It’s incredibly flattering for me when once in a while I receive an email from a perfume brand stating that they’ve been following my blog for a while & like my writing style, therefore they’d like to send me samples. For me it’s a great way of discovering new things but also to develop more personal relationship with a brand, because I have that 1 message I can later use for further contact. Few weeks ago I was approached in a way mentioned by Nick Steward, founder of Gallivant. The name rang a bell in my mind, so of course I was happy to try their fragrances. Gallivant as a verb means “to go around from one place to another in the pursuit of pleasure or entertainment” while the brand sources their perfume ideas from nomad life and being a traveller. Perfume is a destination here.
Istanbul (shown above left) embodies “this feeling of an ancient city, but with a freshness, a modernity. An old luxury and a new confidence.” Its composition starts with a tart bergamot that is so diffusive it feels more like a shade cast by a citrus tree on a sunny day. It’s gone in a quick poof, stepping down to make room for cardamom. The latter one is more and spicy, with a crunchy and roasted background. There’s even something slightly caramelized about it. Its impression is followed by red thyme which gradually builds up an herbal aspect of the scent. This one is also a bit sweaty. Heart of the fragrance hides lavender absolute that is a marriage between floral and herbaceous elements. As far as I’m concerned I found its aroma to be quite dry & more herbal than floral. Geranium is a source of temporary feeling of something crispy and green but later it develops a sharp, minty undertone. Because it seems a bit metallic it feels slightly disturbing, at least to me. Later on I get opoponax and patchouli. They blend nicely together to create a multi-layer of woody, balsamic, earthy and sweet notes. It’s a source of pleasure in Instanbul the fragrance. The base is firing up with generous dose of rich vanilla, supported by beautiful, creamy spiciness of tonka bean. Amber adds a sensual warmth while sandalwood brings forth a seductive vibe. The drydown has some heft to it but doesn’t feel too heavy. It’s definitely the most interesting part of this scent.
Brooklyn (shown above right) according to the brand is about “non-stop go-go-go” while the perfume is meant to be “energetic with a creative and intellectual fizz.” In this case the opening is build around bergamot again but it lingers on skin, effusing tart, aromatic and zesty molecules. As soon as lemon and orange add their values, the perfume starts to be a kick of energy, very juicy, tasty and mouth-watering like a glass of freshly squeezed juice you could grab on your way to work. We have cardamom here again but much less accentuated, it’s all about citrus at the moment. However there is a twist to it when incense starts to sneak in, bringing some sheer smokiness with it. Who would have thought that it would smell so nice with lemon or bergamot. Later on Brooklyn juiciness becomes more clean. It smells of fresh air, clean cotton sheets with a little bit of ozonic notes. From citrus it gradually goes to pale, aquatic florals. I can smell silky magnolia and perhaps a little bit of water-lily but Gallivant uses a general term of transparent flowers. It does feel sheer, airy and with pastel colors. There’s also a gentle powdery vibe of iris here. The drydown has a fluffy musk accord blended with white woods that are delicate and that don’t add much weight to the scent. Amber (much lighter than in Istanbul) raises temperature a bit while benzoin listed among notes was barely there on my skin. Perhaps it was very subtle and got overlooked because of ambery note.
Both Istanbul and Brooklyn have decent projection and good longevity. They are interesting and quite easy to wear. Gallivant team decided to work with young perfumers – Istanbul was created by Karine Chevallier while Brooklyn is a composition from Giorgia Navarra (trained by Bertrand Duchaufour). These 2 are a half of initial collection from Gallivant, other 2 represent London and Tel Aviv. Plus there will be another two appearing this fall. All fragrances are in eau de parfum concentration and since the brand is about exploring and discovering places, their bottle is travel friendly (and perfumista friendly) since it’s a 30 ml size. Feel like going to any of these two places?