There are a few purchases that will always stand out in your memory: The first CD you ever bought (humble brag—mine was The Most Beautiful Girl in the World by Prince), the first designer bag you acquire, and, perhaps, your wedding dress. For me, however, one of my fondest retail memories centres around something else; a candle. But not just any candle, a Diptyque candle.
It was 2011, I was 21, and had just moved to London to start my career in fashion. I was a junior assistant at Look magazine working at the fashion desk, and I couldn't have been more excited. The first month passed in a blur, and when I woke to discover my pay had landed in my bank account, I hopped straight on the tube and went to the fanciest shop I could: Liberty. Determined to treat myself to something special (something that would mark my first-ever non-part-time) paycheque), I chose Diptyque's Baies candle. I've been hooked on them ever since.
Diptyque was founded by interior designer Christiane Gautrot; theatre set designer Yves Coueslant; and Desmond Knox-Leet, a painter. The trio opened their chic shop of curiosities—think far-flung fabrics and exotic treasures—at 34 Boulevard Saint-Germain in Paris in 1961.
Unlike anything Paris had since before seen, as demand grew, in 1963, Diptyque's founders launched their own scented products—a selection of three candles. Today, Diptyque's vast candle collection is one of the most revered in the world and holds a special place, not just in my heart, but in anyone who has had the pleasure of smelling their beautiful scents for themselves.
Each Diptyque candle is inspired by a time, place or story. For example, the Figuier (Fig Tree) candle was created to capture the memories of the founders' many holidays in Mount Pelion, Greece, where, each day, they crossed a natural grove of wild fig trees to reach the sea.
There's no denying Diptyque candles have a certain je ne sais quoi about them, which can only be understood when you've burned one for yourself. Unsure which Diptyque candles you should invest in? Keep scrolling to discover the brand's best-sellers, the three candles that started it all, and some of the Who What Wear UK team's all-time favourites.
THE BESTSELLING DIPTYQUE CANDLES
While some fragrance trends will come and go over time, others prove themselves to have lasting staying power. And that's the case with the following five candles. In no particular order, these are Diptyque's best-selling candles, all of which have become iconic in their own way. My favourites are undoubtedly Baies (Berries) and Feu de Bois (Wood Fire).
THE ORIGINAL DIPTYQUE CANDLES
In 1963, Diptyque released its first three scented candle creations—Thé, Aubépine, and Cannelle (Tea, Hawthorn, and Cinnamon), all of which you can still purchase today. This edit would soon evolve into what was to become a vast repertoire of scents derived from rare and precious raw materials, all paying a simple, yet sincere, tribute to nature.