Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Pulp and Chembur by ByRedo : Perfume Reviews

Word on the street is that Ben Gorham is one of us. Yes, the ex-professional basketball player is really a perfume junkie, a fragrance nut, just like us. Mr. Gorham founded his own company, ByRedo (By Redolence) in 2006, and started testing the scented waters first with high quality candles, room sprays, soaps and body products. Earlier this year, he launched his first personal fragrance line, a collection of five unisex fragrances in Eau de Parfum concentration, named Green, Chembur, Gypsy Water, Rose Noir and Pulp. While the company’s logo bears striking resemblance to that of Parfumerie Generale, and the bottles themselves are quite reminiscent of the ones in the Frédéric Malle line, the premise behind the scents sounds very promising: They are all based on Gorham’s memories, little snapshots of life, places and people, that nose Jerome Epinette was entrusted with, in order to encapsulate them into precious, scented liquid. Now that is memorable. And so are the two scents I’ve had the pleasure of testing more extensively, Chembur and Pulp.

· Pulp: Even though I don’t generally get along with overly fruity scents, one of my most surprising discoveries this year was that there are indeed certain fruity perfumes that will beguile me. The first one this year was Tigresse, which I am sure you are all tired of hearing me go on and on about by now. The second contender certainly has to be Pulp, a scent I felt a certain attraction towards from the moment I first smelled it. This is an intense, no holds barred, incredibly bright and colorful fruity scent that is bound to fill any old grey day with sunshine. It is as summery as they come and then some, actually managing to smell deliriously, ecstatically happy. The most attractive feature of Pulp –aside from its happy, sunny disposition, that is- is this lovely, jammy accord that makes it feel absolutely edible. Lovers of fig fragrances who have grown tired of the one-track-minded, single note scents populating the market like mushrooms in the last couple of years, will find a new friend in Pulp, which makes a striking, utterly green fig note its star attraction amidst all the psychedelic, exotically sweet extravaganza. The lovely interplay between fresh fruits, caramelized sugar and slightly dissonant minty undercurrents manages to keep me interested for hours, until finally the scent turns earthy and slightly woody. I am quite intrigued by the fact that this is marketed as a unisex fragrance – I can’t imagine a man wearing this to work for example. Then again, this is not a work type of scent anyway, so why not be daring? If you are after something youthful, luscious and fruity, this is most definitely worth a try!

· Chembur: Chembur is a northeastern neighborhood on the outskirts of Mumbai, India, where Gorham’s mother was born and raised. Throughout his childhood, Gorham paid several visits to Mumbai, often enjoying beautiful picnics with his family in Chembur. The memory of the temples and shrines, the incense in the summer heat and the colorful garlands of flowers are all encapsulated in this perfume, possibly the most beautiful scent this Stockholm-based niche line has to offer. The opening is marvelous, all zingy lemon that is at once fresh and marvelously oily, like rind shavings, balanced by a rising warmth and sweetness. The heart is pulsating with deep incense, dark and delightful, hugged by mellow resins. A sharp vetiver note I absolutely adore cuts through the softness like a dagger of sadness through the heart. The base notes manage to retain a burning incense quality, while at the same time interjecting some much needed solace with a deep, sweet, musky-myrrh accord. A truly beautiful fragrance that stays close to the skin, a slightly unsettling and very moving companion for the colder months of the year.

ByRedo fragrances can be purchased from Cow in Stockholm, Colette in Paris, Les Senteurs in London, Barney’s in New York and Skins in Amsterdam.

Images: www.byredo.com, Flickr, originally uploaded by Roswitha Schacht and Utpal.


12 comments:

PinstripedZebra said...

Dear Divina,

i think the naming of these scents is innovative and I would love to try the Pulp! Fig scent is fantastic imho!

//Z

Divina said...

Ah, our first daring male, mwahahaha! ;) I agree about fig scent, it is one of my absolute favorite smells - unfortunately so hard to render right in perfumes. Nothing compares to that beautiful scent you get say...on a sunny summer day in Greece. Here's to one more summer of stopping with the car on the way to the beach to cut figs and finger-lickin' goodness!

Jenavira13 said...

I am going to have a keep an eye out for Pulp arriving in the US; that sounds divine and like the fig I have been looking for.

Divina said...

Hey Jen! Wow, that's a huge surprise - I had no idea you were into fruity frags!

Ines said...

Hey Divina
lately I've been feeling more and more frustrated by the fact that I live in such a small country and it's hard to find anything mentioned on perfume blogs. Especially now, since I discovered that even if I don't eat figs (I don't like the taste) I adore the way L'Artisan's Premier figuer smells and would love to try this one. :)

Jenavira13 said...

I don't mind notes of fruits in my fragrances (not that I want to be wearing the Escada limited editions) but I am especially attracted to fragrances with notes of fig, apricot, or quince.

Divina said...

Ines dear, Premier Figuer is one of my favorite figs as well! (Ava Luxe makes wonderful figs too btw, she has a green fig scent that makes me feel as though I am sitting under a fig tree, SO wonderful) I added a link list with sites that offer decants and samples of hard to find fragrances and I will also send you an email to see if I can help a little further with your problem of not finding any niche scents close to where you live.

Hugs!

Divina said...

Hmm, Jen, do you like Burberry Brit? It plays beautifully with the notes of pear and quince, in my opinion at least. You know which smell just kills me? The smell of baking quince in the oven... My mother used to make this dish... Quince in the oven with cinammon sticks and sugar... The quince becomes totally orange and creates the most magical perfume... Its juices together with the sugar create the most delicious lightly sweet and sour syrup that is SO good. A scoop of vanilla icecream and some baked quince is just HEAVENLY! Oh my, I love this memory...

Jenavira13 said...

Baked quinces are to die for! I have a Nigella Lawson recipe where you bake them until they are the color of a dark ruby, I love the magic of quinces. I've tried Burberry Brit, but it didn't react well to me, but I love Burberry Brit Red.

Divina said...

Oh, yes, I remember now you loved Brit Red! Really great, so comforting..

Anonymous said...

I wore pulp to work yesterday and I'm male..really don't see the problem. It's lovely..

Divina said...

Anon, I am glad it works for you! It is one of the most unique fruity scents out there.