A solid release emerges from the digital Wild West.
Fragrance YouTubers have been a staple part of the fragrance community for some time now.
What’s recently been a hot topic in the fragrance community is the slew of announcements and releases of individual perfume lines by those popular on the platform, with it sometimes seeming like everybody holding a decent sized online presence is having their own line of products on the market.
A very small scale digital Wild West, where, unfortunately, many of the voices are being exposed as snake oil salespeople.
I’m happy to say that Gravitas is not to be heaped in with that lot.
It’s an excellent fragrance, with good creative vision and olfactory design sense.
Naughton & Wilson is a joint venture between YouTuber Dan Naughton (known on the platform as Mr. Smelly) and Matt Wilson of Pocket Scents.
Gravitas is their first release, with the nose behind the scent being John Stephen.
John Stephen’s presence lends solid credibility to this release, with him being the nose behind a number of excellent scents.
I’m usually so-so on fougeres.
Some are great, some are unremarkable to me.
Gravitas is firmly in the camp of the former.
It’s something different to what I’m used to in the category.
There’s a notable strength hiding under the bright, crisp opening.
I could tell from the first spritz, this wasn’t going to be a short-lived olfactory experience.
And a good one, at that.
I like the design aesthetic of the presentation.
It’s clearly opulent, without being too ostentatious.
It has a smacking of regality to it, in that sense.
Currently, it’s available exclusively in 100mL bottles, as shown above.
The deep green of the box is a solid nod to the U.K. brand heritage.
The Olfactory Notes
The first application reveals a fougere fragrance of classical character, with the clean, sharp edge of a modern touch.
It’s deceptively mellow in opening, with some low-key citrusy notes and lavender dancing about the nose.
At this point, one could be forgiven for expecting the scent to have a fleeting presence.
However, within a half hour, Gravitas really starts to bloom.
It starts to veritably leap off of the skin, with a blast of coriander, cardamom and pepper.
Strangely, I detest coriander in food, but I love it in a fragrance when it’s used well.
And it’s used well here.
At this point, the projection is quite strong, and the quality of the blend really shows itself.
Where the heart notes are clearly detectable, they blend so well with the base that it’s easy to pick out some of the base notes.
Apparent at this stage are oakmoss and ambergris, giving a smooth yet solid backbone to what would otherwise be a fleeting scent.
Also still apparent is the lavender and the citrus, though the citrus has taken a back seat.
However, from the thirty minute marker to the ninety minute marker, the scent is appreciable as a whole.
Top, heart and base.
Once the top notes fade, the projection slowly tapers in the following two to three hours, though the scent is still quite notably present in the room.
A quite punchy patchouli becomes distinguishable, giving the scent an interesting touch of sharpness in the base, alongside a smooth vanilla.
The scent retains this character for the rest of its life on the skin.
I found myself getting around six hours from Gravitas.
This is quite sufficient for a fougere, given the category’s proclivity for short-lived scents.
Once the scent opens up after that first half hour, it makes itself very apparent.
It’s a great scent to get good projection from, as it’s not at all cloying.
Blend Quality: 1/1
The blend is fantastic. Nothing more to say.
As noted earlier, the presentation strikes a perfect balance for me.
Personal Smell Score: 1/1
Gravitas simply smells wonderful. It’s up there with Penhaligon’s Sartorial for me.
A high compliment, given my adoration for Sartorial.
Total score: 4.4/5 A+
What Would I Wear This With?
Where Sartorial feels a touch wasted on anything other than the smarter end of the outfit scale for me, Gravitas is one that could be worn at just about any level of dress without clashing.
I like the versatility.
I’d happily pair Gravitas with everything from a suit and overcoat to smart casual.
It’s a good cover all bases scent, versatile across several seasons of dress.
While there hasn’t been any summer weather here in Australia since Gravitas’ release, I’m confident it’d perform nicely on hot days as it does on cooler ones.
Simply put, Gravitas is lovely.
Well worth a sniff.
Distribution is currently exclusively through N&W’s website, though an Australian point of access will hopefully soon arise.