“Drive fast, I can almost taste it now
LA, I don’t even have to fake it now”
– ‘American’ by Lana Del Rey
Notes: Eucalyptus, Clary Sage, Mandarin and Pineapple, Narcissus, Tuberose, Cade, Guaiac, Nagarmotha, Musks and Heliotrope.
I haven’t been to Los Angeles since my 21st birthday but I know it’s more of a collection of discrete neighbourhoods than somewhere with a distinct focal point. Despite this, we all have a strong idea of the place. The recent launch from British indie brand Gallivant, mirrors the differing aspects that meld together to create an overall impression which is that of a ‘neon floral’.
Los Angeles is Gallivant’s eighth release. You can read my mini reviews of London, Tel Aviv, Istanbul and Brooklyn here.
The fruit cocktail and herbal top notes bring to mind louche parties in the Hollywood Hills amidst eucalyptus trees and aromatic plants. I remember Katie Puckrik saying that the scent of LA was something like a mash-up of air-conditioning and sweet white flowers. That’s not dissimilar to the heart of Los Angeles: lush tuberose with a bubblegum quality freshened by an ocean breeze and the suggestion of salty skin.
When the sun sets we head to Sunset Strip with the scent of burning rubber on asphalt from those loud, flashy cars out looking for attention. Leather and smoky woods fill the air as Hollywood’s underbelly is revealed. It’s an unexpected base considering the lurid top half of the fragrance, although you get hints of it from the start – a slight seediness that is always lurking just beneath the surface, even in broad daylight.
It made sense when I found out the perfumer for Los Angeles, Karine Chevallier. also did Gallivant’s London which was shortlisted for an Art and Olfaction Award. It has the same eclectic mix that manages to intrigue rather than jar. An amped up fruity floral with a smoky, tarry base sounds unlikely on paper but it works and works well.
The Eau de Parfum has very good lasting power and low to moderate throw.
Los Angeles is a fun ride. It’s up for a good time but a sense of melancholy creeps in towards the end of night once the party’s over. It’s like one of those cinematic songs by Lana del Rey; sultry, hypnotic and just the right amount of trashy.
Do you have a favourite ‘destination perfume’? Let me know in the comments.