Blind sniffing remarks also seem a bit misguided because once the fragrance is on skin, one is not staring at the packaging or obsessing about the brand throughout the day; or at least I hope not!
I don't think most people wearing perfume are all that much conscious about the brand or any perceived sense of personal style it's meant to convey on the wearer unless that's the reason they're wearing it.
Perfume as a signifier for anything is altogether separate from enjoying the smell itself, unless one has other motives for wearing it; to each their own.
Just my opinon, but I find Byredo fragrances exceedingly shallow and gimmicky in their composition, much like Jo Malone or Le Labo, and I've smelled/worn many.
There are enjoyable outliers (Sunday Cologne, Eleventh Hour, etc.), but as a whole, they fade into background, appropriate as they actually had a scent for a time called Elevator Music (it was a Barney's exclusive... RIP).
Byredo, Jo Malone and Le Labo were all built with a specific mindset, to appeal to the suddenly vibrant niche market.
The framework underneath is eerily similar. Create some modern spiel, spout some eccentric process, appeal to the hip, young crowd, and make these scents seem relevant.
black ribbon packaging, 2-3 perfume note bottles and layering gimmicks. Deemed the scents of the vibrant young women of metropolis…
Nordic minimalism, parsed down notes, non-frag banner, non intrusive, merging with whatever persona…
they provoked me like none other, especially with this melodramatic hype that as you buy, your perfume is ‘being concocted and is macerating’!
There was chatter about Le Labo everywhere, Santal 33’s glory was being sung. I even called a perfumer friend, gah what am I missing here? He laughed and said, Cheap synthetic crap. Ive nothing against such CSC-perfumes either, but then sell them like one as well, LouLou Cacheral prices (my sincere apologies to those who like LouLou’s screechy plastic scent)
In truth, when it comes to intrigue and backstabbing, perfume industry can beat a Medici court by a million mile!
Not everyone can be a perfumer.
It is a true meeting of arts, science and technology, and no other discipline encapsulates this trifecta as perfumery does.
I bought Bal d’Afrique early in my “journey,” wore it a few times, realized it wasn’t for me, sold it on. I went looking for another Byredo that was a better fit. Didn’t find one. Feh. (Years later, I got a mini of Tobacco Mandarin, perhaps the most atypical Byredo.)
Those bottles look right at home in Instagrammed photos of a bathroom that replicates a Restoration Hardware catalog. So do countless others. Luxe-generic has become generic. So much for ironic minimalism; the irony is on them.