Byblos: The Perfect Convergence
Many perfumers are purely the vision of one person, and each fragrance carries the essence of that person. This is not the case with Byblos, which has seen a number of leaders since its inception in 1973. But neither is Byblos the essence of whatever person currently guides the company. Instead, Byblos has a unique style which is simply Byblos, no matter who is charge. Each designer that adds their expertise and insight serves to create that unique and evolving convergence of style that makes the brand what it is.
What is Byblos?
Byblos is an Italian fashion brand that started as the division of a larger company. It didn’t really gain much note until a young Gianni Versace took the reins in 1975. He created several lines of fashion for the label before moving on. Versace was replaced by Guy Pualin, who himself was replaced by Alan Cleaver and Keith Varty. Over time, the brand became associated with those who were young and hopeful, looking forward to the future. This was expressed in their colorful clothing and modern image – they were all about fun.
Behind the scenes has always been Sergio Girombelli who keeps the vision of Byblos steady without making it conform to any one idea. If there is one overriding idea behind the company, it is a certain light and easy joy.
The company entered the perfume market in 1990 with a self-titled composition. It is a fruity and floral blend which opens with bright notes of fresh fruit, like mandarin, black currant, peach, and bergamot. The floral heart contains lily, lily-of-the-valley, mimosa, and iris. While much of the base is woody, it also shares touches of red fruit, raspberry, and heliotrope, with a musky undertone.
Four Elements, Four Classics
In an inspired design, Byblos released four fragrances, themed for the four classical Greek elements: water, air, fire, and earth. These 1997 perfumes for women each have their own personalities while remaining distinctly Byblos.
Mare means ‘sea’ and is the fragrance for the element of water. Its pleasing scent is indeed reminiscent of sea air. It opens with lilac, apricot, and water lilies, with a floral heart of jasmine, violet, and rose. The finish has notes of vetiver and sandalwood musk.
Cielo means ‘sky’, representing the classical element of air. This is fresh, like Mare, but has a certain sharpness, like the touch of wind on the skin. This opens with lily of the valley and mandarin, with notes of jasmine, pimento, nutmeg, and gardenia at is heart, finishing with musk, vanilla, coconut, sandalwood, and patchouli.
The next element is fire, expressed in the fragrance named Fuoco. It does have a certain fiery tang with notes of cinnamon, spices, and citrus, but it also has the pleasant warmth fire can bring, with tones of vanilla, sandalwood, and citrus.
Finally, there is Terra, which means ‘earth’. This fragrance is rich with earthy smells and earth’s bounty. It has in it a number of elements that grow from the earth itself – lemon, peach, orange, mandarin, violet, carnation, and roses, among many other floral and fruity scents, with sandalwood, cedar, and musk in its base to firmly ground it.
Simple, Yet Complex
The year 2002 brought another series, named after common elements found in many fragrances: Musk, Sandalo (sandalwood), and Patchouly (patchouli). While it might seem that these perfumes are single note fragrances, instead they are complex multi-note compositions based upon that one element.
Musk is, naturally, a rich and musky fragrance. It works equally well on men and women. While there is musk and sandalwood in the base notes, along with red berry, the top notes are lighter touches of freesia, lily of the valley, bergamot, jasmine, and other softer brighter elements.
Sandelo is a natural woody scent, opening with lemon, rose, and two types of orange. Instead of being placed in the base, sandalwood, cedar, and patchouli are at its heart, resting on a base of amber and musk.
Patchouly is classified as oriental and woody. It has a curiously interesting opening of lemon, clove, and bergamot. The heart is composed of coumarin, peach, and labdnum, with a base of musk, vanilla, cedar, benzoin, and of course, patchouli.
Those two fragrance lines are just the beginning of the fascinating scents Byblos has to offer. From the Blu line of men’s fragrances, to the delightful line of Water Flower perfumes, to the bold and powerful In Black, they have something for everyone, in every occasion.