Lebanese designer Rabih Kayrouz creates Diptyque artwork inspired by Byblos

Couturier crafted a limited-edition piece inspired by Lebanese city to mark the fragrance brand's 60th anniversary

Designer Rabih Kayrouz has created a limited-edition artwork to celebrate Diptyque's 60th anniversary. Getty Images
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The scents of the Lebanese city of Byblos have inspired one of the newest releases by famed fragrance house Diptyque.

The French brand has released a limited-edition candle as part of its 60th-anniversary celebrations, with notes derived from the location's bustling souqs.

Diptyque also enlisted the imagination of Lebanese couturier Rabih Kayrouz to create an artwork as part of its celebrations, which features in a new exhibition.

The Byblos Scented Candle forms part of Diptyque's Le Grand Tour, a special collection of products inspired by the 18th-century custom of upper class men taking a traditional trip through Europe.

The five items in the collection are influenced by cities that popularly featured on such a trip's itinerary: Paris in France, Venice in Italy, the Greek village of Milies, Japan's Kyoto and Byblos.

The Byblos candle includes notes of coffee, atlas cedar, cardamom and white musk, inspired by the city's cafes and port-side souqs.

"Diptyque's founders stayed there when they travelled through Lebanon," the brand explains on its website.

"Small cafes line the alleys of the old souq at the 1,000-year-old port. There, a strong coffee is served, its aroma mingling with the scent of each stall's ancient woodwork. Not far away is the ancient Phoenician port where cargoes of spices and precious wood were once unloaded."

This candle comes in a marbled-clay holder "inspired by wisps of coffee smoke".

Le Grand Tour collection also includes a candle inspired by Paris's Seine river, a fragrance influenced by the Japanese region of Kankitsuzan, eaux de toilettes featuring notes taken from Italy's islands and a scented oval laced with Greek fig and wood.

Aside from the scented items, Diptyque commissioned Joel Andrianomearisoa, Johan Creten, Zoe Paul and Hiroshi Sugimoto, along with Kayrouz, to create a special artwork each that will feature in the fragrance brand's first exhibition.

Kayrouz, who established his namesake fashion house in 2008, decided to craft a wooden box from cedar, filled with three sculptures.

The pieces represent a model of a temple, a fossilised poppy and a gold fragment of a cedar crown.

“This city has always held a dreamlike quality for me; I was always trying to understand how people lived there in ancient times. It conjures up so many memories and fantasies,” Kayrouz said about Byblos.

"I already sculpt in the sense that I shape material and fabric around bodies when I’m designing my dresses, but using ceramic was a first for me. I had a lot of fun with it.”

The artwork, entitled Secretum, is also laced with the Byblos fragrance that makes up the Diptyque candle.

“This authentic perfume brought back many memories; the smells of coffee and cedarwood, which for me are highly evocative of Lebanon,” Kayrouz said.

Fifteen numbered pieces of Secretum have been created and can be bought for €4,200 ($4,962) each.

One will also feature in Voyages immobiles – Le Grand Tour, the first exhibition curated by Diptyque, which opened at Paris's La Poste du Louvre on Thursday.

"Voyages immobiles takes you from East to West alongside nine great international artists and the works they created for this occasion. A journey of initiation open to all – the curious, the aesthetes and the explorers," the brand said.

The free exhibition will continue until Sunday, October 24.

Updated: September 12, 2021, 7:21 AM