emily hirsch was raised on a vineyard in the anderson valley where she grew up surrounded by the rich, earthy scents of northern california – mossy forests, redwood trees, fermenting grapes, warm earth and sea fog to name a few. she says, “i love how a smell can transport you to the time and place you first smelled it.”
now based in brooklyn, emily is a jewelry designer who started talon nyc. combining a love of vintage inspired jewelry and the aromas of her childhood, she designed the beautiful amulette necklaces that we are carrying at free people.
“fragrance has been worn in beautiful adornments since ancient times, to ward off evil, intoxicate lovers, enhance mood, and interact with the spirits.”
the amulettes are made entirely of recycled materials and hand cast in bronze, silver and glass. when filled with a scent and warmed by the body, they release subtle aromas that escape through the cork stopper, drifting up to the wearer throughout the day. the cork can be removed and used to dab the scent behind the ears, on the neck, or wherever is desired.
emily carefully blends essential oils to create the scents held inside the amulettes, and has made three custom scents. the signature is described as “an intoxicating aroma of tobacco leaf and newly opened orange blossom. it makes us think of sitting in our grandfathers’ old, worn in leather chair in a dimly lit, cozy room, surrounded by books, a scotch and a small branch pulled from the apple tree blooming outside.”
read on for an interview with emily and stay tuned for a guest post she wrote for the blog about a recent road trip she took with family band and warpaint!
Can you tell me a little bit about the process of making the scents that go inside the amulettes?
The biggest trick to making scents is experimenting with as many combinations as possible. When I made Avalon, I knew I wanted to use Jasmine, as it’s one of my favorite floral scents. So I started with just Jasmine, and then would add one more thing to it. Then the next day I would go back and smell each combination. You have to also smell the scent on your skin as it is usually pretty different.
I would pick my favorites and then decide what they needed next. If it was too sweet smelling, I would add earthier, muskier or grassier scents next to balance the sweetness. You also have to throw out preconceived notions about what will mix well together because it’s often the unexpected combinations that work best.
Once I have the final blends, I will start wearing the scent when I go out and see how it evolves throughout the night and how I feel wearing it.
How would you describe your personal style?
Sexy 70s! (Which happens to also be a nickname J.) I am very inspired by the 1970s, musically and stylistically. I buy a lot of vintage clothing and like to layer vintage and new pieces to create a look that isn’t over stylized in one era but has a definite 70s slant combined with a natural 60s vibe.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
When I’m not working I love spending time with friends, eating tasty food and drinking good wine! My husband, Scott, is a great cook, so most evenings he is cooking something we picked up at the farmer’s market and we are listening to records and having wine. We also have a cat named Arrow who I spend a lot of time spoiling.
What’s your favorite city or place?
I grew up in California, so the whole state is very nostalgic for me. But my favorite place is Ojai, where my mom lives. I try to get there at least once a year and love taking bike rides through the orange grooves with views of the Topa Topa mountains.
My favorite city is New York! We have lived in New York for about four years and I’ve never felt more creative than I do here.
What music are you listening to right now?
I am pretty much stuck in the 70s with some guilty pleasure 80s music thrown in for good measure. My staples include Fleetwood Mac, Rod Stewart (early stuff) and the Faces, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, David Bowie…
As a kid it was the Secret Garden because I was always looking to find secret hiding places in the woods. As a college student, probably Love in the Time of Cholera because I lived in Costa Rica and fell in love with Latin culture and magical realism.
How did your road trip with the Family Band and Warpaint come about?
My husband has toured in various bands many times during our relationship, so when his band, Family Band, went on tour with Warpaint I asked if I could come to see what touring is all about. I went on the leg through the South because I have never been, and have this very romantic view of that part of the country. We went to Durham, Asheville, Nashville, Athens, New Orleans, Houston and Austin. I loved the humid rich tropical magic of the South.
What’s next for talon? Anything you can tell us about what you’re currently working on?
I launched Talon with just the amulette necklace, but for fall, I want to release a full line of jewelry. I’m obsessed with braids and twists, so I’m incorporating that pattern into a bunch of different pieces. I’m also going to have some castings and will be releasing the amulette in some vintage glass colors. I’m sure I will work on a new scent as well!
check out the amulettes online here!