Who: Joy Isaacs, wife, mother of four boys and founder of Argentum apothecary, a skincare and fragrance lifestyle brand where science meets poetry. There’s a strong sense of romantic yearning around Argentum, Joy told us she created the brand after having ‘experienced the immense power of silver both in my personal life and within a vivid dream,’ which, in itself, sounds like the start to a gothic novel we definitely want to read. This intriguing narrative is expertly applied to Argentum’s packaging, store design and product, where exquisite illustrations – all done by Joy’s husband Sam Gray- of elephants, rabbits, sea lions and swans are woven into a journey of mystic landscapes and intertwining folkloric signage. The storytelling helps you discover your energy archetype, which in turn leads you a fragrance choice you may not have immediately leaned towards.
If this all sounds a bit woo-woo, be assured that Joy undertook significant research around her subject before venturing into her first set of products, including collaboration with scientists in the University Hospital of Toulouse and a multi award-winning patented fusion of Silver Hydrosol & DNA HP (more about the science here). We had Joy talk us through the selection process and it certainly made for an immersive, almost magical and very enjoyable selection experience which felt – in a good way – a bit like therapy.
It was while creating La Potion Infinie, Argentum’s skincare product, that Joy met and worked with Delphine Thierry, the French perfumer specialising in natural and organic fragrances, to develop a signature scent for the range. According to Joy, encapsulating the essence of fire, air, earth, and water is where Argentum’s journey began, so the next natural step seemed to be a unique scent for each of the archetypes – Creator, Sage, Magician, Caregiver, Everyman, Ruler, Jester, Innocent, Rebel, Explorer, Hero and Lover.
As a way to discover a new fragrance, unencumbered by more traditional fragrance family narratives, then this is a cracking idea. Admittedly it’s a luxury product, but the concept combines the idea that fragrance is more than just about smelling nice, it shakes up concerns about our wellbeing and mental health with magical storytelling and proper science to create a richer, more engaging narrative around why and which fragrance you should wear.
Today I am wearing the Lover which is part of the Argentum Les Parfum Infinis collection of archetype fragrances.
Les Parfum Infinis Lover is a water element fragrance with hints of floral and musk. The overwhelming note for me is the Turkish rose absolute with pink peppercorn and raspberry. It is a romantic fragrance which doesn’t leave a feeling of Mills & Boon, instead it has real depth and connection.
It makes me feel light, yet grounded and helps me to balance and express my more feminine energy. I wear all the Argentum archetype fragrances but naturally gravitate towards Lover, Jester, Ruler and Everyman.
I am very sensitive to fragrance and would always shy away from perfumeries as I found some of the ingredients induced headaches, so too did wearing the more commercial scents. It wasn’t until I met Delphine that I had an opportunity to explore the magical creativity of scent without feeling unwell. I now choose an archetype fragrance mostly at random and am always surprised at how it captures the mood or moment in my life that needs a fuller expression.
Fragrance is extremely important to me and I love the magic of being transported back to a place in time through the memory of scent. With fragrance we can bring life to the here and now and create memories for tomorrow.
I have started to use the archetype fragrance to help bring alignment to particular energies that may feel out of balance. I use them when reading the archetype cards as it helps to interpret their meaning in a deeply personal way.
One of my sons has found a passion for fragrance and loves to layer the archetypes scents in a multitude of ways, only to make me decipher the formulas, hoping to catch me out. Naturally this leaves our home infused with a beautiful and somewhat intriguing smell.
I am weirdly comfortable with the smell of petrol as it reminds me of my childhood in South Africa. I have fond memories of a particular petrol attendant who would make me and my siblings laugh so much that we would roll around in the back of the car squawking with delight. I wonder whether he’d imagine that nearly half a century later, a little girl would hold such fond memories in her heart ~ here’s to you, ‘Funny Man’.