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This year, Parisian icon and much-loved fragrance brand Diptyque celebrates 60 years of free-spirited, artistic parfumerie. To mark the occasion, they’ve launched a new scent, Orphéon EDP, inspired by the bar of the same name: a late-night haunt filled with joyful effervescence, where the three founders of the nearby Diptyque boutique liked to meet up. Hear more about what the brand, their perfumer and the illustrator who designed the scent’s label have to say about this nostalgic scent below.
Picture this: Paris in the early 60s—the Saint-Germain quarter is alive with the rhythm of all-night jazz club sessions and artistic encounters. The three original founders of Diptyque, one an English painter, one a Parisian theatrical director and one an interior decorator, meet up at the Orphéon bar to discuss their ideas, share their thoughts and inspire each other.
The bar itself sits at the intersection of 34 boulevard Saint Germain and the rue de Pontoise, its entrance adjacent to the original Diptyque boutique. A few years after the opening of the boutique, the Maison bought Orphéon to extend its space. Today, the only physical part of the bar that remains is a faceted blue column in the Diptyque shop—and we like to think that the spirit of it is now captured in every bottle of Orphéon EDP.
According to the brand: “Orphéon eau de parfum is the olfactory portrait of the place. It is enveloping, woody, spicy and floral, recalling the décor of wood and velvet, the waft of alcohol and tobacco, the perfumed trail of elegant ladies and dashing gents.”
To illustrate Orphéon, the brand wanted a modern reinterpretation of the Maison’s historical motifs: their emblematic oval and patterns from their fabric archives (when the founders opened the boutique at 34 boulevard Saint Germain back in the early 1960’s, they sold fabrics with patterns). Gianpaolo Pagni—a visual artist whose modern work focuses on the notions linking memory and marks made through the use of patterns and repetition—was the perfect collaborator for this fragrance. His design expresses the eclectic atmosphere of Orphéon.
“My goal was to create the olfactory sensations of a place and go back in time to 1960s Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Transcribing the mix of smells of wood, cigarette smoke, perfume and alcoholic beverages–the intrinsic components of an intimate, festive and musical place that was also a space where ideas were shared and exchanged. A place that is sorely missed these days. All we have to do is smell Orphéon, close our eyes… and there we are,” says Pagni.
“Every creation of a perfume is a work of co-creation,” says the perfumer behind the scent and long-time friend of the Maison for 13 years, Oliver Pescheux. “Orphéon is the transcription, all at once, of a festive atmosphere, a happy era, and a distinctive, yet familiar atmosphere, as well as a tribute to Saint-Germain—that lively, multicultural neighbourhood blessed with its characteristic modernity, freedom of expression and mix of styles.”
Orphéon eau de parfum gathers a blend of many scents to recall the bar’s interior: detailed wooden furniture, well-dressed and perfumed customers, women wearing makeup, smoke from cigarettes and alcohol from cocktails customers were drinking back in the day. The complete olfactory picture of this place is a luminous one that brings out the positive vibes of the cultural scene of Saint Germain at that time.
Juniper berries, tonka beans, cedarwood and jasmine.
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