‘Concretes’ are concentrated, solid perfumes. The patent for concréta filed by Molinard at the dawn of the twentieth century may well have contributed to the name for solid perfumes but the latter have actually been around for four thousand years. These sweet scented items are the oldest known perfumes.
Perfumes in liquid form have become so commonplace these days that we forget how things were done in Europe, a little before the Renaissance, when it came to distilling alcoholic solutions. The method used for extracting the scents of plants, primarily flower blossoms, has always involved steeping the body of the plant – petals, leaves and twigs in fatty substances such as oil, tallow, resin etc until they became saturated. The mixture was then baked. The firm texture of the ointment resulting from this process varied from ductile to rigid: a pomade, paste or block. These balms were used to anoint or to be burnt.
Modern solid or « concentrated » perfumes are generally floral waxes. The fatty element is great for preserving the volatile scent of perfumes as well as giving dry skin a welcome boost. In addition they marry particularly well with orientals like sandalwood, spices and amber.
Concentrated solid perfumes by diptyque are presented in small, black, oval Zamac tins with the iconic diptyque markings and the name of the relevant perfume contained within. Solid perfumes include 34 boulevard saint germain, Philosykos, Do Son, and L’Ombre dans l’Eau, and for one season only, Essences Insensées.