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When it comes to bespoke, elevated fragrances that are both distinctively elegant and effortless cool, Byredo comes to the top of mind. In fact, the first time I caught a whiff of my ex-boyfriend’s M/Mink cologne (all of Byredo’s fragrances are unisex) I fell in love immediately, stealing a spritz or two for myself whenever he wasn’t looking. When he and I broke up, the shining light at the end of the tunnel of heartbreak was that I could now call his signature scent my very own—and I wear it proudly to this day. Personal anecdotes aside though, Byredo’s proprietary scent range is the ultimate when it comes to cult-status fragrances, but while each and everyone one of their scents feels exclusive and elevated, the brand most certainly has a few top-sellers, most notably of which is Gypsy Water.
Launched in 2008, Gypsy Water is a remarkably universally appealing accord with an overall woody aroma and top notes of bergamot, pepper, juniper, and lemon, and base notes comprised of warm sandalwood, amber, and vanilla, culminating in a delightfully complex profile that well, basically smells good on literally everyone, to put it simply. Byredo’s perfumes are, quite frankly, not easily duped, but if you’re looking for a more affordable Gypsy Water alternative, Toccas’s “Colette” fragrance comes remarkably close.
Inspired by the great poets of the 1940s this warm floral fragrance features a romantic blend of sandalwood, bergamot, pink peppercorn, and violet—a very, very close mix of notes to Gypsy Water. While the full-size bottle of Colete will set you back around $75 (still, much more wallet-friendly than the staggering $260 the O.G. perfume will set you back), you can get the smaller size for just about $40 if you want to give it a test drive before making a full investment.