December 2, 2007:

Suzanne's Perfume Journal

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and turns from my fragrances, what then to make of the bottle of Amouage Gold that arrived at my doorstep two days ago, wrapped in its exquisitely beautiful packaging, but whose only feat is in its incarnation as a fragrance of old-world, old-fashioned elegance, existing almost as an anachronism in this modern era that seems to have forgotten such things?

Because Gold, as I suspected and soon confirmed, is not a changeling, has no tricks up its sleeve, does not amuse with hijinks of any sort.  It is, instead, a fragrance of quiet opulence—an opulence that in its opening notes is weighty, but never ponderously or baroquely so.  Within twenty minutes after application, Gold’s frankincense and rich florals meld with ambergris and sandalwood, and the fragrance softens considerably, its sumptuousness conveyed in nuanced measures.  Gold is never brash or flashy, for it is not the scent of the nouveau riche or the young celebutante; rather, it is the scent of a well-heeled woman with impeccable manners.  Gold is old-world wealth married with old-fashioned politeness.  Its beauty is not beheld in any one note, nor in any striking transformation it might undergo from top notes to drydown  (for there are none that I noticed), but rather in the masterful blending of its plush ingredients.

Gold made its debut in 1988 as the first fragrance of the Arabian perfume house, Amouage, in the Persian Gulf country of Oman.  In 1983, when renowned perfumer Guy Robert received the commission to create Gold, Amouage instructed him that “no expense be spared.”  Thus, Gold combines prized silver frankincense from the Dhofar region of Oman, labdanum (also known as rock rose) from the remote hills of Oman, and more than 100 natural oils and essences.  It has top notes of rock rose, lily-of-the-valley, and silver frankincense; heart notes of myrrh, patchouli, orris and jasmine; and bottom notes of ambergris, civet, musk, cedarwood and sandalwood.  No expense was spared in the bottling of Gold either.  Whether purchased in the edt, edp, or parfum concentration, Gold comes housed in a 24% French lead crystal bottle with 24-carat gold-plated decoration based on ancient Omani designs. [NOTE: Since the time I originally wrote this post, Amouage changed their bottles and this fancy bottle is no longer available, though the newer bottles are still quite striking.]

So, does Gold have a place in my fragrance wardrobe?  Absolutely!  Not as an everyday fragrance, nor for the days when I am seeking a fragrance thrill ride.  But on those occasions when I am dressed in my Ralph Lauren suit with the fur collar and a pair of black-velvet slingbacks, I will wear Gold.  And on days when I am craving the niceties, the delicacies, the genteel politeness of a bygone era, I will reach for Gold, too.

In many ways, Gold reminds me of another favorite scent of mine, Chanel No. 22: they only share a few of the same notes (lily-of-the-valley, jasmine, and incense), and curiously, I actually smell more incense in the No. 22 than I do in the Gold, which is touted for its frankincense note.  Yet both scents share a vintage vibe and are so seamlessly blended that they are somehow coupled in my mind.  I would go so far as to say that, if you enjoy Chanel No. 22, you would most likely enjoy Amouage Gold, too.

Amouage Gold pour femme eau de parfum can be purchased at ParfumsRaffy.com, where a 50-ml bottle is currently priced at $285, though the bottle is now different in appearance from the one pictured on my site (that's the old bottle, which I feel lucky to own).

Photo of Amouage Gold bottle is from Parfums Raffy.com

Amouage Gold pour femme:

In Praise of Old-Fashioned Elegance


First, a confession: Lately, I’ve become the type of perfumista who expects my fragrances to entertain me, to do parlor tricks, as it were.  For example, there’s the stunning changeling, Amoureuse (from Parfums DelRae), which at first acquaintance is the essence of a piquant green bower—and later, a bower that sports intoxicatingly sweet blooms of jasmine and tuberose—and after that, the slightly indolic perspiration of the two heady blooms after they have done a bump-and-grind dance on my skin for hours.  And just when I think they are utterly spent, a sharply-sweet honey note kicks in, and the blooms, along with their bruised stems, are macerated in honey until the scent reaches another level of decadence altogether.


Umm, where was I?  Oh, yes.  Having come to expect these cunning twists