Byredo’s 1996 perfume was inspired by Dutch photography duo Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin’s photograph “Kirsten 1996, ” which depicts an angelic child, her face seemingly dusted with white powder, her eyes closed and lips lacquered like a geisha’s. 1996 is its olfactory counterpart: gentle and dreamy, with an undertow of dark erotics.
1996 bursts forth with a cloud of amber-scented iris, as powdery-soft and diffuse as the incandescent photograph itself. A leather accord dosed with patchouli and black pepper gives its ethereal, confectionary opening some heft and drama. Inez & Vinoodh move freely between both the fashion and art worlds and are known for their hyper-real and digitally retouched photos. They put a sheen of the otherworldly onto their images, and there is something both earthy — the leather, patchouli and rootiness of iris — and elusive and dreamy about 1996, as if an added layer of fairy dust were sprinkled onto its more legible notes. Byredo 1996.