MIXED EMOTIONS by BYREDO (2021)





Blackcurrant is not a note I usually go for in perfumery. I once had the extrait of Cassisier by L’Occitane and liked my brother’s Roger & Gallet Cassis Frenesie – he is obsessed with the note- but I don’t usually wear it myself. I like, but don’t love it in fruit jams, and avoid cocktails with creme de cassis, so I am probably not the ideal candidate for Byredo’s new Mixed Emotions even if paradoxically I think it is possibly my favourite of their entire collection.

You do have to like blackcurrant if you are to enjoy this scent. The beginning, especially, is a highly unusual mentholated cassis note that can’t help but make you think of cough sweets ( or throat lozenges); I remember at school at the bus stop, hands in pockets on frosty winter mornings, any kid who had a stuffed up nose or a cold would pass around their packet of Tunes to share and while away a few minutes, waiting, decongesting the sinuses with head-clearing menthol vapors flavoured with synthetic raspberry or blackcurrant. The whole upper deck would smell of it.


Immediately with Mixed Emotions, beside the blackcurrant , you are also met with warm, emotively aromatic support from both South American mate and Ceylon tea, made smokier still ( but not to the usual Byredo levels of intensity ) by deft touches of birch leaf, violet, and and papyrus. The scent tugs at you in a nostalgic way and I find it quite an original composition; definitely melancholic and very ‘moody’ with no schmaltz or sweetness (the art film made to promote the perfume, atmospheric and quite self-serious, will possibly be seen as pretentious and indulgent by some; a series of young Londoners variously discussing their own identity issues and life philosophies while dancing around a stately home set in the misty English countryside: D and I found it rather dreamy and restful one afternoon); an ‘epicene’, or ungendered, scent according to Byredo that is a match for these difficult, emotionally testing times. In its holistic whole, I like it ; D, another blackcurrant lover, does not, attesting to the aptness of its perfect, if slightly self-consciously awkward name.



13 Comments

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13 responses to “MIXED EMOTIONS by BYREDO (2021)

  1. I’m glad to hear that finally Byredo created something likable. Although I do own a few Byredos, I am not a fan of the House. Most of the scents are very ordinary but very expensive. They did a recent tobacco fragrance that sounded interesting, but I never got around to trying it.

    • I haven’t smelled that one yet either – it wasn’t at the Byredo shop in Yokohama.

      This is strange ; definitely polarizing, but more tender, less harsh and direct than some of their other offerings.

      Are you a blackcurrant woman ?

  2. Tara C

    This was dreadful on me. It smelled like peach on the paper strip, so I tested it on skin and got a huge camphoraceous blast. Honestly I never smelled black currant at any point, and I love black currant, both in perfume and preserves. In the far drydown I did smell the peach but this one is a hard pass for me.

    The Tobacco Mandarin was wonderful on me however and I ended up buying it.

    • I am intrigued. Not too sweet ?

      As for Emotions, I wouldn’t wear it :there is something quite odd about it. But as it wore on, on my skin the woody aromatic tea aspect definitely had something..

      Smelling it now I can see the blackcurrant / peach connection ; it certainly isn’t like the fresh tart fruit, which is probably where I made the lozenge connection

      • Tara C

        No, I didn’t find it sweet, just fruity. The drydown was fine but I wouldn’t wear it because the first hour or so is so dire.

      • The dry down is kind of foxy I agree in a dry and splintery way ; I also personally couldn’t take the opening. There is something sickening about it.

  3. Robin

    Mixed Emotions, given that Duncan likes blackcurrant but not this fragrance. sounds like something I might not like all that much either. I like many mint effects, but mentholated isn’t one of them. I think of Vicks VapoRub. But I (as usual with your positive reviews) adore the way you describe it and found myself falling in love with it as I was reading. And the notes themselves (mentholation notwithstanding) sound as though they’d be gorgeous together.

    I think we talked about Byredo not too long ago. I’ve never warmed to the line myself, for skin. I like the scents as room scents; their candles are very good. I am intrigued, though.

    I watched the whole YouTube video. I loved parts of it. The music, the dancing, the settings, the light, the costumes, the editing. YES. Um, the musings, though. I’m not too sure about those.

    And I kept distracting myself by thinking, “Man, these people are definitely NOT cool with the name Gypsy Water.”

    • Some of their names are definitely a tad gauche.

      Like the film, to me this is more for autumn than spring. I am pretty sure you would enjoy smelling glimpses of it on another person if not yourself.

    • I can totally get how their candles might be more appealing than the skin perfumes as they already kind of smell like room fragrances. Which ones have you tried ? D is a candle hater so we never have them but I enjoy sniffing them anyway.

      • Robin

        I like the kind of smoky ones like Bibliotheque, Bohemia, Burning Rose and Tree House. I didn’t know D was a candle hater. I didn’t know there was such a thing! Ric impressed me when I met him and went to his cottage for the first time. He had scented candles. Good ones. (I know! My jaw dropped. Shows just how much I had to learn.) Not bad, for a guy who works chainsaw for a living.

        But how do you cope? Incense is good, but there’s nothing like a great candle. Somehow, the scent translates especially well when it’s coming from hot wax or soy.

        I understand that difference: between ambient scent and scent you actively sniff from your wrist or smell on yourself if you put on lots. Sometimes I wish I could smell myself from afar like that, just removed enough to make a difference.

  4. I have yet to find a Byredo fragrance I like, although the tobacco one filomena mentioned above might be nice. I am always searching for a tobacco leaf scent that might smell similar to a Voluspa candle I once owned, it was called Warm Perique Tabac. The candle is long discontinued now, but the aroma was intoxicating. I detest the backcurrant note in almost all fragrances where it is a focal point, same goes for mint, so I would more than likely not enjoy MIxed Emotions. You do make it sound desirable though.

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