A rhetorical question: Is there a cooler perfume brand founder than Ben Gorham? The fine arts graduate and professional basketball player-turned-entrepreneur launched his fragrance company in Stockholm, Sweden, in 2006.
This post may have affiliate links, meaning we earn a small commission on purchases through the links (at no extra cost to you). This does not change our opinion but does help support the site. Thank you!
Within a few years, Byredo secured its position as a leading niche house with straightforward yet distinctive compositions that range from the crowd-pleasing to the more daringly unusual.
Some recent releases haven’t hit the heights of earlier ones, but there’s still no shortage of best Byredo fragrances.
Where known, the name of the perfumer is included in brackets after the name of the fragrance.
Our Top Recommendations for Byredo Fragrances
Byredo Gypsy Water EDP
All successful niche brands make their name with specific releases. This 2008 EDP put Byredo firmly on the fragrance map.
A celebration of Romany culture in a most romantic way, the olfactory homage begins in delicately fresh style, with notes of juniper berries, bergamot and lemon capturing the imagination.
Seductive mystery wafts throughout in the form of smoky incense and aromatic pine needle notes. And then it’s time for a terrific trio of vanilla, amber and sandalwood to lay on the creaminess.
No surprises, it’s been a best-seller since its launch and remains the perfect intro to the house.
Byredo Pulp EDP
If Byredo Gypsy Water is as accessible as one gets, then Byredo Pulp is its opposite.
Inspired by the idea of a shapeless mass of ripe fruits, this 2008 release is idiosyncratic, love-it-or-hate-it stuff.
The fruity vibe is evident from the start, with a big dose of tangy blackcurrant supported by the spice of bergamot and cardamom notes.
The sweet and juicy qualities of fig and red apple are maximized to produce a ripe effect. A lesser note of tiare flower adds to the rich fruity vibe.
After all that intensity, the drydown, featuring cedarwood, praline and peach blossom notes, is a mellower affair.
With some people comparing Pulp to the smell of rotting fruit, this is one not to blind buy.
Byredo Blanche EDP
This 2009 release epitomizes the brand’s simple yet effective approach to perfumery.
There’s a big blast of aldehydes in the opening. Most well known for its use in Chanel No 5, this synthetic gives this EDP a fresh, soapy vibe.
A trio of florals – rose centifolia, peony, violet – are given the powdery treatment.
Clean and sensual at the same time, the drydown features musk and sandalwood.
With the aldehydic prominence, even though used in a modern way, this fragrance is not for everyone but will appeal to those looking for something offbeat.
Byredo Bal D’afrique EDP (Jérôme Epinette)
Inspired by 1920s Paris and its obsession with African culture in all its forms, there’s something very joyful and uplifting about this 2009 release.
The tone is set from the opening, with its mix of citrus freshness (lemon, bergamot, neroli). Notes of rich marigold and black currant-ish buchu give it a truly African quality, with soft florals in the background.
The smokiness of vetiver is perfectly partnered with musk and Moroccan cedarwood in the drydown.
It’s one of the sweeter vetiver fragrances on the market and holds the attention from start to finish.
Byredo La Tulipe EDP (Jérôme Epinette)
Who says tulips aren’t fragrant? While most varieties are indeed odorless, this 2010 release showcases the floral in spectacularly scented style.
The intro of cyclamen, freesia and rhubarb notes creates a fresh spring-like mood.
The rendition of tulip builds on that freshness in a lush green, slightly spicy style. It’s impressively realistic and not sweet in the least.
The vetiver in the drydown maintains the green freshness, while blonde woods (the synthetic cashmeran) brings smooth muskiness.
One of the best in the genre, it stands out for all the right reasons.
Byredo Oud Immortel EDP
Oud is regarded as one of the most precious ingredients in perfumery and this 2010 release does a fine job of approximating its appeal through skillful use of ingredients.
The intro sees the resinous spice of cardamom-infused with the smoke of incense.
The combination of richly floral Brazilian rosewood, smoky papyrus and earthy patchouli notes come together to create a remarkable oud-like result.
Notes of oakmoss and tobacco maintain the illusion in the drydown.
The brand’s Accord Oud is also recommended if you’re looking for a fruitier, leathery take on the theme.
Byredo Black Saffron EDP
Inspired by Ben Gorham’s heritage (his mother is Indian) and the importance of saffron in Hinduism, this 2012 release is not as abstinent as it sounds.
The leathery qualities of spicy saffron are played up in the intro, with a fresh hint of juniper berries and grapefruit in the background.
A gently animalic leather accord is sweetened with a note of fruity raspberry and powdery violet, while cashmeran brings a warm musky vibe to the composition.
If you’re in the market for a sophisticated leather fragrance, Byredo Saffron deserves a place in your collection.
Byredo Mojave Ghost EDP
The Mojave Desert makes for surprisingly fertile inspiration in this 2014 release.
The intro features the silkiness of ambrette, the vegetal musk. Its pear-like fruitiness is partnered with the fresh sweetness of Jamaican naseberry, a tropical note that’s not used much in perfumery.
The floral freshness of powdery violet and citrusy magnolia is contrasted with the creamy warmth of sandalwood and more musk.
A softly evocative skin scent with a clean feel, it’s Byredo at its crowd-pleasing best.
Byredo Rose of No Man’s Land EDP
Taking its cue from the nickname given by soldiers to the courageous, life-saving nurses during the First World War, this 2015 release is the one for you if you’re looking for a gentle intro to a rose fragrance.
It opens with notes of Turkish rose petals, complemented by the rosy spiciness of pink peppercorns.
The centerpiece is softly enveloping Turkish rose absolute, with the fruity-floral hues of raspberry blossom in the background.
Finished with an amber accord and the aromatic woodiness of papyrus, it’s a warm and agreeable fragrance that errs on the side of subtlety to make an impact.
Byredo Bibliothèque EDP
As its name suggests, this 2017 release (originally the brand’s most popular candle) is inspired by the ambiance of a library featuring old leather books on wooden shelves.
It’s a well-executed concept that begins in fruity mode with sweet (but not too sweet) notes of peach and especially plum.
The slight sweetness is further developed in the floral heart featuring peony. A violet note brings an earthy and powdery aspect.
A leather accord completes the EDP, with notes of patchouli and vetiver adding to the intimate feel of being immersed in a world of old books.
Byredo Slow Dance EDP (Jérôme Epinette)
We don’t always buy into the story of a fragrance, but the one for this 2019 release works a charm – “a rites-of-passage moment… high school clichés mingle…” – both in its inspiration and execution.
Jérôme Epinette conjures a suitably sweet and sticky experience with notes of opoponax, labdanum, vanilla and patchouli notes featuring prominently in the warm, almost candyfloss-y ambiance.
We can almost feel the teachers scanning the young couples for any unacceptable behavior as George Michael’s Careless Whisper creates a frisson among the young’uns.
Byredo Reine De Nuit EDP
The last few years have seen a boom in extrait de parfum concentrations, as consumers demand the best available quality and powerful perfumes on every level. Sensing this shift, the clever people at Byredo launched the Night Veils Collection.
There’s plenty of blackcurrant in the opening of this 2019 release. Its fruity piquancy blends with the leathery warmth of saffron. A voluptuous and dirty rose stands proudly in the heart of the scent. Incense amplifies the unashamed oriental atmosphere.
In keeping with the best raw materials, it settles sensually on a base of ambrette, the natural musk, while patchouli brings its characteristic earthiness to the rich composition.