Intermission: Perfume and Gemstone Pairings
The brain works in funny ways sometimes, and this morning I couldn’t stop thinking about how some of my favorite perfumes might express themselves in the form of another one of my loves: old jewelry. I have selected half a dozen fragrances and paired them with corresponding pieces of vintage or antique jewelry.
To begin at the beginning, Shalimar extrait parfum begs for high karat gold and hand cut stones. The above is a photo of my wedding ring, an antique piece set with old mine cut diamonds and emeralds (my husband’s birthstone). I personally appreciate the irregularities in the stones and the bubbly effect that these angles have on how the light is refracted. Mine cuts were fashioned to sparkle in softer candlelight, rather than electricity, and to me the effect is rather magical, not to mention heart opening. This next piece is circa 191o, a cabochon cut moonstone set in platinum. I choose this ring to express the balance of strength and softness that I find in that classic “liquid armour” Chanel no. 19. A green, sharp fragrance , 19 contains an essence of feminine beauty, symbolized by this ethereal moonstone flanked on either side by the hard diamond sentries, standing guard for the softer, central jewel, offering her protection. Now comes the celebratory perfume, also from the house of Chanel. No. 22 is an effervescent, happy scent and goes nicely with these Georgian Pink Topaz day and night earrings. They are called day and night because the elongated and elaborate drops detach from the oval topaz tops, which make these earrings as versatile as Chanel no. 22, a gorgeous scent that can be dressed up or down. “Tyger, tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame they fearful symmetry? ”
A current favorite of mine, Anima Dulcis by the house of Arquiste, is represented in my perfume/gem pairing by this tiger’s eye ring surrounded with rose cut diamonds. William Blake’s poem serves to underscore the experience of this perfume, a dark, warm, sweet and spicy concoction with historic reference to the sacred feminine. I bestow this victorian snake ring with rose cut diamonds on the sexy and audacious hand of Bandit by Robert Piguet. Snakes have such mixed symbolism, for both good and evil, but at the time of this ring’s creation, the snake represented eternal love and often adorned marriage and betrothal rings given as tokens of fidelity. Snakes, like Bandit are unapologetic, whatever you may think of them.Finally, this black onyx mourning ring pairs beautifully with a new fragrant infatuation of mine, Guerlain’s Bois d’Armenie from the line of L’Art et la Matiere, which highlights various raw materials used in perfumerie. Since the deaths of my parents and sister, I have taken to burning incense on those days when my sadness requires the resinous aromas to rise and carry away sad feelings on swirls of scented smoke up to the sky. I am just getting acquainted with Bois d’Armenie. The notes apparent to me are iris, woods and incense, and surrounds me with a comforting, spiritual aura.
Wishing you all a Happy Easter filled with everyday beauty, poetry and perfume.
mine cut diamond ring, my personal collection, platinum and moonstone ring and pink topaz Georgian earrings, from The Three Graces, tiger’s eye ring, snake ring and onyx mourning ring from Bell and Bird.