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Burn a biscuit, spritz on a rose |

Fashion and Beauty

Burn a biscuit, spritz on a rose

Chonx Tibajia - The Philippine Star
Burn a biscuit, spritz on a rose
Diptyque limited-edition Essences Insensées eau de parfum and solid perfume — only two will be sold per country. Available at Rustan’s.

MANILA, Philippines – My favorite pastime has long been playing Florence and the Machine with an orchestra of scented candles burning harmoniously in the background. It’s a ritual Florence Welch, and every other working woman in the world, would approve of, signaling the winding down of the workday and the melting away of toxic thoughts. The stars, the moon, they have all been blown out, but my Diptyque? It goes a long way. Up to 72 hours, they say. If only we could burn a Dyptique for 72 hours straight just to make sure that all remains well in the world, but that would be insane, not to mention insanely expensive. This is why, I presume, their fragrance line is such a hit. What woman would not want their favorite scent warming up their skin all day long?

Diptyque, from its oval logo and “criptyque” way of letting you know what scent is inside the packaging, has always struck me as mysterious. There are a lot of interesting brand origins stories, but theirs is one that’s really curious. Founded by an interior designer, a painter, and a theater director, the brand put up shop in 1981 at 34 Boulevard Saint-Germain in Paris. The original shop was a bazaar, in the way bazaars are meant to be — selling items that are only there for a limited time and can’t be found anywhere else. Early on, the brand’s exclusivity and inclination for the crafty was evident. To this day, Diptyque looks for the rarest scents to add to its collection — the most recent one, the May rose of Grasse, or the rosa centifolia. It grows in Provence and only blooms in May, and must be plucked from its stem ever-so-delicately.

The rose’s olfactory nuances, ranging from delicate to demanding, are captured in Diptyque’s Essences Insensées eau de parfum for 2016. It comes in a faceted black bottle, which echoes the different facets of the fragrance, honey and buchu, and the centifolia’s shape. The bulb atomizer adds a touch of vintage Paris and complements the scent’s full-bodied sexiness and boudoir vibe. It also comes in a solid perfume compact that’s ideal for travel.

As scents tend to bring back memories, this one reminded me of when I was my early 20s and desperately wanted to be womanly. I loved the natural scent of roses, but there was no perfume at that time that aptly translated it to something wearable. It was either too powdery, too sweet, or too much. Diptyque’s Essences Insensées 2016 is a pleasant rose with just the right amount of tang and sweetness. I wish I could burn it in my room while listening to Florence howl her lyrics into the night, but the perfume is so limited-edition, there’s only three of them in the country. A “to-burn” version might be way too much to ask.

But here’s what Diptyque has a to-burn version of: biscuits. The brand’s latest gourmand scent is inspired by madeleine cookies, called La Madeleine. It is also somewhat inspired by Marcel Proust, who, while writing the first volume of Remembrance of Things Past, dipped the biscuit in his tea and had a wave of memory — and one of the founder’s homes used to be a post office where Proust would send his works. With Diptyque, there’s always a story.

The story La Madeleine brings up for me: my mom baking something in the kitchen and me waiting to scrape fresh cookie dough from an aluminum bowl. This candle, on the other hand, doesn’t quite come in something so ordinary — it is encased in a ceramic holder that’s been handcrafted for three days. Rest assured I will be scraping the remains off of it and using it as a makeup brush holder when it’s done. But first let me savor it. I believe I have 72 hours before it burns out.

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Diptyque is located at Bonifacio High Street Central and is also available at Rustan’s.

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