Gotham, by Boston-based indie perfumer Neil Morris, was inspired by an unseasonal balmy October night in NYC. I'm wearing it during a cool and rainy week in June, and find it very appropriate, like the cashmere cardigan I had to wrap around myself today.
October in the city smells pretty good (unlike mid-August). There's the scent of rain hanging in the air and among the remaining leaves. There are wet cobblestones, wood and a drift of smoke. Old leather jackets are pulled out of cedar closets and worn casually over everything from silk dresses to dress shirts.
Gotham smells like all of that. It goes all the way from a crisp opening, dry wood and narcissus to an animalic leather that feels lush. The whole composition feels alive and exciting, like a night in the city when everything is possible. The perfume wears and develops for hours. On my skin the dry parts are more pronounced and the wood-labdanum base hangs on for 12 hours easily. Gotham is even more interesting when my husband wears it (he's the rightful owner of the bottle). It's not as dry as it is on me, and the base has a lot more ambery leather.
Gotham might be the most masculine fragrance in Neil Morris Signature Collection (Aegean is a close second), and my most favorite among them. It's as complex and beautiful as you'd expect from a perfumer who isn't bound by marketing constraints and focus groups, and the quality and vision are apparent with every whiff. The husband has been wearing it lately every time we go out, both on casual nights and when he dresses up. It always works well, though I see it as a little more formal.
Gotham ($95, 2oz) and the rest of Neil Morris Signature Collection are available from his website (neilmorrisfragrances.com). You can order samples directly from him, including of the more exclusive Vault Parfums.
Art: Dmitri Danish- Night Street In New York