First of all, a huge thank you to FRAGranTIC, who generously raffled samples of this now really brand new fragrance among the perfumers and would have deserved much more feedback. This way I was able to get this long awaited new release in a short time and I was able to see for myself
YouTuber scents are a thing of their own. Especially Jeremy Fragrance has helped this special niche fragrance niche to break through with "Office" and "Date", and although his releases will probably remain a matter of taste (and for me, for example, have become much too smooth mainstream), his example has set a precedent and in the future we will have to prepare ourselves for many more creations of well-known influencers. The British YouTuber Dan Naughton alias Mr. Smelly is no exception and last year he quickly raised enough money through a kickstarter campaign to secure the cooperation of the real English classic nose John Stephen - and so "Gravitas pour Homme" was the first fragrance collaboration of Naughton & Wilson.
Now, of course, Mr. Smelly is no Jeremy and could not be further removed from his exalted, overexcited nature. His unagitated reviews have their hands and feet, and anyone who has followed him closely in the past will have noticed that his preference is for the classic 19th and early 20th century gentleman's fragrance. And so "Gravitas" could certainly be expected to be a counter-design to both the strained modern shower gel aquatic system and the currently rampant gourmand glut. Accordingly, Naughton's vision does indeed fit in seamlessly with the retro wave that has regained strength this year - and as a result suddenly no longer seems so unique.
One would like to wish "Gravitas pour Homme" only the best, not only because of its dedicated makers. That starts with the packaging: A high-quality bottle, a heavy golden cap, a noble label and an awe-inspiring coat of arms clearly indicate the direction of the fragrance and will certainly secure it a place of honour on the shelves of many collectors. Well deserved, and here Mr. Smelly is already fulfilling his promise. But in the end it all depends on what "Gravitas pour Homme" can do, as soon as you let the beast out of the bottle - and we'll get to that now.
The prelude starts promisingly, though not particularly exciting for the expected Fougere scent: Of course, bergamot and especially lavender first make their way into the delighted olfactory organ, and here Stephens has cleverly tricked - by giving way to a very fresh tangerine (which could also be a lime in this sense), he creates a greater drop height, because "Gravitas" unexpectedly starts quickly and freshly and almost starts to foam a little. That's great, also a bit different, and in the first moment especially unusually fruity sweet for a gentleman's water. Pretty, but of course such a composition doesn't have a too long shelf life due to chemical reasons, and that's why the citric cheerful cry of cheer goes to sleep relatively quickly near the skin and sends a powdery cloud as a substitute, in which pepper dominates mainly. Coriander timidly appears as a supplement, the cardamom, which is also listed, remains shyly in the background. At this stage, one can actually guess the slight similarity to "Dior Homme Intense" mentioned below, although the office classic naturally focuses its attention on a completely different course. "Gravitas" quickly fades out the sweetness and then beds down for a night's rest on a bed of oak moss and a very delicate patchouli touch, which is fitting for a fougere, yet also completely unspectacular. Soon it becomes calm on the skin. Almost too quiet.
Yeah. I would have loved "Gravitas pour Homme" more unconditionally, because the direction Mr. Smelly is taking with his creation here naturally appeals to me more than many other attempts in recent times. Moreover, the presentation alone demands a lot of respect, and I believe that "Gravitas" has a real chance in the crowded market. Just not with me. For a whole bottle, what is delivered here is simply not enough for me. Surely this has to do with increased expectations, but if I want Fougere with a modern twist, I resort to Tom Ford's far more successful "Beau de Jour", which also doesn't reinvent the wheel, but serves the real spiciness of this genre much more courageously, even at the risk of being mocked as old school. If I want classics, then there's still Houbigant's Original, Penhaligon's "Sartorial" or even Creed's Portuguese grove to choose from. By the way, all these fragrances have in common that they last longer and project more strongly than "Gravitas pour Homme", which is all the more disappointing because this is actually supposed to be an Extrait de Parfum. If Mr. Smelly hadn't printed that on the bottle, I wouldn't have believed it. So it's a shame to have a great idea and a successful opening surprise that almost completely loses its identity in far too short a time. It may be that this is the famous British understatement, but a fragrance that suits me, a second skin, I would like to be able to enjoy for longer than just a fleeting moment. It's a pity that in the last moment the courage was missing.
It is a particular irony: what "Gravitas pour Homme" needs most urgently is a little more gravitas. In the meantime, I'm still eagerly waiting for the second litter of Dan Naughton and John Stephen and hope that the likeable duo will learn from their experiences. It is still to be wished them...