In Indie Perfume Brand Spotlight, we question different brands to find out more about their brand and the people behind it. This time we question Nick Steward from Gallivant
Tell us who you are?
I’m Nick, the founder of GALLIVANT. We’re an indie perfume-maker based in Hackney in East London.
How did you get into the perfume industry?
A total fluke. I’d studied Arabic and French at uni, had no idea what I could do as a career, but ended up joining Puig in the 1990s thanks to my language skills. So that was a lucky break !
What was the first perfume you ever purchased?
Azzaro pour Homme ( bit beyond my age at the time ! but a true classic.)
What is your favourite meal?
Japanese or Vietnamese cuisine. Or eggs on toast.
Where is your favourite place?
My home in London.
Do you have an interesting party trick or any hidden talents?
I’ve spoken and lived in 4 different languages throughout my life, different times and places. Is that a hidden talent ? I suspect that’s where my wanderlust and love of travel comes from …
Who would play you in a film of your life?
Kieran Culkin would be on my casting wish-list ( yep, big fan of Succession. ) Or Jeff Goldblum.
About your Brand
Describe your brand in one sentence.
Where does the name of your brand come from?
‘To go around in pursuit of pleasure ‘ : it’s a word, expression we’ve always used in my family. “ Where are you off gallivanting to now?” And I like the sense of fun it implies. If perfume can bring fun and pleasure, I’m happy.
Who are your perfumes for?
Human beings. People who are curious about the world. Perfume lovers. All sorts really, and our customers constantly surprise me, which I love.
Tell us about your latest perfume.
Accra : it’s inspired by the larger-than-life colours and the famous kente cloth of Ghana, and West Africa. It’s gloriously addictive – I hope you get to try it on skin !
If someone wanted to try your fragrances, which one would you recommend they try first and why?
NS : I’d say ‘please get our discovery set and let your nose take you on a journey.’
I think when sampling, you need to try a few. It’s like going to a new restaurant, I don’t want to test just one dish.
And I can never predict what people will connect with. Isn’t that part of the joy of perfumery ?
What challenges do you want to overcome for your brand?
We’re a genuinely independent perfume-maker, so we sail under our own steam. That certainly brings challenges ( but also a certain freedom) … my big fantasy is that the logistics of perfumery gets easier. Less sleepless nights about shipping our fragrances around the world, to the 30+ countries we’re sold in, that would be very welcome.
But above all, I want us to go slowly and organically.
What is unique about your brand?
That always strikes me as a very theoretical, business-school type question. Put it this way, I’m very proud to be part of a small community of like-minded genuinely independent artisanal perfume-makers –: I find that a source of strength and inspiration – against Big Corporations, Big Tech, Big Marketing. I think these smaller brands are unique and different because we’re very human businesses, driven by genuine passion and love for our work, our craft, rather than a business plan and desire to sell out to the highest bidder after a few years. Vive la résistance !