Design Concepts wins GOOD DESIGN Award for its work on Pelvalon's Eclipse System

Favorite Things: Diptyque Philosykos Solid Perfume

February 08, 2016

As product designers, Design Concepts staff are always looking at the things that surround them with an eye for the exceptional.

Every other week, one of our designers, engineers or researchers will share a favorite thing with you and explain why it tickles their inner product geek.

Some things will be fresh, shiny and new, the latest and greatest blip from the streets of San Francisco. Others will be steeped in tradition and lore: classic, divine and delightful. There are many components that contribute to the gestalt of an experience. When evaluating products and experiences, we often start by understanding the underlying Social, Economic and Technology (SET) factors that are in play.

About Eva: I’m a collector of favorite things. I collect things that solve for the problems they were designed to answer. This does not necessarily mean that they are the most beautifully designed, manifest the best aesthetic or are even the most ergonomic solution. But many times, it’s the human touch that creates an emotional connection that transforms a design solution from the “best design” to a “favorite thing” and, better yet, a “favorite experience.”

Favorite thing: Diptyque Philosykos Solid Perfume

What it is: A fine fragrance that’s packaged in a solid form for easy travel.

Why it matters: Humans have a biological need for scent. Our olfactory bulb is hard-wired to the areas of the brain that help process emotion and memory. This powerful link to memory is one of the primary reasons why we use fragranced products. Our fragrance choices ­help define how we are perceived on social, professional and personal levels.

Just the art of removing the compact from its suede pouch reminds me of the perfume's precious nature.

Why it's a favorite: This product goes beyond just making me smell of wonderful fig leaves and cedar. The real innovation is in the execution of an impactful multi-sensory design.

The evocative experience begins with the package. The outer box is a stark black and white that adheres to Diptyque’s brand language. The outer box is an appropriate size for the inner product, which unfolds and reveals slowly, teasing the user and prolonging the exper­­ience. Once the box is fully opened, a warm grey suede pouch is found nestled inside the inner folds. When the pouch is lifted from the box, the Haptic (tactile) impression of the soft suede is overwhelmed by the surprising heft of the object. The weight reassures the user of the quality of the product, defining it as a luxury versus a commodity good.

Just the art of removing the compact from its suede pouch reminds me of the perfume's precious nature. This is reinforced by the compact's thoughtful design and its heavy ebony case. Cast of metal, it has the weight to reassure me of its presence and worth. Every interface has been designed – the heavily engraved detail on the compact, how it feels in my hand, and the high-quality clasp that snaps and stays shut. Finally, we reach the silky smooth perfume that lays nestled inside, which glides effortlessly on the skin.

Without the Haptic design elements of this package and the ceremony of the product presentation, the solid form of the product could be easily confused with that of a $5 lip gloss instead of a $50 perfume. But the product development team understood the social and economic factors that support fine fragrance. By leveraging this knowledge and understanding the importance of Haptics in the design of meaningful multi-sensory user experiences, they deliver a fragrance experience that transforms a simple travel-friendly compact into a luxury product that this designer will not leave home without.