The spice of gold: how perfumes house olfactory opulence

Rich scent in its truest form

Editor / July 18 2023

Go ahead and call us ‘big gold fans’ the rumours are all true. We love to wear it in glitzy accessory form, we love to nibble it in gold leaf form, and we love to… smell like it?

It sounds a tad strange, we realise, but when it comes to finding the gold-standard of fragrances, you can’t get much more opulent than the ones literally inspired by the element itself.

So what are said scents, and what exactly does the fragrance industry figure ‘gold’ smells like? We grabbed a gold-crusted metaphorical magnifying glass to crack the case…

What does ‘gold’ smell like?

You know how they say gold is more flattering when you have warmth in your complexion? Well, it all comes back to warmth in the aroma arena as well.

“Gold-inspired fragrances tend to be warm and resinous, with opulence conveyed through the use of frankincense, benzoin, myrrh and of course, oud,” explains Michael Marzano, Agence de Parfum National Education Manager. “Soft amber through to woody amber is [the fragrance sector] where these styles of fragrances are generally found, and they are rich, opulent and extravagant, featuring highly desirable notes that can be the ultimate accessory for an after five event, an opera, [or] a sensual candlelight dinner."

“A gold-inspired scent is generally part of the amber family, and these fragrances feel rich and indulgent, much like gold itself,” echoes Shannon Giordano, Fragrance Expert & Commodity’s Head of Written Content. “A ‘gold’ scent will generally have warm notes like vanilla, myrrh, tonka bean, benzoin, musk or sandalwood that conjure this sense of elegance. [Commodity’s interpretation of the element, for example, heroes] several of these notes, namely vanilla, sandalwood and an amber accord.”

“Fragrance can be used to influence your mood,” Giordano expands, highlighting the powerful feelings that come with a spritz of 'gold'. “Our Gold fragrance is meant to create a feeling of confidence and luxury. Wear it every day, for a first date, or a big presentation at work any time you need that extra boost.”

Craving that exact kind of boost? Here are our gold fragrance faves...

The best ‘gold’ perfumes to shop

Commodity Gold ($210 at Commodity Fragrances)
This scent is pure warmth with plenty of 'wow' factor, just like its metallic muse. Built around a sweet but spicy sandwich of warm vanilla wrapped between amber and sandalwood, it also features flanking hints of nutmeg, saffron, and patchouli to turn up the heat and luxury tenfold.

Amouage Gold ($539 at Libertine Parfumerie)
A magical melding of metallic and floral moments, this perfume’s staying power genuinely secures it ‘only one spritz needed’ status. Blessedly, this means the intoxicating frankincense, amber, iris and myrrh mix will be a steadfast scent in your collection for a long time to come.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Gentle Fluidity Gold Eau de Parfum ($274 at MECCA)
Swaying to the sweet, almost gourmand side of gold scent, this ethereal eau builds its blend around traditional ‘gold’ aromas of vanilla and amber, adding extra ‘freshly baked’ warmth with delicious dashes of nutmeg and coriander.

Commodity Gold

Amouage Gold

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Gentle Fluidity Gold Eau de Parfum

Calvin Klein One Gold Eau De Toilette ($59.95 at Chemist Warehouse)
The base of this designer drop is pure gold goodness (playing host to a tantalising trio of vetiver, wood and patchouli), but the top allows for more metallic ‘sparkle’, with every spritz bursting with spritely fig and bergamot.

Trussardi Scent of Gold ($135 at David Jones)
Teaching the ultimate lesson in luxury, this oriental olfactory treat pairs classic sweet and spicy elements (violet, vanilla and cinnamon to name a few) with out-of-the-box whispers of earthy patchouli and smoky tobacco.

Jusbox Golden Serenade ($485 at Libertine Parfumerie)
True to its name, this scent is bound to serenade your senses through metallic-inspired melodies of saffron and agarwood, all in addition to the category’s signature central notes of amber and vanilla. A bottle is (aptly) worth its weight in gold.

Calvin Klein One Gold Eau De Toilette

Trussardi Scent of Gold

Jusbox Golden Serenade

Main image credit: Getty

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Delaney began her career in the Australian beauty media industry in 2015, landing amidst the glossy world of women’s lifestyle magazines (or more literally, in their beauty cupboards). Since then, she has gone on to write across a multitude of beloved Australian media brands, including OK!, NW, InStyle, and Harper’s BAZAAR. She’s covered every side of beauty content, from directing beauty editorial shoots to rounding up the best glossy serums for golden hour skin. Having spent nearly a decade immersed in the beauty realm, Delaney’s knowledge of beauty is as extensive as her collection of tinted lip oils (read: extremely extensive). Delaney is currently the Digital Managing Editor of BEAUTYcrew, and her beauty wisdom also appears across beautyheaven, ELLE and Marie Claire. She enjoys channelling her personal hobby (testing beauty products) into her professional work (talking about testing beauty products), and considers perfecting the art of a cat eye in a moving car her life’s greatest accomplishment.

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