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The Best Smelling Skin of Your Life Awaits

January 1 | 3 minute read

Memo Byredo x Susanne Kaufmann Hero 16x9

Originally published on | October 16

It’s a much-documented fact that fragrance can serve as a potent portal into our memory bank. It might be sepia-tinged childhood moments evoked by a whiff of your mother’s perfume or a waft of rosemary that transports you back to holidays spent on a sun-baked Mediterranean Isle. More practically, aromatherapy has been harnessed for medicinal use to enhance physical and emotional health over centuries. The burning of incense and essential oils can even help us blissfully step outside ourselves, if only just for a precious moment.

A new limited-edition collaboration between Ben Gorham, the Swedish founder of the cult fragrance brand Byredo and the Austrian natural skincare guru Suzanne Kaufmann promises to transport in such a fashion. This time to the Austrian Alps to the wide valley and deep green forests of the region of Bregenzerwald — for which the collection is named — where Kaufmann set up her eponymous business in Bezau 20 years ago.

“This collaboration encapsulates everything I love about my home in the Bregenzerwald: the vast array of efficacious natural ingredients we have, the crisp, fresh scent of the Alpine forests that fill the air and the creative and innovative imaginations of the people who live here,” Kaufmann says of the limited-edition partnership, which features two minimalist designed products, a body oil and a fragrance oil.

A chance meeting between Gorham and Kaufmann in Paris last year saw them conspiring on this project. The two visionaries naturally fit: both lean into the ritualistic appeal of fragrance and beauty. Gorham, a former pro basketballer, has intuitively built a multi-million dollar business on his considered approach — most recently expanding into make-up with the Italian make-up artist Lucia Pica, who was formally at Chanel.
Memo Byredo x Susanne Kaufmann 3x4 C
Memo Byredo x Susanne Kaufmann 3x4 D

The joy of returning home after travels became an obvious inspiration for the scent. “Whenever I return from a trip to a big city, the first thing I do is head out into the forest for a walk to clear my mind and reset,” Kaufmann says. “I am always inspired by the scents that fill the air.”

The appeal of the Bregenzerwald line is undeniably more modest. A return to a simplicity that has wide-reaching appeal, perhaps because, despite her international presence, Kaufmann’s offer has always remained connected her roots. She still helps to run the family hotel in Bezau that houses her original spa, and her products are derived mainly from local alpine ingredients. All her manufacturing, too, takes place in a small factory not far from Bezau.

Now that sentiment is available to us all (or those quick enough to snap up the limited-edition offer). Packaged as a chic roll-on, the compact fragrance oil captures invigorating calm and clarity, akin to taking in a lung full of fresh mountain air. Fresh jasmine notes and the sweetness of fig underline an earthy alpine scent. The body oil has the same scent but is enriched by locally sourced antioxidant-rich oils, such as apricot kernel and meadowfoam seed, which ensure long-lasting moisture. We recommend you apply it on damp skin after bathing or showering and massage it in to see where it takes you.
Hand holding the limited-edition Byredo x Susanne Kaufmann scent

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