For more years than I care to mention I have loyally devoted myself to just one brand, one fragrance, one scent. I think it may have something to do with my birthplace and an entire lifetime of indoctrination as the brand I devoted my nasal cavities to just happens to be the french behemoth that is Chanel. The particular scent in question was Coco Mademoiselle. I am using the term ‘was’ very purposefully in that sentence as after all these years I have finally been tempted away to try out a new Perfume!!!!
The brand in question is Byredo. The scent in question is Bal D’Afrique. I am going to start by saying as soon as I saw this perfume, in one of my numerous lunch hour meanders through Liberty’s, I wanted it. Everything about it just shouted out to me instantly. Byredo have obviously done their market research amazingly well as I was hooked on first sight and I probably sit right in the middle of their Venn diagram of customers! So there were two moves that were going to come next, researching the brand and of course smelling the fragrance.
So as is my way now since starting my blog, I instantly decided to do some research into the brand to see if it was what it claimed to be. How does it fare on the natural stakes, what arethe ethics of the company, how did it come into being etc. The company itself is just hitting 10 years old and founded by……..oh they do a better job of explaining it than I will:
BYREDO was founded in 2006 by Ben Gorham. Ben began to be intrigued by scent and memory after travelling to his mother’s hometown in India, where he was stirred by the aromas of spices and incense. Inspired by this trip, BYREDO’s scented candles and perfumes have been developed with an understated approach, using simple composition of the highest quality raw materials. Ben Gorham is native Swede, born to an Indian mother and a Canadian father, Ben grew up in Toronto, New York and Stockholm. He graduated from the Stockholm art school with a degree in fine arts, but a chance meeting with perfumer Pierre Wulff convinced him that he’d rather create fragrances than paintings. With no formal training in the field, Gorham, a 31year old , sought out the services of world renowned perfumers Olivia Giacobetti and Jerome Epinette, explaining his olfactory desires and letting them create the compositions. As an outsider in the beauty industry, Ben is somewhat of an anomaly and has been recognized for his personal style and connection to fashion and art in several international magazines such as French Vogue, Vanity Fair, Elle, V Magazine and Fantastic Man to name a few.
I guess it might be his training in Fine Art, his own personal indoctrination in Swedish design and a lot of research into the future trends in beauty aesthetics that lead Mr Gorham to design what I can only describe as one of the most beautiful pieces of product and packaging design I have ever seen for a perfume. Everything from the Font used to the way it is printed with a subtle emboss just screams quality and care. Even the box itself with its stunning embossed patternation counter balancing the textures beautifully with the shiny black printed text…..and that’s just the cardboard outer! The actual box is a beautiful matte white closed with a stunningly branded sticker and once again the logos (of which there seem to be a few) are either debossed or printed in such high quality that you aren’t too surprised when you see the price tag! Which I will come back to later (note the hint of dread
Now onto the really important part of a perfume……the scent! I can’t tell you how much I fell in love with this the first second I smelt it. Now I am certainly no expert in the fragrance department and know very little about it so describing it is quite hard for me. Once again this is what the brand themselves say about their perfume:
100 ml Eau de Parfum A warm and romantic vetiver inspired by Paris in the late 20’s and its infatuation with African culture, art, music and dance. A mix of Parisian avantgardism and African culture shaped a unique and vibrant expression. The intense life, the excess and euphoria is illustrated by Bal d’Afrique’s neroli, African marigold and Moroccan cedarwood.
Top: African Marigold, Bergamot, Bucchu, Lemon, Neroli
Base: Black Amber, Moroccan Cedarwood, Musk, Vetiver
Heart: Cyclamen, Jasmine Petals, Violet
All that I can say is that I absolutely adore the smell of this fragrance from the first moment I opened the bottle. I tried a small spray of the tester that first day in Liberty’s and still could smell the perfume the next morning on my wrist. Seems like it is a very high quality product to last that long and to be that intense. They do claim it to be inspired by both Paris and North Africa which are both places very dear to me and close to my heart so it may explain my absolute obsession with this scent.So after deliberating about buying this amazing fragrance due to the price tag of……wait for it……..£130 for 100ml. I know it’s so expensive which is why I was deliberating so long over it and obviously I talked about it more than I realised as when Valentine’s day arrived there sitting next to a beautiful bunch of red roses from my boyfriend was a suspiciously oblong shaped box ready to be opened. Sadly he is allergic to nearly all chemicals/scents/fragrances and one of the reasons I focus so much on natural and organic products. This one is however a little treat for me and I will just have to wear it when he is not around……one for a night out with the girls then I think!
I love this new range of Byredo perfumes but tell me if you have smelt them and what you think??