Top 10 Indie Fragrances


“Byredo’s founder, Stockholm native Ben Gorham, based his first creations on childhood memories of places he’s lived and visited. But for his most recent scent, he drew inspiration from the realms of fiction and emotion: Seven Veils—a sensual mix of sandalwood, Tahitian vanilla flower, and pimento berry—is named for the seductive dance by Salome.” —Jane Larkworthy, Beauty Director


“Once a cosmetics executive in Germany, Ulrich Lang decided to follow his nose in 2003, launching an eponymous fragrance line. The first two scents paid homage to his beloved city of Antwerp, Belgium, but the newest is inspired by New York. Long obsessed with patchouli, Lang incorporated hits of fresh greens (bergamot, jasmine, geranium) into Nightscape, for a more modern experience.” —Christina Han, Associate Beauty Editor


“Retail partners Eddy Chai and Paul Birardi started their gender-friendly fragrance line in 2009. The latest effort contains hints of spicy ginger, guaiac wood, incense, redwood, and black musk—but we just think it smells like the sexiest fireplace ever.”


“The Japan-born, Beverly Hills–based Mecheri takes inspiration from memories, fabrics, and faraway cultures. Paradise Lost, a floral blend of bergamot, jasmine, tuberose, and sandalwood, pays homage to the sun-drenched beaches of Goa, India.” —Christina Han, Associate Beauty Editor


“Former molecular biologist Andy Tauer began creating perfumes seven years ago, largely by instinct. Thirteen fragrances later, the Swiss native has launched his Pentachords collection—three scents with a less-is-more mind-set. Our favorite is Verdant, designed to smell like a forest after a rainstorm—pure bliss.” —Jane Larkworthy, Beauty Director


“Two years ago, after finishing her scent studies in Grasse, France, Anne McClain debuted her MCMC Fragrances line. Each of the hand-crafted perfumes is inspired by a memory, and each is homemade in Brooklyn, where she now resides. Her latest is named after a friend who brought to mind notes of peach, cherry blossom, and Tunisian neroli.” —Christina Han, Associate Beauty Editor


“After working with several perfumers in New York, Sara Carner returned to her hometown in Spain, where she created a line of scents based on her family’s history as leather artisans. Her newest is Cuirs Eau de Parfum. The leather-based scent is also packed with a plethora of woods, including Australian sandalwood, Texas cedar, and the resin-laden oud.” —Jane Larkworthy, Beauty Director


“Saffron James founder Kate Growney left her career as a beauty editor six years ago to craft scents based on the indigenous flowers of her native Hawaii. Her latest is a blend of violet, Moroccan rose, orange blossom, and gardenia called Ipo—Polynesian for sweetheart.” —Christina Han, Associate Beauty Editor


“The brainchild of fragrance entrepreneur Frederick Bouchardy, Joya offers an array of candles, but its two perfume oils are as divine as the stunning porcelain bottles that contain them—and the 22k-gold-dipped wands with which they’re applied. No. 6 is like being in a freshly cut meadow at dusk.” —Jane Larkworthy, Beauty Director


“Sebastián Alvarez Murena and Marina Sersale—whose family runs the 60-year-old La Sirenuse hotel in Positano, Italy—are the husband-and-wife team behind Eau d’Italie. In 2004, they decided to create a fragrance to celebrate the hotel’s 50-plus years. Seven years later, they’re launching their eighth fragrance, an outdoorsy blend of bitter orange, basil, cypress, and vetiver.” —Jane Larkworthy, Beauty Director