Byredo Gypsy Water Eau de Parfum

January 28, 2012

Barneys New York has quickly become my new favorite playground. I adore their fragrance selection and the L’Artisan, Serge Lutens and Byredo counters have been the highlights of my trips to LA. I had been eyeing Byredo’s Gypsy Water for over six months before I finally decided to purchase. My first experience with the line was last June in Beverly Hills. Within minutes of arriving instore I managed to spritz 4 different perfumes sprayed on different areas of my arms: La Tulipe, Gypsy Water, Blanche and Serge Lutens Clair de Musc. My nose quickly became confused as everything started to blend together. I was most drawn to Gypsy Water but still being new and cautious when it comes to expensive fragrances decided to wait. I tested this on two more occasions in store, once in San Francisco, one more time in Beverly Hills. Finally, the week before Christmas I caved and used a gift card to purchase the smaller 50 ml version ($145) from Barneys.com.

Byredo is a fragrance line based in Stockholm founded in 2006 by Ben Gorham. I found the interview featured on Into the Gloss particularly touching and highly inspirational. There are a number of wonderful scents from Byredo, the first one for me is Gypsy Water which is an Eau de Parfum and comes in two sizes (see Byredo.com for more details). To me, smells like a grown-up more sophisticated version of Fresh Sugar and Brown Sugar (both of which I found too sweet, too citrusy and headache-inducing). On my skin, the fragrance can be a bit finicky if I do not spray the right amount on my skin evenly. It is quite intense so two spritzes on the wrists is max that my nose can handle in one day’s wear. If I do not spray enough the citrus notes overwhelm and induce a migraine. However, when sprayed on the skin in an even motion, I smell a beautiful mixture of sweet amber, vanilla mixed with a hint of lemon. The spice notes and vanilla prevent the citrus from overpowering. It’s soothing and refreshing and sweet. It’s uplifting with a fresh and slightly earthy feel. Still, it is a bit tricky to wear and very easy to overdo. I recommend you test and apply with caution.
The notes: Top: Bergamot, lemon, pepper, juniper berries
Heart: Incense, pine needles, orris
Base: Amber, vanilla, sandalwood

I adore Gypsy Water but I don’t think it’s an easy fragrance to wear everyday due to the sweetness. As you can see from the listed notes, it’s highly complex, but in a lighter sense (instead of being a dark kind of complex). I highly recommend testing and letting it sit on the skin for at least an hour before deciding how it wears on you. Even though I’m getting more and more adventurous with fragrance exploration, I’m still more of a no-perfume kind of perfume girl. Gypsy Water is light enough for those who don’t like perfume with a surprisingly long lasting power (as long as you don’t apply too much too close to the skin, I find a concentrated spot makes the scent a bit too cloying). Overall a lovely feminine pleasant sweet perfume.
Have you tried anything from Byredo before? What have your experiences been? Those who have tried Gypsy Water, do you find it wears odd on you depending on how you apply it? Any tips/thoughts you’d like to share? I would love to hear about your Byredo favorites (not just the fragrances, but candles, lotions, etc.)!

I found Byredo at Barneys in Beverly Hills. I believe it’s exclusive to them in the US. Check Byredo.com for listed locations. Also, for inquiring minds, all photos in this post taken with my iPhone 4S, square photos with filters taken with the Hipstamatic app.

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  • I love love love Barney's! It is a special place for me… I don't get there often enough but when I do it is to the NY store. I always try to have lunch there and the cosmetic floor is perfection! On my last trip I discovered the fragrance line Arquiste. Against my nature I purchased on site Enfanta en Flor. Wonderful!

  • Love these pictures!! <3

  • Byredo is an interesting line, reminiscent of Diptyque to my nose. Nicely composed but didn't love them on my skin. I thought they would be interesting as room scents, even candles. Love the simple, clean and modern packaging/design.

  • I love Byredo. Gypsy Water was my first. I have the big bottle. Then 2 weeks ago I ventured to barneys in Chicago and bought 2 small bottles. One of Encens Chembur and Bal D'Afrique. Encens is a light Incense with a nice musky sweetness to it and Bal D'Afriqueis a beautiful amber/violet/musk. I haven't found one single scent from them I don't love. I think Le Tulipe will be my next purchase in the spring.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Sabrina! So glad you've ventured into Byredo, I love your reviews. Before Christmas, I had never heard of the brand but a young man working the counter at Holt Renfrew in Toronto 'lured' me in! I was particularly attracted to Bal d'Afrique, there something very alluring and intoxicating about the scent. I impulse purchased it, not a cheap impulse! I absolutely love it, but i'm similar to you in that I'm a no-perfume perfume girl, usually preferring the light fresh scents of Jo Malone. I save this one for evenings out or special occasions, feeling it's a bit much for work. One spritz does it for me, as I tend to wear perfume more for my own benefit that that of those around me.

    Do you plan to venture into any other of his scents? I want to go back and check out Gypsy Water!

  • Anonymous

    I am a big fan of Chembur. Incense etc. But I also like la Tulipe. Next time I go to a Skins store in Holland, where I live, I will give Gypsy water a try

  • I've only ever sampled Byredo from tiny vials, so the perfume is always dabbed on, never sprayed. I wonder if spraying makes a difference, because when I dab on the fragrance, it never lasts very long at all and the scent is always very, very subtle to my nose. Because of this, I've never been tempted to purchase a Byredo perfume.

    I do think Gypsy Water is a very pretty scent, but I heart Bal d'Afrique even more. To me, it has a little more personality; it's bolder, sexier. And should it ever last more than 30 minutes on my skin, a (50ml) bottle would be mine.

  • These photos are fantastic – really gives a romantic vibe. I also love this scent – great buy!

  • Glosslizard

    Barney's is my favorite place to play too! πŸ™‚ Last year I fell in love with Byredo Accord Oud, and received it for Valentine's Day! I adore it because it's a rich, dry, smoky wood scent and it's wonderful for layering with floral or vanilla scents to add depth.

    BTW, I just now got the postcard in the mail announcing that Barney's love yourself GWP event will be Feb 9-11! πŸ˜€