“We’re in the business of bottling up emotions,” says founder of Byredo, Ben Gorham. It’s a sentiment that is perfectly encapsulated in the brand’s most recent launch, Mixed Emotions. Designed to reflect the tumultuous nature of our times, it’s a bold, polarising scent that perfectly distils a feeling of flux – “it’s a mix of notes that belong and somehow conflict at the same time”, says Gorham. Comprised of contrasting highs and lows – think notes of comforting maté and black tea against sharp sweet blackcurrant and violet leaves, all sat within a framework of rich birch wood – the sticky, smoky concoction leaves you wanting more.
Instead of starting with a specific ingredient or fragrance ‘family’, Gorham sees fragrance as a translation of a memory or mood. “Inspiration can come from anywhere,” Gorham explains, “my kids, memories of my childhood, reading my Dad’s travel diaries, the smell of a tree halfway up a mountain, standing in the middle of a city and soaking it all up.”