Tuesday, June 7, 2011

M/Mink by Byredo

Living in Stockholm it's difficult to avoid Byredo, Swedens only perfume "house". They have a prime selling spot manned with dedicated sales people at the only department store here in Stockholm that has a department dedicated to niche scents. In the blogosphere they get bashed around a lot, some claim that, scentwise, they don't have a clue what they're doing and that they exist only because insecure 30-somethings like to have a nicely designed and pricey looking bottle to show off. Myself, I like to believe that I'm keeping an open mind but I haven't found a fragrance from them that I'd like to wear. That does not mean that there isn't one that hasn't caught my attention.

Stigs harido
Yesterday I went perfume sniffing at NK (the department store mentioned above) and I sprayed a splash of M/Mink on a test strip. I got a very strong scent association right away. When I was in grade 1-3 in elementary school (6 to 8 years old) I lived pretty far away from my school. There was this guy named Stig that used to drive his green minivan and come every day to pick us up and take us to and from school. Stig was maybe in his 50-ies, had a few whisps of streaky grey hair in a comb over. He had this constant olfactory aura of camphorous cough tablets and very sharp old school hair pomada. This was backed by that sour kind of body odour that some guys have that heads towards urine whenever they break out in a sweat.

Now, Stig was not the type of guy who would waste a ride so occasionally he would do some private errands, leaving us kids in the car waiting while he did whatever he did. I especially remember one time, he was gone for pretty long, we were getting bored and while going through the car we found a porno mag under the front seat. At the time, I might have had some basic notions on how human reproduction happens, but learning there is such a thing as oral sex did come as a chock.

So now you have a basic picture of they guy. I think most of us know a Stig, for some personality types there are just more to go around than what meets the demand if you know what I'm saying. How anyone could leave Stig in care of their kids is a big mystery to me and it's an even greater mystery how Byredo have managed to create a scent that to me feels like having Stig standing right next to me.

When checking in on Byredos site, they say that M/Mink is all about ink. Now I never tried it on my skin, just on a strip if paper as the scent felt as it was as far away from my comfort zone as anything could ever be, so I've probably missed out some. But, to be honest, ink never crossed my mind.

The official notes of M/Mink are:
Top: Adoxal
Heart: Incense
Base: Patchouli leaf, clover-honey, amber

I'd never heard of Adoxal so I looked it up and this is how it is described, according to Givaudan:

Olfactive note:
Fresh, Aldehydic, Marine, Powerful, Floral
Description: Adoxal blends extremely well with floral notes such as muguet and cyclamen, as well as with fruity and woody compositions. It can also be seen as having a typical "fresh linen" odour which makes it very useful for detergent perfumes. Adoxal has a natural, ozonic aspect. Powerful, it must be used carefully.

I can tell you, M/Mink is NOT about fresh linen. It's a very unique scent that is interesting to perfume nerds as it is so different. I've been thinking about who could possibly want to wear it and the only one I can come up with is some kind of hipster guy making an ironic statement about something. Guys like Stig would be scared away both by the bottle design and the price. And why would they be interested in it, after all, if they go unwashed for a while and making sure they are dousing themself with pomada every day. they can sport it all for free.


  1. Hmm. Hmm. I don't think I'll be able to sleep very well tonight at this point.

    Besides that, I've been tempted to try M/Mink because of the purported inky facet, but I'm not in a huge rush to test it.

  2. If you like to try unusual scents in order to experience something different it might be worth a try, but not for the sake of finding something wearable.

    But, really, if you like I can mail you a well doused test strip in plastic. As I said, there is a lot of Byredo to go around here :)

  3. You should really dare to try it on skin. After the initial shock of adoxal, I was surprised how wearable it actually became. Now it's one of my all time favourites - although not something you wear every day.. It's definitely a statement and nothing for the shy.

  4. You know, I just might. No matter what I initially thought of it, it did make a strong impression and I'm having a hard time just forgetting about it. So I might give it another try.

  5. This truly is a skanky little devil, which is also the reason I bought a full bottle almost immediately! Adoxal is, in its not so freakishly concentrated amount, a fresh-laundry-scent, but just like amber smells of something completely different in high amounts, so does adoxal. And, on skin, I really pick up the ink accord; ink as in a solid block of black ink smashed down on your desk, or of a great factory of Bic ballpoints. A little bit like the ink patrons in photocopying machines. On blotters it is not good at all, too metallic and it NEVER fades (which it does on skin, eventually). Now that I think of it, it would be interesting to layer it with Comme des Garcons Odeur 54, to get that complete smell of "office" haha.
    Anyhow, I really recommend you to try it on skin, and spray it from a distance. It is definitely wearable but you dont want this little minx to choke you and your surroundings completely.
    LOVE your portrait of "Stig" btw!!!

  6. That does it. Next time at NK I'll just walk up to the Byredo counter and get a big spray of M/Mink. If that will make me mentally turn into Stig for the rest of the day, at least it will be an interesting experience :D