July 30, 2012
Ben Gorham, the Founder and Creative Director of Byredo Parfums, envisioned his newest addition to the line as a true tribute to the Middle East, a part of the world he has visited frequently. He states “It’s a combination of places, food, and, most importantly, people.” I have never traveled to that part of the world, and might not in my lifetime, but if wearing Bullion takes me there, it’s a very fragrant place to visit. I tested Bullion on my skin during a very busy day of sniffing and visiting perfume counters, but it stood out in my mind as one to explore more fully. I procured a sample, and am giving it a full wearing right off the bat.
Pink pepper is a note that is so ubiquitous that I feel like I don’t really know its purpose, or what it really smells like. The opening of Bullion answers my question. It is a unique, bright, spice that has simultaneous lift and depth. Enough is used here that it has the opportunity to shine alone for a few moments, and it is very enjoyable. There is also a wonderful ripe plum note that adds some sweetness. Soon, though, the pepper and plum bow graciously and make way for a stunning middle section.
Leather, if not used in restraint, can completely dominate a perfume, but it is subtle in Bullion, and is a brooding companion for the sublime aromas of the magnolia and osmanthus, two of my favorite floral notes. Both of those flowers have odors that nearly transcend the idea of “floral”; they are both heady, earthy, fruity, and reminiscent of hazy, heated days. Combined with the subdued leather, I can see how one would think of a part of the world that we associate with desert heat and exotic peoples.
The middle drydown brings out the woods and musks for a purring animalic effect. My skin tends to bring a sweaty element out of some woods, but I don’t mind it unless it is really strong, which this is not. It is a purr, not a growl, and I find it alluring. Eventually, the fragrance settles down into a soft, warm drydown that is quite pretty. Longevity is quite good. I could see adding this to my collection; I quite like it.
Notes per Byredo:
Top: Pink pepper, black plum
Middle: Osmanthus, magnolia, leather accord
Base: Dark woods, sandalwood, sensual musks
Byredo Bullion will be available at Barney’s NY in the fall. My sample was graciously provided by the San Francisco Barney’s.
We have a draw for a sample, just leave a comment below. Do you have a favorite Byredo? We will draw one winner via random.org on August 3, 2012.
We announce the winners only on site and on our Facebook page, so Like Cafleurebon and use our RSS option…or your dream prize will be just spilt perfume.
–Tama Blough, Senior Editor