Knee-high nightie. Grapefruit, peach; a shrill, bitter note of pomegranate. Redcurrant, rhubarb: not quite Chucky, but there is still more than a hint of malevolence in Laurent’s Baby Doll. Wickedly fruity, sharp, and sexy – the prototype that launched a thousand copy-cats from rosy moppet-factories dotted across the landscape – this perfume is sweet but self-aware; bright, effervescent, and juicy; a pinky-floral laced with just enough insouciant wit and cynicism to prevent the whole from giving you toothache. The best of its type, and a very big hit in Japan.



PULP / BYREDO (2008)

‘Fruit basket’ can denote different things: a wicker bowl of cherries perched on apples, oranges and pears. Or a wilful kooky; a loop de loop. Pulp, by Byredo, is a touch of the former, but mostly the latter. The company itself admits that this creation is a ‘dramatic composition focused on the idea of a ripe, sweet, shapeless mass of fruit; an intense and unruly flavor.’ And fruity isn’t the half of it. This is a pinky, foaming, bilge of strawberries, peaches and blackcurrants, thrilling and tooth-rotting: one sniff and I was in James’ Giant Peach with all the creatures, partying and orgying at the core.



Filed under Flowers


  1. Marina

    how on earth did you find Pulp? I want to know the whole story. Where would one find it?

  2. ginzaintherain

    Marina I think it is sold in all trendy department stores; Liberty in London, Isetan in Tokyo and so on. But you would only ever want a sample, for a shifty sniff. You too much of a lady to dignify a whole bottle of this.

  3. Reblogged this on The Black Narcissus and commented:

    happy halloween. i just had the most fantastic time dancing all night in roppongi. you would not have BELIEVED the amount of revellers on the streets: thousands and thousands of thronging zombies, vampires, sexy nurses, the whole shebang. unforgettable.

  4. ninakane1

    I LOVE Pulp by Byredo! It’s my favourite one of theirs! Got a sample in Harrods and it’s the only place i’ve seen it. It’s really sharp and acrid – total compost – a whack of lime and then some mulchy fruit smell (think flower stems rotting at the bottom of a week old vase sloshing around in remains of the water) but its outrageousness and its limey ‘couldn’t give a’ really appeals to me! I’ve been ymming and ahhing about spritzing some today after clocking your post, but am exploring Angela Flanders Bleu de Chine and am very taken with its cool green (lavender, patchoulie and vetiver – a sibling to her Earl Grey apparently – she concocted them together and Earl Grey won out, but she returned to Bleu de Chine later and they’re very similar) so have refrained from rushing to the Pulp. The Bleu de Chine is reminding me – in smell terms only, not in emotional effect- of Ivoire de Balmain. However am currently very drunk on the last of the Choya and sucking the plums at the bottom of the bottle is lending itself to something of a mulchy mood. Off out to the local bonfire and a spritz of the stuff may well be a good antidote to the sweet and sticky decline if the afternoon and wake me up just long enough to ensure i don’t singe my fingers on a sparkler or trip over a small child and fall headling into the pyre!

    • ninakane1

      I mean Umeshu not Choya! Always get the names mixed up.

    • ninakane1

      Just spritzed some on! Had forgotten the big whack of tomato leaf sitting on top which is one of the pleasantest bits. But it is a bit foul and i’m feeling it in the sinuses and forehead a little. It is definitely sobering me up though! Tomato leaf and lime are definitely its best notes, but the sweeter lurking notes… It must have geranium leaf in it? Does it? Heliotrope? Lily of the valley? Oh well. It’s banished the China Blue sophistication of my wrist and is now blasting my nasals with all the sharp and squelchy coolness of a sucked plum stone. What the hell! I’m awake!

  5. Oh…sweet stuff…and an absolutely lovely read. Never have smelled Baby Doll and now I MUST! (Thank you very much) I find Pulp to be a bit to ripe for my taste. But what can one do but keep on sniffing?

  6. Just watched a video of Halloween in Tokyo, I WISH I was there. Glad you had such a smashing time.
    Loved the uniqueness of Babydoll when it came out. Unfortunately it wore as a perfect grapefruit on my skin. Have not tried the Byredo, but would love to one of these days. I will need to check Barney’s in boston to see if they carry it.

  7. Laurels

    I’ve seen Baby Doll at the discounters and wondered (it sounds so NOT YSL), so thank you for the review. The grapefruit gives me pause, but I may need to give it a whirl.

    Happy belated Halloween! Glad you had a great time, and interesting to know it’s celebrated in Japan. I went to the Halloween party to end all Halloween parties my second year of college, and it’s been all downhill since.

  8. I was in Venice and Verona on Halloween and was so disappointed to not see a single adult or young adult dressed up for a party or anything! A very few young children at dusk doing the rounds. Also what with it being Friday night I’m not sure if the Venetians and Veronese were off somewhere fabulous but I saw no revelry whatsoever! I was disappointed and I think I must secretly love Halloween.

    • Ah but to be in Venezia…..I still haven’t been. Tell me it doesn’t disappoint.

      • It’s mad…

        I was staying in Verona which I found enchanting and relaxing and took the train and was completely bowled over. The chaos of it and the grandness of some of it terrified me – it was too much, but also quickly just wonderful. I knew I had to return the following day. I have hardly travelled but I still can’t quite believe it exists. It’s touristy, but also not, it’s full of secrets, and the light and the water reflects and it’s so incredibly rich with beauty, the walls of the buildings have absorbed so much, my head was in a spin. I got lost of course, several times, the place is immense. I’ll have to go back. There was also something quite cool about the locals, and the atmosphere, not that I really had enough time to see but I was so happy to just sit and be there. I didn’t even have time to go to a museum, but I know it would be one of the most enriching experiences, the Castelvecchio museum in Verona made my heart sing with such a gorgeous selection of paintings, shown alongside frescoes (maybe it’s context but no London collection has felt as intimate or right). Venice just blew my mind culturally though without even stepping inside the museums. Must learn Italian, what a delightful language.

      • It is intrinsically beautiful, which is why I did it at university! I only know Rome and Florence, really. I presume you have seen Don’t Look Now?

  9. katherinec

    Yes, and I’m always wanting to watch it again. One of the first things I did when I got back was look up the locations (I just ended up going without much in the way of research and no mobile internet, just me and a map), and there’s a nice article from the Independent by a Don’t Look Now enthusiast who spoke to Nicolas Roeg and Julie Christie and visited all the places. Being a one language speaker (which is embarrassing and rubbish) I had not before been struck by what a different language can open up in understanding things. The sound of Italian around me and in my head started to show things that weren’t visible before! Which makes sense but which I hadn’t been able to imagine.

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