A word we’re hearing a lot right now – and we know you’ll be hearing a lot more – is ‘synaesthesia’. It translates as ‘joint perception of the senses’: in other words, stimulation of one sense can (involuntarily) provoke an association with an entirely different one. (Kit Kemp, the Firmdale Hotels founder who we feature in the upcoming issue of The Scented Letter, sees colours when she smells aromas – and it’s more widespread than you’d imagine.)
The concept of synaesthesia proved so fascinating to perfumer Ben Gorham, of BYREDO, that he has paired up with so-cool sunglasses name Oliver Peoples to create a scent that united sight and smell around ‘an influence of L.A.’
How did it work? Ben soaked up the sights of Los Angeles through different colours of Oliver Peoples lenses, translating them into different smells and ultimately blending those for a multi-faceted fragrance.
To complement the scent, a new frame (available in Semi Matte Black or Beige Crystal) was created by Oliver Peoples, available with different coloured lenses. So: choose from indigo, champagne and green – and your Oliver Peoples and BYREDO scent will come in a bottle matched to the lens tint.
Much as we love packaging, it’s the scents inside which most excite us – and this doesn’t disappoint: a shareable blend of juniper, Californian lemon, orris butter, patchouli, musk and aromatic helichrysum, with a note of warm sand that has us longing to be strolling the Boardwalk of Venice Beach with the sun dipping into the Pacific.
And as you’d expect from a duo like this – notwithstanding that hot sand note – the whole package is very, very cool.
Oliver Peoples and Byredo £105 for 50ml eau de perfume – also available as a Box Set with the sunglasses (£400) or £315 for frames alone
Buy it at Selfridges
Written by Jo Fairley