You know you’ve got some serious street cred when The New York Times gives you a shout-out. So who and what is the buzz about?
Ben Gorham, a former basketball pro and now the brains behind Stockholm-based fragrance house Byredo. At Barneys, Ben has made a name for himself in beauty, but now he’s found a place in fashion as well.
In fall 2011, Byredo had us nosing around trying to get a whiff of his captivating Seven Veils scent—a spicy concoction of vanilla flower and Indian sandalwood. Now that same limited-edition scent has inspired a new collaboration with M/M Paris: a collection of seven silk scarves meant to be sprayed with the perfume. “We loved the idea of wearing a perfume as a veil or vice versa, so we created a scarf,” Ben says. “We wanted to give people a chance to wear the fragrance in a different way.”
Read on for more delicious deets on this collaboration, courtesy of Ben himself.
* * *
You went from being a pro-basketball player to a perfumer. How did you go from one to the other?
Completely by chance. I had just graduated from art school in Stockholm and met a perfumer for the first time. I became fascinated by the creative possibilities that he described and I decided to start Byredo.
Where do you get the inspiration for your fragrances?
What role does scent play in your life?
For me, it has become another way to express ideas and emotions. It has such strong evocative powers and is especially tied to memory.
Tell us about the prints.
M/M (Paris) created the artwork of snakes to illustrate the seductive nature that inspired the perfume.
Where does the name Seven Veils come from?
It is based on the biblical tale of Salome’s dance of the Seven Veils, a story of many layers. Tainted and bejeweled, Salome turns to the art of seduction. Barefooted, sanguine and black eyed, she demands a man’s head on a plate in exchange for one single dance.
What is the relationship between fragrance and fashion to you?
I think they both allow you to express either who you are or—more importantly—who you want to be. Fashion and fragrance have great aspirational functions.
Do you have a favorite fragrance of yours?
It’s almost impossible to pick a favorite since they all represent a very different part of me. I’m always the most excited about works in progress; the challenge is a large part of why I do it.