Beauty Is Something Unexpected – Review: Le Galion 222

Heya Travelers of Olfactoria,

Portia with you from Australian Perfume Junkies and Perfume Posse (and now writing for My Perfume Samples too).

Not long ago here in Australia we had Nicolas Chabot come to meet us and talk about the resurrection of the Le Galion house of fragrance. There have been plenty of houses given a new lease of life this century and some of their back stories are even nearly true. Le Galion though has a very definite past to be resurrected and it was quite a famous crew, their most popular fragrance Sortilege can be found on eBay if you look hard and sometimes you see one for sale on a doc in Facebook Fragrance Friends.

That they were the company responsible for a lot of the DIOR juice and that some of their innovations went on to become the base of some blockbuster perfumes is apparently quite true.

Nicolas worked with the original perfumer, Paul Vacher, and the daughter of the Le Galion founder and brought in Thomas Fontaine to help recreate the fragrances with modern materials and bringing them up to date. If you are a stalwart Le Galion lover from its former incarnation and expect the new fragrances to be exactly what you smelled 50 years ago you won’t be impressed. If you take a moment to really think about it though you’ll understand that they had to do some compromising, fair enough.

222 by Thomas Fontaine for Le Galion 2014

222 Le Galion  FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Violet
Heart: Myrrh, styrax, lavender, geranium
Base: Coumarin, oakmoss, cedar, sandalwood, vanilla, leather

Violet, that softly sweet green twinkle. Recently a few of us were talking about how violet can remind me of iris, heliotrope and lilac; especially when it’s mixed in with other stuff. Here though it feels like the violet is the star, maybe with a little citrus, a little smoke and some aldehydes to buoy the opening up. It doesn’t stay that way for long but 222 is so beautiful and angelic in the opening that you’ll wish it lasted longer.

As the heart comes through in a swirling dance of resinous smoky lavender and I think, “Why is this beautiful?”. Because it is really unexpected and the lavender gives a freaky chill to this warm smoky woodsiness. The woodsiness continues into the dry down, it’s lightly sweet, slightly creamy and well worn leather.

222 Le Galion Honoré_Daumier Dandy WikiCommonsPhoto Stolen WikiCommons

222 smells like a modern take on old time cologne crossed with an early Caron. It has a lovely warmth and is chock full of delicate nuance. Not a BIG fragrance but for the first couple of hours you are quite fragrant, then it hums along quietly as a background scent.

Further reading: Colognoisseur and Australian Perfume Junkies
First In Fragrance has €140/100ml + Samples

Have you tried the newly resurrected Le Galion line yet? 9 fragrances to open with is big and there could well be one among them that takes your fancy.

Portia xx


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12 Responses to Beauty Is Something Unexpected – Review: Le Galion 222

  1. Tara says:

    Portia, you did make me smile with the line “some of their back stories are even nearly true”. My eyes usually glaze over when confronted with tall tales of resurrected perfume houses. However I perked up at the mention of Dior and I am quite the fan of Thomas Fontaine since he led our session at the Osmotheque.
    I just had a quick look and it seems Liberty are only stocking Sortilege at the moment but I dare 222 and others will come along.

    • Hi there Tara,
      We are getting VERY excited here for January.
      Interesting thing about those tall tales, so many are ground from the kernel of truth and then the additions start. I wonder if in 400 years time some of the independent houses like Olympic Orchids and SOIVOHLE will be refound and brought to life with grand stories of past glories.
      I bet Illuminum is. Worn by Wills & Kate.
      I’m surprised that Le Galion is not yet in Harrods or Selfridge & Co.
      Portia xx
      Portia xx

      • Tara says:

        Portia, I’m so excited about January I don’t know how I’m going to hold out.
        Perhaps Harrods and Selfridges do have Le Galion, it’s just not showing up online.
        Illuminum will benefit from that royal connection till the end of time 🙂

  2. Holly says:

    Hiya Portia! I agree with Tara, the back stories line made me chuckle.
    I’ve tried Le Galion Iris, and it’s quite nice. I bought a mini off evilbay after finding out from their website that they have smaller sizes, but the shipping cost is crazy. Oh well!

    • Hey there Holly,
      I LOVE the little minis. We were given a set at the Australian launch and I’m currently wearing their Eau Noble on one hand, I think it will be my SOTD, lavender done beautifully.
      Portia xx

  3. Hey Portia – I found that line that Tara mentioned hilarious too. The revival of old houses doesn’t usually do it for me but I think Le Galion have done a great job and Paul Vacher has created some fine perfumes so it’s not total BS! They have some great old advertising images too.

    • Hey there MeganInStMaxime,
      I don’t mind the revival of old houses. it gives the crew something to hang their advertising on while also giving them great freedom of invention in the scent range after their initial “historic” offerings.
      Le Galion guys are so nice and friendly. I think Nicolas is absolutely chuffed to have such a wonderful historic tapestry to work with, the whole DIOR thing is really interesting too. I wish I’d taken notes so I could give greater detail.
      Portia xx

  4. Sandra says:

    Hi Portia. This line has me intrigued – partly because of its history but also because of the reviews I read. This sounds very nice. Xo

    • Hi there Sandra,
      I like the line. It is not outrageous, they are easy to wear and very nicely blended and I had a great rapport with Nicolas. I do wish they did a 50ml bottle though, who needs 100ml of anything?
      Hope all is good with you, hug Sean from me please.
      Portia xx

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