You’ve probably heard that there’s a New York City uniform. We New Yorkers are known for sleek silhouettes, utilitarian shoes that you can walk in, and of course, all-black everything. A critical part of a New Yorker’s wardrobe that you may not think about, though, is fragrance.
In NYC, fragrance follows trends just like clothing. The best example of this in recent years may be the ubiquity of Le Labo‘s Santal 33, which can be found in every possible corner of the city, from the subway to the chicest bars downtown. Santal 33 has long been one of the more versatile scents out there—notes like cardamom, iris, violet, and burning wood work well on everyone.
Chances are, if Santal 33 isn’t on the menu, the other scent of choice for many New Yorkers is Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Baccarat Rouge 540. Another multifaceted and gender-neutral scent, Baccarat Rouge is one of those perfumes that are guaranteed to score you tons of “What perfume are you wearing?” questions, but those who are in the know can recognize it instantly. Jasmine, saffron, ambergris, and cedar give it that same unexpected versatility that catapulted Santal 33 into the New York City zeitgeist.
Both Santal 33 and Baccarat Rouge have dominated the New York City fragrance matrix for quite some time. Recently, however, I’ve noticed a new scent pop up in the city more and more—and I think it’s on its way to becoming omnipresent.
That scent is none other than Byredo’s Vanille Antique, which is an extension of the brand’s Night Veils collection. These fragrances are made for “the ritual of the night,” and they’re all concentrates of raw materials in their headiest form.
Vanille Antique is centered on—you guessed it—vanilla. Unlike most vanilla-centric scents, however, Vanille Antique doesn’t lean sweet or cloying. In fact, it’s the total opposite. This fragrance is vanilla at its rawest—it’s smoky, warm, and heady. It makes sense that it’s gaining momentum in the city the way it is since it follows the same type of fragrance formula as Santal 33 and Baccarat Rouge: woods, amber, light florals, and a starring ingredient. (For Santal 33 and Baccarat Rouge, it’s cardamom and saffron respectively. For Vanille Antique, it’s vanilla.)
This scent hasn’t been around long enough to gain total dominance yet, but it’s quickly on its way. Just like its predecessors, it’s recognizable but reads different on everyone. It’s absolutely hypnotizing and—trust me—well worth the money based on compliments per wear alone.
Next, read on for the best Byredo fragrances, chosen by editors.