While Byredo’s Ben Gorham has found fragrant inspiration in some unlikely muses from a photograph to a hairstylist to a poet, his latest offering is closer to his heart in a way. Before venturing into the olfactive world, the Swedish perfumer was, improbably, a professional basketball player. He’s managed to find a way to combine these two seemingly diametrically opposed interests by attempting to capture the measure of one man—Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook.
The idea was born after the two met and bonded at Paris Fashion Week last year. Unlike most celebrity scents, which involve the namesake star not doing much more than allowing their name to be plastered across the bottle, Westbrook worked closely with Gorham through the entire process of creating his fragrance. After a year of phone calls, meetings, emails, smelling countless iterations, and a kind of crash course in perfuming, they settled on the final product.
Westbrook’s dual nature—a fierce competitor on the court but a gentle giant off—turned out to form the basis for the fragrance. The duo decided on a blend that offers the same contrasting facets, a blend of bergamot, suede, black violet, and tobacco leaves. It’s an extremely wearable creation that happens to be as likeable as Westbrook himself. Between this fragrance, collaborating with Jordan, Globetrotter and Golden Bear on a collection of luxe sportswear for Barneys, and a line of high-end sunglasses called Westbrook Frames, it’s pretty clear that Westbrook is going to be just fine when he chooses to leave the hardwood behind.
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