Unlike those expansion hungry brands, JAR is sold in only one store: actually, it’s a dimly-lit pair of rooms in a courtyard off Paris’ Place Vendôme, sequestered from the outside world, where even the vitrine never has anything more than a delicate innuendo of what’s in store. An amazingly realistic enamel beanpod or glass mistletoe sprig (if you’re lucky) might be your only hints that you’ve stumbled on JAR headquarters. The label’s large number of fans, which dramatically outweighs the number of people who can afford or actually own one of the 70-odd one-off pieces crafted each year, had an opportunity to salivate over a 400-piece retrospective two years ago, when it was on display in London’s Somerset House. To add to the mystery, exhibit goers navigated through the dark with the aid of flashlights to view the collection.
The reclusive and incredibly sarcastic jeweler is often inspired by the uniqueness of one specifically striking gem and is a huge fan of India, not only for its near-mythic Golconda diamonds, but also for the sense of color and light which he laboriously incorporates into his signature twinkling flower brooches. India also served as muse for his lone perfume boutique, which is around the corner from the cloistered jewelry shop and equally Stygian in character. One billionaire client enthused that the perfumes “smell like nothing you’ve ever smelt before.” With antifocus group names like “Golconda” and “JARling” who, with the necessary Amex black card, could resist?
Photos: JAR jewelry