Wylde Loves: Gallivant
The protégée returns: Nick Steward launches Gallivant
By Luke Singleton
Over to the Sanderson Hotel on a balmy summer’s evening for the launch of industry-veteran Nick Steward's (above) artisanal perfume brand, Gallivant, where two accomplished decades honing his craft in Paris (including a creative directorship at L’Artisan Parfumeur), has prompted a long-awaited signature collection of unisex fragrances- and a home-coming back to the capital. These scents represent the learnt fruits of his travels and are inspired by four uniquely enchanting cities: Brooklyn, Istanbul, London and Tel Aviv. Himself heralding from a well-heeled, nomadic family, exploration- and specifically languages- have patterned his career throughout the years.
The elegant French glass bottles are designed by heritage company Saint Gobain, and echo Steward’s classical training and his affection for tradition. For him, the transmission from generation to generation of time-honoured customs comprises a labour of love. “I don’t think things should be too easy. For example, you wouldn’t call yourself a master perfumer for at least 25 years. You have to really learn the palette and the materials,” he points out. His key reference here, and a notable influence, is Bertrand Duchaufour, the renowned “King of Niche”, and creator of signature scents for Acqua Di Parma, Comme Des Garçons and Penhaligons, amongst others. Steward has collaborated on his scents with Italian protégée of Duchaufour, Venice-based Giorgia Navarra, and Paris-based Karine Chevallier, both relationships he established whilst working in Paris. “Heritage is important. It’s skills passed down and shared. Starting from scratch can be interesting and fresh, but it’s important to have the references as a starting point.”
‘Brooklyn’ is my choice: a citrusy lemon and orange scent, combining florals- magnolia, orris root- with musky bergamot and amber, and a soft Vanilla finish. The perfumes symbolically capture the identities of the cities that inspired them, so unsurprisingly, ‘Istanbul’ is heady and aromatic, contrasting leather with incense, and Egyptian geranium with patchouli, whilst sun-drenched ‘Tel Aviv’ is sweet and vibrant, a Jasmine base layered with Ylang Ylang, freesia and sandalwood. Steward, charmingly his best advocate, describes ‘London’- a lavish Rose de Mai Absolute floral, spliced with leather and Cedarwood- on his own terms: “Think Pet Shop Boys’ ‘West End Girls,’ the glam and grit of wet city streets- then imagine an old Georgian house, where the windows don’t fit anymore! That’s the contrast.” We get you entirely Nick!