Venice, Calif.-based fine jewelry designer Irene Neuwirth has launched her first fragrance, with Barneys New York.
The fragrance is a summery blend of floral notes and ocean spray, the perfect reflection of her 10-year-old brand, which is recognizable for carefully balanced constructions of bold, rough-cut, semiprecious stones in brilliant surf-and-sea colors.
"I’m kind of excited about it," Neuwirth said. "I have never worn fragrance before, maybe a scented lotion but that's it. Growing up by the beach, I wanted it to smell like Coppertone suntan lotion but more sophisticated."
Neuwirth's fragrance is the third in the Barneys' designer fragrance collection, which previously featured collaborations with L'Wren Scott and Greg Lauren.
For the scent itself, she turned to perfumer Ralf Schwieger, whose past efforts include Marc Jacobs Men and Yves Saint Laurent Baby Doll.
"It was so cool that I could go to the lab in New York and tell him I wanted the fragrance to smell like the beach with a salty undertone," Neuwirth said. "He put things in there that I never imagined would achieve that, like jasmine, orange blossom, rose, vanilla and coconut, and I love it."
The fragrance sells for $195 at Barneys flagship stores. It's packaged in a box with a blue watercolor design that's actually a magnified photograph of one of Neuwirth's opals.
The project was an eye-opener for the jeweler in terms of the future. "It made me feel like I've created a lifestyle brand without creating a lifestyle brand," she said. "I'm always so flattered when people want to photograph my home or buy what I’m wearing. I think it would be fun to do other projects like this on the side."
[For the Record, 12:36 p.m. PST Feb. 3: An earlier version of this post stated that Irene Neuwirth's brand is 14 years old. It is 10 years old.]
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