The freedom of the open sea.
Amber, the gold of the shoreline.
Forests. City. Tobacco traders & tanneries.
Plum, honey, saffron.
Golden warmth. Leather, sandalwood, earth.
And ambergris - the mystery of the dark deep sea.
Says creator Nick Steward: “Poland is a country close to my heart. I admire the character of the people and the place: strong, warm-hearted, independent-minded. That’s the emotion I wanted to conjure up with this perfume. Gdańsk is a beautiful and memorable city on the Baltic – famed for its amber and its intrepid history of seafaring. I wanted to pay tribute to this city with its surprising and fascinating history.”
In perfume-making, we don’t literally use amber (the golden fossilized plant resin) -: amber is a style of fragrance, composed with a number of ingredients such as labdanum, benzoin and vanilla. My twist on this amber fantasy is to marry it with ambergris – of sperm whale fame, found washed up on shorelines – another mysterious and intriguing material, with which amber is often confused.
Gdańsk, the perfume, is an exploration of mysterious ambergris, of sperm whale fame, and the fantasy accord we know as amber
Perfumer: Julia Rodríguez Pastor
The perfume notes:
- Warm and spicy in the opening, with plum, honey, cardamom, nutmeg and saffron
- A rich, woody heart with leather notes, cistus absolute, sustainable sandalwood oil from New Caledonia, patchouli, and incense resinoid – with a light touch of rose
- And a deep, earthy, smoky ambery base of tobacco absolute, cypriol, styrax (liquidambar), vanilla, musks and ambergris ( we use a plant-derived substitute, no animal by-products )
For the creation of the Gdańsk fragrance, founder Nick Steward worked with Julia Rodríguez Pastor, of eurofragrance, who lives and composes perfumes in her home city of Barcelona.
Says Nick “I knew that Julia had a link to Poland and had visited Gdańsk – so was interested in her outsider’s perspective on the place. And her olfactory style is warm, big-hearted – with a great expertise and feel for amber and ambergris – so that was the start of this journey of exploration together!”
Adds Julia “When I visited Gdańsk I was genuinely surprised by the city - and the place amber resin has in the history and culture there. In perfumery, we tend to think of the ambery style as linked to the Middle East, so I was excited when talking to Nick that we could explore my favourite style of accord – amber – in a new way, and play with this style of perfume-making in an expected and novel way.”
Gdańsk by GALLIVANT is compounded in Barcelona, Spain and then hand-finished in England, in a genuinely artisanal, small-batch, human process.