Show and tell with slinky jewelry

About 11 years ago, I discovered an amazing thing in the gift shop of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Wrapped unostentatiously around a basic display rod on the jewelry counter were 2 or 3 slinky bracelets. They opened and collapsed on demand and had all the flexibility and symmetry of a real slinky.

I picked the “best” one among identical offerings and it became one of those rarely encountered objects that are so simple yet bring boundless joy. I wore it to the office on my wrist and fidgeted with it in front of the computer all day. Open, collapse left. Open, collapse right. Then, in the evenings, I would sit in front of my laptop at my desk in my apartment, one leg up on the chair, watching some old show online… maybe it was Agatha Christie’s Poirot starring David Suchet as my favorite representation of the mustachioed detective.

I continued to play with the delightfully stretchy slinky bracelet, pulling it into a larger and larger radius and rolling it over my knee…… until one day, it got stretched out of shape and was irreversibly damaged.

I was so miffed. Crushed. So mad at myself. I don’t remember whether I tried to look for it again at the Museum of Art gift shop (it was not very convenient as I was living in another state), but I certainly searched for it online over the next several years, to no avail.

I don’t recall precisely what perfume I wore around that time, but there’s a good chance it was Lancôme Hypnôse, which I had bought on first sniff because it reminded me of another Lancôme that had come and gone—the one that got away—Rouge Now or Never. However, Hypnôse was nowhere near the enchantment of Rouge, and I found it cloying, but still felt obligated to wear it almost every day and finish the bottle before moving on to the next one properly (which, if memory serves, was Givenchy Pi… which I bought because the bright, citrus-aromatic opening brought back my nostalgia of the exhilaration of long-discontinued Gucci Nobile).

Hypnôse (2005) has listed notes of passion flower, jasmine, gardenia, vanilla, and vetiver. To me, it was syrupy with a sour overtone and heavy on vanilla. I wouldn’t go near it today, but at the time, I was far less picky about fragrance. (I was also far outside of my comfort zone in so many ways during that period; what was one more uncomfortable and unsuitable thing?)

Rouge Now or Never (1998) was a gem that I came across randomly once in a department store during my teens. Most likely I approached the counter that had it on display because I was attracted to the slim red bottle that looked like a purse spray. The scent was rich, warm, and sultry, and felt red, too… more “adult” than any perfume I’d worn before. I felt a tug of desire, but could not justify buying a new perfume when I already had some (what was it? probably something from The Body Shop…) So I let it go, not knowing it was a limited edition. Years later, when I looked for it, it was nowhere to be found. Notes include tea, fruits, roses, cedar, sandalwood, vetiver, vanilla, white pepper, moss, caraway, incense and amber. Reading that list today, I can see why it was attractive, although I vaguely remember thinking at the time that it was a tinge too sweet as well.

(Looking at an older post of mine, Les Parfums de Rosine Ballerina N°3 reminded me of the orchestral vanilla-rose of Rouge, at least in the heart phase.)

A month ago (it feels like longer!), I was in the office one day and saw a metal slinky sitting on top of someone else’s cubicle divider, which reminded me that I had an identical one. This is what led to me taking out all of my slinkies and then browsing for more sizes on eBay. Of course, I remembered the slinky bracelet again, and searched high and low… and found one!!! Just one! My elation was tempered by the photos showing it slightly tangled, and I wasn’t sure if it was damaged, but by this point I was willing to try fixing it if it was—so I bought it without asking any questions.

At the same time, I also saw a pair of what looked like slinky rings, basically miniatures of the slinky bracelet, on Etsy. They were advertised as “steel slinky stretchy bead” and I bought the last pair.

Win on both counts! I spent at least 20 minutes trying to carefully detangle the slinky bracelet, and when it suddenly popped into its perfect original form, I literally jumped up and down with excitement like a toddler.

It can go from open to collapsed with a flick of the wrist. It is super tactile—smooth, because the wire is round rather than flat—and fun to squeeze (very gently) when not being worn. And I’ll stop writing free ad copy for it because I have no intention of parting with it, ever!

The slinky ring twins are definitely fraternal rather than identical. One stays in open formation on demand while the other does not. It didn’t help that I got overenthusiastic and tried using the one that doesn’t as a spiral hair tie… not only does that not really work well, it got stretched out a bit…… not super noticeably, but I can tell and am not pleased with myself for it!

I will be good with them from now on, I promise.


Hours of analog entertainment.

All together now!

9 thoughts on “Show and tell with slinky jewelry

  1. I’ve never seen such bracelets – and now I want it! 🙂

    I loved-loved-loved the story! I’m familiar with this type of obsessive search for something that probably can’t be found… and finding it one day. I’m glad for you.

    Pi was my favorite for a long time, and I still have some perfume left in my old bottle, but I don’t wear it any longer.


    1. So pleased that you enjoyed it! Also glad that your obsessive search had a happy ending as well. It will certainly teach us to cherish the thing more the second time around!


  2. The joy you find in your slinkies & slinky jewellery blazes out from your writing in this piece!
    It’s was joyous to read, thank you.
    Now stop experimenting before you break them 😁


  3. So good that you were able to find a new bracelet. I loved Givenchy Pi too. One of the only vanilla forward scents I own. There were almonds in there too if I recall. And the opening was indeed a bracing combo of herbs and citruses. I’ve still got a small 30ml bottle of it that I’ve had for years. I need to give it some love I think.


    1. I wore Pi every day when I had it and stopped being able to smell it on myself during the day, but coworkers noticed and one said I indeed smelled like a pie! Hope it’s as good as you remember it!

      Liked by 1 person

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