In September, Luxury fragrance house Byredo opened its third flagship store in Soho, London. The 200-square-metre shopfront located on the corner of Lexington Street sees the company’s former office transformed into a three-storey boutique.
In true Byredo fashion, the beauty is in the detail. The building, which has been freshly painted entirely in white, dates back to 1885. A regal staircase made of terrazzo steps greets you as soon as you enter and the meticulously curated wooden furniture manifests the brand’s less-is-more approach. Every detail sends the customer’s eyes straight to the sleek product that sits pretty in its aluminium and glass cabinetry.
A townhouse reserved for fragrance in the hub of the ultra-chic Soho area would seem farfetched for any other marque, but for the Swedish brand, it’s exactly what the customer ordered. The anticipated reveal included a unique selection of luxury leather goods, the latest addition to the 12-year-old brand that has gained cult status for its quality perfumes, candles, hand creams and body care products.
Selling a potion of nostalgia
The clear glass bottles with their magnetic caps and monochrome labels have become a staple in most style aficionados’ homes and handbags. Although minimalistic in design, there is nothing simple about the juice inside the bottle. The connection to travel and the sense of nostalgia evoked by the 22 plus scents on offer, convincing customers that a perfume is the next best thing to a plane ticket, is key to the brand’s success.
Launching an ecommerce platform focused solely on selling fragrance – considering it’s such a personal experience – was a risk that paid off, establishing a brand with a rich future in the digital landscape.
From Black Saffron, a scent that romanticises the aromas of India, to Palermo, inspired by Sicily’s pungent citrus – priced at around US$60 for a 7.5ml roll-on oil, and reaching US$200 for 100ml of bottled Eau de Parfum – there is a fragrance for everyone. Then there’s the brand’s bestseller Gypsy Water, a bohemian-inspired, woody blend of citrus, incense, pine and orris, that sells ‘it girl’ status in a bottle should you choose to take it home.
In 2009, Byredo launched its online store. Launching an ecommerce platform focused solely on selling fragrance – considering it’s such a personal experience – was a risk that paid off, establishing a brand with a rich future in the digital landscape.
A nose for business
If you haven’t heard of Byredo, then forget everything you have ever known about perfume. Considering its founder, Ben Gorham, has had no formal training in the industry, the company – which still remains independent – continues to top the list of the world’s most iconic fragrances. The successful basketballer turn entrepreneur knows how to convert scent into sales. With the help of world-renowned perfumers Olivia Giacobetti and Jerome Epinette, Gorham has been ahead of the aroma game since he first launched his genderless brand in 2006.
Concocted for those with sophisticated senses, bespoke perfume doesn’t come cheap. The intricate and complicated layering of scents is what makes Byredo an obvious competitor among other top-notch brands including Frederic Malle, Le Labo, Diptyque, Serge Lutens and Penhaligon. A common denominator for success among these niche, small-batch fragrance names? Success lies in the base note – the smell that remains on the skin at the end of the day – which, because of its price tag, is often not included in cheaper perfumes.
The zero compromise on quality product and customer service is paramount to the household name. Aside from being unisex, the label is also age inclusive, targeting consumers from 18 to 85. It’s a rarity in the business of scent and beauty, but a trait that proves the company’s ethos are innovative and intent on breaking the rules, one spray at a time.