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?
I returned the essence bracelet this fall because I was not able to open the clasp. I did want one very badly. Instead I decided to get the original chain. Maybe I will give it another shot if it is offered again.
Oh no! Was it a problem with that particular bracelet’s clasp or did you just find the Essence clasp fiddly in general? You could always try using a guitar pick or one of the Pandora lock openers to get it open :)
I didn’t mention that the essence was free after meeting the required purchase.
Oh I adore the essence collection! My bracelet has love, balance and hope, which were all chosen for the meanings. It’s a soft delicate look much like yours. But now I am hankering for a darker look- curiosity, honesty and strength are on my Christmas list! I really love the specific meanings- because I believe in them I am not allowed patience (sigh) or spirituality- which I think are two of the loveliest aesthetically. (And love of course!!)
Your bracelet sounds lovely – I must get the original Balance before it retires! I’d also like some of the edgier charms, too… I think that the nice thing with Essence (for me at least) is that it’s much easier to mix and match the charms. With the Moments range, I’d want to start a new bracelet with a new theme. With the Essence, I’d be much happier just swapping the charms on and off the one bracelet depending on what style I wanted to go for!
Haha, I totally get that! That’s kind of why I mentioned aspirational values – I really love the Patience charm, too, but I don’t think that I can claim that particular virtue. ;)
Love the essence collection. I own over 7 of them and a great variety of their beads. My favorite one are the ones you pictures: Love and Passion. They are simpy gorgeous live. Great collection. Can wait for more colors to comes out. Caring and Patience are another set that is beautiful.
Thanks for another great post!
You’re right, the pink beads are so stunning in person – the Love charm especially. The little flecks of colour in the moonstone are just lovely. I also can’t wait to see what they come up with next for Essence; although I think a safety chain would be top of my list! :D
I’m glad you enjoyed it – thanks for commenting, Sara!
Love the essence collection but mine fell off my wrist within 3 weeks of purchase. I wrote an email complaining to Pandora but did not get a response. Had there been a safety chain I would not have lost it!
Oh no, that’s awful – both that you lost it and that Pandora then ignored you. :( I know that in some cases Pandora were honouring lost Essence bracelets, due to the widespread nature of the problems, and it might be worth dropping them on a note on their Facebook page. The ladies who run that are generally very helpful and have sorted things out for a number of unhappy Essence customers.
A safety chain still seems like a must, though. Hopefully they will bring one out soon!
I love the essence collection! I ended up getting a free beaded bracelet and my star charm at an event Elle Canada and Pandora put on, however, I love it so much that on the way home we stopped and I bought passion, faith and positivity. I’ve since bought 2 of the old balance, freedom, love, loyalty and belief. I just bought the Essence necklace as I’ve been wearing my celestial moments daily as I love the essence but don’t want to layer it with my stars :)
I am hopeful for more releases soon! :)
Ah, I love your bead choices – do you wear them all together? The softer colours are the ones that appeal most to me, too, although lately I’ve been wanting some of the edgier beads to match some of my outfits. I need to get hold of one of the moonstone Balance beads before they’re gone for good, too! I have never liked the Moments Pandora necklace, as I find it looks too chunky, but the daintier Essence chain is so pretty as a necklace – I’m sure that looks lovely.
Me too – I’m extremely curious to know what they’ll bring out next! :D
HI, you mentioned that they are made from ‘ synthetic gemstones’ – does it have a plastic feel to it like ‘gemstone’ rings you get at a market? Or do the beads feel more substantial?
Hi Judie! No, not at all – while they may be synthetic gemstones, they’re not low quality or cheap like the imitation gemstones you might get at the market. The Essence range feels very substantial and well-made, and in that respect I prefer it to other brands such as the Karma range. Hope that helps!
I love the essence range, more delicate and neater than the original. Love the meanings for each charm and love the tool on pandora website where you can make and view your bracelet before purchasing new charms
I have definitely come to love it, too! It’s effortlessly delicate and pretty in a way that the original range isn’t. The Pandora bracelet designer is amazing – and so addictive! ;)
Just wondering why they retired the Balance bead? Also it’s very difficult to obtain the new one where I am in Toronto, Canada. I have ordered one and am still waiting! I was told its on back order and its been months now. Any info would be appreciated :)
Hi Jo! From what I understand, they retired the original Balance bead because they had issues sourcing the moonstone. I’m not exactly what those issues were, but I think it was becoming too costly to produce.
I’m not sure why you can’t get hold of the new one in Toronto, though – that’s really weird. It’s readily available in stores here in the UK. I had a look online and Charm Junction have it stock online:
So, you could always try getting it from there instead :)
Thank you for the prompt reply :)
I’m in northern Ontario Jo and we don’t have it either
This is a such a great review. I am yet to buy from the essence range as I am not really keen on the meaning beads but I really like designs of several of the latest release beads. After this review, I think I will put Essence on my birthday wish list.
Thank you, I’m really glad it’s inspired you to try the collection! :D The ‘values’ don’t particularly appeal to me, either, but the charms themselves are really lovely!
Same here… I don’t care so much for the meaning of them… But LOVE the Essence. I have one with 5 beads, and one moments… Now I’m waiting for the next free bracelet promo for my 2nd Essence :).
I love mine, too – I like how balanced they look, no matter what you put on them :) ah, exiting – which beads do you have on it?
Hi Mora Pandora!! I have the Spirituality, Strength, Trust and Freedom beads :) i wanted a neutral bracelet… My second one will have lots of color beads :D. Btw, love your page, its awesome.
Hi! :D Haha both designs sound absolutely lovely! I love the idea of a design that’s a bit more pretty and subtle and then something bright and fun in comparison :D
Thank you, I’m so glad you enjoy it! <3 Thank you for commenting!
Would caring work with your bracelet? I bought one today with your combo and added confidence & faith. But I’m now feeling like the purple clashes too much.
Sorry Pamela, I missed your comment originally! :( I very much like the sound of your bracelet – I think the Caring would work very nicely, especially with the addition of Confidence to space out the pink beads. I’ve since added the Wisdom charm to my own bracelet and that looks great too!
do you have an instagram
Sorry, not for the blog! I do keep meaning to make one but I’ve not got around to it yet. :)
The Essence beaded bracelet is on my wish list. I originally tried it on in store when I wanted to get my first Pandora bracelet. On its own, it seemed to disappear on me as I am rather big boned. Now that I have the Forever in My Heart bangle, I am rethinking the beaded bracelet to stack with it. I intend to also wear it with just a few charms.
Yes I think it’s definitely one for stacking! I also find that the Essence bracelets don’t stand out that much on me when I wear singly – but stacked with others they look beautiful. I have the Tiffany ball bracelet, which is very similar – I love to stack it with a full Moments bracelet or alongside a bangle and a leather bracelet.
I’m in love with the essence collection and hooked. Its so easy to get obsessed. When Pandora just came out I paid zero attention but when I saw the essence collection I was sold. My first walk in purchase has the beaded bracelet and the …Scorpio… …loyalty… and …friendship… charms. Appreciate your blog thanks for feeding and sharing my obsession ha ha!
Aha, you are welcome! It’s nice to hear from someone who loves the Essence collection best. I became a big fan of Essence, too, after Pandora released some beautiful collections for it. <3
Hi! I’d like to know if I can add an Essence charm on my Pandora Classic Moments chain… I really love the meanings of this new collection!
I’m afraid not, they’re not compatible :(
Hi! I bought my Pandora Essence in Mexico last year and I couldn’t help but notice that the clasp of your pictures is different than mine. Do you think if I go to my Pandora Store in Chile (where I live) they will exchange it? because I’ve heard that many people lost them because of a problem with the clasp.
Good review!! very helpful
Hi Lourdes! They should have changed the clasps by the time you bought your bracelet last year – but if it does look different to how it should, then definitely take it to your store for advice! Perhaps they missed some of the older batch. They might swap it for you if they think it’s a problem, but I don’t know what Pandora’s policy is about this issue nowadays. :)