On Prague’s Vězeňská Street, a shop window with the Diptyque logo from the workshop of French decorative painter Charlotte Boone is freshly lit. This means nothing more than that a global brand has arrived, the basis of which is the best French perfumery and the aesthetic presentation of all products, not just perfumes and candles.
Diptyque has a hint of ancient love, but at the same time a lot of timeless modernity that everyone should love forever. At some point during my visit to the Ingredients perfume factory, its co-owner Jacob Kupchak casually blew up between talking about the news that he was “constantly emailing Paris”, which he had to “approval on absolutely everything” at the upcoming Diptyque store in Prague. It has succeeded.
Thus Prague acquired a single-brand brick and mortar store, the second Diptyque store in Central Europe after Warsaw, which opened at the same time.
What is the? Quite big, even bigger than the famous Marais area in Paris. It is beautifully and eclectically furnished. “Even three years ago, it occurred to me that the interiors of Diptyque boutiques were being sought after. In some there were simple black shelves, in others shelves with excessively decorative legs,” recalls visibly tired but very happy Kopcak during the press conference.
Only now he feels that the brand has polished the right inner character. “It is wonderful that every store looks different, and everyone is surprised by something,” he praises the man, who did not sleep before opening, but is glad that the worries will now be resolved with joy, when life in Prague comes alive with the carefully trained staff. And he himself will only gleefully announce how many Advent calendars have already been sold.
“The main thing is that we were able to open before Christmas – there were moments when I stopped believing it,” Kupchak admits. “I succeeded mainly because of the personal commitment of people who were able to work quickly. For example, when I asked Ostrava painter Václav Buchtelík for a painting directly on the wall, which would be inspired by an archival drawing by Desmond Knox-Lite, one of the founders of Diptyque , was knowing that he would only get a month to complete it. And he was able to do that,” he says approvingly.
One would expect to walk from the street on a carpet with some kind of Art Deco style, as it is the hallmark of the legendary boutique at descriptive No. 34 on Paris Saint-Germain. The first Diptyque store opened in September 1961. It was then newly founded by Desmond Knox-Light, Christian Montadre-Gutrott and Ives Cuslant. However, there is no carpet.
However, the new equipment and products contrasted with the worn wood floor as if from a Parisian hotel (City Palace). The previous tenant had left it, and the brand’s architectural team, responsible for designing the new boutiques, were delighted with it. It fits perfectly with the conceptual blend of diverse elements currently prevalent in Diptyque branches.
On one side is a wooden shelving unit filled with indoor candles, sconces, and pedestals as well as a new home cleaning kit from La Droguerie. It evokes an old college bookcase from the 1960s, while the polished, backlit stainless-steel shelves displaying the body’s collection of products on the other wall look like something out of a sci-fi movie.
There are references to both apartments and Parisian and Prague architecture – carving alcoves (wooden side panels) or ornate mirrors as if from a café or antique shop. Although the glass chandelier and wall lights are from the middle of the last century, which were produced by the Vienna Kalmar Werkstatten workshops, it can be assumed that the architects also chose them because of continuity with the retro Czechoslovak interiors.
The sofa could evoke the lounge at Karel Čapek’s First Republic villa, even though it’s a contemporary production of Pierre Frey. The shop intentionally gives the impression of a first-class bazaar – presumably like a distinguished collector’s house and a cabinet of curiosities. After all, the first Diptyque store was actually a “luxury store with nothing” from all over the world.
Even before the first perfumes appeared in it, such as Thé, Canelle, Aubephine or Vinaigre de Toilette and later the legendary candles in glass, it was selling decorative fabrics, artistic and practical decorative objects, even of oriental origin. And if you’re used to buying a Diptyque set of Ingredients, you don’t have to change your habits.
“In the ingredients, it will remain bestsellers such as the 34 set and some candles and perfumes that made up eighty percent of sales. The rest will only be available here, and I think customers will mainly head here for sure, because here they will get to experience Diptyque with everything,” Jakup Kopčák convinced.
This means with the explanation of sales assistants, the ritual of blowing out the candles on a special pillow during aromatherapy, the packaging ceremony, and in the future, with the service of permanent customization of candles and perfumes with a monogram. Selected shops will eventually receive the auto-engraving technology – currently, customers will occasionally receive them on special occasions, when they are hand-engraved. In short, Diptyque at its best. Fabulous!
“Proud twitter enthusiast. Introvert. Hardcore alcohol junkie. Lifelong food specialist. Internet guru.”