Parisian Diptyque has found a foothold on one of Berlin’s most elegant thoroughfares.
Officially crowned on Wednesday after a soft launch, the 32-square-meter, or 344-square-foot, boutique is located in the western part of the city, on a tony section of the Ku’damm home to Gucci, Ferragamo and Cartier. But Fabienne Mauny, Diptyque global brand president, said its immediate next door neighbor — an opulent yet welcoming coffee house and restaurant called Grosz — is more important than a perch amongst the high-end fineries. “We like to be in places where people enjoy going just to have a good time, so that can be for a perfume, or it can be for a beautiful lunch or dinner,” she said.
Germany is a late own-store market entry for Diptyque, though it has been represented in top department stores, perfumeries and boutiques in the country for many years. Still, or perhaps as a result, brand awareness here is not as high as it is other European countries and the U.S. Mauny and her team hope the comprehensive and immersive world of Diptyque presented in its shops will be the key to customers’ hearts. ”We are looking at Germany in a more ambitious way,” she noted.
Mathias Bauch, the firm’s country manager for Germany and Austria, who joined Diptyque two years ago when it decided to take over its business in the region, said now is also the ideal moment in terms of the market’s evolving tastes and appreciations.
“I think it’s just the right time for us to start here, because we’ve seen in the last years really a new sense for quality in perfumery coming from the customer — they’re seeking individual products, individual brands, products with a story behind them, and a legacy,” he said, noting that Germans are also developing a taste for at-home luxury, including seeing home fragrance as an extension and expression of interior design.
Bauch is exploring further expansion options in Germany, but “the challenge is really finding spectacular locations.”
So far, so good — it’s fair to say the light-filled spot in Berlin’s historic Haus Cumberland was quite a catch. And to celebrate the new arrival, the city has earned a boutique exclusive. The Berlin candle is based on linden, the fragrant tree that perfumes the city in summer, and lends its name to the famous boulevard Unter den Linden. Priced at 55 euros or $59, the 65-oz. candle comes in a pale green box printed with linden trees and images of the city’s iconic Brandenburg Gate and was the first product sold in the new store.
It’s been a busy year globally for Diptyque; freestanding retail doors have increased by 25 percent to around 50, and as previously reported, sales are projected to be above $50 million. Mauny said the brand has also had much success this year with pop-up stores in places like Brooklyn and London’s Shoreditch, which allowed them to introduce the spirit of Diptyque in a “free and playful way,” while testing the waters.
In addition to multiple fragrance launches, in August, Diptyque expanded its skin-care line. Also this year, the brand launched a textile line, including totes, pouches and pillowcases, part of the expanding 34 Collection inspired by Diptyque’s early days in the Sixties, with an accent on what they call “Bazar Chic.”
And there’s more to come, soon. In Berlin, the Diptyque team also provided a sneak preview of the three-piece Rosa Mundi collection set to launch in January. It’s a collaboration with young Paris decorative paper workshop Antoinette Poisson, and includes a candle, scented oval and multiuse scented spray, all decorated with a hand-blocked flower motif. The brand has previously worked together with Olympia Le-Tan, Tomas Maier, and illustrator Pierre Marie, who created this year’s holiday collection.
“It’s a creative process that we think works at Diptyque, to really work with people who have the same kind of sensibility, who come with their own world. And our own inspiration and theirs, at the end of the day creates something that I think is very special,” explained Fabienne Mauny.