Now that we have hit the middle of May in the US, this is when I observe a shift in spring. The early days are about new growth rising out of the soil. As we move through April into May that growth is mostly green. For all that spring is associated with florals I think of it as two halves. The back half from mid-May through June is when the flowers sing. Right now it is the vegetation which has the lead. Byredo Open Sky is a perfume of that first half of spring.
Byredo has been one of the success stories of independent perfumery since its inception in 2007. Over the last fourteen years founder and creative director Ben Gorham along with perfumer Jerome Epinette have formed a distinct brand aesthetic. The evolution of that through the longtime collaboration of just two people is something I appreciate. They’ve not kept things at a static level. Over the years they have responded to changing trends with their own interpretations. Open Sky feels like their response to the idea that a spring fragrance should also be floral.
Mr. Gorham nods to the effects of being quarantined during the pandemic has had for our desire to be out in the open sky again. I get that but this feels closer to grass between my toes rather than blue skies overhead.
It begins with a textured citrus and black pepper. This has become one of those accords I am encountering a lot in this spring of 2021. I like it a lot, but I wonder why it has started to be used by so many different fragrances. M. Epinette’s version is the tart grapefruit roughened up by the pepper. It at times reminds me a bit of rhubarb. The source of green is two-fold. The first is hemp. This is not the scent of marijuana or cannabis. If you’ve ever picked up the stalk of a hemp plant and shredded it then smelled your hands this is the green at the core of Open Sky. It is a fibrous green scent profile thick with vegetal facets. To pair with it, vetiver is used. This is the sharp grassy vetiver which softens some of the green stridency while simultaneously sharpening other aspects. As the vetiver and hemp find an equilibrium I am reminded of my own backyard as it exists today. A soothing woody palo santo provides the foundation.
Open Sky has 10-12 hour longevity and moderate sillage.
This is a very nuanced homage to the part of spring which hasn’t had the flowers bloom. I’m not sure what to call it. Maybe a spring green? It is a different way of embracing spring as a perfume.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Byredo.