Sarah & Sebastian Olympia
Dainty is a word that’s used a lot to describe the work of Sydney jewellers Sarah Gittoes and Robert Sebastian Grynkofki, AKA Sarah & Sebastian. But there’s a bit of irony to that characterisation of the fine work that has become their signature, twines of strong metal that wrap around each other like helixes, jewels so tiny that they look like twinkling planets in the vast sky of the wearer’s skin. Their exquisite scale and precise detailing creates a rhythmic synergy with the canvas they’re placed on.
These are accessories that work to highlight the beauty of the wearer, all the angles, hollows, the movement and the still planes of the body accented in the kind of understated way that makes a second glance irresistible. It makes the wearer feel anything other than dainty.
Sounds a bit like a perfectly worn fragrance now doesn’t it?
Sarah & Sebastian’s most recent jewellery collection, ROSA, led the pair to release two fragrances, also inspired by the rose.
“Fragrance has always been something we’ve been fascinated with,” says Grynkofki. “It’s a lot like jewellery in the sense that it’s worn close on the body, is intimately personal and can evoke strong memories. It felt like a natural extension of our brand and when we were developing ROSA, a collection inspired by botanicals – it felt like the perfect time to explore it.”
To bring their ideas to life, the pair collaborated with self-taught Sydney perfumer Samuel Gravan. The brief was initially to create just one scent to support the collection, but they ended up with both Rosa and Olympia.
“I found the collaboration quite exciting as Sarah and Robert had very different ideas from my own and integrating all of our ideas into one was challenging but exciting at the same time,” confesses Gravan. In the end all that excitement couldn’t be condensed into one creation and while Rosa is a spicy, dark and smoky rose, Olympia is brighter, juicier and more green in its character thanks to the inclusion of a fig note (and our pick of the two for summer).
“We wanted the fragrance to have elements of floral, wood and citrus however our biggest challenge was probably the science behind how these notes come together harmoniously,” adds Grynkofki. “We ended up falling in love with the notes of two scents which we felt complimented each other perfectly.”
There is a light and dark duality to the two scents, united by that central rose heart. For both Gittoes and Grynkofki, the most fulfilling part of the creation process has been the experience of smelling the scents on others, and witnessing the chemistry that exists between the creation and its wearer – another exquisite accessory on a human canvas.
Sarah & Robert of Sarah & Sebastian Share Their Scent Memories
Sarah: My grandparents had an enormous frangipani tree in their garden and in autumn it would carpet the ground with flowers I would collect. To this day, the delicate smell of frangipani flowers reminds me of the fun I used to have in that backyard, spoilt with treats and usually playing cricket with my family.
Robert: I bought an old moped in my early teenage years and attempted to do it up. I probably did more damage than good, but the smell of oil and petrol still brings back memories from those days riding around the lawn with my friends and that run down old machine.
Favourite smell in the world?
Sarah: The ocean, it smells like home to me.
Robert: My loved ones; scent is such a important communicator for me, it brings back special memories and can definitely draw me to people.