Meet at Club Orphéon

By Jo Phillips

A club, wooden floors dark but full of life, the scent of wood, gin coffee, smoke, flowers, and amber drift through the two floors. After work people gather to talk, of life, of Satre, of French new wave cinema, let off steam, discover ways to change their worlds, whilst a jazz soundtrack fills the background against the hub-bub of chatter. It’s spring 1968 in the Latin quarter in Paris France, and the life of scent is changing in the most dynamic of ways. From eight in the evening to eight in the morning three friends meet after work in a bar called, The Orphéon on rue de Pontoise, which now been immortalised in the newest bottled scent from the brand know so ultimately recognisable as diptyque, find our more in Meet me at Club Orphéon Here.

Christiane, Desmond, and Yves, the three friends that created the brand diptyque, when not exploring the globe, called the Orphéon a second home and would spend time there several times a week, it was after all, adjacent to their own shop. It was their salon, their evening getaway, their office outside the confines of their tiny kingdom. Friends, ideas, and exploring their finds was what an evening in Orphéon was all about.

The club closed down but was not lost because the building was taken over by the trio as a way to expand their tiny store next door. The very essence of what the club stood for has been revisited for the 60th birthday of the brand with a wonderful new scent bottled in homage to this perfect heritage.

The newest perfume to be added to the collection is a wonderful combination of a mix or many facets guided by the perfect nose that is Olivier Pescheux who has created mnay of the great fragrances for the house.

Rather than approaching from a top middle and base the scent is explored through the elements of the club, the wood of the chairs and tables floors and the lined up bottles and ice buckets are explored via cedar, vetiver, patchouli. The drinks explored via juniper represent the most British of drinks Gin (after all Desmond from the trio was British) with icy tones and lemon with a drop of green tangerine.

The fogy smoke-filled rooms are represented by the acrid accents of mastic and galbanum, along with the much smoother accents of honeycomb and rockrose, like fine cigars or Amsterdamer pipe tobacco. 

Of course, Perfumer Olivier Pescheux, a trusted facet of the diptyque family also explored the scent of the guest’s women here represented by flowery and powdery accents, sensual and sexy via ylang-ylang from the Comoros archipelago, magnolia from China, Turkish Damascena. Plus the indispensable disruptive surprise: Always part fo every diptyque scent, a magnificent, vibrant absolute of Arabian jasmine, like a flash of lipstick in the half-light… and then men? somewhat dandified and often in search of fresh conquest, smelling of musk or amber (but also of cigarettes). 

And finally, the lighting, the element of ambience we can’t forget, subdued and sexy that accompanies the décor: a warm, soft red on an accord of Venezuelan tonka bean and vanilla-flavoured Laotian benzoin. Ambroxan almost to excess: an addiction without risk, albeit not without a certain giddiness… 

A divine dance into a bar of fresh, floral, sensual, woody facets built of course, as gender-free.

So how then, does the look of the club get explored in the iconic oval, the bottle’s label? As so often with diptyque it’s about the collaboration, the coming together of multi-faceted talent. Gianpaolo Pagni, an Italian plastic artist and Parisian by adoption, has also chosen to exercise his design skills in a manner akin to storytelling: 

On the front, in the middle of the oval, an interpretation of the sketches for the fabrics that were the original vocation of this gathering of artists. Offbeat forms, as if created by some optical effect and captured in the rays of light that are still reflected by the sole remnant of the Orphéon: a pillar with stroboscopic facets that now stands in a prominent position in the boutique at 34 boulevard Saint Germain. A spirit of celebration. 

Yet also there is artwork of the reverse of the label. A historic motif reinterpreted: three different profiles, juxtaposed in three variations of grey – inviting us to imagine that they represent Desmond, Christiane and Yves and their prolific partnership.

Like all things diptyque, this fragrance is a coming-together, dipped deeply into the very DNA of what makes the brand stand out. Scent, friendship, and collaboration fuze in a decorated vessel that holds the very emotions of life.

Below SoundCloud was created to give a musical journey to the fragrance.

Eau de Parfum Orphéon  is now out and is part of the brand’s 60th birthday anniversary this year. Find it at Diptyque.Com Here

If you enjoyed reading meet me at Club Orphéon then why not read Hybrid Fabric Here