Scandinavian perfume makers have brought a sense of Scandinavian craftmanship and aestetic to your scents. Here is a quick guide to perfumes that can get a little weird, maybe a scent combination you’ve never smelled before or an unexpected top note such as saffron.
These are the Scandi perfume brands you won’t want to stop sniffing:
Blanche by Byredo
Byredo was launched in Sweden in 2006 by Ben Gorham at the age of 31 years old, after an inspiring encounter with perfumer Pierre Wulff. The native Swede didn’t have a formal training in the field, but he sought out the services of world renowned perfumers to whom he carefully explained his olfactory desires.
“Ben began to be intrigued by scent and memory after travelling to his mother’s hometown in India, where he was stirred by the aromas of spices and incense. Inspired by this trip, BYREDO’s scented candles and perfumes have been developed with an understated approach, using simple composition of the highest quality raw materials.”
The brand has exploded onto the scene with their interesting perfume profiles and stunning packaging, Stockholm-based Byredo makes the scents that everybody’s after these days. In addition to eau de parfum, Byredo also makes candles, hand cream and body care.
e’L by Zarkoperfume
Founder Zarko Ahlmann Pavolv writes that he wanted to combine the French art of perfumery with Nordic molecular science; Zarkoperfume is the intriguing result.
Fully utilizing the science of body chemistry, Zarkoperfume creates perfumes wherein the base ingredients interact with your pheromones, making a scent that is totally unique to you.
Zarko Perfume is a Danish fragrance brand founded in 2014. The company strives to create perfumes that encapsulate the Scandinavian experience. Handmade and bottled in Denmark.
The scent of e’t is soft, discrete and fresh. It is a perfume that develops from soft white florals and pomegranate to Indian green tea, herbs and ozones, with final notes of sweet white musk and blond woods. Not a heavy perfume, the fragrance still retains deep sensual notes.
Another stop in the colorful, sensual world of Scandinavian scents is Henrik Vibskov’s universe. His perfumes recreate the experience of the pine forest or lotus fields as imagined by the Danish fashion designer. The quirky, hand-carved toppers on simple bottles make for a sweet visual treat.
Dual by Andrea Maack
Andrea Maack is a renowned icelandic visual artist and eponymous fragrance brand, born through a series of scented art exhibitions. “What started as a series of art exhibitions using scent as a medium has now grown into one of the most sought after and unique brands within the international niche market of perfumes. The collection of unisex fragrances has been developed with an artistic approach, using the highest quality raw materials and embody elements of Maack’s travels, artistic explorations and her profound relationship with Iceland.”
This unisex sport fragrance is inspired by the calming water of the natural hot springs in the Icelandic highlands. This fragrance mimics the feeling of fresh water on the skin and the intense color spectrum surrounding the hot spring lagoons. The powerful, uplifting aromas of ginger, lemon and pink pepper coexists with the grounded woody elements of dry amber and cedar wood resulting in a very interesting mix of aromas.
3007 by Son Venin
With gorgeous bottles that recall the vanity table of a 19th century lady and a range of notes from the complex and unconventional to the pure, Son Venïn is bringing the best of niche fragrance to Norway. This is a really special brand – their passion for scent is evident in every bottle and the way each piece is lovingly packaged.
Son Venin is a new niche Norwegian perfume brand with headquarters in Oslo with a focus on its Nordic heritage, craftsmanship, visual presentation and a sensuous experience. The fragrance compositions are sophisticated and charismatic, made from the best ingredients, without any unnecessary chemicals.
Cumulus by Tromborg
Created by Marianne Tromborg, the eponymous luxury beauty brand also offers skincare and makeup that are organic and natural; just like their perfumes. They focus on natural well-being, and use essential oils as well as plant extracts. The products are produced in Denmark, following the philosophy ‘less is more’.
“Clouds have always inspired art and literature. Their greatness and proportions trigger the imagination. Dreams and happiness are the notions we associate with clouds. Their shapes even symbolize the poetic, imposing, mystical and beautiful. It is a peaceful waste of time to watch the clouds wander over the sky, forever changing their shape.” Cumulus is Tromborg’s attempt to capture this very special atmosphere in a bottle, inspired by “the soft, downy, beautiful Cumulus clouds in the Scandinavian sky”. It features joyous notes of Bergamot with a hint of vanilla.
Solstice by Björk & Berries
Björk & Berries is a Swedish botanical skincare and perfume house dedicated to capturing the beauty and benefits of the country’s nature in its purest form, using local flora with advanced technology to provide luxurious organic skincare products and artisanal fragrances. All products are made in Sweden.
Solstice was inspired by the mythology and symbolism of ancient midsummer traditions, and the celebration of the ‘never ending light’. It has notes of bright neroli, soft orange blossoms, deep amber, herbaceous lavender and cashmere woods.
Solaris by Agonist
Agonist is a Swedish Perfume House launched in 2008 by creative couple Christine and Niclas Lydeen. The unique and dramatic artistic expressions from AGONIST is derived from the beauty of Scandinavian nature and culture. Each perfume is bottled in a fantastic hand-blown Swedish glass flacons.
Solaris, as the name suggest, is inspired by the sun; the one that never sets in the midst of summer in the North. “Fresh, citrusy and warm, this fragrance is as magical as refreshing. With classic base note of Patchouli, it becomes vibrant with the touch of pink grapefruit.”
And last, but not least….
Imagine a great land hidden at the end of a long rocky track. A land populated by silent forests, silvery lakes, secluded islands and mountains of snow. Where nature dominates and seasons dictate. A land larger than Germany, France and Italy but one-tenth of the people. With more boats and bicycles than those owning them, and a border to continental Europe just sixty kilometres long.
This is a land (three countries to be honest) that has plotted its own course, shaped a different way of living over centuries. Where community, consciousness and timeless values of trust, equality, respect thrive. Where its inhabitants place the greatest priority on life balance, on fellowship, family and friends, and on everyday moments of shared happiness.
Skandinavisk was started by two English chaps, Shaun Russell and Gerry Kingham, who fell in love with two blonde Scandinavian girls two centuries ago and never left. Their collection is inspired by more than fifteen years of travels and experiences across the Nordic region.
In 2013, when they launched their first scented candles, the guys made it their mission to bring to life the stories of Scandinavia through design and fragrance – whether the focus be on the local flora, so abundant in summer and frozen in winter, or the thoughtful approach to life common to all Scandinavians. Interpretations of raw nature, and of human nature.
Nose for Scandinavian Perfumes
“My wife’s Copenhagen garden, itself the inspiration for the Rosenhave fragrance, hosts more than one hundred varieties of rose including alba and rugosa roses often found wild in the north, and delicate old French tea and Bourbon roses. The garden is also a haven for temperate-friendly flora such as lily of the valley, elderflower, lilac, peony, apples and berries,” says Shaun.
“Our own growing team of Brits and Scandinavians can be found in Copenhagen, Stockholm and London and we produce everything here in Scandinavia or in the European Union. As we look toward the next five years, we will keep exploring, keep learning, and keep challenging ourselves to bring to life this beautiful and inspiring region,” he continues.
“But living in Scandinavian is not just about which part of the world you come from, it’s also how you think, how you treat others, and what you treasure. We believe a Scandinavian approach to life offers a blueprint for a better future in a world that’s forgetting how to listen to quieter voices,” he concludes.
Nose for Scandinavian Perfumes, compiled by Tor Kjolberg