Certain accessories aid a woman in embodying personal style and presence. Two of those accessories are a unique piece of jewelry and a fragrance that reflects her essence. Both happen to be part of the very elements that make up the Lisa Hoffman brand. Hoffman has taken the centuries-old artistry of fragrance jewelry and reinvigorated its functionality with intricately crafted filigree charms in earring, necklace and bracelet arrangements. The charms house proprietary fragrance beads that disperse aromas, embodying some of owner Lisa Hoffman’s favorite destinations around the world.
If you think about it, fragrance jewelry is one of the most ingenious accessories ever invented. After all, it allows a woman to don her fragrance as she chooses. She’s not stuck wearing the same fragrance all day, or burdened with the task of having to reapply it every few hours. If she has sensitive skin, she doesn’t have to worry about the ingredients causing a skin reaction. There’s no concern of accidentally putting on too much and subsequently offending herself and everyone around her until it wears off. And, when she’s tired of it, whether 10 minutes or two hours after putting it on, she can literally just take it off. Furthermore, no one is the wiser as to where the scent is emanating from.
The Birth of the Brand
Interestingly, it was inconvenience that led Hoffman to the “aha moment” that birthed the Lisa Hoffman fragrance jewelry collection in 2011. Hoffman had spent the day fragrance testing when she decided that she wanted to head to a Pilates class. She was not looking for- ward to walking into her class covered in perfume. She recalls thinking to herself, “If only there were a way I could put on and take off my perfume, as I do jewelry, without letting it wear off or showering it off in between.”
That same day, she happened to be wearing a pair of Victorian earrings given to her by her husband. She says, “The earrings were unique because they were diamonds, but the diamonds were completely hidden by metal, charm-like cages. In the Victorian era, it was not considered proper to expose your fine gems during the day, so the cages would hide the jewels until the evening.”
That day, fate was sealed for the Lisa Hoffman brand, as Hoffman thought, “What if the treasure inside the jewelry was a fragrance instead of a gem? That way I could put on my perfume and take it off as I wanted.” Hoffman spent close to a year developing the offerings. A variety of materials were explored for the perfume delivery system, from ceramic to stone and plastic, before determining that wood fragrance beads would best hold the integrity of the scents. From there, her proprietary fragrance beads were developed, along with the filigree designs that would hold them.
“Although fragrance-carrying jewelry has been around for centuries, my proprietary eco-friendly fragrance beads are a modern and innovative iteration. The filigree design on the charm allows air to disperse the fragrance from the beads, which frees women to wear fragrance without it touching their skin or clothing,” Hoffman says. “This solves a multitude of problems, including allowing women with allergies and skin sensitivities to wear perfume.”
“Encasing our fragrant beads within intricate charms ensure the fragrance isn’t altered by your natural body chemistry.”
Today, Lisa Hoffman has offerings in four scent families: woodsy, floral, fresh and sweet. Its Destination Collection of fragrances features eight different eau de parfum scents, such as Madagascar Orchid, an exotic, floral fragrance; Tunisian Neroli, a floral scent described as seductive and alluring; and the zesty, warm and invigorating best-selling scent Japanese Agarwood, which is one of the brand’s first fragrances and is Fifi-nominated.
“Japanese Agarwood is a particularly evocative scent for me because it reminds me of walking through beautiful, austere, enormous Buddhist temples in Japan with large incense burners wafting incredibly fragrant smoke,” Hoffman says. “Agar- wood is often used as incense, and the scent is supposed to encourage introspection.” Notes of bergamot, ginger and amber were included to add brightness and warmth, “but ultimately, for me, the scent of Japanese Agarwood acts as a spiritual reminder to take a moment and breathe.”
Several different filigree charms are available in silver and gold designs, and are featured among a growing number of her fragrance jewelry collections, including Wanderlust, Laurel, Hemisphere, Friendship and Voyager. The brand has also featured limited-edition rose gold, and rose gold and diamond designs. The bracelets, as a category, by far, feature the largest variety of designs, from cuff and chain links to a host of beaded options. Whatever the style, each piece of jewelry discreetly holds the brand’s proprietary fragrance beads, derived from sustainably harvested conifer trees. The wood is spun with undiluted fine fragrance oil, via the brand’s proprietary manufacturing process, to create a labyrinth-like structure of air pockets that allow the fragrance to slowly bloom to the surface, Hoffman explains.
“We have an exclusive partnership with the bead manufacturer,” she says. “Encasing our fragrant beads within intricate charms ensures the fragrance isn’t altered by your natural body chemistry.” Aside from using eco-friendly beads, the brand is conscious of not engaging in practices that disrupt the environment. So, it has chosen to use headspace technology to create its more exotic fragrance notes. Headspace technology allows a perfumer to develop a scent that, in its natural form, is essentially unavailable. Hoffman explains, “For example, the Madagascar Orchid is rare and found deep in the jungle. To source the fragrance, one would have to disrupt the rainforest to harvest the orchid. Instead, headspace technology allows us to capture the gas of the fragrance without hurting the plant, which is then recreated safely in a lab. Like taking a photo of it instead of picking it. It’s pretty cool and so much better for the environment.” The oils used to embed fragrance into the beads are also all natural. And, of course, its traditional eau de parfums are alcohol-based.
The Lisa Hoffman Legacy
Interestingly, Lisa Hoffman fragrance jewelry was not the first iteration of the brand. The Lisa Hoffman brand began with skincare products, followed by bodycare products, and then perfume. Hoffman says that each development within the brand was prompted by personal need. Her skincare line was born out of a need for single-serving packaging, as she was traveling a lot at the time with her husband, actor Dustin Hoffman.
Subsequently, Lisa Hoffman Skincare launched in 2007, predominantly featuring facial skin care, with an ancillary bodycare category. The bodycare products that were later launched consisted of lotions, shower gels and body butters, and featured the brand’s Fifi-nominated fragrances: Japanese Agarwood and Madagascar Orchid. They too met a personal need.
“When developing the ancillary bodycare fragrances, I found that sense of purpose and excitement that so many entrepreneurs yearn for,” Hoffman says. “I knew then that the future of my business was fine fragrance, and out of a sheer universe-given moment, [Lisa Hoffman] fragrance jewelry was born.”
“This solves a multitude of problems, including allowing women with allergies and skin sensitivities to wear perfume.”
The bodycare products were incorporated into the Lisa Hoffman fragrance collection as it was launched in 2011; but they were phased out as they were sold through. Hoffman wanted to focus solely on fragrance jewelry and traditional perfumes. And fragrance jewelry is where the brand is flourishing, though Hoffman alludes to a whole lot more fragrance innovation to come.
“I really plan to take over the world,” she says. “All kidding aside—I have more fragrances and ideas for new and innovative ways to experience fragrance than I know what to do with; and I’m busy finding new and exciting markets for each. Telling you about them now might be giving away some secret sauce.”
For now, the brand is sold on lisahoffman.com, qvc.com and in a few select boutiques in the U.S. Internationally, it can be found in television sales and in a few ecommerce boutiques. In retailing her line, Hoffman says that she’s found that the best way to sell her products is through storytelling—both of the fragrance stories and the benefits of fragrance jewelry.
Wherever innovation may take the brand, its mission is simple and stated best by Hoffman: “[To] create products for women that enrich the quality of both their physical and emotional lives. [To] always provide highest quality, affordable, original products that evoke memories, touch emotions and beautify her world. [To] disrupt a traditionally ‘high-brow’ category to be more accessible, and free the customer to explore, play and further enjoy fine fragrance.”
It’s a commitment to infusing women’s lives with grounded, authentic and pleasurable life experiences, combined with fragrance, which the brand exudes in its content and imagery. The Lisa Hoffman blog, for example, establishes the brand and lifestyle through article topics ranging from picking your signature scent to tapping into your innate spirituality.
“I always wanted my website not to be a shopping experience, but to be a peek into the history, inspiration and reason for the life of my company. It’s the best way to share what I love with the rest of the world,” Hoffman says.
Through the brand’s website, one gets a sense of who the Lisa Hoffman customer is—she is easy-going and one who appreciates both inner wisdom and the beauty that can be gleaned from the world around her. She exudes femininity and gains balance from healthful practices. But practically speaking, she is a woman who appreciates beautiful things. “I’d love to say she’s every woman,” Hoffman says. “I design to the aesthetic I like, but I also think about my daughters, my mother, my friends and my team—would they wear this? More importantly, I do know that my customers are individuals; they are curious about exploring new ways to express themselves, they love unique fragrances and cherish beautiful things.”
And it’s all, of course, inspired by the life, experiences and philosophy of Hoffman herself. All that she births within her company truly comes from her own personal values and instincts. Her gut instinct is her guiding force.
She says, “Never launch something that you don’t love. I suppose that goes along with the ‘always trust your gut’ philosophy I live by as well. The only way for your voice to be heard among all the noise out there is to be genuine and organic.”