Okay, look. It’s not exactly a secret that John and I are typically not fans of YouTubers turned fragrance houses, and there’s a multitude of reasons behind our dislike. While we pride ourselves on always being ready to try fragrances from indie houses, there’s something about Fragcomm YouTube and the questionable pricing and marketing tactics that have us either avoiding discussing their offerings or leads us to… not particularly care for the end product.
That said, there are indeed some finds worth exploring from that part of the fragrance industry, and I will grudgingly admit I was completely wrong from my initial assumption of Gravitas pour Homme from Naughton & Wilson.
Launched in 2020, Naughton & Wilson was created by English fragcomm YouTuber Dan Naughton (aka MrSmelly1977) and Scottish entrepreneur Matt Wilson. Unlike other fragrance house startups of this vein, Naughton & Wilson did not release a multitude of fragrances all at once or continuously throughout the same year.
No, they had a goal of making one great fragrance and stuck with it. The nose behind Gravitas, John Stephen, has also developed fragrances for Czech & Speake and Boadicea the Victorious.
Let’s take a quick peek at the scent breakdown.
Top: Bergamot, lavender, mandarin
Heart: Coriander, cardamom, pepper
Base: Patchouli, oakmoss, ambergris, vanilla
You’ll note that there are several notes in this that are hallmarks of a proper Fougere fragrance. So what is it about Gravitas that makes this the YouTuber exception for me?
I mean, I’m a sucker for a well-done Fougere. It would be a safe estimate that half of my entire fragrance collection consists of Fougeres. Gravitas? It’s a very well-done Fougere. The spices are all blended marvelously, but the mandarin note is absolutely divine with the level of deep-citrusy presence it has throughout the dry down.
Oh yeah, and the dry down is gorgeous. Half the reason I love Fougeres is the elegant dry-down sillage finishes they leave in their wake throughout their lifespan. Gravitas delivers with a stunningly smooth and refined finish, and it lasts a good six hours at least per wear.
Y’all, I bought a full bottle of this, at retail price. I didn’t even go through the online channels to try and get it for cheaper in the “pre-loved” market. I tore through my sample and then plonked my butt over to LuckyScent (sorry, always take the free sample with a purchase option when you have it) and picked up a bottle of my own that I will not be sharing.
This brings me to another point. The price is extraordinarily reasonable! Let me restate, this is a very solid Fougere offering (and trust me, I have tried a LOT of Fougeres) that I truly believe could justify a higher price point. Instead, you can buy a 100 ml bottle of this for just $120 (you can also pick up a 1 mL sample from there for $4). Again, Naughton & Wilson stand out from the pack by focusing on quality first, and then further separate themselves by giving competitive, reasonable pricing for a new fragrance house.
So ultimately, even if I’m not a fan of YouTuber turn fragrance houses as a whole, Gravitas from Naughton & Wilson is, at least to me, the rare exception of a product being worth the hype.
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The Fandomentals “Fragdomentals” team base our reviews off of fragrances that we have personally, independently sourced. Any reviews based off of house-provided materials will be explicitly stated.