Going for Gold – Amouage Gold Woman & Gold Man Perfume Review

Gold

“Two of the most rich and lavish perfumes of all time.”

Gold Woman and Gold Man were the first fragrances to be released by Omani fragrance house Amouage. The house was founded by His Highness Sayyid Hamad bin Hamoud al bu Said and in 1983 Amouage hired famous french perfumer Guy Robert to create two of the most rich and lavish perfumes of all time. His brief? “Put whatever you like in it, no matter how much it costs.” [1]

Both fragrances showcase silver frankincense, an ingredient the country is famed for, and whilst they have a distinct middle eastern feel they are also undeniably french in their style. Unlike almost everything from the 1980’s, Gold Woman and Gold Man do not feel dated in the slightest, they are both timeless classics that mark an important beginning from a venerable house. They have stood the test of time.

Gold Woman

“Gold Woman is the one I crave.”

Gold Woman

The Notes

Top: Rose, Lily of the Valley and Frankincense,
Heart: Myrrh, Orris and Jasmine
Base: Ambergris, Civet, Musk, Cedarwood and Sandalwood [2]

How Does it Smell?

I tried Gold Woman for the very first time in Amouage’s london store a couple of weeks ago and I was blown away. I would never have picked it to be the Amouage for me, especially after falling head over heels in love with Honour Woman, which is beautiful yet completely different, but Gold Woman is the one I crave.

Gold Woman opens with rich florals, during the first sniff I smell rose, jasmine and lily of the valley, a splash of sparkly aldehydes leads you to notice similarities between Gold Woman and Chanel Nº5, but if Gold Woman is anything like Nº5 then it is Nº5 on steroids. After the first 15 minutes or so those slight similarities fade and Gold Woman develops a completely unique identity.

The rich, golden florals soften as a subtle powdery iris comes through, and the frankincense which wasn’t noticeable within the top notes really starts to shine. Despite being a heady oriental, Gold Woman is beautifully luminous and the beauty only continues as it blossoms on the skin.

There is civet lurking in the base but it is used very sparingly, I personally am not afraid of a bit of civet, it can added a much needed funk to a fragrance but I don’t like it when it’s given too much power, there needs to be balance, after all nobody want to walk around smelling of poop.

What I really love about the base is the fact that along with the musk, sandalwood and frankincense, Gold Woman retains some of the headiness of the florals, a detail that most fragrances lose by the end of their development.

Gold Woman is a BIG fragrance, I want to say it’s loud but that would give the impression that it isn’t classy or refined, which it most certainly is. Despite being big, Gold Woman feels almost meek when compared to its male counterpart. That said, it is my favourite of the two and it now takes pride of place on my ever growing wish list, and the fact that a rather fabulous blonde bombshell of a Sex and the City actress wears it makes me love it just that little bit more.

Gold Man

“In essence, I love Gold Man, but I’m not sure I have the balls to wear it publicly.”

Gold Man

The Notes

Top: Rose, Lily of the Valley and Frankincense
Heart: Myrrh, Orris and Jasmine
Base: Ambergris, Civet, Musk, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Patchouli and Oakmoss [3]

How Does it Smell?

In my whole experience as a perfumista/fragonerd I have never come across such an opulent fragrance as this, Gold Man really is grand in the richest sense of the word. Whilst reading up on Gold Man I saw a lot of discussion as to whether it was too feminine, well I for one have no idea what everybody is on about, Gold Man is inherently masculine, in fact I would go as far as saying it is one of the most masculine fragrances I have ever smelled.

Gold Man unfolds with a dry, dusty rose, there is a touch of citrus up top but the general impression is warm, rich florals. It’s not long before the civet rears its head, and the civet here is very animalic but not disgustingly so, the florals are strong enough to stop the civet from becoming too funky.

I find that the orris comes through a lot stronger in Gold Man than it does in Woman, it works with the myrrh to create a spicy, powdery effect that coupled with the strong florals creates a nice contrast of East meets West.

Gold Man shares a similar creamy sandalwood base to Woman but it is dustier and drier due to the addition of oak moss and a stronger cedar wood facet. The base lasts for hours, if not days and one of my favourite things to do is spray Gold Man on my hand a couple of hours before I go to bed and wake up smelling that glorious, civet/sandalwood base throughout the night.

Do I like Gold Man? I certainly do – Would I wear it? In all honesty, I really don’t think I could pull it off, it feels like you need to be all man to wear it and I think it would be a fragrance that wears me. In essence, I love Gold Man, but I’m not sure I have the balls to wear it publicly. That doesn’t mean I respect it or love it any less and I can reassure you that my sample will get a lot of wearing in the comfort of my own home.

Availability

Both Gold Woman and Gold Man are available in 50ml and 100ml Eau de Parfum. Prices range from £155-£185 for Gold Woman and £135-£165 for Gold Man.

Gold Woman is also available in 50ml Extrait de Parfum concentration and is priced at £255.

Disclaimer

This review of Gold Woman was based on a sample obtained from Amouage in store and the review of Gold Man is based on a sample of Gold Man from my own personal collection.

[1] Turin, L Sanchez, T (2009). Perfumes The A-Z Guide. London: Profile Books. 92.

[2] & [3] Amouage.com

Image 1 Amouage.com

Image 2 parfumsraffy.com

Image 3 fragrantica.com

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