One of my favorite things to observe is the effect a creative director has on a perfumer. This is particularly evident when the perfumer is given the opportunity to have released other perfumes where they have been the sole creative force. It has been my hypothesis that clear-eyed creative directors can push talented perfumers to new heights. When I am having this conversation one of my favorite examples is the work perfumer Geza Schoen has done for Ormonde Jayne owner and creative director Linda Pilkington.
Hr. Schoen when left to his own devices he tends to design austere architectures. When Ms. Pilkington is collaborating the same precision is evident but Hr. Schoen creates in an almost gaudy way compared to his other solo perfumes. Two years ago with Black Gold Ms. Pilkington showed even using a pared down ingredient list Hr. Schoen could create this kind of opulence. I think Black Gold is one of the best in the entire brand. I admire it so much I was a little nervous in trying the new sequel Rose Gold.
If Black Gold was five exquisite ingredients; Rose Gold is three keynotes in top, heart, and base enhanced by a suite of supporting actors. It makes Rose Gold a perfume of three distinct phases.
Hr. Schoen opens with a tart lime matched with clary sage. I love the assertive verdancy of clary sage. By using the lime as a citrus focal point it allows the clary sage to act as a rambunctious partner. For all that I am making it sound discordant it is anything but. It is an herbal citrus top accord which finds a heady harmony. The star of the heart is a Taif rose. This variation of Rose Damascena has a softer heart of spiciness to it. Because of that quieter quality Hr. Schoen adds in two other florals as support. Carnation is the bridge to the sage in the top with its green rose nature. Jasmine is the bridge to the oud in the base adding in its indolic charm. At the center of this the Taif rose glows like a golden tinted floral. Over a few hours oud and sandalwood insert themselves into the floral intensity. The oud particularly feels like a natural progression from the jasmine. The sandalwood provides an attar-like foundation. Much later the botanical musk of ambrette adds the final note.
Rose Gold has nearly 24-hour longevity and average sillage.
Rose Gold feels like a throwback rose encompassing Arabic and European influences. It is so well constructed that it took me well into my second wearing for that particular bell to go off in my head. This rose of two worlds makes the perfect counterpart to Black Gold where that one whispered in sensuous tones; Rose Gold enfolds you in its luxury. The best part is I never want to get out.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample I purchased.