The Pandora Essence collection has now been out for a year and – better late than never – I’m finally getting around to reviewing it! ;) With Christmas approaching, the Essence bracelet seems an obvious contender for many wish lists and so I thought it was time to offer my thoughts on it.
Once again, I’m something of a late adopter when it comes to the Essence bracelet. I only got mine this summer, when my OH bought me one when we were on holiday in Paris together. He has always liked the collection, but I have been unsure. However, the Pandora Essence releases this autumn and winter have been strong indeed, including a gorgeous selection of two-tone charms (not that I can afford one yet!) – consequently, this collection finally won me over!
In this review, I’ll take you through the essentials of the Pandora Essence collection, and finish up with summary of my thoughts on the bracelet. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have! If you’re pondering any other new bracelets for the holidays, I previously reviewed the Pandora bangle, the Pandora leather bracelets and the Pandora oxidised bracelet. :)
The Pandora Essence silver bracelet is much thinner than the original Moments chain and, significantly, it does not have threads in the centre of the chain. This gives it a much more delicate, softer look than the original charm bracelet.
This does mean, on the other hand, that if you try and stack it with more than one Moments bracelet, you might find that the Essence bracelet gets a little overwhelmed. I think it looks great stacked with just one, however.
I love wearing it too with other, more simple bracelets such as the Pandora bangle, as you can see in this shot from my Instagram:
The chain is much thinner and more flexible, as you can see in this picture. However, it does seem prone to kinking to me – after maybe a month of wear, my Essence bracelet developed a little kink near the clasp.
The clasp, however, is a smaller version of the spherical one that you’ll find on the bangle. There were issues with the original batch of Pandora Essence bracelets falling off people’s wrists, due to the clasp not being secure. However Pandora have now re-designed the clasp and these issues should no longer occur. The new clasp looks like this:
Having said that, one thing I do feel the Essence collection is missing is a safety chain! I’d love to see them bring one out next year. In the meantime, however, Thomas Sabo do a couple that fit the Essence bracelet wonderfully.
Pandora advise that you go down 1cm in size from your regular Pandora bracelet.
I wear a 19cm Moments bracelet, and I did find that the 18cm Essence bracelet fitted best. The bracelet is refreshingly light after wearing my charm-packed regular bracelets!
You can also pretty much fill up these bracelets – Pandora recommend a maximum of 15-20 charms. I personally think that the Essence bracelet looks best with around four to six charms – this is the design I’m aiming for:
The Essence beads, unlike many of the Moments charms, are all abstract in appearance. There is less contrast between the charms than in the Moments range, as they are all the same shape and size – this does give it a neater, cleaner look over all, I think.
As for materials, there are some synthetic gemstones – for example, my Passion bead is synthetic ruby – but there are also options in quartz or moonstone, which is nice. As ever, there are plenty of CZs within the collection, but you do have a variety of other options.
I’ve gone with pink for my bracelet, but there a variety of colours and styles available within the range, including the gorgeous new two-tone charms that launched with the Essence Autumn 2014 collection. I’ve always loved this photoshoot by COMPANY magazine of the original collection, and it shows off a couple of different looks using Essence beads:
The Freedom charm is one of the prettiest, I think, with a gorgeous openwork paisley-like design.
Some of the stone beads, particularly the Passion and Faith charms, seem to have lots of whirls and marks beneath the surface of the charm – I don’t know whether this is a defect or not but I think it’s really pretty!
Every charm is lined inside with silicone, meaning that it should not move on the chain once you have put it in place. This generally works well, although I find that, if I wear the Essence with other bracelets, the charms will move around slightly on the chain.
A big part of the Pandora Essence concept are the values that each charm represents, ranging from love to health. Personally this sort of spiritual concept doesn’t hold much appeal for me, and I have primarily chosen my charms due to their aesthetic qualities. Having said that, I do quite like the idea of aspirational values – putting the Patience or the Wisdom charms on your bracelet to remind you of the importance of those qualities, even if you don’t always manage to embody them.
Each value is written on the side of the charm, while the other side features the traditional Pandora hallmarks. (Incidentally, I absolutely love the pink speckling in the moonstone of the Love charm. It is absolutely gorgeous in person.)
The regular Pandora Moments charms are bigger than the Essence charms, as you can see in the following shots:
Consequently you can see why Pandora advise you not to put Moments charms on the Essence bracelet. They are much bigger and much heavier – too much so for the delicate Essence chain. However, what I have seen work well is to add one light pendant to an Essence bracelet. You can also see how small the Essence charms are in this shot – they make the Treasured Heart pendant look huge, which it isn’t at all!
The Essence collection is arguably still in its infancy and, as a result, there is less variety and choice available in terms of charms and bracelet designs. Currently you’re a little limited as to how you can make your Essence bracelet look unique, despite the brand’s emphasis on catering to you and your personal values. Consequently, I don’t wear my Essence bracelet as religiously as I do my Moments bracelets. However, I love to wear it if I’m going out or want something easy and elegant to add to an outfit. The Essence bracelet looks great even with a small number of charms, and almost any combination of charms looks good. It’s effortlessly elegant in a way that the regular charm bracelet perhaps isn’t.
Furthermore, this year has already seen some really exciting new releases for Essence, including two-tone charms and a two-tone bracelet. Consequently I am now pretty excited to see what else Pandora has in store for the Essence collection – even if I have ended up with charms from the original collection so far, haha.
Are you a fan of the Pandora Essence bracelet? Do you have one, or are you considering getting one?