James Taffin de Givenchy Brings Fragrance to Bergdorf Goodman

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Twenty-six years after founding his jewelry brand, James Taffin de Givenchy is breaking into new beauty territory.

Taffin, de Givenchy’s namesake couture jewelry brand, is unveiling its first fragrance collection. Called Les Couleurs de Taffin, the collection includes seven scents, each priced at $450. The range will mark its debut at Bergdorf Goodman on Monday.

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The fine jewelry brand started in 1996, focusing on one-of-a-kind pieces with unconventional mixes of materials, such as diamonds in ceramic settings. It’s that same tension between the elements he hoped to create with the fragrances.

“I’ve been thinking about the fragrances since 2000, when I opened my first space, I really wanted to go into the fragrance business. I thought I would do a single fragrance that I would actually hand out to my client, but it was something I thought was missing in the jewelry world as an extension of what we do.”

Each of the bottles consists of handmade glass, contrasted by carved wooden caps. The seven fragrances are named for the colors of their bottles, such as Le Rose No. 1905, with notes of cumin, geranium, raspberry, turkish rose and cinnamon or Le Gris No. 421, with notes of bergamot, white freesia and sandalwood.

James De Givenchy by Weston Wells
James de Givenchy photographed by Weston Wells.

“I thought it was the right time to make these little jeweled bottles, which have the same idea of my jewelry: precious, but not pretentious,” he said.

But that’s not to say he had an easy time developing the collection. “I didn’t know it was going to be so complex, I really did think it was going to be an easier task. It’s so complex to have chemistry and to make sense and to mix those things to actually come up with a product that is whole.”

It’s not uncommon for jewelry brands to expand into fragrance — Bulgari, Cartier, Tiffany, Graff and Mikimoto all have scent businesses. Though the collection was five years in the making, de Givenchy has been distributing the fragrances to his top clientele to test the waters.

He chose to partner with Bergdorf Goodman given his family’s history with the retailer — it was the first Stateside partner of his late uncle, couturier Hubert de Givenchy. “It’s a continuation in a way, and a little bit of an homage to my uncle,” de Givenchy said. “I think this relationship is going to be a great one.

“We need to find the right crowd. We have fragrances that will go specifically to Latin American clientele some that will go to the Middle East. The American client is all new to us,” he continued. “I think Bergdorf is a perfect partner for us.”

Added Yumi Shin, Bergdorf Goodman’s chief merchant, in an email, “We’re thrilled to welcome Taffin fragrances, developed by the visionary aesthete, James de Givenchy, to Bergdorf Goodman. Each of the seven scents, not to mention their beautiful bottles, reflect James’ masterful ability to expand our senses and deliver a truly luxurious experience.”

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