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BYREDO Taiwan: Scandinavian-based Spice at 10|10 Apothecary

I’ve never been one for perfumes. Going to the make-up counters at the massive stores at 新光三越 always filled me dread – everything I’ve found out there is too cloying, sickly sweet – too girly. All around, judging eyes – she’s so tan, where did she get so tan? I’m not a Chanel No. 5-wearing classic beauty or some adorable enfant terrible wearing Daisy by Marc Jacobs. As for fashion, to which fragrances have been so inextricably tied – are you perhaps referring to my wardrobe of ten identical black tanks from WEEKDAY and a worn-to-bits clutch from a street market in Sri Lanka?

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Girls with black tanks and Sri Lankan wallets shall henceforth go directly to at 10 | 10 Apothecarywho in addition to representing cult brands such as the Diptyque and MALIN+GOETZ, are importing a number of niche beauty and fragrance brands into Taiwan – including a new obsession: Stockholm-based fragrance brand BYREDO.

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At the 10 | 10 Apothecary showroom in 東區, the team patiently ran me through the entire BYREDO collection, letting me sample bottles and candles until my sense of smell was dizzy (BYREDO has an entirely different range of candle scents – I’m now lighting the dark, woody TREEHOUSE during my writing sessions) Most of the scents are suitable for women and men – and the scents stray far from Scandinavian subtlety: they’re spicy, they’re lush; nods to South Asia the founder’s Indian heritage. The stories behind the perfumes are mystical and raw – inspired by legend and the mysterious forces of nature. The florals – when they are present – are twisted, perverted, ghostly. My favorites below:

MOJAVE GHOST: A blend including notes of ambrette, violet, sandalwood, magnolia and cedar, inspired by the bewitching ghost flower (MOHAVEA CONFERTIFLORA) a rare floral that blossoms in the desert. Though the flower is unable to produce its own nectar, it ensured its continual survival through mimicry, developing on the markings of a female bee to attract male pollinators.

• OUD IMMORTEL: A woody, smoky fragrance merging patchouli, papyrus, tobacco leaf and moss; incense and rosewood. It’s inspired by a type of wood used in traditional incense, recorded in one of the world’s oldest written texts, from India. The story is thus: when the wood of the aquilaria tree becomes infected with a certain kind of mold, it forms a defense by saturating its core with a fragrant resin – now becoming a dark wood – oud, or agarwood. 

Other favorites included: BLACK SAFFRON / PALERMO / BILBIOTHEQUE.

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As I put on BYREDO before a night out, I don’t think of sparkling night under the stars, or some luxurious powder room – as fragrance brands seem to want their users to envision. No – BYREDO makes me think of Jungle Book, when Mowgli is taken captive by a band of monkeys. He’s swung into the air and the lush, heavy branches of the jungle canopy close over him. He’s close to death; fallen prey to the unyielding forces of nature, eat-or-be-eaten. He turns back to his friends and commandsMARK – MY – TRAIL! He’s unfazed – he knows he’ll be followed.

10 | 10 Apothecary – Showroom
No.138 Daan Rd. (台北市大安區大安路138號)

10 | 10 Apothecary - BYREDO Taiwan Online

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