To be like a sir, Le Galion Special for Gentlemen

If you have been following my writing for the last couple of months (or at least if you’ve read my Bottle Awards post) I’m sure you have noticed how much I enjoyed fragrances from Le Galion line. This historical French brand originates from 1930. Since the maison was established by Prince Joachim Murat, the brand’s owner has changed several times. Perfumer Paul Vacher gave Le Galion the greatest fame and glory, which lasted until 1980, when the new owner caused this galleon to sink for many years. In 2014 Thomas Fontaine and Nicolas Chabot decided to revive it.

The thing that I value the most in Le Galion is the fact that each of 9 fragrances that currently exist in the collection have been made with a lot of care and according to the old formula notebook that’s in possession of Nicolas Chabot. Of course they don’t smell like originals from 20th century, all compositions have been remastered and adapted to current restrictions. But I believe the creators when they say they kept these scents as close to old versions as possible.

Apart from falling hardly in love with Le Galion Iris, the other fragrance that I have worn more often than the others was Special for Gentlemen. This is the one of not very many niche perfumes created especially for men. The composition opens with a beautifully soft, refined and balsamic smell of opoponax resin. In this perfume it has a gentle yet bold character, it’s the kind if accord that will be impossible to miss in this fragrance. After 15-20 minutes the composition starts to change and becomes more sweet, with more nuances coming shortly.

Special for Gentlemen has a rather hefty dose of vanilla, which on one hand adds a tasty and sensual vibe to it, and on the other hand it combines so nicely with opoponax that the whole perfume smells like a modern oriental blend for a while. After some period of time the perfume is enriched with lavender accord. This ingredient, bringing both floral and herbal-aromatic facets instantly makes the sillage bigger and a bit more daring. The true face of fougere appears just a little bit later, when I start to smell some hay and fern. The masculine character of this perfume is undeniable.

Close to the end of fist hour of wearing this Le Galion fragrance, it changes again, this time showing its wild nature and a while nature that hides within every men, no matter if he knows about it or not. At this point Special for Gentlemen becomes animalic but this is a classy perfume, the animal tones are sensuous and they have sexual context, rather than smelling filthy. In the first place castoreum brings to mind the smell of fur, then soon enough it reveals the beautiful chord of leather. Gentle, soft in touch, high quality leather that you want to have close to your skin and get intimate with it. Woody scent of birch adds a slightly dirty tone, which fits perfectly in place.

Later on birch note turns a little bit more rough but the overall impression still suggests a smooth and elegant composition. The addition of oakmoss introduces some dry tones combined with this specific dusty effect. I always enjoy this impression given by the mossy molecules, as they always make me think of some short shrubs and to me they confirm the masculine style of Special for Gentlemen. At some point lavender peeks again through the woods and this time it has a company of citron and bergamot, for a tangy, zesty feeling that smells both uplifting and refreshing.

For the next 4-5 hours Special for Gentlemen by Le Galion keeps me in a good mood by delivering to my nose the beautiful fragrance of rich opoponax sweetened with vanilla, the other time I get a whiff of woods and herbaceous lavender. Sometimes I also smell the lovely smell of cinnamon, which is one of the ingredients in this fragrance. Everything feels so right and comforting. After 5 hours the composition starts moving towards the drydown notes. First of all there is a good dose of patchouli. I believe if plays the role of fixative here, as well as giving some earthy tones.

Close to the end the fragrance becomes deep and slightly darker. Clouds of smoke start to overwhelm other notes and labdanum slowly covers the ingredients with the balsamic aroma. Presence of amber enlightens this phase with a harmonious scent that feels sweet, sensual and calming. The drydown of Special for Gentlemen is kind of like a lullaby. After a whole day on the go it was there with you, keeping up with your pace. Now it wants you to relax and calm down. With a tranquil melody it will take you to the world of dreams, where many things are possible.

The lasting power of this fragrance by Le Galion is very good and oscillates around 9 hours. The perfume has a great intensity for initial 3-4 hours, after that time it stays closer to the skin. I love the character of this scent, it’s like a chameleon, it changes. Special for Gentlemen is a great interpretation of a classy and elegant perfume for a modern men, gentlemen of present times. This eau de parfum is available in 100ml bottle, 6,5ml splash miniature and as a part of travel collection, which consists of 7,5ml spray vials of whole collection and a black, lacquered travel case.

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9 thoughts on “To be like a sir, Le Galion Special for Gentlemen

  1. i need to get some samples of these. Your descriptions make these very enticing.

  2. Holly says:

    This sounds fantastic! Enticing, indeed! AND woo-hoo, their website is up and the 6.5 ml samples are available at 9 euros. I’ve been waiting as they were not available here in the US. Keep those reviews coming! Thanks!

  3. Anka says:

    Wonderful review! As you already know, I love Special for Gentlemen, it reminds me a bit of Jicky, to my nose it doesn’t have a very masculine character even though I get the fougère facets you described so well.
    And how good that they offer 7,5 ml vials!!!

  4. hajusuuri says:

    This sounds really good, Lucas. I went to the Le Galion website and was ready to trigger a blind buy of Iris…then I saw the Limited Edition Discovery Set and switched out Iris for the Discovery Set. Unfortunately, I saw that shipping to the U.S. was €40 and so as of right now, I am Le Galion-less.

    • lucasai says:

      Hello sweetie! That discovery set is great and it comes with a tube case for the vials. Please check how much they charch for EU shipping, I will be more than happy to pass it forward to you

  5. […] OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT SPECIAL FOR GENTLEMEN: Chemist in the Bottle, La gardenia […]

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