My love affair for native Swede, Ben Gotham began 5 years ago when my friend Dan had clasped my hand and dragged me over to the Byredo counter in Liberty. I remember this moment quite distinctly as it's one of only two time's that I've fallen in love at first sight (or in this case, first whiff).
We were Christmas shopping at the time, and Dan was about to purchase his second bottle of Sunday Cologne and Gypsy Water of 2012. Whilst Ben is a man of fragrance aptitude, it was the clean and sophisticated packaging that had me at my knees, and my purse wide open before I'd even smelt anything. Being a stylist, most of my working life has been driven by judging a book by it's cover (in reality my principles do in fact run much deeper) and on this occasion, I'm content in saying that I judged well.
I distinctly remember hankering to love Palermo, based on the fact that Olivia Palermo was everything alongside Whitney Port which had driven my ambition to work in the fashion industry. I spritzed and spritzed and wondered the ground and first floor of Liberty before returning to the Byredo counter not in love, and disappointed that Palermo wasn't to sit on the skin of my wrists or nape of my neck ever again.
For those of you who aren't familiar with Byredo, it's a high end brand and has a rather punchy price tag, if you're normally one for scouting the perfume shelves for more mainstream brands and designers. That said, investing in a great scent, be it candle or perfume will change your outlook on life, especially when you're waking up on the wrong side of bed come Monday morning.
Rose Noir was where my Byredo journey began, and probably rather aptly. It's love, but not love as we know it. It carries a dark intoxicating edge which is rather potent, yet super contemporary and unfolds layers of scent and warmth with wear. Top notes are Cardamon, Freesia, Grapefruit and Red Berries. It's heart: Lily of the Valley, Raspberry, Rose, Damascena, Violet and Jasmine. Base Notes: Cistus Labdanum, Moss, Musk and Patchouli.
For me, Rose Noir is seductive in it's base, it's much older than the sweet fragrances on the market, and almost smells quite naughty. “The classic symbol of love and devotion is updated in Rose Noir. A traditional olfactory rose, the Damascena, is made potent and contemporary once again by darkening its character. Rose Noir becomes a decadent, dirty rose with an intense and animalic quality.”