Gallivant Fragrance Review
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Gallivant is without a shadow of a doubt my favourite fragrance discovery since 2014. Gallivant are a niche UK based perfume house championing storytelling through fragrance. They are rooted in the belief that travel and fragrance are intertwined, taking inspiration from the way cities make you feel and using this to evoke the olfactory system- replicating the feeling with fragrance.
I was first introduced to the brand in February 2020 on a trip to Amsterdam, in fabulous beauty retailer Babassu. I spotted these stylish 30ml bottles sitting quietly on the shelf among a sea of larger bottles and instantly knew I had to know them. I love finding special products when I’m away from home, and this was the perfect discovery.
Founded by fragrance industry icon, Nick Steward (formerly of L’Artisan Parfumeur and L’Oreal) I had faith that these would be brilliant. Each fragrance in the range is inspired by a city and its vibe; which ultimately is the feeling replicated when you wear the fragrance. Nick also works alongside other talented noses to create the fragrances, making each one a labour of love, using only the highest quality materials available. The team at Babassu was deeply passionate about the brand and it definitely rubbed off on me!
Ironically my introduction started with London (in Amsterdam!). London is described as a floral leather fragrance with notes of Cucumber, Rose de Mai absolute, suede and leather.
Green top-notes, floral heart-notes and warm base-notes. Perfect. I actually think that the description they provide does a better job at communicating the fragrance- ‘Rain, shine, touch of grit, dash of glam.’
You have to smell it to believe it but I can’t believe how obsessed I am. This rarely happens because I try so many fragrances, but every so often I find one that is really special – I can’t be without it. I’ll wear this year round, but I associate it heavily with late winter, early spring so that is likely when I’ll wear it most.
The lasting power was where I thought I would have to settle, you couldn’t have everything right? Well, apparently you can. This is one of my longest lasting fragrances- second only to Frederic Malle. I can still smell it on my skin post shower and on my jacket for days. Colour me impressed.
Each fragrance is cleverly designed and housed in a 30ml bottle, making them as functional as they are chic. Under 100ml so they are travel friendly but the elegant pale green lid and rose gold accents ensure the luxury quality isn’t compromised. Think minimal yet elevated.
The outer packaging is equally as impressive too. I rarely keep packaging but I can’t bring myself to throw this away. Each fragrance is accompanied with a map of the city it is inspired by on the front. Genius.
Gallivant makes fragrance fun again. It removes any confusion by taking it back to basics. The way perfume makes you feel. They don’t bombard you with confusing information about the precious rose they extracted for months on end and you don’t have to have a degree in oud to understand the brand. It just works. The expertly curated fragrances capture the magic of the fragrance industry without being exclusive and pretentious.
I often think about how buying a fragrance based off notes alone is confusing and tricky, whilst there are notes we all gravitate towards, each formula is different. Gallivant acknowledge this and each fragrance is accompanied with a short description of the vibe it emulates. I think the descriptions are a brilliant tool to help decipher the range. This really resonates with me because it shows an understanding that fragrance is emotional and the way you feel when wearing a fragrance it ultimately the most important thing.
Gallivant have 8 city inspired fragrances, all of which are all available in 30ml eau de parfum. Like any good fragrance, these are feelings first, notes second.
London (My favourite!)
Touch of grit, dash of glam, East end boys and west end girls.
Floral, green, leather
T: cucumber, violet leaves
H: rose de mai absolute, rose oil, orris root
B: suede, leather, sandalwood, patchouli, cedarwood
Sunset people, neon signs, sultry glamour.
Neon floral. Sultry, smoky, woody, cooled with a marine breeze.
T: eucalyptus, clary sage, mandarin and pineapple.
H: narcissus and tuberose
B: cade, guaiac wood, nagarmotha / cypriol, musks and heliotrope.
Flowers, freedom, feeling cosy. Unique, original and intriguing – just like Amsterdam.
Floral, spicy, woody
T: elemi, schinus molle CO2 extract, Szechuan pepper and saffron
H: tulip and rose
B: cedarwood, musks, sandalwood and amber
East meets West
Ambery, woody, spicy
T: bergamot, cardamom, red thyme
H: lavender absolute, egyptian geranium essence, patchouli heart, sweet myrrh essence
B: sandalwood, vanilla, tonka bean, amber, musks
Sexy modern bohemians
Woody, citrus, spicy
T: grapefruit, clementine, lemon and schinus molle CO2 extract.
H: black pepper and black tea
B: Haitian vetiver, cedarwood and patchouli.
Sun, white, Bauhaus, tanned skin
Floral, fruity, warm
T: clementine, bergamot, blackcurrant bud
H: jasmine sambac absolute, comoros’ ylang ylang, rose oil, freesia
B: sandalwood, musks, liatrix absolute, benzoin
A playful tribute to kōdō – the Japanese Way of Fragrance
Zingy, spicy, woody
T: yuzu, bergamot, black pepper and cardamom, electrified with a dash of wasabi.
H: hinoki, cedarwood, orris root, nutmeg, rose and incense.
B: amber, sandalwood, patchouli and vetiver
The fizz of an urban playground.
Fresh, citrus, musky
T: bergamot, squeezed lemon and orange juice.
H: magnolia, orris root
B: white woods, benzoin, amber and musks
Gallivant is definitely for those who love a high quality, well-formulated fragrance that evokes emotion. I have some brilliant memories associated with London and am transported back to each one of them with a single spritz.
The brand is completely cruelty free and vegan. The oil concentrate is produced in Grasse, France (where most brilliant fragrances are!) and manufactured in small batches right here in the UK. Oh, and if you’re wondering about the name- Gallivant means to wander in pursuit of pleasure or entertainment, it’s not a word I used much despite it’s inherently British origin, but I guess that’s all changed now! 😉
I think the price point is great- whilst ml for ml it sits amongst most high end niche brands this makes owning a high quality fragrance much more accessible. I rarely ever finish a 100ml, so I was delighted that I could use these to expand my fragrance wardrobe, tailoring to my mood and giving me more of a chance to play, layer and experiment.
Gallivant Fragrances are £65 for the full size 30ml. Selected fragrances are also available in 10ml rollerballs for £35.
Gallivant Fragrances are available on their site and in selected boutiques worldwide.
I wholeheartedly recommend the discovery set. It’s how I was able to explore the entire range and discover which full sizes to add to my growing collection, you also receive £25 off when you buy your first full size- win win!
For anyone in the Netherlands don’t buy online- pop in to see the brand at Babassu. It’s the PERFECT location to see these in for the first time, especially accompanied with their extraordinary customer service.