Los Angeles by Gallivant

“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.

los angeles


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.


lana del


Do you have a favourite ‘destination perfume’? Let me know in the comments.



Filed under Perfume Reviews

12 responses to “Los Angeles by Gallivant

  1. Jillie

    That’s very intriguing, but I don’t think it’s me!

    Hmmmmm – destination perfume …. the one that springs to my mind immediately is YStL’s Paris; it’s not really Paris bottled in the sense that Gallivant is capturing the essence of cities (my Parisienne friend says it would have to reek of petrol and exhaust fumes if that were the case), but when it first launched, it was meant to embody the exuberance of its romantic citizens who were running round with huge bouquets of roses! I suppose I could include Guerlain’s Champs Elysees in my trip there, narrowing down the location ….


    • Hi Jillie,

      Perfumes like this aren’t for everyone but they are a lot of fun.

      I think YSL Paris is a valid choice. Most of these destinations perfumes don’t actually smell realistically like the place they are named after. I think an artistic interpretation or capturing the mood of the city is more appropriate for a personal fragrance anyway.

      Love the idea of Paris representing a host of romantics running around with bouquets of roses!


  2. Tara C

    Not exactly named for a city, but 4160 Tuesdays Freeway was made to recreate the ambient smell in Los Angeles. And it does smell a bit of petrol and orange blossoms, which is a good approximation.


  3. OOOH! Sounds delish Tara, would you reach for it often? Is it that kind of happy warm weather spritz, comfortable and wearable?
    I LOVE that you say just the right amount of trashy and then put Lindsay Lohan up. Your trashy bar is well high, HA!
    Portia xx


    • Hey Portia,

      I’m not usually a fruity floral gal but yes, it is definitely a happy warm weather perfume without a doubt.

      That pic is Lana del Rey but Lindsay Lohan would do haha.


  4. My favorite Gallivant is Tokyo but in general my favorite destination perfume would be L’Artisan Un Air de Bretagne.


  5. Having been to LA again this year, I would love to try Los Angeles. I remember the jasmine right outside a club we went to on the last night. I am not entirely sure I’d like the Gallivant take on the city, but my curiosity is well and truly piqued!

    On a sidenote, I like the leaning typeface and touch of copper, as though the name itself is trying its best to have a little gallivant on the bottle. 😉


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