Who: Nick Steward, founder and creator of Gallivant, a new indie perfume brand. Nick has spent years in the fragrance industry, notably as creative director of L’Artisan Parfumeur. With Gallivant, Nick hopes to celebrates his love of travel and cities, admired at a contemplative pace, via fragrance. He described the range to us as ‘simple, honest and authentic’ and aims to demystify fragrance for the consumer. The four fragrances – London, Tel Aviv, Istanbul and Brooklyn – are gloriously clear headed and beautifully crafted, with a twinkle of mischievousness too. A little like their creator.
Today I’m Wearing London, by Gallivant, because it’s my home town and I’m a proud Londoner.
My London is a city of rich and poor, beautiful and ugly all rubbing along together. For London, I took the idea of the music of the Pet Shop Boys, specifically East End Boys, West End Girls. I wanted to try and capture that pulse in a modern rose fragrance. It’s got a watery lushness to it, I walk a lot along the Regent’s Canal and I wanted it to capture how that feels for me. And it has a leather feeling to it, like a beautifully smooth second hand jacket that you might have bought in Brick Lane.
Fragrance is a big thing in my life. I wasn’t someone who grew up dreaming of fragrances at all really, but then when I entered the business, my sense of the world of perfumery was awakened, and I’ve never looked back. I love the materials, I love the associations it can bring, that moment when you walk down a street and you smell something unexpected and it takes you back to some other time. Nothing else can do that.
When I wear fragrance I apply generously. it’s always interesting when people tell us that fragrance doesn’t last on them, you ask them to demonstrate how they apply it and they simply don’t put enough on!
I like to put one spritz on my inner arm, another on my wrist, on my pulse points on my neck and a little in my hair, that’s quite a lot. I’m just doing one little spritz (the Gallivant bottles have a considered, slow-release spritz rather than one that knocks you over). I think people need to put on more than one little spritz on their wrists, I would encourage them to be a little more courageous when scenting themselves.
I scent my clothes a lot, like my scarves, because that’s another subtle way of scenting. I do think it has to be on the skin too, if you only scent your clothes I don’t think you get a full evolution of the fragrance.
I’m someone who really wants to smell my fragrance on me, that doesn’t mean I want everyone around me to smell it. I think some of those very big notes can be too much, but with Gallivant I wanted the technical execution to ensure that the scents aren’t too loud.
In my home environment I don’t like to over fragrance, I’m not constantly burning candles or having lillies on my desk at work.
Gallivant’s a brand that’s growing very slowly by word of mouth and that’s how it should be for us. We’re in no rush.