This season BYREDO’s Creative Director, Ben Gorham, explores his cultural heritage with a fragrance inspired by his own imagined Indian wedding ceremony.
A grand scale event that traditionally lasts a week – it is as much about the union of two families as two individuals and is highly symbolic, with flowers playing a central role. Byredo is available at Paris Gallery.
Flowerheads are strung together on giant leis, including Jaimala garlands which are exchanged between bride and groom as a token of mutual respect. Couples are often showered with petals by the groom’s brother for spiritual protection. Flowers are abundant; from the mandap wedding canopy, which is entirely covered in exotic blooms, to the spiritual pooja rooms and verandahs, the explosion of colour is wildly celebratory and the scent is overwhelming.
At the heart of ‘FLOWERHEAD’ lies wild jasmine sambac. A blossom native to southern India, the sambac flower is much larger and more luscious than its European cousin and is traditionally used in the hair of the bride and in the leis worn by the couple. This is a fresh, white floral scent, light and uplifting, misted with a snapped-stem, green accord and combining sensual yet dewy tuberose with rose petals for good luck – both essential to the olfactory impact on such occasions. These central classics are teased apart by a triumvirate of piquant ingredients that both support and bring forth their finest qualities – the sharp, bright fizz of the Sicilian lemon, the sweet herbal spice of angelica seeds and the fruity bite of the lingonberry.
The effect is hypnotising — a riot of dancing notes that meet and merge and separate continually, a complex ritual of light and dark, sweet and sharp, soft and keenly faceted. This is a vivid sacrament that distils the union of the physical and the spiritual and celebrates the pure beauty of the blossoms, spotlighting each in turn as the fragrance reclines onto a warm soft bed of fresh amber and suede. An olfactory toast to the romance and passion of nature.