Down a side street, an aloof animal shoots us a questioning glare as if to say, “So, what on Earth have you done with your childhood dreams? Have you forgotten how to stargaze? Don’t you look for heavenly beasts amidst the fleeting clouds overhead anymore?”
Some encounters are not random at all. Philippe Baudelocque’s connection with diptyque is intended to remind us that the heavens are the loom on which we weave our dreams.
These constellations are fabulous celestial animals drawn by Philippe Baudelocque like comets that align in perfect harmony. For the first time, thanks to his collaboration with diptyque, the artist depicts three mythological creatures: a Phoenix, a Dragon and a Unicorn. Each of these figures gave its name to a constellation. Each embodies a distinct color, and fragrance. Art, savoir-faire and legends unite to create olfactory landscapes that resonate with poetic dreams. The sparkling gold that bedecks the candles invites us to shift our gaze toward the heavens.
Stars are at the very epicenter of this artist’s work. And rightfully so. Isn’t it by lacing together countless stars that constellations come to be? They guide our dreams and reveal many a wellkept secret. Wasn’t it a star that guided the three wise kings and don’t we place a star at the top of our Christmas trees in remembrance of a truly celestial gift? It was also written in the sky, amidst the heavenly bodies, that diptyque and Philippe Baudelocque would meet to pay tribute to the stars.
So three candles were born of the union between diptyque and Philippe Baudelocque, welcoming us to close our eyes, and let the soothing allure of their fragrances whisk us off without a second thought toward the starry skies above.
FORÊT GIVRÊE (Frosted Forest)
How could we not think of the mysterious tapestry The Lady and the Unicorn on display at the Cluny Medieval Arts Museum in Paris? Five panels pay tribute the five senses and the sixth features the enigmatic quote “To my only desire”.
In the heart of a perfectly designed garden, adorned with exquisite flowers and symmetric bushes, to the left of lovely maiden, symbolizing her emotions, sits a Unicorn. To evoke the sense of smell, she is weaving a floral crown. The stoic unicorn watches in peace. The scene conveys harmony, beauty and order.
The Unicorn constellation contains a nebula called the Christmas Tree located some 2,600 light-years from Earth. The power of this name is even more winsome when you know that this cloud of gas and dust in outer space is actually where twinkling stars are born.
Traditionally associated with the color green, the Unicorn brings to mind Medieval mythology’s enchanted, evanescent forests and the exhilarating aroma of majestic pine tree-lined paths. The precious, one-of-akind scent of Hinoki wood laced with the warm notes of resin reminds us that its horn was reserved exclusively for kings because it was believed to have supernatural powers.
Pine needles, Hinoki wood and mint nestle together to create the rare redolence of a vast frosty forest. When we allow ourselves to be carried off by this unique fragrance, we can almost hear the mysterious voice whispering “To my only desire”.
FEU D’AGRUMES (Fiery Orange)
The Dragon is a mythological animal that spreads its wings from the Far East to the West. According to legend, the goddess Athena grabbed a dragon by the tail during the Great War, swung it around over her head, and cast it into the heavens, hooking it on the North Star til the end of time.
The Dragon is also said to have been the guardian of the Hesperides garden where the ambrosial nectar of the gods flowed, protected by a remarkable tree with golden apples that sparkled as bright as its sentinel.
The fire-breathing Dragon exudes its powerful life force, its abundance. Likewise, the candle it inspired is naturally breathtaking: gold, red and black combine to echo the horizon at daybreak – dark soil, red sky and the mesmerizing glimmer of dawn.
The cosmic Dragon gives off both light and warmth. Half bird, half snake, it inspired diptyque to create a woody fragrance that’s sweetened with sizzling orange rind as if tossed into the flames. Italian citrus fruits give the woody base a bright, sunny twist. Cozy spices provide the finishing touch to make this unique redolence both vivid and warm. Like this fabulous creature who is as at home on Earth as it is in the heavens, this fragrance is anchored in smoky wood but soars into the pale blue skies, sheathed in tangy orange fruit flavors.
LARMES D’ENCENS (Incense Tears)
A mythical bird whose origins have been lost since the beginning of time, the Phoenix is the archetype of the perfect creature. One of a kind, it is born and reborn of its ashes like magic. According to Ovide’s Metamorphoses, when it reaches 500 years old, the Phoenix builds a nest with Laurel leaves and Spicenard twigs, Cinnamon and Myrrh.
Amidst these delicate fragrances it bids the world adieu. Its wings burst into flames and from the warm, fragrant ashes a new Phoenix rises. It doesn’t eat grass or fruit, only the sap of rare aromatic plants and the incense resin, beautifully compared to tears by poets.
What other mythical creature could have inspired diptyque to create such a captivating combination of frankincense and Myrrh wrapped in vibrant Cinnamon?
The candle’s blue evokes the heavens, as well as the immortality of this amazing animal who is believed to be able to read people’s hearts.
Trained at the School of Decorative Arts in Paris, into the graffiti scene during the 1990s, Philippe Baudelocque is now an active participant in the Palais de Tokyo’s Lasco Project, which invites street artists to bring various spaces to life.
Philippe Baudelocque made a name for himself with his cosmic animals. For four years, the artist drew these creatures on a blank, anonymous façade of a narrow street in Paris’ Marais district. His huge yet fleeting beasts, drawn with chalk on black walls, were washed away by time. The artist’s creative process was guided by a thirst for vast, untouched nature, freedom and the beauty of voluntary work.
When referring to his career, Philippe Baudelocque remembers the books he was given as a child. Works that sparked his curiosity and opened his mind to the world; books about animals, plants and minerals. He speaks with tenderness about his childhood, a time when nature played a major role in his life. His world was deeply nourished. He used the mineral aspects of stones to draw his animals, like constellations made with flowers, plants and mysterious arabesques.
Each animal is comprised of countless cells and harbours infinite worlds inside. The stars it contains evoke the celestial gears of time, minerals, the strength of all the elements, the power of the constellations and the wind. These cosmic animals remind us that in the past people believed that all of nature came from the same fabric, which shaped the universe; that everything danced to the same drum.
The size, structure and almost magical dimension of Philippe Baudelocque’s animals awaken everyone’s childhood sense of wonder. It is this very complex universe, brimming with life and light that appealed to diptyque and inspired it to collaborate with him on this year’s Holiday Collection.