This 54mm amphora is a tech-era priestess’s jewel: it holds 1 ml of the scent of your choice, which you can either dab on skin from the tiny aperture at the top, or let evaporate as the metal is heated by your skin (no risk of spillage because of the weight at the base of the pendant).
The young South African jeweler-artist Duncan Stevens thus revives a multi-secular tradition of perfume-bearing adornments – not only fans and gloves, but also pomanders and, further back, pieces of jewelry holding solid or liquid fragrances, such as the one worn by Salammbô in Flaubert’s eponymous novel:
“She had as earrings two little sapphire scales, each supporting a hollow pearl filled with liquid scent. A little drop would fall every moment through the holes in the pearl and moisten her naked shoulder.”
Perfume-bearing jewels are nothing new: many brands, most recently Thierry Mugler and Jean-Paul Gaultier, have offered them as promotional gifts or sold limited editions. And a quick Google search will yield several ceramic jewels that can sprayed with fragrance.
But Duncan Stevens’s streamlined, modern-archaic design makes his Parfumare a particularly elegant, covetable piece. And unless you spring for the gold and diamond limited edition, the price point means you won’t have to mortgage a kidney.
Gold and diamonds limited edition version : €460.00, $575.00 & £418.00 (18k Gild & Sterling silver pendant with 9 diamonds on chain)
Black Rhodium/silver version and diamonds limited edition version is €325.00, $406.00 & £295.00
Sterling silver version on black silk is €61.00, $77.00 & £56.00 (depicted above)
Black Rhodium version on red silk is €62.00, $78.00 & £57.00 (see French version below)
For more information: www.duncanstevens.com