To women of a certain age, the fresh, radiant floral scent of Rosa Mundi, the Valentine’s Day collection from Diptyque, may evoke those scented sheets of stationery they avidly collected—and exchanged among friends—as youngsters growing up in the ’80s and ’90s.
But to connoisseurs of 18th-century French decorative arts, Diptyque Rosa Mundi’s wrapping will likely transport them to the time of Madame de Pompadour, patron of arts and favorite mistress of Louis XV, during whose reign the use of domino paper was a cherished craft.
For its limited offering for Valentine’s Day, French perfumer Diptyque has tapped the three artists behind Antoinette Poisson, the Parisian company that revived domino paper, to illustrate the Rosa Mundi scent on paper. (Madame de Pompadour was born Jeanne Antoinette Poisson.)
Domino paper is the predecessor of wallpaper, and is used not just to accent walls, but also to line drawers and cover books; it is sometimes framed as an artwork in itself. The designs are woodblock-printed, and are hand-painted by stencils.
At the heart of Diptyque’s Rosa Mundi are two types of roses: the Damask rose, and Centifolia, or the May rose of Provençe. It’s not the usual powdery rose, however, as it opens with the freshness of black currant and bergamot, and is brightened by the fruitiness of lychee. Geranium rounds up the exotic floral bouquet.
For Rosa Mundi, Antoinette Poisson’s founders Julie Stordiau, Vincent Farelly and Jean-Baptiste Martin designed a print of pink roses and whimsical blooms on a delicate green background. They adorn the candles, scented oval boxes and candle glasses. The ribbon of the scented oval bears the alternate Rosa Mundi motif by the artists.
At Diptyque’s 34 boulevard Saint-Germain flagship boutique and on Diptyque’s website, the limited-edition Rosa Mundi domino paper, perfumed paper and message card are exclusively available.
At Diptyque in Central Square, Adora and Rustan’s, the limited-edition Rosa Mundi candles (190 g and 70 g) and scented oval are available in limited quantities beginning third week of January.