Can Byredo interest you in a little international trip? No passports are required, either — just a few spritzes of the fragrance house’s latest and most captivating scent yet. Mumbai Noise, Byredo’s new fragrance, is truly that transportive, and manages to capture the city’s dazzling essence with just a few well-chosen notes. It’s an especially personal creation for Byredo founder Ben Gorham, whose mother is from India.
“From a young age, almost as soon as I was born, I would often travel to India to spend time with my grandmother in Chembur, Mumbai,” Gorham shares in a press release about the fragrance. After his grandmother passed away, he says, it would be many years before he eventually returned to the city. “When I did, it looked extremely different — but still felt extremely familiar.” That seamless blend of history and tradition through a thoroughly modern cityscape is what Gorham and the Byredo team sought to capture in the new scent, reflected in its notes. Even the campaign itself is steeped in Mumbai’s rich culture from its inception. Gorham tapped Indian creative and famed photographer Ashish Shah to immerse himself in the city and discover Mumbai’s most interesting, representative muses along his way.
The notes themselves are just as intentional, too. Davana, an Indian herb that’s actually a member of the daisy family, is found at the top of the fragrance, lending a sweet, natural smell to the perfume. That’s immediately followed up with the full, rich middle notes, comprised of tonka beans and coffee — they’re chosen by Gorham for Chembur’s famed streetside coffee stands and carts. Finally, the fragrance expands welcome to its most enveloping base notes: a triad of creamy sandalwood, amber-reminiscent labdanum, and agarwood, which is actually made from an infected tree — in fact, the infection is what makes that wood smell so good. It initially reads as a classic forest smell, but is punctuated by notes of sweet florals and musks.
In his campaign, Shah sought out muses known for sparking change within the city, including activists, dancers, drag performers, and artists, all of whom represent Mumbai’s newest generation of creatives. “I wanted to photograph this campaign as a glimpse into the hearts and essence of young India,” Shah explains in a press release. “I am interested in the lives we are living, the conversations they are having, their dreams, and their realities.”
As is typical for Byredo, the singular vision, dedication to truly capturing a moment, and desire to illuminate culture all align to form a fragrance that’s both transportive and timeless.
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