Leave it to Byredo, one of the most interestingly complex fragrance houses of all time, to find an as-yet-untapped take on rose scents. As one of the most popular fragrance notes in recorded history, the sweet, fresh-smelling rose — in all its breeds and variations — immediately confers beauty, sensuality, and romance. And now, with the inclusion of Damascus Rose in Byredo’s newest perfume launch, it symbolizes an entirely new generation.
Byredo’s Young Rose is, in the brand’s own words, dedicated to youth. The fragrance’s perspective is built around young peoples’ trademark commitment to rebuilding, reframing, and remixing traditions and beliefs of the past to yield something entirely new — yet not unfamiliar — in the process.
The scent itself is almost a pump-fake with top notes of scorching Sichuan pepper layered carefully above the titular rose, nestled into the fragrance’s heart. The overall effect is attention-grabbing, commanding, yet undeniably soft and inviting — not unlike an actual Damascus Rose. “The next generation always has an emotional obligation to rework the traditions of their predecessors,” details Byredo Founder and Creative Director, Ben Gorham, in a press release. “It’s their role to take that fearless dive into the unknown; to discover and develop what’s next. Young Rose salutes that spirit.”
As is the case with the most creative, innovative houses and brands, it’s never enough to simply describe the fragrance a certain way — even the global launch and rollout needs to be aligned with the product’s story and vision. For Young Rose, Gorham and the Byredo team tapped acclaimed 28-year-old photographer Leslie Zhang for a collaboration on the launch’s visual campaign — a sweeping, colorful look at exactly what the new scent represents.
Chinese youth culture, still steeped in tradition and history but with an undeniably modern and dynamic spin, was a major source of inspiration both on the campaign and with the actual fragrance’s creation. Zhang’s photographs for Byredo, rife with romance and rich colors, reflect the spirit of the scent: “Traditions and traditional culture inform my memories of growing up in China, where the inspiration for my photography is deeply rooted,” Zhang explains in a press release. “The images I create are merely a romanticization of such memories.”
Young Rose is available worldwide on September 2.