Chevaux d’Or (oddly named “Golden Horses,”) is lux sweetness and candied money. I think the Mario mushroom bottle is supposed to be a jeweled cupcake.
The first spritz is salt and strawberries. The second is raspberries and sugar.
Then roses. All the roses. Tight buds, sharp and green, then full and sexy and come-hither, and finally sweet and blowsy and soft.
Settles down with a sheer layer of vanilla and spicy sweet flowers over the roses. It lasts for a few hours, then fades into nutty powder.
A spoiled princess perfume in the most perfect way.
A breakfast salad in a garden.
I get cantaloupe and delicate flowers, and honey. The finish is a musky trail of almonds that lingers six inches above the skin for an hour.
It’s too pretty for me.
A Midwinter’s orgy.
Opens with fir and sticky chocolate, incense and sex.
Seriously. This stuff is like having violent Viking-love in a heap of furs in front of a balsam bonfire. It writes runes on your body with spruce psychotropics and sweet ash.
The juice is dark and lays heavy on the skin, like hands and honey and pine tree sap, and stains clothes with green spoor.
Manly mint, and lemon.
Nice, but stuffy at first. This guy orders Woodford Reserve on the rocks when he really wants a Malibu and Coke with a straw loaded with fruit.
After a bit it loosens up to vanilla and vetiver, and longing glances toward the karaoke bar.
Wet rain on the sea and blue spruce, with a smear of mint camphor rub on the chest.
Moody and clever.
The man wearing this might be prone to rough fisherman’s sweaters and prefers strange tasting akvavits.
The woman wearing this also wears eyeglasses instead of contacts at business meetings, so people will take her more seriously.
I was determined to visit Byredo while seeing my family in Sweden this year.
Niche perfumery from Stockholm with an Indian influence and a simple streamlined aesthetic? Ja, tack–yes, please!
We looked the address up online, and I was excited to discover the store was on Mäster Samuelsgatan street, across from Happy Socks–though my dad made faces when I mentioned the funky footwear shop. My brother and I had trouble getting there–he led me all over streets at odd angles with amazing names–but just when we were about to give up, we found the flagship perfume store.
The store was a little crystal cave. I’m not sure what I was expecting–something bigger, perhaps, or that the founder Ben Gorham, actually would be there, and I could ask him the odd questions that people side-eye* until you tell them you’re a writer–but the saleswomen were supermodel gorgeous, and my dress was faded and my shoes scuffed, and I was too intimidated to ask anything of them.
I sniffed Flowerhead, a fresh floral; the new sweet autumn Eleventh Hour; and bought the fig grenade Pulp–my birthday treat to myself–and they gave me a sample of Bal d’Afrique, too.
Each of the Byredo frags have only a few simple notes–a designer trademark–but they come together to create oddly complicated and evocative scents. A lot of fun for an amateur frag-head like me.
We left in a hurry to meet Dad for dinner, no time to shop anywhere else. They gave me Happy Socks for my birthday.
What scent do you yourself wear?
If you could bottle up one place, where would it be?
What is the communication between your designers and the chemists like?
Is there a certain amount of synesthesia in designing perfumes?
(What does blue smell like to you?)
Are particular scent notes more popular in specific countries or cultures?
What’s the sexiest fragrance ever, for a woman? For a man?
Coffee with vanilla syrup and booze-cherry tobacco in a cedar wood humidor.
Italian plums, the kind they dry for prunes, and wormwood dust underneath.
Another scent I’d find cloying on a man but delicious on a butch woman.
Lighter than Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanille, but no less intriguing.