EXCLUSIVE: Diptyque’s Expansive New Stores Offer Custom Candle-making, Refills and More

MILAN — Diptyque is unveiling a new immersive retail concept, dubbed Maison Diptyque, meant to honor the brand’s roots. The first two locations debuting the format are located on Rue Duphot on Paris’ Right Bank and in London’s New Bond Street and slated to open Friday and May 8, respectively.

These will be Diptyque’s most expansive units at more than 4,000 square feet, and aim to showcase different areas under one roof to highlight the experiential side of the fragrance-maker. Art projects, cultural events, workshops, as well as corners dedicated to product discovery and customization, are central to the new format, which is part of the brand’s premiumization strategy, hinged on a closer relationship with clients and more personalized services.

“The inauguration of Maisons Diptyque marks a new stage in the influence of our brand in France and internationally. We imagined these new stores as immersive destinations celebrating the art of living à la Diptyque,” said the brand’s chief executive officer Fabienne Mauny. “In an increasingly digital world, our spaces stand out by offering exclusive, sensorial and intimate experiences, far from standardization. They illustrate our attachment to know-how, whether it is ours in the creation of perfumes or that of the artisans and artists who participate in our universe.”

Diptyque’s senior vice president Laurence Semichon underscored how the approach links back to the roots of the brand, which began as stylish shop on Parisian Boulevard Saint-Germain in 1961. Launched by interior designer Christiane Montadre-Gautrot, painter Desmond Knox-Leet and theater director and set designer Yves Coueslant, Diptyque began offering a range of interior textiles, fabrics, decorative objects and findings from their travels, alongside candles and perfumes.

“Retail is definitely in our blood,” Semichon said. “The founders used to live upstairs so they would basically spend their life in their store: it was part of their flat almost. So this limit between what is intimate and personal and retail has always been blurred, and this is the spirit of what we’re doing with this new retail concept.”

“We thought about it like a place where [people] would like to spend time, where to feel good, to wander around different spaces with a lot of experiences. And get out of it [feeling] inspired,” she added.

A preview of the Maison Diptyque store in Paris.

A preview of the Maison Diptyque store in Paris.

Christophe Coenon/Courtesy of Diptyque

Spanning two levels, the location in Paris — which previously housed a restaurant and whose revamp was two years in the making — will feature areas such as the “Espace Éphémère” dedicated to meetings, exhibitions and arty experiences curated with the help of Sarah Andelman, founder of iconic concept store Colette. 

Semichon said the plan is to spotlight three to four projects per year in the area, starting from staging a café in collaboration with historic Parisian roaster Café Verlet, with whom Diptyque also developed a series of gourmand candles. This will be followed by an event to celebrate the brand’s long-term collaboration with the Villa Noailles contemporary art center in Hyères. 

“Last year [Villa Noailles] celebrated their first century, we did [a collaboration] and asked 10 artists who partner with [Villa Noailles] to create decorations around our giant candles. The result was so imaginative and creative that we thought it would be great to bring them to Paris since they were only visible in the South of France,” said Semichon, teasing the upcoming project.

In September, the work of sculptor Cyril Lancelin will be spotlighted via monumental artworks inspired to nature, while toward the end of the year the brand will host English designer Lucy Sparrow’s creations for a Christmas market.

Candles from Diptyque's collaboration with Café Verlet.

Candles from Diptyque’s collaboration with Café Verlet.

Courtesy of Diptyque

A dedicated space for workshops allows clients to deep-dive into olfactory properties and gift-wrapping, for example. There will also be special sessions dedicated to kids.

To further push the storytelling, a so-called heritage gallery offers another in-store exhibition space curated by the Agence NC firm, founded by scenographer Nathalie Crinière. This area is to display the brand’s first bottles, candles, personal objects and original drawings by its founders.

Other highlights include a corner dedicated to Diptyque’s decoration collections, such as artisanal pieces produced in limited series, and the “Le Jardin Imaginaire” area, bringing an outdoorsy touch thanks to the work of Parisian florist Stéphane Chapelle, who will curate sets and arrangements changing according the seasons.

A preview of the Maison Diptyque store in Paris.

A preview of the Maison Diptyque store in Paris.

Christophe Coenon/Courtesy of Diptyque

On the first floor, a cozy environment marked by a marble fireplace, oak shelves, large armchairs and plush wool carpets displays the brand’s home offering; a perfume library lines up the whole range of personal fragrances, and an Art Deco-inspired bathroom replete with a large bathtub showcases the bath and body range. In addition, a corner dedicated to breathing new life into products aims to express the brand’s commitment towards sustainability. Here guests will be invited to extend the lifespan of their Diptyque products by recharging them, with a refill service currently available for 15 of the brand’s fragrances, for solid perfumes, candles as well as home or car diffusers. 

“We will also get the used bottles of fragrances or the glass [packaging] of candles and we will be responsible for their recycling afterward,” said Semichon, who eyes to implement also a repair service for bottle components, such as broken pumps.

Additional services offered at the store will range from the creation of customizable candles — presenting shoppers with more of 200 possible combinations of scents and finishes — to one-hour personal consultations with a perfume experts.

The area dedicated to the customization of candles inside the Maison Diptyque store in Paris.

The area dedicated to the customization of candles inside the Maison Diptyque store in Paris.

Christophe Coenon/Courtesy of Diptyque

The London store will replicate the approach, only through a different configuration, Semichon said. The new retail concept won’t be rolled out extensively, and instead will be rolled out in select cities by 2029. Semichon eyes Shanghai and New York as potential destinations.

Meanwhile, Diptyque will continue to expand its retail footprint with standard stand-alone stores, of which there are currently 123 as part of its network of 1,200 points of sale in 56 countries. Last month, the brand opened a unit in London’s Marylebone area, to be followed by one in Milan this month, in Madrid during the summer and in Boston in September, among others. In June, Diptyque will also enter the Indian market with its first flagship store.

Yet Semichon underscored the importance of wholesale, especially in recruiting new clients, and how the brand is not going to shy away from this distribution channel in favor of a direct retail-only approach. At the same time, the company’s recently revamped its online platform for easier navigation and content boost.

Overall, Diptyque’s performance across the main geographic areas — Americas, EMEA and Asia — is well-balanced, said Semichon, who stressed the booming performance of Japan, where “we think we still have a lot of potential.” 

Without disclosing sales figures, the executive said the brand has been growing double-digit since the beginning of the year, driven also by the boost of the personal fragrance category. Incidentally, sales generated in 2023 by Diptyque’s parent Manzanita Capital Ltd. grew 19 percent to $472 million compared to the previous year. 

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