There’s something utterly enchanting about the jewelry at the bijoux boutique Junco. It’s not exactly hidden away—the location on the upper Marais’s uber-chic rue de Poitou assures a steady stream of fashionistas—but the small storefront is so demure that it’s easy to miss. That would be a mistake, since it carries some of the most imaginative and beguiling jewelry in town. In a sort of postmodern blend of high and low, ancient and modern, one piece might feature a dramatic semiprecious gem topped by a tiny daisy, another a complex Victorian mélange of delicate chains and trinkets, reminiscent of vintage commemorative jewelry. Elements might include a miniature Eiffel Tower, animals, flowers, musical notes, pearls, rough-cut semiprecious gems, feathers, rabbit fur or cashmere. Some are the picture of delicacy, some make a forceful statement. It’s hard to classify the collection as costume jewelry, since it mixes everything up, and it’s that eccentric quality, along with an almost girlish sweetness, that is its strength.

Designer Junco Yamada has worked out of the postage-stamp boutique/atelier since 2003, and has racked up some serious creds, collaborating on jewelry collections for Christian Lacroix, Michel Perry and the famously design-conscious pâtisserie Ladurée. She creates two collections a year, each building on a central theme—for Fall/Winter 2012/2013 it’s Beyond the Light, based on “the light of winter, both transparent and matte”. Like all Yamada’s collections, it includes rings, bracelets and necklaces, along with more unusual pieces like cuffs, brooches and hair accessories, and each piece is singular. Note that the shop’s hours are unusual: Tue-Fri, 2-5:30 pm, Sat 11:30 am-5:30 pm.

10 rue de Poitou, 3rd,

Originally published in the September 2012 issue of France Today