Interview: Creating Diptyque's Eau de Minthé

In conversation with Myriam Badault and Fabrice Pellegrin

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Eau de Minthé.

Diptyque director of marketing and product creation Myriam Badault has been the driving force behind some of the brands signature scents. Badault and perfumer Fabrice Pellegrin take us through the process that led to the brand's most recent release.

What was your source of inspiration when creating Eau de Minthé?
Myriam Badault: The fragrance was inspired by an olfactive memory, a fragrant trail in the entrance of a building and an elevator! What stroke me was the contrast between the classic scents twisted with a modern and aromatic freshness, in my head I’ve memorised the sensation as an “enveloping” mint. The story of Eau de Minthé comes from that ingredient (mint). I like to tell stories and share my discoveries, mythology and ancient times are among our strong inspirations, and we found this very nice story about the nymph Minthé and her love affair with Hadès. I have a whole collection of comics based on myths, the young author is Clotilde Bruneau. We asked her to write the storyboard of the film. It was a very enriching experience.

How would you describe Eau de Minthé?
Badault: Both modern and familiar, depending on your age! For someone born in the 70’s it refers to very familiar masculine fragrance, for someone a bit younger, barbershop scents and freshness. I wanted to explore the “fougère” universe with a twist and some reference to our heritage (the English roots of the brand, the barber soap that was sold in the Saint Germain stores in the early 60’s…) and my obsessive idea to use mint.

Why did you choose to work with Fabrice Pellegrin on this fragrance?
Badault: I chose to work with Fabrice because I knew his love for this olfactive universe. We have known each other for 15 years, and he often told me stories about his father work (Fabrice’s father is a perfumer), the affective link with the “fougère” family and all the memories it brings back. It is like a “Madeleine de Proust”, and in a way the opportunity to write another story in a contemporary way. Moreover, I feel that Fabrice is very good at “thinking out of the box” and revamping icons just as he did with the tuberose in Do Son.

How did you work the fougère specificities? What sets it apart from the other offerings within the category?
Fabrice Pellegrin: I wanted to create a neo-vintage fougère. A traditional fougère spirit translated into a brand new modern universe. Instead of using aniseed aromatic notes, I had the idea to work around a top quality of mint: our Mint Cascade launched thanks to our US partner ESSEX. It is a luminous mint, as if frozen, and with hints of fresh pepper. I used it to renew this iconic olfactive family.

What are the key ingredients? Usually, Diptyque fragrances have an olfactory accident. Which one did you choose for Eau de Minthé? Pellegrin: Mint of course, for the modernity, but also the more traditional geranium and patchouli duet to follow the authentic fougère structure. I chose rose oxide as an even more modern “olfactory accident”. It brings its vibrant and modern aura to compose a new olfactory twist.

How did the collaboration with illustrator Charlotte Gastaut come about?
Badault: I worked with Charlotte a few years ago, she designed some patterns for our 34 BAZAR collection. During that time, I discovered her amazing work as an illustrator for children’s books. Through the illustration we wanted to tell Minthé and Hadès’s story, as a tale whilst including all the richness and depth of the fragrant universe. Charlotte’s drawing is full of detail and symbols. Her drawings evoke a kind of exuberant nature.

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