Stockholm-based fragrance house BYREDO have launched some fascinating parfums in recent times whilst working alongside world renowned perfumers such as Olivia Giacobetti (L'Artisan Perfumeur, Frederic Malle, Costes), Jerome Epinette (Jovoy Paris) and Michel Almairac (Chloé, Bond No9, Gucci). It could be said that their approach to perfumery is somehow very Scandinavian: understated, refined and with a distinct focus on craftsmanship and quality. Now, as Byredo celebrate the launch of Blanche, their 8th skin scent, it is my pleasure to write these few words about this compelling release.
Just as the name suggests, Blanche is a tribute to the colour white. Ben Gorham, the founder and creative director of the brand, notes the following: "the fragrance is pure and simple in structure but extreme in character"... and his perception is right on the money. The scent opens with diamond-white aldehydes that suggest a fragrance almost transparent in nature. Tender white roses blossom over a heart of hushed violet, dewy neroli and blushing peony... and whilst one can feel the translucent quality of this perfume, it is a scent which is really quite intricate. I immediately get the sensation of gauzy white linen billowing on a clothes line, still slightly damp from the wash. It is a sensation that I not only register via my sense of smell, but almost through touch... the composition is very tactile; soft and vapourous.
Comme des Garcons might have taken some liberties when announcing the aroma of "washing drying on the line" in their 1998 head-space perfume offering Odeur 53, and perhaps the single-scent powerhouse Demeter may have taken a very literal approach when creating their perfume titled Laundromat; but Byredo's Blanche appears to have achieved this "fresh linen" approach with finesse and sensitivity. Light musk, blonde woods and fragrant sandalwood furnish the fragrance with a sense of depth, and lend a sense of familiarity and comfort.
To my astonishment, I found that the fact this perfume is somehow diaphanous in nature, does not mean to say that it is in any way fleeting. Whilst sampling, I sprayed both a card and my skin with Blanche and I retained the scent for an entire day... the card was still perfumed after two. Quite possibly Byredo's best offering yet.