11/3/13

Gold Man (Amouage)



Gold Man is my favorite Amouage fragrance. I have decants of six masculines from this brand, and Gold is the one that stands out the most. Actually, despite their obvious quality and originality, the other five Amouages aren't products I would ever purchase and wear. If someone told me I absolutely had to buy an Amouage, Gold would be the one I'd drop coin on.

This is an old-school fragrance, through and through. The first thing I think of when it hits skin is none other than Royal Copenhagen (by Swank or Five Star). I think it's telling that Luca Turin compares Gold to Mouchoir de Monsieur in The Guide, because MdM has a prominent lavender note, and so does Royal Copenhagen. Thus, I must say that a powdery lavender note (and equally powdery mimosa) is responsible for the pop of freshness from the top of Gold Man, which aligns its scent profile ever closer to the ever cheaper RC. Adding to the stark beauty of the top notes is the sweet funk of civet, which emerges in the first thirty seconds, a natural-smelling animalic twist that puts a smile on my face every time I smell it. I happen to love civet, and don't encounter it enough in contemporary masculines. Here it is very satisfying.

What ensues is hard to describe. There is a listed jumble of notes that supposedly inhabit Gold's structure, but few of them will reach out at you during a full wearing. Gold is powdery, but I wouldn't say it's a powder bomb. It's just very, very dry. Almost too dry, as if Guy Robert were trying to bottle the essence of the Sahara desert when he crafted it. Many guys flock to Amouage to experience the brand's signature rendition of frankincense, and Gold showcases incense better than the rest of the range. After about twenty minutes, the incense note appears, smelling incredibly crisp, cool, and downright silvery, despite the composition's namesake. It pushes past a condensed barrage of clipped florals, mostly rose, jasmine, and muguet, with hints of mimosa and heliotrope. The floral accord, which persists throughout the lifespan of the scent, is what really accounts for Gold smelling so close to Royal Copenhagen, because both fragrances exhibit the same dessicated, pressed-in-book bouquet.

Accompanying the incense is a strong muguet-infused greenness, with just the barest hint of fruit, possibly peach. This effect comes and goes, but it all leads in the far drydown to a soft amber, comprised of equal parts spiced myrrh, powdery patchouli, and genuine sandalwood oil. Of all the Amouages in the classic lineup, Gold is by far the most masculine, and begs for a suit and tie. This is a diplomat's scent, something to be worn by men who keep apartments in New York City for downtime between speeches at the U.N. It's expensive, it smells expensive, and it's made expensive using good raw materials on a seemingly unlimited budget.

I think the real key to Gold's success is the nose behind it. Guy Robert is responsible for several masterpieces, including Dioressence, Gucci Pour Homme, the original Calèche, Èquipage, and Doblis, and Monsieur Rochas. He was one of those rare talents that always took purity and elegance to a higher level, and you can be sure that the understated exoticism of Gold has its rightful place in his esteemed list of masterful accomplishments. This scent is one of the greats.





2 comments:

  1. I think it is Chanel No. 5 for Men. Hours of olfactive fun trying the 6 decants though. I liked Memoir Man and Jubilation XXV best. Looking forward to your no bs with an olfactory perspective UN speech Bryan.

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    1. That's an interesting comparison! The only other frag I've seen compared to No 5 is Tabac. To be honest I like No 5 more than Tabac, and Gold more than No 5, but they're all close in some ways.

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