Monday 15 November 2021

NAPLES by Gallivant

After the incredible reduction in the number of fragrances that were launched last year, and I’m certainly not saying that it was a bad thing, this year sees some of my favourite perfume companies expanding their catalogues. It feels as though we have definitely been spoiled over the past few months, and I think we all deserved a little scented excitement, but the latest release that should be on everyone’s Christmas list has just arrived. I’m talking about Naples from Gallivant. This is a company that I’ve followed since it first started back in 2017 and, fantastically, they’ve struck gold for the tenth time.

When Nick Steward launched Gallivant it came about because of the blending of his career in the fragrance industry with a long-standing love of travel. A dedicated diarist, he had books full of faded Kodak photographs, and even a few Polaroids thrown in for good measure, and each held memories of both the holiday and the aromas. However, after many companies had tried and failed in the past, Nick wondered whether he could succeed in translating cities into scents. To say it was successful would be an understatement and, quite rightly, accolades and nominations followed the launch.

There are many things to admire about Gallivant, but I can only touch on a few. Firstly, the whole idea of the brand was that the fragrances would be portable. So, when many companies were discontinuing smaller bottles, Nick introduced his 30ml nomad size. He has also managed to remain true to the original concept that all of the fragrances needed to be exciting, evocative, yet wearable. You won’t find gigantic scent bombs here, but you will find exquisite fragrances that can be shared by those who you invite into your personal space. On that note, are you ready to discover Naples?

A hotspot for tourism, and also still a busy port, Nick Steward describes the city of Naples as having “colour, effervescence, cheerful chaos,” and an “anarchic darker spirit”. It’s these contrasting qualities of a city that have almost become the heart of every release from Gallivant, and are also the challenge to capture. For the latest launch, Nick turned to Luca Maffei, who is an exciting perfumer that has carved out a reputation in the niche market. With collaborations ranging from Carthusia through to Histoires de Parfums, and award-winning fragrances for Acca Kappa, Naples had credentials before the first spray even left the bottle.

The fragrance opens with a wonderfully evocative incense, which is resinously smooth rather than smoky, and is quickly followed by the scent of freshly cut ginger. There’s then a pull between the citrus bergamot and the green cardamom, before a definite salty quality reminiscent of water on quayside stones brings us firmly back to the port. There seems to be a distant hint of rose in the heart, providing a touch of romance, but the final development is definitely not to be missed. We’re treated to that “darker spirit” thanks to sensual labdanum, an earthy vetiver, and a smoky birch. However, with a nod to the nightlife, a spicy guaiac wood shows that there’s still excitement to be experienced after hours. Incense fragrances are very popular at the moment, but you’ll be hard pressed to find one as beautiful as Naples.

Naples is available from the Gallivant website at priced at £65 for 30ml and £4.50 for 2ml. It’s also available as a new 100ml priced at £145. [Sample and photography bottle provided by Gallivant]

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