Inflorescence from Byredo
When Stockholm-based Canadian Ben Gorham founded Byredo in 2006, his goal was to create a fragrance brand that would express beauty and seductiveness while bypassing the usual marketing clichés. "I defined my position as an outsider," Gorham told me last year. This latest scent is meant to evoke that moment when spring blossoms reach their fragrant peak.
What it smells like
Lily-of-the-valley lovers, this is a scent for you. The delicate white flower (muguet, in French) is the star here, perhaps taking a cue from the legendary Diorissimo, which is still the most iconic muguet 57 years after its creation. As the fragrance blooms, honey, freesia and jasmine notes enter into the foreground, as does a fresh whiff of wintergreen.
Despite being unapologetically pretty, this bouquet is far from precious.
As creative director, Gorham builds the story around the scent and then entrusts perfumers Jerome Epinette and Olivia Giacobetti to make the magic happen. The team has a knack for creating a scent narrative. One spritz and you step into their world – in this case, a fantasy garden blanketed in petals.
This new scent has the same look as all the other Byredo offerings that have preceded it. Indeed, the brand is known and respected for its simplicity and uniformity (credit the Swedish influence). Each cylindrical bottle bears the same no-nonsense white label and black domed cap. This way, the focus remains on the fragrance, not a fabricated image.
Like other niche brands, Byredo eschews splashy ads featuring the latest ingénue or cover girl. If anyone is the face, it's the swarthy, tattooed Gorham, a former pro basketball player. Hunks can appreciate flowers, too.
Who it's for
This will appeal to floral-fragrance devotees who want something slightly more esoteric than the garden-variety rose. You don't have to be a Wallpaper-reading, Dries-Van-Noten-wearing savant to wear this scent, but you probably should have an appreciation for unpretentious contemporary style.
Its beautiful name, Inflorescence, is almost persuasive enough, no? Byredo is one of the few brands with street cred based on merit, not publicity. Unlike Diorissimo, this scent may not be one for the ages (it stops just short of being intoxicating), but it suits the season and makes a dreamy impression.
Where to buy it
$235 for 100 ml