Bukhara by GALLIVANT - perfumed adventure

Finalist at the Fragrance Foundation Awards 2021 - 'Perfume Extraordinaire' category

Our orris perfume, composed with star perfumer Ralf Schwieger. A fairytale city on the Silk Road, in Uzbekistan. Desert earth, an oasis, chalky white city walls and turquoise tiles

Fruits and spices – sophistication and adventure. A journey into Central Asia

iris orris perfumebukhara uzbekistaniris flower orris


Bukhara, Uzbekistan, on the Silk Road 

Bukhara, on the Silk Road, map

My journey to Bukhara

Says founder Nick Steward: “I was incredibly inspired by my journey across Central Asia, and by the Silk Road cities of Uzbekistan in particular. An extraordinary and memorable adventure. Bukhara is the jewel in the crown, a magical place. A city of artisans, an architectural wonder, a beautiful and ancient crossroads and melting-pot.

Historically, the Silk Road (between Europe and East Asia) was built on spices that served as condiments, dyes and bases for perfumes, so I was very fortunate to go there, just as this fascinating but unknown country opens up again to the outside world …”

Bukhara colours tiles

The story

“Cotton fields, the arid earth brought to life with irrigation canals. Dry and crumbling city walls. Minarets and madrassas, peaceful inner courtyards. The trickle of water in fountains. Deserted alleys, white houses with pale blue doors, bleached by the sun and heat. Dust in the narrow streets. Children laughing, playing in the shade. A kaleidoscope of faces: Uzbek, Tajik, Turkic, Persian, Chinese, Mongol, Russian, …. evidence of a melting-pot culture – this is no backwater. A chalk-pale city, clay and brick houses whitewashed to guard against the sun. A thousand shrines, and turquoise tiles. Old Soviet books being sold alongside silks and spices and the traditional karakul fur (think Astrakhan hats and coats). Private patios, vines overhead. Mulberry trees. The pleasures of the table – apricots, pears, and the local specialty – called ‘shurdanak’ - roasted and salted apricot seeds. Cucumbers and carrots in the markets. A convivial, open city of artisans and workshops. A feeling of the vastness of Central Asia, the endless horizons of Uzbekistan, this double-landlocked country. And a sense of the desert beyond the city, and the promise of adventure …”


Bukhara Uzbekistan colours textures Islamic architecture travel

The perfume and key notes:

Bukhara is woody-floral, spicy and earthy perfume, composed around the enigmatic orris – one of perfumery’s most prized (and expensive) raw materials
    • Spicy, fruity and sparkling in the opening with caraway, pear, coriander and bergamot
    • A floral woody heart with orris, ambrette, osmanthus and a touch of jasmine – the latter a nod to the Persian influences in this part of the world. Clove and apricot enrich the colours and textures
    • And a base of benzoin resin, saffron, amber, wood and cotton-soft musks. And Ralf's transparent silk accord (one of the first things he ever created at perfume school)
Bukhara Uzbekistan

Our perfumer:

To create the Bukhara fragrance, founder Nick Steward worked with his friend of many years, New York-based star perfumer Ralf Schwieger. Says Nick “I’m so happy Ralf worked with us to bring this perfume to life. He’s obviously famous, especially for his work for Frederic Malle and Hermès, so I feel very proud that he agreed; as we’re a young, emerging brand. I’ve always appreciated Ralf’s sense of humour, his relaxed approach to his craft (and his evident talent), married with his precision, as well as his impish sense of fun and curiosity.” Adds Ralf “Of course I was intrigued and curious – I love to travel, but I didn’t know Uzbekistan or Bukhara – so it’s been a total journey of discovery for me too.”
star perfumer master Ralf Schwieger Hermes Frederic Malle Atelier Cologne famous