5 of the Best Byredo Fragrances You Need To Try Right Now
Founded in Stockholm in 2006, Byredo is a relative newcomer when compared to other brands in the luxury fragrance and beauty space. In just two years and only an initial collection of 5 scents, though, the brand rapidly garnered interest, shooting up to the #2 spot on the Barneys New York list of best-selling fragrances by the tail end of 2009.
Part of the allure is certainly in Byredo’s inherent mystique. The fragrances all share the same unassuming flacons: a sleek bottle in clear glass topped by a dome, carrying simple white labels that only carry the branding and the scent’s name. This minimalist aesthetic evokes the brand’s Swedish roots: founder Ben Gorham is a native Swede who spent a good portion of his life in Stockholm.
The scents themselves are worldly and unabashedly modern. Gorham and his collaborators draw their inspiration from emotions and memories, utilizing unusual combinations of ingredients and notes to create fragrances that are as unique as they are utterly wearable. Every perfume is unisex and versatile, suiting men and women equally at all times of the day and night.
In the intervening years since its launch, Byredo has expanded its perfume lineup to 45 scents in total. This makes it difficult for newbies to narrow down which ones to try out first. Here are our recommendations for the Byredo fragrances that everyone should start with, all available in sample size decants here at Scent Split:
Gypsy Water is Byredo’s quintessential fragrance–the OG, if you will. It was the one that led the charge back in 2008, having been released first. Hype quickly built, and it continues to be one of the most well-known scents from the brand, thanks to endorsements from the fashion press and celebrities alike. It counts Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Sienna Miller, and Kate Bosworth among its most loyal wearers.
Inspired by the beauty of the Romani culture, this is a woody aromatic fragrance that opens with playful notes of bergamot, juniper berries, lemon, and pepper. At its heart is incense and pine needle, as well as orris, one of the rarest perfume ingredients in the world. A combination of sandalwood, amber, and vanilla serve as a warm base for this feverish, exotic concoction.
The rose is one of the most popularly referenced flowers in perfume. Designers are inspired by it and often use it in their creations. Byredo has several perfumes that employ roses in their lineup, but Rose of No Man’s Land is arguably the best of them all.
Its name is derived from the term used to describe the nurses who came to the aid of soldiers during the First World War. The spicy rose scent, then, evokes the gentleness and bravery of those courageous women who inspired it. The top notes are pink pepper and Turkish rose petals, which then serve to amplify a heart of Turkish rose absolute and raspberry blossom. Underneath is a warm yet sedate base of papyrus and white amber.
Bal d’Afrique is French for “African ball”, and is Byredo’s love letter to a continent that Gorham’s father spent extensive time living and traveling in. It reflects those journeys as interpreted by Gorham and is described as a celebration of African influence and culture. Complex and distinctive, it’s an excellent choice for a signature scent–one that no one else smells like. Victoria Beckham and K-hiphop artist Crush are huge fans.
The fragrance brings the heat of the continent at first whiff, using notes of African marigold, bergamot, and buchu, a flowering plant native to western South Africa, to begin the voyage. Cyclamen and violet draw you further in. Bal d’Afrique then dries down to its base notes of Moroccan cedarwood and vetiver, completing the trip around one of the most beautiful and mysterious places in the world.
Mixed Emotions is one of the newest additions to the Byredo perfume collection, only launched this year. Created to encapsulate the times we live in, most people first sampled this scent during the height of the coronavirus pandemic and can only agree that it certainly lives up to its name and inspiration.
It is a melange of conflicting notes that shouldn’t go well together, but does in some indescribable way. Mixed Emotions is a woody aromatic fragrance with an intense opening of blackcurrant and maté, a caffeine-rich South American tea that may explain why it also smells like tobacco to some. More tea is at the heart, specifically black Ceylon, mixed with fresh violet leaves. The base notes are birch woods and papyrus, providing a solemn, quiet ending to the tumultuous scent. It’s a roller coaster of a fragrance, perfectly named.
Inspired by the Mojave Desert, Mojave Ghost is yet another heavy-hitter from Byredo, and is one of the brand’s most popular fragrances. It is intended to encapsulate the spirit of a wilderness so strong and willful that only the most resilient can grow in it. Raw and untameable, some aficionados say that while it is striking on its own, it can be made better by tempering it with other scents that feature lighter notes.
Mojave Ghost, like the desert it’s named after, tempts the senses with warm ambrette and nesberry at first. It then unleashes its fire with strong notes of sandalwood, magnolia, and violet, bringing desert flowers to mind. The base notes for this fragrance are cedarwood, vetiver, and a combination of musks that further emphasize that desolate yet majestic feeling of walking through dunes of sand at sunset.
All of these Byredo fragrances are available in our shop, where you can purchase genuine decants in sizes of 1mL, 2mL, 5mL and 9mL. We also offer full 100mL bottles of these scents in their original packaging, should you desire to add one of them to your permanent rotation. Check out the rest of our Byredo collection today, and don’t forget to browse the rest of our niche fragrance offerings.