fragrance

Byredo Black Saffron Perfume Review

Byredo Black Saffron

It’s been a really busy summer for me so I haven’t been posting that many perfume reviews here on the blog. I recently had an oral surgery that forced me to slow down. I thought this would be a good time to catch up on some perfume samples I have that I have yet to sniff. Well, I haven’t. Deep into my malaise, I’ve only been craving a few fragrances. And oddly enough one of those is Byredo Black Saffron.

I’m always surprised by how fruity Black Saffron is.  It opens with something that is like raspberries and ripe bananas. It’s a tart, sour fruit salad. And then, it’s BAM roses. It’s also peppery and green, like violet leaves and gin. There’s an ozonic quality as well but it’s somehow dry at the same time.  This is all over something leather-y.  I think of Black Saffron as a “soapy leather”. It manages to smell like bar soap wrapped in leather. I’ve noticed on warmer days, I’m reminded of “leather gin”. It’s more dry, green and peppery. On cooler days, I notice more florals. The dry-down is a vetiver that I sniff frequently in Byredo perfumes (for those that are familiar, think Bal d’Afrique). Their vetiver is dry but somehow manages to come across as creamy but it’s always contrasted by something dry/stale. It sounds odd, but it always reminds me of a vetiver soufflé sitting next to an ashtray.

All I can tell you is how this is on my skin. If you are looking for saffron, then don’t be deceived by the name. Basically this is a fruity leather. If you want saffron, there are better examples out there. But, if you want something leathery that manages to give the illusion of “freshness”, then this is worth sampling. I’ve been trying to figure out why I’m attracted to this one right now, years after its launch, and I think I may have it figured out. Black Saffron smells like a party and not just any party, but like a cocktail party with entertaining people. Fruity leathers like Tom Ford Tuscan Leather seem more pretentious, like a bunch of people trying to convince all the other people of how smart and clever they are. Black Saffron could also be labeled as pretentious but at least the people are fun. Black Saffron reminds me of gin cocktails, cigarettes, leather club chairs and laughter.

Edie Sedgwick

Notes listed include pomelo, juniper berries, saffron, black violet, leather, cashmeran, vetiver and raspberry. Launched in 2012.

Give Black Saffron a try if you like fruity leathers. Or perfumes like Tom Ford Tuscan Leather, Amouroud Safran Rare, MAC Ruby Woo, Montale Aoud Leather, Nishane Suede et Safran and/or Shay & Blue Framboise Noire. Slightly off topic, but I feel like I’ve sniffed so many fruity leathers these days that I need to make a guide of them!

Projection and longevity are average. In comparison to something like Tom Ford Tuscan Leather or Amouroud Safran Rare, it’s much “lighter”.

Black Saffron comes in a few sizes with the 1.7 oz retailing for $165 at Nordstrom and Saks.

Victoria’s Final EauPINIONGin, fruits and leather. Compared to other “fruity leathers”, I think Black Saffron is more playful and lighthearted. I like that.

Want more reviews? Try…

The Candy Perfume Boy

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The Black Narcissus 


*Sample obtained by me. Product pic from the brand. Edie Sedgwick pic by Jerry Schatzberg 1966 from revolverwarholgallery.com. Post contains an affiliate link. Thanks!


2 thoughts on “Byredo Black Saffron Perfume Review

  1. Not only do I love Black Saffron but I also love me some Edie, so this review is a double winner!!! I wear BS (that sounds funny…) a lot during the Fall along with another that you mentioned, Bal d’Afrique.
    I really like/love some of the offerings by Byredo – have you tried 1996?…I want heaven to smell like 1996 – so I’m always surprised by some of the vitriol towards their fragrances on some of the other perfume blogs. Do you understand why people have such strong opinions about this brand?
    Regardless of what others say, I’m kind of a fanboy of the brand. I suppose it also doesn’t hurt that Ben Gorham is just about the hottest Creative Director of a perfume brand that I can think of….not that a chiseled jaw line, tousled hair and some beautiful tattoos make a great fragrance, but Ben has certainly done well in my book!!!
    What other Byredos do you like/wear?

    1. 🙂 BS (lol) is fun to me. It has an energy that I like and apparently crave in my life right now. I don’t have much when it comes to Byredo but I have Bal d’Afrique and I want a small bottle of this or maybe the hair perfume in BS. I have found that they hair perfumes work great on fabric and seem like a good value. The fragrance composition isn’t sacrificed in the different format. I ALSO want 1996. I find it so easy to wear and it just smells good. What more do I want?

      I honestly do not know. As far as I know, they haven’t been shady to bloggers or have any other “scandals” that may impact how people feel. My best guess is that people have a strong opinion because the brand is popular (you see them on “cool people” Instagram a lot). So, maybe it’s just one of those things? Like people want to feel they are different or they automatically dislike it because it’s “popular”. Or maybe it’s what you said, Ben is absolutely gorgeous! Like omg, just a perfect looking man. Maybe they are jealous 😉 Personally, I think the perfumes are wearable, packaging is nice and the prices aren’t awful for niche. I don’t get the hate!

      I haven’t tried the new one, it sounds good. Other ones I like: Mojave Ghost (like fruit yogurt, difficult one to describe!). I actually like Blanche. People dismiss it as laundry detergent, but I swear there is something weird and subversive in there! It’s not what it seems! I like Rose of No Man’s but wouldn’t buy it. I have so many roses as is.

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