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Russell Westbrook’s unisex fragrance passes sniff test -- is branded bedding next?

Barneys New York Celebrates Russell Westbrook X Byredo Fragrance

Oklahoma City Thunder point guard and Long beach native Russell Westbrook, far left, with Byredo Parfums founder Ben Gorham at the July 22, dinner celebrating the release of a collaborative scent. At right, the scene at the poolside dinner at the Sunset Tower Hotel.

(Stefanie Keenan / Getty Images)

A Russell Westbrook branded line of comforters? Don’t rule it out.

That was the takeaway from Wednesday night’s dinner at the Sunset Tower Hotel celebrating the Oklahoma City Thunder point guard’s latest collaboration — a unisex scent with Byredo and retailer Barneys New York.

The Long Beach native, long one of the NBA’s most fashion-forward players, has been on a bit of a fashion-branding tear in the off-season. Already in the middle of a multiseason co-branding deal with Barneys, serving as creative director for the True Religion denim label and an ambassador for Zenith watches, he saw his first signature sneaker — the Air Jordan Westbrook 0 — hit retail less than two weeks ago.

The jump from footwear to fragrance comes with Byredo Westbrook Eau De Parfum, a scent the NBA All-Star developed in collaboration with Stockholm-based Byredo Parfums’ founder Ben Gorham.

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Westbrook said his goal was to come up with a scent that everyone could feel comfortable in. “I wanted a scent that can take you throughout the day, [wear] at nighttime, any time of the day … a scent that people would notice but that wouldn’t be too noticeable.”

The end result — with base notes of Haitian vetiver, middle notes of black violet and tobacco and top notes that include bergamot and a fruity-leathery flower called osmanthus — is a zippy, peppy fragrance that immediately had us thinking about fresh-cut grass with a hint of burnished leather in the background. Our first-sniff impression? It’s a suitable scent for men and women that strikes the sweet spot of just-noticeable-enough and a fragrance that surprisingly stands head-and-shoulders above the kind of celebrity-fronted scents we’ve had the misfortune of dabbing on our wrists in the past.

Before guests (including Westbrook’s family) sat down for the Barneys-hosted dinner we had a chance to chat with the fledgling lifestyle star. Had he found through the development process any parallels between professional perfumery and professional basketball, we wondered. “No. Zero. It didn’t help me, I can tell you that,” he said with a laugh. “Well, patience maybe —but that’s about it.”

Although Westbrook won’t disclose what his next move in the fashion and lifestyle space will be (“I’m working on a few things,” is all he’ll say), he’s emphatic about one thing: He’s not ruling out anything. “I’m going to be open, you never know where your mind takes you,” he said. “One day I might want to do comforters — you never know.”

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Byredo Westbrook Eau De Parfum (8.5 ounces for $350) available exclusively at Barneys New York, including 9570 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, and online at barneys.com

For the latest in fashion and style news, follow me @ARTschorn


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