It is a thing about fragrances inspired by a place that if the wearer doesn’t know it, it just becomes perfume. That’s not a bad thing because beautiful scent isn’t tied to its name. It is tied to the creativity of the liquid. Gallivant Bukhara has that in abundance.
Gallivant is the travel-inspired fragrance line begun my Nick Steward in 2017. In the eight previous releases I had some familiarity with the places in the names. I’ve found when the brand is at its best there is a connection. Bukhara is different for me. Mr. Steward spent some time in Central Asia and traveled the Silk Road ending up in Bukhara Uzbekistan. The press materials describe his experience, but I have no frame of reference to share. Which leaves me alone with what is in the bottle, ignoring what is on the label. What is there is a gorgeous iris perfume by Ralf Schwieger.
Iris is mostly known as a powdery floral. It has another face because the ingredient comes from the compounding of the root after it has been dried for months. The root is called a rhizome. Rich orris butter doesn’t display the powdery aspect until it is diluted. In concentration is where you find the root on top. It has an earthy doughy carroty scent profile. Hr. Schwieger takes us on a tour of all that this version of iris has to offer.
I was predisposed to like Bukhara from the start because caraway is used as the fresh top note instead of bergamot. Caraway provides the same effect with a slightly herbal tint instead of the citrus one of bergamot. It is the first ingredient to interact with the orris. In this case it gives some lift to it while embracing the earthiness. Pear appears to provide a fruit contrast which pulls forward the carroty part. Saffron and clove swirl around the earthen root in a balletic pirouette. Hr. Schwieger wraps it up in a bolt of clean linen musk. The blandness of it gives the central accord a background to shine against. Some synthetic woods provide the last touches.
Bukhara has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
I may not know anything about Bukhara the place. It doesn’t mean that Bukhara the perfume didn’t take me on a journey. It was just an exploration of the rhizome that is iris.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Gallivant.