In September 2015, a small painting sold at a New Jersey auction house for $800,000 - more than 1000 times its estimate. Two years later, it sold again for $4 million. The painting was Rembrandt's Unconscious Patient (Allegory of Smell). At the tender age of 18, the Dutch master had tackled the subject of the Five Senses. The whereabouts of three of the five paintings - Sight, Hearing and Touch - was known in 2015. But Smell had sat unrecognized in a New Jersey basement for years, before it was brought into the auction house (which listed it as '19th century Continental school'). One painting - Taste - is still unaccounted for. Will it appear one day? In 2016, the four known Sense paintings were brought together for an exhibition at the Getty Center. Taste was represented by an empty frame.
Why the voyage back to the Golden Age of Dutch painting, via New Jersey? Well, we could have time travelled back even further to Plato and Aristotle. The point is that humans have always been fascinated by the senses. Some minds have explored these most primal facets of our physiology through philosophy. Others, like Rembrandt, put brush to canvas. At Stimm, we view the world through the lens of jewelry. Our credo is Jewelry to Calm the Mind and our goal is to encourage stimming in a way that relaxes the mind and focuses the senses.
Scent as a Mood Regulator
The strongest of our five senses is Smell - the olfactory sense. In terms of evolution, it is one of the oldest senses, allowing us to identify food, potential mating partners, dangers and enemies. For most living creatures, including mankind, smell is one of the most important ways of interacting with the environment. It is also a mood regulator, which is what interested us. When we first looked at designing a Scent Necklace, we wanted to create a piece that was fashion-led but not recognizable in its function. A secret, of sorts, that can release a chosen, relaxing scent by simply bringing the pendant to one's nose.
The Stimm Scent Necklace
Our Scent Necklace allows you to change the essential oil that you carry - via a small sponge in the pendant - from day to day, according to your mood. People speak of the calming effect of Lavender and Chamomile or the energizing effect of Peppermint and Lemon. The truth is that each person is different and we find ourselves reacting to scent in different ways; much of this is tied to memory.
What is undeniable - and has been recognized in Egypt, China and India for thousands of years - is that scent in general, and essential oils specifically, can play an important role in regulating stress and calming the mind. In a chaotic world, where we seem to be experiencing more anxiety than ever before, our Scent Necklace offers a way to carry something invisible and essential. A way to shift the focus, through a fleeting whiff of something delicious, from your mind to your senses.