for some of the most prestigious perfume companies. After spending some time abroad, she has now been working as perfume creator with MANE for nearly 10 years. For diptyque, she created Do Son and Tam Dao, two eau de parfum, and just recently the scented candle Epices et Délices for the 2016 Winter Collection. Her chief inspiration comes from her childhood in Zaïre and her connections with Africa, with its scents accentuated by the sun, her liking for rare gemstones and designer jewellery – she also studied gemmology, classical realism in fine art and the aromatic essence of chypres perfumes.
1. If you were a diptych – heaven forbid, what images or allegories would you choose on the closed front panel and on the inside of the folding panels?
An allegory of happiness on the front panel, art and Bohemia on the two inner panels.
2. What period in human history – a “far-off land” as Racine said – would you visit as an invisible tourist?
The 60s, with the first signs of liberalism!
3. Your favourite dish?
The famous sea bass Carpaccio at the Duc, boulevard St Germain, in Paris
4. Your favourite scent?
The fresh, clean smell of soap
5. Your Proust’s madeleine
The smell of African grass skirts, which remind me of my childhood in Zaïre
6. If you were a musical instrument
A violin, for its moving sound.
7. The most touching animal for you.
Dog or cat, but I couldn’t choose only one!
9. What quality that you possess has done you harm?
10. And what fault are you most indebted to?
11. To be yourself completely, do you have to forget yourself completely?
No, because if you forget yourself, you are no longer quite yourself.
12. What do you think about?
Everything I won’t have time to do.
13. What favourite activity occupies your mind to the extent that you stop thinking?
Creating jewellery and knitting
14. The novel that opened up the world like a book, that made you grow?
So many books have blown my mind! “L’Ecume des jours” by Boris Vian, “Le Grand Meaulnes” by Alain Fournier, “Une petite robe de fête” by Christian Bobin and the famous historical epic “Fortune de France” by Robert Merle are just a few.
15. The music that represents your paradise lost
“The show must go on” by Queen, for Freddie Mercury’s amazing voice.
16. Three essential films
“Metropolis” by Fritz Lang, “Danish Girl” by Tom Hooper and “Mon Roi” by Maïwenn
17. What painting has best depicted scents, do you think?
Arcimboldo’s colourful paintings.
18. What sculptor or sculpture would you choose for your imaginary museum?
A Rodin sculpture, for its soft, caressing lines.
19. What contemporaries, famous or unknown, do you think improve the world?
Ecologists, environmentalists, and animal rights defenders…
20. What characters, past or present, real or fictional, inspire you?
The Marvel comics superheroes, particularly Natasha Romanoff, alias the Black Widow
22. If you could give a bouquet of flowers to a bird: what flowers for what bird?
A bunch of globeflowers and grapes to a humming bird
23. Is it really that bad not to be loved, as long as one loves?
Yes, you can’t live without love.
24. What is your escapist landscape?
25. If life is a dream, what reality would you like to wake up in?
In a more serene world.
26. Do you have a motto in your job that guides you like a compass or lantern?
“Never give up!”
27. Does the act of creation rule your life?
Creation is not merely an act. It’s a way of life, a way of thinking and being.
28. Gifts, sharing, that wonderful expression “make a present of…”: what would you like to give?
My time, my attention, my human kindness
29. If you had to talk about your job to very young talents to encourage them to take it up?
Three watchwords: tenacity, patience and humility.
30. What is craftsmanship today?
It’s a promise of quality and uniqueness.
31. Just setting aside today’s economic and social problems for a moment, how do you think rare, very high quality productions (know-how, finish, research, etc.) can be good for us today?
They elevate the soul and encourage our quest for beauty.
32. The genie of the lamp gives you three wishes.
“To be myself in all circumstances”, “Get rid of my fears” and “Give me the ability to improve”
33. And what would your favourite diptyque perfume be (Eau or scented candles)?
34. How would you sum up diptyque in just a few words?
Diptyque is a powerful human story, a unique, exquisite world, beyond time and fashion, full of dreams and sophistication.