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Gold Woman – Precious gold - November 18, 2013 New Fragrance Listing.

Photo - Wikipedia - Gold Bars

Funny how one thing leads to another. The first Serge Lutens scent I ever smelled was Arabie and I fell right into it. Over time, I realized that I loved Lutens’ olfactory interpretations of his life and experiences in the Middle East. Arabie, El Attrarine, Ambre Sultan are among my favourites in the his line and I make sure I never run out of them. Looking back, I suppose that my penchant for Lutens’ eastern inspired scents is what sparked my interest in niche luxury perfume house Amouage.

Amouage, according to Wikipedia, came into being in 1983 “at the request of Sultan Qaboos bin Said , Sayyid Hamad bin Hamoud al-Busaidi, Minister of the Diwan of Royal Court , founded the company Amouage in order to reconnect with the Arab tradition of luxury perfumes.”

For their first fragrance, the Sultan of Oman wanted something luxurious, rich and special. He hired Guy Robert to create it. One of the greatest perfumers of the twentieth century, M. Robert was the nose behind such iconic fragrances as Calèche, Dioressence and Madame Rochas. In choosing M. Robert, the house of Amouage was declaring that while they were reviving the Arab tradition of luxury perfumes, they were going to do it through a French lens.

The brief for this perfume was simple. Robert was told to put whatever he wanted into the fragrance regardless of the cost. The result was Amouage Gold, now called Gold Woman. According to Wikipedia, “Amouage contains more than 120 natural components (including three varieties of roses, jasmine, geranium, iris, bergamot, tuberose, peach, apricot, lime, patchouli, sandalwood, cistus, myrrh, frankincense, ylang-ylang, vanilla, vetiver, ambergris, civet and musk ), chosen among the rarest and most expensive on the market.” making it the richest perfume in history.

When the Sultan of Oman wants luxurious and rich, he gets it!

And Robert delivered on the ‘special’ aspect too. Gold is considered a masterpiece in perfumery. Luca Turin gives it a five star rating in his book Perfumes: The A-Z Guide, so does Bois de Jasmine on her website and Michael Edwards, author of fragrance industry bible, “Fragrances of the World” says of Robert: “His last creation, for me, was his greatest: Amouage Gold.” Robert himself felt it was the best work of his career. Pretty special I’d say.

It opens with an aldehydic sparkle and hint of citrus from lime before blossoming into a gorgeous powdery/soapy, floral/fruity start. Don’t be put off by the ‘powdery/soapy’ idea – the aldehydes give it a classic feel so it doesn’t smell of clean laundry, but of clean skin. Notes of apricot, peach, neroli and lily-of-the-valley weave in and out as the fragrance develops. Gold Woman loves skin heat and it brings out the most opulent jasmine and ylang, ylang accord I know. Rose is here too, but bolster rather than dominate the white flowers, making them soar. As it settles, sandalwood and patchouli anchor it, giving it a warm smooth lushness. Ambergris is at the base sweetens it while civet and musk give it an animalic soul. At the drydown, Gold Woman is an opulent, rich fragrance experience with those white florals still humming softly in the background

In Gold Woman the notes are layered more than structured so that it’s experienced as a whole, rather than as individual notes, much like a piece of symphonic music. It is a testament to Robert’s skill to have so many ingredients so perfectly blended and so perfectly balanced.  

I’ll tell you one thing: the luxurious, opulence of  Gold Woman makes me feel special every time I wear it and that, gentle reader, is what perfume is all about.

Today, we’re adding Gold Woman to our Decant Store. Decants are $7.00.