Undina: When hajusuuri who went to the recent Sniffa event had approached me suggesting a joint post about Byredo scents, I immediately agreed: since our tastes match, by my estimate, 80-85%, I was curious to see how we’ll do with testing the same perfumes almost at the same time.
hajusuuri: Sniffapalooza Spring Fling 2016 was but a memory, but the goodie bag samples live on! This year we got a bonanza of manufacturers’ samples with lots of extras for sharing.
Undina: I was surprised when I realized that I hadn’t previously tested on skin five out of six perfumes hajusuuri offered to share even though I probably saw them all at a store and maybe even smelled from the bottle.
hajusuuri: In this episode of Weeklong Test Drive we’ll share our impressions of six Byredo perfumes. These are not reviews, just first impressions.
Undina: I rarely can smell any specific notes in perfumes, whether I read them or not, so I wasn’t too strict about when I looked up the notes: for some of the perfumes I did it while testing, for others – later, as I was adding them to my database.
hajusuuri: Since my method of perfume application is spray and walk into the mist, having small atomizers presented a bit of a challenge for a proper wearing. I decided to develop my impressions through the speed testing method – two sprays on each forearm, 5 minutes apart. I wrote my impressions after 15 minutes of wear. I did not look up the notes prior to testing so be aware that I wrote down what each perfume smelled like to me and what I smelled may not necessarily match any of the “official” notes.
Ben Gorham founded Byredo in 2006. He was inspired to create fragrances from a trip to his mother’s hometown in India. With a fine arts degree but no training in perfumery, he collaborated with perfumers Oliva Giacobetti and Jerome Epinette to compose his fragrances. In 2013, a private equity company, Manzanita, acquired a majority stake in Byredo. You may recognize some of the companies in Manzanita’s portfolio, including SpaceNK and Diptyque.
|Perfume and official notes||hajusuuri’s impressions||Undina’s impressions|
Top: Black Plum, Pink Pepper
Review: Chemist in the Bottle
|Woody pencil shavings, almond, slightly sweaty, plasticky Play-Doh||If I had liked this perfume a little better, I would have run one of my déjà vu posts: I swear Bullion is a slightly more masculine version of Annick Goutal’s Mon Parfum Cheri, par Camille. Plum + leather aren’t my thing in either of them|
Top: Angelica Seeds, Lingonberry, Sicilian Lemon
Review: The Scented Hound
|Watered-down Frederic Malle Carnal Flower with tuberose and jasmine; has a grating chemical woody base (“Byredo base”)||A lot of jasmine but it’s less pleasant than in Dior‘s Grand Ball, only comparing to which I can smell tuberose in Flowerhead. It gets more pleasant in a couple of hours of development but not enough for me to want to wear it.|
Top: Mandarin Leaves, Neroli Flower
|Initial blast of pepper, then lemon, then an unrelenting bitter artificial sweetener smell; has the Byredo base. Unisex, despite its name||I put it on: citrus. I put my wrist under my vSO’s nose: “It smells like a cleaner” he says. In my head it immediately transforms into the jingle “Mr. Clean! Mr Clean!”|
Top: Cardamom, Incense
Review: The Non-Blonde
|Leans masculine. Starts fruity minty nutty woody with warmth threaded all throughout; has the Byredo base||The opening blast of sweetness was even pleasant but it disappeared quickly and the remaining medicinal scent was what I usually do not like in agarwood perfumes|
Top: Bergamot, Blackcurrant, Cardamom
Review: Now Smell This
|Juicy Fruit, sugar, yuzu. Fruit cocktail run amok||As I previously wrote, I don’t think I can tolerate Pulp‘s rotten fruits anywhere but in Hawaii where it felt just right|
|Sunday Cologne (previously released as Fantastic Man)
Top: Bergamot, Cardamom, Star Anise
Review: What Men Should Smell Like
|Leans masculine, smells like Oud Immortel but much thinner and then devolved into Lemon Pledge||Opens very citrusy but then I smell some wood and resin. I think it’s a little too masculine for me but it smells nice and I wouldn’t mind smelling it on my vSO – too bad he didn’t like it when I asked him t smell it|
Undina: I have two Byredo decants – Pulp and La Tulipe (for those of you who weren’t reading my blog five years ago, I promise: it’s a cute story) and I think I might eventually get a couple more – Bal D’Afrique and Black Saffron. But even with these four I do not see a bottle in my future and the rest of the line that I tried left me cold. And I don’t like their standard bottles and labels: they don’t spell $150 perfume to me (it seems Rusty on the picture below can’t believe it either).
hajusuuri: Overall, based on first impressions, I found none of these interesting enough to pursue further; however, I do have a decant of Gypsy Water that I enjoy. Do you have any favorites? Which perfumes from Byredo should I try next? I generally enjoy amber, benzoin, birch tar, heliotrope, iris, tonka and vanilla.
Undina: Would you like to try these six perfumes? hajusuuri is still in a sharing mood, and she has an extra set of six samples to send to one randomly selected winner (with all usual disclaimers on either of us being responsible for anything that happens after samples are sent). You do not have to do anything other than confirming that you want to be entered into the draw, but I will appreciate if you share a link to this draw on FB, twitter or any other place where it’s done these days.
Images: my own
The draw is closed now. A winner will be announced in a separate post soon.