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#06 THE PERFUMER BEN GORHAM

BEN GORHAM

A picnic spot in Chembur, a Mumbai suburb where Ben Gorham’s mother grew up, plays a major role in the perfume designer and entrepreneur’s olfactory story. Gorham – born in Stockholm and raised in the US and Canada before moving back to Europe – visited Chembur as a child, returning 15 years later to find the area densely developed but still aromatically permeated with the distinctive incense of his boyhood memories, emanating from a Hindu temple. When he started his Stockholm-based fragrance brand Byredo, the exotic Indian aroma became the inspiration for a perfume, Encens Chembur.

‘Making perfume is an emotional experience,’ explains Gorham. ‘For me it starts with a collection of inspirations – poetry, literary texts, art, anything that helps me communicate the ideas and feelings for a new fragrance.’

It was whilst reading fine art in Stockholm that Gorham had a chance meeting with Swedish perfumer Pierre Wulff and became fascinated. ‘It began as an art project; translating specific memories into smells. An interest grew into an obsession and then a brand… to support the obsession! Six years later it’s a global business.’ Gorham’s aim is to create beautifully packaged fragrances that are potent evocations of poignant moments. ‘We focus on a select, small amount of raw materials and let them speak for themselves.’

As seen in Wallpaper*,
Photographer Patrick Sehlstedt

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#06 PORTFOLIO GALLERY

SWEET SMELL

‘Making perfume is emotional, much more complex than people think.’

BEN GORHAM

MEMORY MAKER

Gorham finds inspiration in literary texts, photographs, poetry, art, anything that helps him communicate his ideas and feelings for a new fragrance.

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#06 INSPIRATION GALLERY

08:00

Home

‘Stockholm is home. It’s where my wife and daughter are. There’s an infectiously creative spirit. Sweden is remote and isolated, which allows me to focus on my work. When I’m here, I like to go to the tattoo parlour. Adding to my body art has become something of a ritual for me.’

11:00

Work

‘In the beginning, my obsession with fragrance was very self-indulgent. But I enjoyed it so much I created a business structure so I could keep on doing it. Now I know that creating fragrance is a highly emotional process, you really feel it.’

15:00

Travel

‘I’m often on the road. People I meet and places I see are a constant source of inspiration for me. When I am in New York to visit my parfumier Jerome Epinette, I am thrilled by the city’s energy and noise. These are the fragments that I bring home and try to translate into smells.’

16:00

Inspiration

‘It can come from anything. For instance, I was once remembering the fragrance my father wore when I was a child. It smelled like the essence of green beans. I’m not a nose. I’m more about the dreams and less about the science of it.’

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#06 TUDOR MATERIAL WORLD

TUDOR CRAFT

With a marine sensibility, sporting character and impeccable reliability, Tudor’s ‘Pelagos’ is an elegant fusion of technology and innovation. The meticulous craft that Tudor employs when creating its watches is reflected in Gorham's approach to creating fragrances. He explains 'even though there is an aesthetic layer to both products, we are very much focused on what is inside.' The solid titanium case and black ceramic bezel with luminous material is contrasted by a rubber strap. ‘The mix of materials has parallels with the way we work,’ says perfumer Gorham. ‘We also use contrasts and textures in creating scents.’

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#07 THE JEWELLER JORDAN ASKILL

#08 THE ARTIST MIKE PERRY

#09 THE MIXOLOGIST MATT WHILEY

#10 THE FLORAL ARTIST AZUMA MAKOTO

#11 THE LIGHT ARTIST KIT WEBSTER

#12 THE SHOE MAKER MASARU OKUYAMA

#01 THE TAILOR PATRICK GRANT

#02 THE ENGINEER CHARLES MORGAN

#03 THE DESIGNER NITZAN COHEN

#04 THE CHEF CHRISTOPHE DUFAU

#05 THE GLASS ARTIST J. M. WINTREBERT