6 dicembre 2013

Diptyqye Milan: the rive gauche is not so far

I walk fast trying not to get distracted by the baroque decorations of palaces avoiding so to stumble on the people walking down the street for the happy hour. The bohèmian atmosphere it's adorable though, so I have a look around checking out things. Street artists with their coloured daubs along the pavement. Check. Laid tables with red checkered tablecloths and menus in multiple languages. Check. A shop selling easels and paintboxes and a suite of art galleries, sign of the connection with avant-garde artists of the XIX century. Check. Some antique shop and a vintage clothing store. Check.
Finally I'm standing in front of the Diptyque boutique but I'm not in Paris in Boulevard St. Germain, I'm in Milan in 23, via Brera and has quite an effect to see that twin windows. Thanks to Olfattorio and their collaboration with the brand, the first italian monobrand Diptyque space opened since a week doesn't look like other new shops furnished in aseptic black'n white, instead it's a jump in my parisian memories and a tribute to the headquarter at 34, Blvd St-Germain.

The space where one year ago some brands in the Olfattorio portfolio were elbowing has been turned by the Cent Degrés agency into a non-conventional chic bazar full of references to the world of the founders Yves Coueslant (a set designer), Desmond Knox-Leet (a painter) and Christiane Gautrot (a textile designer). The passion for exotic destinations and fabrics strikes out a mile: in the first room, behind the perfume bottles and old pharmacy glassware on the shelves, a faux-silk blue wallpaper brings me straight to Kyoto with its classical kimono print. Western art and painting are the main references for the other room covered with Fornasetti's graphic obsessions on the oval shape or with bucolic motifs stolen from the rococo tapestries bringing back to my mind the mediterran facets i love in Virgilio, Eau Trois and Philosykos.

Aside nice distractions like a glass of prosecco and some appetizers, my attention was drawn to home fragrances and in particular to candles that also here you can have packed in custom coloured tissue paper matching the fragrance. Since 1963 with the launch of Aubépine, Thé e Cannelle, Diptyque created a refined olfactory imagery that goes beyond the solinote. It's like that for the Pine Bark Christmas candle that melts pine with its resin in a herbal peated liqueur to be sipped reading by the fire. Amidst old books and journals, candle snuffers and wick trimmers cant' be missed. These are the kind of odd gadgets for which candle junkies go into raptures. Instead the technology geeks will be pleased by the diffusers Le Sablier and the beautiful Un air de Dyptique with its ceramic and metal neodeco shell.

Finally there's also a wall with mosaics dedicated to body care that nicely fits with trompe-l'oeil black'n white fake marble here and there. The inspiration for these details comes from the '40s back of the shop in St. Germain, a space not accessible to public which I hope I will be able to see in my next parisian tour. Meanwhile let's enjoy this small spot of rive gauche nearby the Scala.

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