Jewelry designer Loree Rodkin’s medieval-chic creations have adorned Madonna, Lenny Kravitz, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, First Lady Michelle Obama, Elizabeth Taylor and longtime friend and muse Cher.
The latter was the host of a dinner at the Sunset Tower Hotel on Oct. 25 to celebrate Rodkin’s new partnership with Parisian perfumer and cognac heir Kilian Hennessy.
The six-piece Loree Rodkin for Kilian collection of scented fine jewelry, which launched Nov. 1 at Maxfield and www.bykilian.com, includes three styles: a leather wrap bracelet, pendant necklace and ring, decorated with a sterling silver shield trimmed in gray diamonds, with or without pave diamonds, that range in price from $2,950 to $10,000.
Each jewelry piece has a small chamber containing a porous ceramic capsule that can be sprayed with a By Kilian fragrance of choice, sold separately. An empty perfume bottle comes with purchase.
What we have in common is the idea of scents or jewelry as erotic armor, accessories that make you feel empowered, protected and sexy at the same time.
“[Kilian] asked if I’d be interested in creating a line for him in my aesthetic because he thought it was a great synchronistic marriage,” said Rodkin, whose jewelry line debuted in 1990. “The shield is one of my iconic shapes and also his — as it’s carved on his bottles. We both kind of got hung up somewhere in ‘Romeo and Juliet’ world with dark, tortured love.”
Cher, who later tweeted that she saved Rodkin’s life at the dinner (Rodkin’s long hair caught fire from a candle in the room that night, and Cher batted the flames out), said that she and Rodkin, who lives in West Hollywood, have been friends “since the paleo times.”
The two once collaborated on jewelry, donated to charitable causes, that Cher would bead on the road and Rodkin would set in metal. “I have millions of her things and I think [scented jewelry] is really a great idea,” said the music icon and Academy Award winner. “So you wear the perfume and then you also have the perfume on your hand or wrist [within the jewelry]. Even if the jewelry didn’t do anything, it would still look cool.”
Dita Von Teese, who attended the party and is a fan of By Kilian fragrances, added, “The line is amazing; it’s so my vibe — gothic glamour. I especially love the ring. It’s like an imaginative reinvention of a poison ring [an intricate Victorian-era style with a secret compartment].”
The By Kilian luxury fragrance brand, launched in 2007, offers about 30 scents worn by celebs such as Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Emma Stone, Jared Leto, Tom Brady, Liev Schreiber, Sarah Jessica Parker, Rita Ora and Michelle Williams. The line is known for its sensual scents packaged in artful coffrets that double as clutch handbags.
Hennessy has been creating scented costume jewelry since 2014 and introduced his first scented fine jewelry collection, a bullet-themed collaboration with New York designer Paige Novick, in 2015. Hennessy said that he is scouting real estate on Rodeo Drive for a potential L.A. boutique.
By Hennessy’s account, he first connected with Rodkin at Omar’s restaurant in New York three years ago when he spotted her having dinner with a friend and sent over Champagne. They have been friends ever since and have worked on the scented jewelry project for the last year.
“What we have in common is the idea of scents or jewelry as erotic armor, accessories that make you feel empowered, protected and sexy at the same time,” Hennessy said.
Melanie Griffith, another close friend of Rodkin’s who attended the Sunset Tower Hotel event, said, “I love Loree’s aesthetic. I’m coveting this [finger-length, triple-tiered shield ring embellished with diamonds that Rodkin was wearing], and it makes so much sense to wear [your scent] on a ring or bracelet.”
“So when you slap someone, they smell it!” Rodkin joked.