Amsterdam by Gallivant

Hey Posse. Did the Gallivant house pass you by? The brand lunched in 2017. I had read quite a bit about them but they never triggered any craving, or even response from me. That’s weird because I love the idea of fragrances built around cities. The one that seemed to get the most initial love is Amsterdam, a city I love so much and wish to spend more time in. Maybe I’m getting a little jaded? Elena, The Plum Girl does a wonderful overview of the Gallivant range.

There was a recent sale of sets of used testers by an Australian distributor, LKNU. A terrific way to clear house. I was a little late to the sale and missed a bunch of stuff that I dearly wanted but the Gallivant set was there for peanuts. All 8 fragrances except the newest release Bukhara. It’s taken me a month to get to know them and I’ll write about a couple more in the near future.

Amsterdam by Gallivant

Amsterdam by Gallivant

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Elemi resin, Pink pepper, Sichuan pepper, Saffron
Heart: Black tulip, Rose
Base: Cedarwood, Musk, Sandalwood, Amber

The lovely cool, citrus smoothness of elemis resin slides into a lightly zingy pepper accord on open. Amsterdam smells so modern and luxurious. No screeching banshee of 20th century niche oudh/woods/pepper here. A beautiful, tranquil opening and definitely unexpected when I think of the mad crazy times I’ve spent in the city. This is the grown ups version of Amsterdam, the canals, history, art and food.

Seriously, I have no idea how a black tulip would smell but from memory wasn’t that the ultimate goal of the Dumas novel The Black Tulip? The madness that came over the Dutch in the 1600s Tulip Madness? In that case, I think the reference valid. Amsterdam smells like a luxuriously exotic flower, part lily/hyacinth/rose/daphne. Thick with nectar and beautiful beyond our imagination. I’ve been wearing it while doing some housework and I keep being ambushed by its soft but insistent siren call.

The base is calm and restful. slightly vanilla rick amber woods with hints of flowers still lingering till gone.

Longevity and village are moderate. Unisex scent with a very slight lean towards traditional femininity.

Hey, did you read Cinnamon’s recent post? Etat Libre d’Orange: Exit the King. She’s got me so I can’t stop thinking about it. LEMMING!

So, Amsterdam? Sound good to you?
Portia xx


  • March says:

    I’m kind of embarrassed to admit I don’t think I’ve tried any of these! Does sound lovely, though.

  • Tara C says:

    I’ve tried a few of them, including Bukhara, but none of them worked for me, which is a pity as I like the concept.

  • Musette says:

    I love Amsterdam (minus the dog shit all over the place – it’s been a minute since I’ve been there – wonder if they’ve stopped that )… but I was a grownup when I was there, so no mad, crazy times… and for a grownup, it’s a gorgeous place.
    this sounds like a ‘me’ scent.


  • Cinnamon says:

    Hmmm. Love Amsterdam. Lived there for a period, had a bike, bought flowers every week at the flower market. In spring, parts of the city smelled of hyacinth due to the planting. Very beautiful but also strange as for a few weeks the scent was literally everywhere. These come in 30 ml bottles and aren’t hugely pricey. Very decent looking sample set (called Nomad Discovery set) available (£25). So … maybe. Istanbul and Berlin sound promising; Brooklyn less so.

  • Carolyn says:

    Hi Portia!
    I had never heard of Gallivant (the perfume house) but I my 90-yr-old Mom uses the verb often in reference to me. Lol! So, thank you for the introduction and including the link to The Plum Girl’s comments.

    I’ve been to and loved Amsterdam, London, and Berlin – your comments about Amsterdam are spot-on. I love the design of the city, fanning out from the magnificent central railway station. The canals, the bridges, the architecture and coffee houses – the museums! So much to explore…

    I have visited NYC but not Brooklyn and it’s on my destination list, along with Istanbul and Tel Aviv. Exploring perfume is like armchair traveling to me – I get to “visit” faraway places through notes like sandalwood, a growing list of spices, flora, and fruit.

    Keen to hear more from you about Gallivant!

    Carolyn from Canada