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Articles from FASHION JEWELLERY (291 Articles)

Lisa Hoffman's Fragrance Jewellery range
Lisa Hoffman's Fragrance Jewellery range

Sweet smell of a new trend

Jewellery already appeals to a person’s sense of sight and touch. Imagine if it could appeal to a person’s sense of smell also, asks Emily Mobbs.
Perfumed Jewelry
Perfumed Jewelry
Perfume Tools
Perfume Tools

The sense of smell allows humans to experience some heavenly pleasures – freshly-brewed coffee, roses in the spring and popcorn at the movies to name a few– however, smell is rarely associated with jewellery.

Sure, jewellery is appealing to the eyes and even to the touch in some cases, but smell? For centuries, jewellery was designed to hold scents in various ways, a practice that was particularly popular during the Victorian period but has lost its allure over time.

Today, a few companies are out to prove that the concept is not so bizarre or old-fashioned after all with products that combine scent (fragrance, perfume, oils) and jewellery.

As Jeweller reported in October 2012, Lisa Hoffman, founder and president of her namesake company and wife of Hollywood actor Dustin Hoffman, created a stir after launching a collection of fragrance jewellery in collaboration with jeweller Tom Binns.

The Fragrance Jewellery range comprises pendants, bracelets and earrings that can house small fragrance beads made from a combination of wood and flour. The pods are designed to emit the fragrance through small vents in the jewellery. Hoffman believes the marriage between jewellery and fragrance is an organic one as they are both typically worn in the same areas of the body: wrists, neck and ears.

In addition to the line produced with Binns, Hoffman has other scented jewellery collections that fall under the company name, including a new pearl bracelet that features Swarovski Elements.

While the range has gained traction, at least in the media, it seems having a famous name is not a requirement for selling scented jewellery successfully.

Brisbane-based Perfumed Jewelry launched online in August 2012 with a perfumed stone-and-pendant combination. According to founder Renee Van Veen, sales and website visits have doubled month-on-month for the past six months. The company has also attracted international interest, having shipped pieces to India, England, South Africa and Finland.

Van Veen believes combining jewellery and perfume is popular not only because it “brings a woman’s favourite things together”, but also because it taps into another common selling point for jewellery, that of sparking memories.

“Each combination is unique and because the sense of smell is so powerful, often just one hint of a fragrance can trigger memories from years ago,” she explains.

“Because memories are so precious, our vision for the product was to capture these and wear them in jewellery. When you reach for it and smell it, you are reminded of that special person, that special time or even that perfect destination from around the world.”

The venture has been a long time coming – Van Veen initially thought it would be a good idea to put jewellery and perfume together at the age of 10. It took a further 10 years to turn the concept into a reality.

“The major delay was working on finding a medium that would absorb the perfume and allow it to diffuse slowly,” she explains, stating that she eventually patented “JewelStone”, a stone she claims can keep the scent of a perfume for 28 days, and placed it inside a pendant necklace.

The difficulties involved in merging scent with jewellery was also a major hurdle for founder and designer of Aromawear, Cathy Gins. Gins began researching and developing Aromawear in 1997, integrating lockets, bracelets and accessories with essential oils. The business was launched in 2007.

“The main challenge I faced in creating Aromawear was to teach the manufacturers how to make a quality piece of jewellery that is beautiful aesthetically and durable enough to withstand frequent use and contact with essential oils, which can be very corrosive,” she explains.

The original idea occurred when the US-based jewellery designer, a former Avon global director for jewellery, left the corporate world to practise aromatherapy.

“When my clients left their therapeutic sessions feeling relaxed and restored, I wanted to give them something they could use on their own every day to maintain their well-being, and so Aromawear was born,” she writes on her website.

“Aromawear has been a bridge for many of my customers to cross over into a new category of pleasure. I have introduced many jewellery-lovers to the wonderful world of scent, and even more essential oil users into the wonderful world of jewellery,” Gins told Jeweller.

Health benefits were also a driving force for Jody Kocken’s collection of Perfume Tools. After discovering that she was allergic to perfume, the design graduate from the Netherlands looked for alternative solutions that would enable her to still wear fragrance.

“I think perfume is something very personal,” Kocken says, adding that she felt quite emotional when it couldn’t be worn any more. “This is how Perfume Tools was born – a way to still wear your own perfume/identity without wearing the liquid directly on the skin.”

The series of jewellery pieces, including a bracelet, necklace, hair/clothes pin and an ear accessory, can be attached to the opening of a perfume bottle. The tools absorb the scent and work as fragrance diffusers, thus avoiding any skin contact with the perfumed liquid.

Perfume Tools is not currently available to the public – the collection was Kocken’s final project before graduating from design school in June 2012 – although the founder is searching for a manufacturer.

Furthermore, the Aromawear and Perfumed Jewelry founders say they are looking to expand their ranges and supplier channels, perhaps further indicating the growing popularity of this jewellery sector.

The Aromawear range consists of pieces made from sterling silver and gold vermeil but Gins explains that she is in the process of creating a non-precious line for wholesale distribution, which will make the collection accessible to more people.

Meanwhile, Van Veen says she is investigating the possibility of suppling the Perfumed Jewelry line to retailers: “We have been approached by a number of retailers in Australia but we are yet to find one that shares our vision for the product. We are continuing our search for the perfect partner.”

Jewellery pieces that integrate a scent might not fall within the traditional definition of jewellery, but it’s a concept that does seem to appeal to a person’s sense of sight, touch, smell and, taking the liberty to introduce a new sense, desire.

Background reading
Fragrance jewellery a new trend?


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