Given Byredo’s slick branding and top ranking on most beauty editors’ hit list, you’d hardly believe the brand was created kind of on a whim. Launched after a chance meeting with a respected Swedish perfumer, for brand creator Ben Gorham perfume is unapologetically self-indulgent and emotionally driven. The guy is passionate, and driven by artistic sentiment (he studied fine art before falling into fragrance). But Gorham is also highly competitive and a bit of a control freak (that might be the oft-cited background as a pro-basketball player).
The charismatic creative has managed to land some pretty cool collabs, but Byredo’s success comes down to the juice. Since each scent is inspired by a memory or emotion, each one is unique. Since Gorham hands his brief to a perfumer and provides creative freedom, they are fragrances that take risks but all the same, there’s a perceptible, streamlined, dreamy Byredo style. The brand’s latest release, Velvet Haze, fits this brief very nicely. A modern take on patchouli, with a watery coconut opening, it’s hazy and soft on the skin but develops into something incredibly sexy.
Want to skip the super-popular Byredo Gypsy Water and wear the founder’s favourite? While he claims to love each fragrance equally (cute), he’s been quoted as saying his favourite collab was with the Dutch photographers Inez & Vindoodh – together they created 1996, the leathery, powdered amber inspired by Inez’s iconic photo, ‘Kirsten’.
Or may we suggest Flowerhead, a tuberose spiked with the marine, animalistic note of Ambergris taking it to a place other white florals could never reach, the stuff of fantasies, dreams tinged with a touch of something sublime.
Byredo is available in Australia at Mecca Cosmetica.