diptyque’s vocation was to be a perfumer, but a cunning twist of fate made the swirls of perfume pass through the line of drawing. All three founders drew or painted. Even today, diptyque’s fragrances are always reflected in an Indian ink sketch.
Drawing is a subject dear to memento and the founding friends’ penchant for drawing has been covered in detail. Here, it is simply a pleasure to remember the obvious, like reliving a happy memory with your eyes closed. Since this memory draws the desire to continue, highlights the reason for persevering and reveals the outlines of an identity that is constantly redesigning itself and only looks alike when starting a new drawing. Let’s spare ourselves the examination of similarities between drawing and design which are too easy to understand. Rather than similarities, diptyque essentially creates a kinship between scent and vision, between perfume and image, between the nose and the hand.
Of course, diptyque began its creations with textile pattern designs by Desmond Knox-Leet and Christiane Montadre, while the third founder, Yves Coueslant handled the management side, but was also a painter!
Passionate about written forms, Desmond designed the diptyque initials in the form of dancing letters for the candles, then the logo, eventually drawing the labels for the perfumes. He never stopped drawing, filling his travel journals with sketches rather than notes. After his death, his great friend Yves took over and drew the perfume labels himself.
Of course, this involved illustrating the perfumes, but these perfumes were born of a landscape, a journey, a vision that the hand could transcribe into an image. They therefore began what diptyque has never stopped doing, associating each perfume with a drawing and graphic artist to present an imaginary substance comprised of a volatile essence and a fleeting vision. Juice and ink draw a silhouette, the substance of which will be the sensation of the individual who breathes in the perfume. This olfactory sensation will have its imagined part, brought about by the drawing, like a window through which the gaze drifts.
This illustration appears on the back of the labels of the eau-de-toilettes and the eau-de-parfums and is only seen through the liquid. This floating drawing is reflective of diptyque itself, a trail of scents that follows the lines of ink.