In 1961, three friends—painter Desmond Knox-Leet, interior designer Christiane Gautrot, and theater set designer Yves Coueslant decided to open their own boutique offering avant-garde designer textile and artisanal item that they have brought from their travels or that were made by hands.
Each founder brought their own special skills to bear. Gautrot loved fashion and was responsible for diptyque’s early fabric designs, among them Prétorien, whose Roman-inspired shield motif is repeated in the house logo. Knox-Leet, having worked at Bletchley Park during WWII, decoding enemy messages, was behind the deconstructed or ‘dancing’ alphabet on diptyque’s perfume labels. Coueslant, the brand's first nose, being a theater designer, decorated an apartment for Jean Cocteau.
diptyque was primarily a playground for these three great friends. They showcased artisan pieces alongside their own creations in a riotous burst of color and taste, not the taste of the day nor expected taste but a style that was a reflection of themselves, and obvious to the discerning eye. And before long, their noses would join the party too.
To celebrate the milestone, the house decided to create a tribute line entitled 34 boulevard Saint Germain, the Paris street of the inaugural diptyque boutique.