Renowned Swiss jeweller & watchmaker Chopard excels at ruby, sapphire, emerald and diamond creations. Here’s how they translate that expertise to haute jewelry-inspired fragrances crafted in Switzerland.
Nestled amongst the majestic Alps in the southeastern-most corner of Switzerland sits the picturesque town of Meyrin where a small team of artisans craft some of the world’s most breathtakingly beautiful jewellery and watches. These skilled artists painstakingly source, cut, polish and place diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds into rings, necklaces, bracelets and earrings. These adorn the necks, ears and wrists of Hollywood A-list actresses, European royalty and the families of global tech giants. Each jewelry piece tells a story through colour, shape and brilliance whether that be romance, eternal love or undying passion. Not surprisingly, it takes months of precise work by unparalleled artists to produce jewellery of such quality and beauty. (A red carpet necklace can require over 500 hours of work.) From sketch to prototype to finished product, every last detail is studied and perfected. Stylists refer to this as “discreet luxury” as Chopard is a name whispered in private dressing rooms. You won’t find the Swiss label shouting its successes in brash advertising campaigns. It’s products stand on their own merit and sell by word-of-mouth. It’s a recipe for success as the company operates 100 boutiques around the world and exceeds $1 billion CDN in sales annually.
From watchmaker to jeweler to the stars.
Established in 1836 as a watchmaker by Louis-Ulysse Chopard, the company discovered more than a century into its success that it’s artists had a talent for creating luxe necklaces, bracelets and earrings as well as precision time pieces for which it was known. The resulting elaborate jewelry soon caught the attention of such Hollywood icons as Elizabeth Taylor and Julie Andrews vacationing at Gstaad, a six hour drive west of Meyrin.
Soon the jet-set crowd was visiting Chopard boutiques apres-ski to pick out a piece or two to wear to dinner at one of Switzerland’s Michelin-starred restaurants or private member clubs. You’d even see a socialite or two wearing a piece while soaking away her stress in one of the mountain thermal springs. Visit Gstaad or St. Moritz today and you may see Julia Roberts, Julianne Moore, Elle Fanning or Chloe Sevigny sporting a Chopard ring or bracelet. Each actress has worn the brand on the Red Carpet at Cannes thanks to a long-time partnership with the film festival initiated by Caroline Scheufele, artistic director & co-president of Chopard. The company even designed the Palm D’Or award with an intricate gold palm motif. While celebrating excellence in film, Caroline champions ethical sourcing and fair mining programs. It’s luxury with a conscious.
How to spot Chopard’s Swiss luxury
So why is Chopard so revered for its jewellery? To start, it employs and nurtures skilled craftsman using the highest quality ethically-sourced gemstones and precious metals. With that in mind, the jewelry feels weighty to the touch due to the 18k gold and platinum used in the settings. Even more surprising is the durability. As magnificent and delicate looking as they are, these pieces are remarkably resilient and durable. Diamonds, emeralds and rubies remain secure in their platinum settings thanks to rigorous standards and quality control. Look carefully and you’ll spot Chopard’s hallmarks and precise engravings that discreetly identify the brand. Each jewelry piece is signed by the jeweler and lists its metal content. Platinum pieces are stamped “950” and gold are marked “750”; a serial number of every piece is kept in Chopard’s records in Meyrin. Here’s a link for more info on the jewelry collections.
Swiss olfactory jewelry
A jeweller’s approach to creating fine fragrances
Think of Chopard fragrances as Swiss olfactory jewelry. The spirit of the brand’s diamond and emerald jewelery has been channeled into luxurious perfumes thanks to the talents of the world’s foremost Master Perfumer, Alberto Morillas. He employs the same attention and skill to sourcing the most precious ingredients, precise extraction techniques and exact blending. He is somehow able to express the joy of wearing a ruby necklace or earrings through scent. A sprtiz of a Chopard fragrance expresses the same artistic brilliance as slipping on an emerald and ruby cuff bracelet. It’s Swiss craftsmanship; Precise use of the rarest notes.
There is a sophistication and elegance to each of the fragrances in the collection. They smell expensive due in great part to the quality of the ingredients. And you’ll notice that the scents have long-wear – maintaining an even intensity throughout the day and evening. You don’t have to worry about spritzing your favourite scent and having it disappear thirty minutes later. These quality eau de parfums last. You’ll notice a theme running through the eight “Gardens of Paradise” and “Gardens of the Tropics” collection scents. Chopard favours a handful of beloved rare ingredients: vanilla from Madagascar (which has a dry, comforting scent), neroli (which is a softer orange blossom note) and vetiver from Haiti (a rich and earthy version). Each is of exceptional quality. Think of them as the diamonds and sapphires of a Chopard necklace.
If you are new to the Chopard fragrance collection, there are a couple of must-try scents. The first is Vanille de Madagascar. Its a light, soft scent with a dry vanilla note that is elegant and sophisticated. You can instantly smell the quality of the vanilla.
Fragrance type: warm gourmand for her or him
Scent personality: comforting, soothing, elegant
Perfumer: Nathalie Lorson
Collection: “The Gardens of the Tropics” High-Perfumery Collection
Concentration: eau de parfum
Top notes: bergamot, tea, orange blossom
Mid notes: Madagascar vanilla, caramel
Base notes: cedar, Haitian vetiver
“At the heart of this fragrance the purest vanilla from Madagascar evokes notes of chocolate, bourbon and caramel, producing a hypnotic sensation.” – Master Perfumer Nathalie Lorson.
The second scent that you need to smell is from the “Gardens of Paradise” Collection. It’s called Miel d’Arabie and it is a calming Oriental scent for her or him. The Provence honey note is so smooth and serene.
Miel d’Arabie fragrance: A calming and sophisticated Oriental scent for him and her using the finest raw materials and ingredients the world has to offer.
Fragrance type: Oriental for her or him
Scent personality: warm, comforting, bright
Perfumer: Alberto Morillas
Collection: “Gardens of Paradise” High-Perfumery Collection
Concentration: eau de parfum
Top notes: Provence honey, pink pepper, pomegranate
Mid notes: incense, tea, exotic spices
Base notes: patchouli, cypress essential oils
Quote: “I wanted to recreate the peaceful and restoring aura of the oasis, and its tradition of hospitality. I imagined the reassuring scents of vegetal ambers, the touch and feel of warm sand in the powerful shade of sky-reaching palm trees. I wrapped everything into the marvellous and rich aroma of an extraordinary natural honey, to create a special sense of bliss and abundance.” – Master Perfumer Alberto Morillas
These fragrances are worth searching out just to experience the craftsmanship and quality. It’s worth a visit to a Chopard fragrance counter one weekend. Here are a few tips on how to test these scents on your skin.