Friday, 17 June 2011

10 Essentials: Ben Gorham

It's safe to say that Ben Gorham is the only guy to go from pro basketball to cooking up fragrances. After a quick stint in the Italian league, Gorham attended art school and, in 2006, launched Byredo, a Stockholm-based line that specializes in scents crafted out of stripped-down, earthy ingredients like juniper, caraway, and leather. Each scent recreates a specific memory—like the smells of mom's hometown in India and the fragrance his father used to wear—some surprisingly sensitive stuff coming from a 6'5" tall guy with inked arms. On the verge of releasing his newest spritz called Mr. Marvelous, we chatted up the renaissance dude about all the things he swears by.

1. The Food Stalls in Bademiya, India

"These foods stalls are legendary! They're located on a tiny street behind the Taj Mahal Hotel and have some of the best grilled foods I've ever eaten. They sell tandoori and tikkas—all traditional Indian stuff. The area has the most amazing scents, both good and bad—all extremes. And if you're lucky, you might even run into a Bollywood star."

2. Dark Double-Breasted Tailored Suit from Bauer & Co.

"I have all my suits tailor-made from Bauer & Co. in Stockholm. They've been around for more than 150 years and they're the only real bespoke tailor left in Scandinavia. The latest addition to my collection is a dark double-breasted summer suit. It's made from a 1950s dead stock fresco fabric that I found at a Scottish mill."

3. Silk Socks from New & Lingwood

"The ultimate dressy sock for a formal event. They work really great with patent leather slippers, the equivalent of male ballerina shoes. It's a little weird when you first put them on, like you're wearing women's stockings, but it all makes sense when you get in the shoes."

4. White Short-Sleeved Shirt by Dries Van Noten

"A super-crisp white short-sleeved shirt made with super-thin cotton—it's the perfect summer garment. Without the jacket, it becomes quite casual with the short sleeves and my tattoos. Still, there are times where I leave it on, because the tattoos scare some people."

5. Generic Boy Jeans by Acne

"Acne's actually bringing these jeans back now. When I heard they were going to discontinue them, I bought three identical ones. I've literally been calling the office requesting them for years to bring them back, so I'd like to take credit for at least part of their return."

6. Moustache Comb from G. Lorenzi in Milan

"Only for serious moustache growers. This beautiful shop located at Monte Napoleone sells you the best hand crafted shaving equipment, combs, and knives. I didn't even know moustache combs existed until I went there. It's in the shape of a manta ray, and using it becomes some type of fixation, like smoking. It's kind of like an afro pick—same idea—except you never leave it in there."

7. Aman Sveti Stefan Resort, Montenegro

"Iconic Montenegro destination in combination with one of the best luxurious get-aways. It has an unbelievably historic feel and impeccable service. They take care of anything you need, whether it's calling concierge for swimming trunks at 4 a.m. or having your eggs boiled a certain way. The island reminds me of the Adriatic side of Italy and the water here is incredibly clear because of the rocks at the bottom. The icing on the cake: they serve great, locally-caught seafood, too."

8. Fish and Chips from Room Service at the Connaught

"I love indulging in simple British food in a luxurious setting after a long day of meetings. Here's the best version of that."

9. Tea Trolley by Alvar Aalto for Artek

"I love the drink trolley designed by Alvar Aalto for Artek in 1936. He's my favorite Scandinavian designer and one who was all about function. Plus, it's just fun to wheel the trolley around and around whenever you're entertaining guests."

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