Step Inside Maison Diptyque’s Brand New Bond Street Store

Just a fortnight after Paris opened its, the doors to the new Maison Diptyque store in London have now officially been thrown open. And what a world of fragrant wonderment lies behind them. It isn’t simply that this an emporium to all of its iconic candles and perfumes, it’s also a tribute to its own history and a billet-doux to craftmanship and creativity. So why London? Well, it was the birthplace of one of its three founders, Desmond Knox-Leet.

The three-storey emporium in the heart of Mayfair is essentially zoned into a series of different spaces, like a run of mini salons. Walk in and you’re greeted with some of their most legendary candles and perfumes and just a little further on is a heritage display which encompasses key moments from the brand’s founding in 1961 – it began as more of a giant cabinet of curiosities with candles launching two years later – including some original bottles that trace the history of the brand’s distinctive labels and packaging and other archival pieces alongside some brilliant sketches by Desmond himself that have and still serve as inspiration.

Keeping the environment in mind there’s a Second Life area where you can find candle and fragrance refills (currently 15 of the eaux de toilettes are refillable) alongside skincare. And the Services Area where engraving and wrapping takes place features a breath-taking reason to look up: a gold leaf, hand-painted and appliquéd ceiling by visual artist Claire Coles.

Upstairs there’s a veritable home fragrance emporium – hourglasses, room sprays, diffusers etc – and accessories such as blankets. There’s also a special red-themed and accented collection exclusive to the London destination of over forty items – though this will be added to throughout the year. Choose from pieces designed by London-based illustrator Matt Blease which features everything from mugs to vases decorated with imagers central to the capital such as red buses, traditional English teatime, gardening and architecture. Why red? It’s inspired by the particular shade of brick used for Mayfair houses. And true to their brand roots there’s a whole room of curiosities with special limited-edition offerings such as candle holders crafted by Cécile Bichon and glazed ceramics by Jean Roger, and hand-blown perfume diffusers made by skilled Murano glassmakers.

A dedicated bathroom room of dreams – complete with copper bath and a basin with gold swan taps – hosts all the bath and body deliciousness, and there’s a Salon Privé where clients can customise their own candles choosing from different vessels and finishes and fragrances with 200 combinations available.

The L’Atlier space is dedicated to customers being able to try their hand at different craft workshops from flower arranging to wrapping and more. And, excitingly, there’s an Ephemeral space curated by Sarah Andleman (trendspotter and founder of the legendary Parisian boutique Colette) which will feature an ever-changing calendar of collaborations: it starts with Café Diptyque – inspired by Café Verlet in Paris, with a contemporary art collaboration with Villa Noailles from Hyères to follow, then an interactive pop art exhibition with Cyril Lancelin, and a Christmas market featuring felt trompe l’oeil pieces by contemporary British artist Lucy Sparrow.

As you’d expect, there’s a London Maison-only candle here too with a flower fragrance inspired by the brand’s famous potpourri which has been available since the 1960s and was made by Mrs Merwyn, an Englishwoman who lived in the south of France and was a friend of the founders.

So, really, this is no ordinary retail space – beauty or otherwise. Sure, you can come in for a candle or a fragrant concoction but this is an inspiring performative retail space: somewhere to get involved, to learn, and explore. That may feel modern but it’s also full circle back to where Diptyque began.

Maison Diptyque is located at 107 New Bond Street, London. Photography courtesy of Diptyque.

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