I love neon signs. When I am in a place where there are great ones around, they impart a unique light, especially at night. Slashing bands of color reflect onto the asphalt or sidewalk. It transforms the mundane into something exotic. When I received my sample of Gallivant Los Angeles it reminded me of this.
Gallivant was founded in 2017 and over the past two-and-a-half years creative director-owner Nick Steward has created a solid collection of fragrance. With each release Mr. Steward tells us what part of the city he wants to evoke. For Los Angeles he asked perfumer Karine Chevallier for a “shimmering Hollywood” neon floral. As soon as I read that, before smelling it, I was on Hollywood Boulevard in the height of the evening. When I tried my sample it seems like we were on the same wavelength.
Hollywood Boulevard is one of my favorite places in LA because it feels like the crossroads of the entertainment industry and California cool. It is hard not to look down at the Walk of Fame tiles and not feel the history of the visual arts. At night the recently restored neon signs of the grand theatres glow above it all providing the perfect coloring for this part of town. On the street there are the examples of Cali car culture. Nighttime on Hollywood Boulevard is where it all collides. For the perfume based on this Mr. Steward and Mme Chevallier create bands of color all their own each representing part of the milieu.
The first band is cool green represented by eucalyptus and clary sage. This is the vegetal accord of LA. It gets matched with the garish yellow of pineapple. The fruit oozes over the top accord adding a sweetness which finds the right balance. The pulsating pink of tuberose sets the heart ablaze. Mme Chevallier also uses narcissus to create her neon floral accord. The tuberose is made less indolic so it can be opaquer. This isn’t transparent but it also isn’t the powerhouse tuberose can be. The narcissus also is balanced to a lighter effect as it provides a greener foundation for the florals to match the early notes. At this point Mme Chavallier reminds us that LA is on the ocean with a breeze of ozonic notes subtly riding over the floral heart. As it moves to the base the wind shifts from out of the hills; carrying the scent of smoke from the recent fires. It all ends with a clean woody base accord.
Los Angeles has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
I really enjoyed spending a Hollywood Boulevard Night with Mr. Steward. If you like modern florals you might like spending some time underneath the neon.
Disclosure: this review is based on a sample provided by Gallivant.