European Series 2010 // Byredo

“I was fascinated by the possibilities of fragrance,” explained perfumer Ben Gorham when we visited him at his jewel box-like Byredo boutique in downtown Stockholm. The former basketball pro was trained as an artist, and approaches scent first as a concept, building a modern mythology around each new fragrance. The shop is populated with scents titled, for instance, Baudelaire (suitably heady and sexy, in homage to its namesake) , La Tulipe (an imagining of what the unscented flower might smell like) and the new, inky M/MINK, a collaboration with design firm M/M (Paris), inspired by Japanese calligraphy. Born in Stockholm but raised in Toronto and New York, with ties to his mother’s native India, Gorham approaches scent as a storyteller. As customers sauntered in and out of the shop on a weekday morning, Gorham chatted with us about the nuances of smell, working with some of the world’s reknown perfumers, and the memory of his father that started it all.