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Black Gold – exquisite and sensuous and luxurious – December 10, 2016

Black Gold - ormondejayne.com

A snowy day that sets the mood for Christmas. A day for staying warm and cozy inside – for egg nog and Christmas music and gift-wrapping.

Which puts me in mind of why we give gifts at Christmas - to remind us of the presents given to the infant Jesus by the three wise men, the Magi. These men were of noble birth, wealthy, educated and influential and they brought the traditional gifts given to royalty: frankincense, myrrh and gold.

Of course, frankincense, and myrrh just got me thinking of perfumes. Frankincense calls to mind Passage d’Enfer, Encens Flamboyant and Incense: Avignon. Myrrh makes me think of Myrrhiad, La Myrrhe and, especially now, when it is so close to Christmas, Messe de Minuit.  And gold, well, gold makes me think of Black Gold from British niche, house Ormonde Jayne.

Created in 2014 exclusively for luxury department store Harrod’s, Black Gold, focuses on quality ingredients. Linda Pilkington, Founder and Creator of Ormonde Jayne, says “The most important aspect of creating the perfume was searching for the most absolute ‘absolue’ oils. Finding a quality of sandalwood 20 classes better than other sandalwoods, and that voyage was the lengthiest but the most enjoyable aspect in the creation of Black Gold. Each ingredient was extensively researched and the final perfume was a labor of love.”

You can smell quality in Black Gold. All the oils in Black Gold are absolutes of the highest grade.  And you can feel the luxury. It has a high concentration of oil – poured at 50% (perfume usually contains between 20% to 40% oil, EdP around 7% to 14% and EdT around 3% to 8%). But it is the way it unfolds, and reveals itself that is its true gift.

Black Gold opens with sour, bitter bergamot along with fresh, vibrant lemon and sweet, juicy mandarin. These fruits are so deftly handled that I can pick up their different nuances, like little olfactory surprises, – the honeyed aspect of the mandarin, the sweet undercurrent of the lemon, the fruitiness of the bergamot. Soon the aromatic fruits are joined by clary sage – herbaceous and lavender-like, and juniper berries – piquant and gin-smelling, which heighten the bracing freshness of the citric fruits which lingers as a stunning floral heart of orchids, rose, water lilies, jasmine and carnation bloom. It’s the carnation that stands out on me. And, let me tell you, that if you like carnation as much as I do, this is one of the finest and truest I have ever smelled in a fragrance.  It’s bright and rich and its clove-like aspect is highlighted by pink peppercorn giving the floral heart a warm spiciness.

And then there is the base: rich and dark and woody. Sandalwood sets it up – woody and rich and dry, it is like no other sandalwood I have smelled in a fragrance. It sinks right into my skin. It’s paired with ambrette seed that adds a powdery aspect to the wood along with a vegetal muskiness. A soft note of oudh, adds a rich mustiness and woodiness, while cedar adds a spicy-resinous woodiness. But it’s the labdanum, rich and resinous that really glows here with buoyed by amber, patchouli, vetiver and moss. Vanilla gwntly sweetens it just enough.

Black Gold is an exquisite fragrance.  The way it develops on skin, with its beautiful, nuanced, transitions makes it a long, sensuous journey to a gorgeous, luxurious destination – a skin scent that shimmers for hours.

Well, all this perfuming has put me behind in my gift-wrapping but I don’t mind. I’m enjoying it a lot more with Black Gold on my wrist.

Black Gold is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $12.00