Faye Y.

Articles on Byredo

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Have you ever found yourself getting a hint of a certain scent and suddenly being transported to a time treasured but has since long passed? Ben Gorham was trying to do this when he founded Byredo, a European luxury company specializing in fragrances, in 2006. Taking its name from the words “by redolence”, Byredo started as a personal project for Gorham, as he was trying to recapture the smells from his mother’s Indian hometown that heightened his senses. Today, these scents are reimagined through high quality raw materials and are packaged in Instagram-worthy bottles, making distinct impressions upon the different people who get a sniff of them.

The man recreating memories through fragrances

Ben Gorham Byredo

Gorham grew in a multicultural household, having a Canadian father and an Indian mother, all the while technically being a native Swede. As a youngster, he divided his time in Stockholm, Toronto as well as New York. He had an inclination for the arts, graduating with a degree in fine arts from the Stockholm art school. But among its many forms, he chose to express his through fragrances, especially after meeting perfumer Pierre Wulff.

Gorham sought out the help of perfumers Olivia Giacobetti and Jerome Epinette when he was beginning, since he had a different background and was completely untrained in perfume making. He began explaining the scents he wanted to achieve and the perfumers tried to recreate it for him. Gorham’s first collection was released at Barneys New York, immediately rousing the attention of major industry figures as well as the media. For his fragrances that come in clean and minimalistic bottles, Gorham and his company Byredo has been featured by many fashion magazines, including Vanity Fair, the French and British varieties of Vogue, Elle, Fantastic Magazine and V Magazine. His personal style has also been talked about by Forbes Magazine.

Today, Gorham has a more refined process in coming up with scents. The ideas arrive to Gorham in different ways, sometimes they’re inspired by visuals, sometimes by raw emotions or maybe an experience. He runs these through a creative team that also helps him with the naming, the trademarking, the packaging and the detailing. Byredo gained such a loyal following that his easily recognizable bottles are a mainstay in the collections of those who seek unique smells.

Giving the client what they want


Byredo always had the gift of anticipating what its audience wanted, capping a well-thought of smell in pretty packaging. The bottles reflect a bit of what’s inside, as they are simple and clear but also very high quality.

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, Byredo thought of releasing a project that to this day remains unnamed. Gorham justified naming it as such because fragrances are subjective, meaning differently to people who smell them. The Unnamed perfume came with stencils, giving people a chance to do what Gorham once did, express themselves in smells and have the freedom to choose a name that best represents the feelings they garnered from it.

Byredo Super Cedar is among the bestsellers for the house, coming up with a unisex smell that effortlessly fuses the nostalgia for simpler days with the modern and unique smell of cedar. The word ‘super’ is added in the beginning to indicate that the unique note of cedar is superior than most. The Gypsy Water also has a fragrance that balances the feminine with the masculine and reminds one of a trip to nature. In particular, it is inspired by the Romany lifestyle, where it takes its name from. Meanwhile, Byredo’s Mojave Ghost is a musky, woody scent that is similarly influenced by nature, using hints of sandalwood, violet as well as magnolia.

Love for culture

BYREDO Heliotropia
Source: fashionforlunch

Other smells from the perfume maker are inspired by culture and smells specific to certain regions. Take for example the Black Saffron collection, which pays homage to Gorham’s mother’s native India. Users can pick up smells of saffron as well as black violet, vetiver, rose and raspberry. The Bal d’Afrique kabuki perfume is inspired by the Japanese theatre and method of putting make-up, the glamour of 1920s Paris, and the art, music and dance of Africa, represented by Moroccan cedarwood, African marigold and black amber.

Gorham also released a capsule collection with long-time friend and fellow established personality in the fashion industry Virgil Abloh. The two knew each other even before the latter joined Off-White and Louis Vuitton. Entitled Elevator Music, the collection includes eau de parfum, hair perfume, hand cream, bags and apparel. It has been on display in London, New York and South Korea.

Anticipating Byredo goodness in the future

Fans of the brand have seen Byredo collaborate with the photography duo Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin and are anticipating the release of a home fragrance made with Ikea, set to be launched in 2019.

As for the general direction of the brand, Gorham sees Byredo venturing into other fashion articles. It already began with leather goods, introducing to the world its leather handbags in 2017 during the Paris Fashion Week. The bags are limited to the New York store, so far as Gorham wants to keep his items limited. Byredo is also projected to develop more as a beauty brand, exploring body products as well as home fragrances while expanding to more locations. Currently, Byredo has physical stores in Sweden, France, Hong Kong, the United States and the United Kingdom. Its items are also sold online, primarily through Byredo’s own website.

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