It sounds like the title of an Art film about a pair of Parisian courtesans doesn’t it. It’s actually the title of my most recent shopping trip though, so less exciting, sorry. I thought I’d share two of my favourite London shops with you as I managed to hit them both in one day, and am still floating on a euphoric cloud of post-purchase delight.
Diptyque are a luxury perfume and scented-candle brand, originating in Paris at 34 boulevard Saint-Germain. Three friends (an interior designer, a painter, and a theater director/ set designer) created a kind of stylish bazaar full of surprising items, gathered by the trio on their travels. This combination of Parisian romance, exotic travel, and a commitment to quality, have made Diptyque highly desirable.
I often wear their perfumes, but the scented candles are where my loyalty is unwavering. Pomander in winter, and Freesia in spring. A creature of habit am I, like a trustworthy hedgehog snuffling along the same paths year in, year out. HOWEVER, I thought I’d go crazy, and try a new one! I picked out Mousses (Moss), partly because it evokes “all the fresh scents of the forest floor after the rain”, which sounds like heaven to me, and partly because it sounds likes mouses (childish snigger). I headed to 37 Brook Street, Mayfair, as there’s a lovely little branch of Diptyque near Bond Street tube station. Helpful staff, happy to let you wander around sniffing bottles and jars, or to offer expert advice if you require it. Seductive fragrances float through the air, enchanting and enticing you. Every purchase will also have complimentary perfume samples added to it as well, which are perfect for popping into an evening bag.
Mousses smells exactly how it is described. Earthy and green, it smells of damp bark, leaf mulch, trickling streams and ferns crushed underfoot as you leap and
blunder dart through the forest. The perfume distribution of Diptyque candles is incredible, and you can scent a whole room just by placing one in it unlit; the £40 size also has a 50hr burn-time. A lot of my friends are horrified that I’ll spend £40 on a candle, but scent affects us so deeply that I’m surprised to be considered unusual in my adulation of it.
V V Rouleaux
VV Rouleaux is a ten minute walk (in high heels) North of Diptyque, to 102 Marylebone Lane. It sells beautiful ribbons in every colour and fabric, feathers, tassels, and satin flowers galore. A glamorous haberdashers, for the glamorous arts and crafters! It’s technically a passementerie, devoted to the art of making elaborate trimmings or edgings (in French, passements). Being surrounded by ribbons and feathers reminds me of an elegant age when all clothing you didn’t make yourself was haute couture; a time of cocktails, jazz and dressing up.
102 Marylebone Lane
Tying gifts with real ribbon (rather than the nasty, plasticy stuff that’s always sold at Christmas) makes them so much more special, and shows that you’ve put the thought and care into a purchase that its recipient deserves (even if you haven’t). I’ve also made my own gift-cards (Birthdays, Christmas, Thank-you etc) since I was four, and my mother refused to pay the Air Mail for cards to England if they weren’t a bit more special, so I love finding a new colour or fabric I can experiment with (leather ribbon anyone? V V Rouleaux will provide). I am V V excited about playing with my new haul, and I’ll show you what I come up with once I’ve had to time to destroy our flat in the name of gift-cards.
A few examples below – I’ll write a post about them soon; then you’ll get to see my glue-gun.
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