Perfume Review: Amouage Gold
Amouage, which means “waves” in Arabic, suggesting waves of emotion, is the ultra luxurious fragrance line, started by His Highness Sayyid Hamad bin Hamoud al bu Said, the Sultan of Oman, as a means of revival of Oman’s perfume tradition. Thousands of years ago, the incense from Southern Arabia was one of the most prized substances, valued as highly as gold. Allegedly, the best incense has always originated from the Dhofar in today’s southern Oman. This incense is known as “silver (frank)incense”, which Pliny described as “brilliant white and gathered at dawn in drops or tears in the shape of pearls” and praised as the purest incense. (With the exception of Eau d’Amouage and Esprit d’Amouage, frankincense is present in all Amouage fragrances.) The master perfumer Guy Robert (creator of Dioressense, Caleche, Madame Rochas) was given the task to create “the most valuable perfume in the world”, sparing no expense. According to Amouage literature, Guy Robert describes Amouage (Gold) as his “symphony”, “the crowning glory” of his career.
Gold is said to be an all-natural fragrance composed of over 120 ingredients, including the legendary silver frankincense, as well as rock rose, lily of the valley, myrrh, orris, jasmine, ambergris, civet, musk, cedar and sandalwood. I must admit that, however hard I try to catch a whiff of the famous silver frankincense, I am unable to smell it in the top and middle notes. The incense and wood are overwhelmed by the heady, opulent florals. Rose and jasmine are most prominent on my skin, and I also smell a vaguely fruity note, which may perhaps be apricot, as well as, at the middle stage, an even more vague citrus accord. When the drydown comes, if I try very hard, I can actually smell hints of myrrh and frankincense, but still, the two are weighed down by the rich floral notes and there is no way for me to get to know and to savor the precious silver frankincense. Gold is undoubtedly a striking, grand scent, it is a regal blend worthy to be worn with the most magnificent evening gown, in the most lavish surroundings. It is a Classic Scent, by which I mean that it is an imposing floral bouquet, and the luxurious surrounding it brings to my mind are those somewhere in Paris, not in an Arabic palace. There is nothing at all exotic and Arabian in it, to my nose. That is my only complaint regarding Gold, apart from that it is a gorgeous scent that would be stunning in the right circumstances, worn on the appropriate occasion.
Since I do not anticipate being invited to mingle with Kings and Sultans in Paris, let alone in Oman, in a foreseeable future, and since nothing less majestic would be worthy of this scent, I cannot possibly justify buying a bottle. But what glorious bottles are those! Created by Asprey’s of Bond Street, London, the limited edition range of Gold bottles is made of sterling silver and plated with 24 carat gold, the “regular” bottles are made of lead crystal adorned with 24 carat gold. The design had roots in ancient Omani culture. The cap was inspired by the minarets of the mosques of Muscat and the panels on the bottle were taken from a thousand years old Omani door design.
Gold is available at Amouage.com, €192.00 – 290.00 and at Parfumsraffy, $84.00- 395.00, depending on the size and concentration.