Covid Thanksgiving is tomorrow and I will be spending it alone in my studio apartment in Los Angeles. It’s a weird year to celebrate on an already weird year, so I think it is somewhat fitting. This really makes me ponder – what does Los Angeles mean to me now? It is home for me now, of course, and I like it here now. I always say I never thought I would ever live here, but here we are. I am in a contemplative mood, I guess, because of all that is happening this year, and I am sampling a perfume named after this city.
Gallivant’s Los Angeles is, much like the city, a hodge podge of notes. Look at the list: eucalyptus, clary sage, mandarin, pineapple, narcissus, tuberose, guaiac, musk and heliotrope. When I first blasted it, I have to admit that the note that was most prominent on my skin was pineapple. However, it wasn’t a juicy one- this one felt dry on me (perhaps because of the eucalyptus) The perfume is kind of odd, to be honest, because the mixture feels like the notes don’t blend well together, but they happily co-exist. It is definitely a ‘warm’ scent, and in my opinion more akin to colder months. it is leafy but herbs make it tropical-ish, but not really. The dry down is most intresting: on my skin it is a candied tuberose that is kind of synthetic but still smells real. There is a mint note here that settles in, and is kind of distracting but I can’t help wanting to look for it.
Over all, Gallivant’s Los Angeles is somewhat of a keeper. It’s strangely addictive, but I can’t figure out why it appeals to me. Maybe it mirrors how I really feel about the city.
I have praised the perfume house Gallivant before, so I am continuing to explore its line. I am now testing my sample of Amsterdam, and I think, so far, this is the most interesting one for me.
I say it’s interesting because I didn’t love this instantly. If I have to be honest, I really don’t know how I feel about it right now. As I am reading the notes, the ones that stuck out was rose and saffron, so I thought it was one of those oud-ish dirty rose types. But it’s not – there’s something very sharp here- I think it’s the szechuan pepper. It is a little jarring – giving it a metallic feel that I am not vibing to. I don’t get the rose at all, and actually I do not get florals. I think it;s there but it is not front and center for me. I get vague musks as it dries down, and that metallic pepper, and it’s a little unpleasant. I am testing this on a warm-ish day, so perhaps this projects better on a colder day?
But right now, I don’t really know, because I feel like I want to scrub this off my skin.
There’s a love song in ‘Guys and Dolls’ that goes ‘I’ll know when my love comes along, I’ll know even then.” and I thought of that while I was sampling Gallivant’s Tel Aviv. You see, I just wrote about another Gallivant scent, Brooklyn, and even though I liked it, and it was very nice, I felt like I didn’t have an emotional connection to the scent. Talk about a night and day difference with Tel Aviv. Mere seconds after sniffing it, I knew that Tel Aviv would be a fragrance that would be part of my wardrobe. I knew, right there and then, that I had already fallen in love with this scent.and even though this bottle is not in my collection yet, I know at some point I will hold it in my hand and it will fit in squarely with all my other perfumes.
It was love at first sniff – the jasmine and ylang ylang together, with the blackberry buds and clementine to put a nice rounding citrus circle around it. and there’s musk in the dry down. It’s very 70s, as aptly described by the brand, evoking gold jewelry on tanned skin. It feels weathered, like you have been wearing it since yesterday, and still settling nicely on your skin. The base where musks join in just frames the whole perfume nicely, and the smell does feel like a painting fully formed. It feels like a summer day, and it would probably be gorgeous on a cold winter day as well. This will be mine.