As any Diptyque loyalist knows, every candle and fragrance is marked with the address 34 Boulevard Saint Germain, and while in Paris for Fashion Week, we were invited by the brand’s Creative Director Myriam Badault to visit the sunny corner boutique at that iconic address. It is, in fact, the very spot where the brand was born 50 years ago, and in honor of this milestone, together with Diptyque we’re launching 34 Bazar—an online and in-store collection that honors the roots of the brand with a unique offering of homewares.
Founded by three artistic friends—Christiane Gautrot, Desmond Knox-Leet, and Yves Coueslant—Diptyque opened on Boulevard Saint Germain with a focus on graphic, colorful textiles designed by its creative owners. To dress the space, they decided to decorate the windows with objects collected during their travels. Before long, they were also selling candles, ceramics, hand-blown glass, and more.
Co-founder Desmond Knox-Leet had a knack for scent, so a wax maker he worked with offered to combine the wax with fragrance. “It was in 1963, and scented candles weren’t a thing at all,” explains Badault. “He was a painter and textile maker, and for him, it was just another way to express himself. I often have the feeling that, for him, creating fragrance was almost like making a panting, but with colors replaced by ingredients.” Badault describes the transition to an iconic candle and fragrance brand as a soft evolution, one that’s happened organically thanks to top-quality ingredients and devotion to hand craftsmanship. “It’s very artisanal—not an industrial process,” she explains. “The result is a perfect balance between the burning process and the scent diffusing. In a way, it’s very technical with a different process for each scent and a specific wax formula. It’s exceptionally precise.”
Such success in that regard led the brand away from its roots as a purveyor of textiles and refined objects, which is why 34 Bazar is so exciting—it perfectly connects the past with the present. “When I discovered the archives and saw how amazing the patterns and colors were, it all made sense,” says Badault. “Most people don’t realize that the business started with fabrics. The 34 Bazar Collection is the best opportunity to share the roots of the brand and bring present day techniques to new products, like objects, decoration, and perfume.”
A visit to the Barneys Madison Avenue pop-up space conjures the feeling of discovery and refinement that visiting the original boutique offered. From tote bags and pillow cases in archival prints to one-of-a-kind porcelain candle vessels, it’s truly a feast for all the senses.