Fragrance

By Stef Schwalb

Fragrance, Jewelry. The last two things a woman puts on when getting dressed, and the last two things she takes off when getting undressed. There is a natural symbiosis, and since its fragrance month for us, we decided to investigate the perfect Valentine combination — designer baubles, designer smells. Bulgari, Cartier, Hermes? Tiffany’s, Van Cleef & Arpels? The gifts that make a woman weak at the knees and our hearts skip a beat?

But how did this perfect partnership begin? Why the connection between two such so undeniably, highly desirables?

The history of perfume dates back to Ancient Egypt. Egyptians carried perfume with them from birth until after their death, placing perfumes in their tombs to keep their skin silky smooth in the afterlife. Since the Egyptians believed that the soul ascended into heaven, relatives saw to it that perfume accompanied the spirit. This was stored in elongated bottles encrusted with gold and gems and it is here the very concept of such a ‘marriage’ begins

During the Middle Ages, whilst Italy found itself in a permanent and endemic state of war, renowned Pope Gregory XII and his successors tried to maintain a degree of peace, encouraging the magnificence of garments and jewelry. The rich and famous were encouraged to use scent in the home and was applied to objects such as jewels, fans, masques, and even birds and dogs.

But it wasn’t until French per fumier Franà§ois Coty, a direct descended of Napoleon himself, in the early 20th Century, realized the value of the product he created. To him, the fragrance itself was a luxury item. Coty’s success lay not only in his excellent perfumes, but also in his packaging genius. He believed perfume should be sold as luxuriously as rare jewels. With this goal, he convinced Monsieur Lalique, who was enjoying great success as a jewelry designer, to design bottles for him.

Amazingly, it wasn’t until the late 20th Century that companies like world renowned Jollier Cartier, realized the potential for branding their name with a product that had been around for so long, creating their luxurious Must De Cartier and Santos range of fragrances in 1981.

It is an undeniable fact that jewels and perfume share a harmonious relation with each other. The longing for such sensory luxury are so crucial to a women’s success in feeling sexy since sight and smell are so closely linked. And yet ironically, perfume is the most superfluous of all luxuries; pearls and jewels pass on to an heir, clothes last for some time, but a fragrance loses its scent at once, and dies in the very hour they are used.

With that in mind, what inspires world-renown jewelers to diversify into a product that holds no tangibility?

Well Henry Dunay is such a man. Receiving over 43 global awards, including “Best Jeweler in the World”, inducted into the Diamond International Academy, founding member and first president of the American Jewelry Design Council and renowned among other things, for his faceted gold finishes and his trademarked wavelike ribbon design which he dubbed the Sabi finish, the name he also chose to label his signature scent.

‘When I design, I am committed to producing the most exquisite creations for the most exquisite creatures; women’ says Dunay. Sabi Eau de Parfum was blended by Dunay’s brother, an award-winning fragrance creator. It blends feminine romantic notes, including 250 captivating all-natural oils, jasmine, rose, ylang-ylang, and exotic spices. For Dunay, inspiration came straight from his source. “I’ve always designed for a woman—how beautiful something will look on her,” he explains. “At times when l would approach a woman, there seemed to be an something missing. So I thought a fragrance would round things out nicely.” Since his brother was a perfumist, they got started on it together. “I couldn’t have made it without him,” says Dunay. Not knowing much about the perfume industry, he says he learned a lot in the production process, which took a few years. What was his fundamental desire? “To develop a fragrance to inspire a man kissing the back of a woman’s neck not to want to stop.” Apparently clients agree.

Available only at Neiman Marcus or http://www.neimanmarcus.com online, Sabi is the high end retailer’s number two best seller. That’s a lot of necks being kissed!

“Enhancing what a woman already has, as opposed to overriding it, is the cornerstone of Dunay’s designing. He thinks of his audience as “the sun-tanned lady.” What does that mean? “She’s not necessarily always suntanned. She doesn’t have to be,” says Dunay. “But she’s a woman who doesn’t have to work at being beautiful – jewelry and fragrance just add to what she possesses naturally. When she walks into a room, there is an aura about her and she can balance of these two things, as well as clothing, neatly packaged…wrapped in sophistication, elegance, and effortless beauty. When she leaves the room, the smell of the fragrance follows her, but lingers with you.”

As accomplices in amour, Dunay proves that fragrance and jewelry are inextricably made for each other – a relationship that is undoubtedly timeless and to be treasured.

Sabi Eau de Parfum

Neiman Marcus
http://www.neimanmarcus.com

Henry Dunay Designs
http://www.henrydunay.com

Originally published February 2004
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