For those with a nose that knows subtlety, the sense of smell is particularly personal. Jody Kocken has always been keen on nice aromas and their accessories; as a child growing up in the Netherlands, she collected perfume bottles and testers, and a whiff of classics from Chanel, Diptyque, and Le Labo can immediately elicit poignant memories. About a year ago, however, the Dutch designer developed an allergic reaction when applying man-made scents directly to her skin, so she set out to create a series of fashionable, functional “tools” that would enable her to continue to indulge in her favorites.
“The design process works the best for me when it starts from a personal experience or ‘problem,’” Kocken tells Co.Design. In this case, she needed something to hold the perfume close to, but not quite touching, her body; developing a line of jewelry was an aesthetic but also a logical choice. “You wear them on places you normally spray: behind the ears, on your wrist, on the neck, and sometimes in your hair and on your clothes.” Once the brass warms up with a bit of human heat, the scent diffuses through the small holes in the capsule, and Kocken sported the prototypes daily during the design process in order to test and refine their efficiency.
If the collection ever makes it into production, she plans to upgrade by casting the models in gold or silver, making them ideal for those with sensitivities to lesser metals, too.