Brit Gold, the latest fragrance release from Burberry, was created by nose Antoine Lie and features magnolia, neroli, black currant, ultrafresh bergamot, pink iris, amber, vanilla, musk, and sandalwood. When I first tried the fragrance, it was a sniff of a tester in a department store. At that time, the only impression it made was “sweet vanilla”. I then tried a sample vial and had this to say:
Warm, powdery, amber-ish. It definitely reminds me of the current crop of powdery oriental fragrances like Flower Le Parfum, Kenzo Summer, i Profumi de Firenze Talco Delicato, Ormonde Jayne Tolu, Lea, etc. and really not that original. With notes of sandalwood, vanilla and iris creating an overall sweet powdery effect, I’m surprised there’s no almond in this. The opening is pleasant though simple, and the drydown is disappointing with little more than a sweet, ambery sandalwood note. If one had any of the above already in their collections, I can’t see why this would be a necessary addition. Perfect for the Brit collector and Burberry fiend looking for something not quite as fruity as the first two, though to me, Brit Red is vastly more interesting with its pronounced tangy rhubarb note.
But on re-visiting the fragrance as a spray, and after having the chance to wear it throughout a work day, it began to make a slightly more enchanting impression. True, it is not exactly original. True, it is quite simple. True, it is sweet and powdery. But…the sandalwood drydown, oh, the sandalwood.
I first got hooked on sandalwood and vanilla with Maître Parfumeur et Gantier Vanille Gousse Ambiance Perfume, and Brit Gold isn’t too far off. The big difference to my nose is that Brit Gold is focused on amber with very (hey…where ARE the neroli and magnolia notes?) faint floral hints in the opening. Moreover, the sandalwood in Brit Gold has somewhat of an old, musty feel, which is not entirely a bad thing. I was reminded more than once of Patricia de Nicolai’s Vanille Tonka. I believe Victoria of Bois de Jasmin summed it up best when she compared the scent to “a carved sandalwood box used to store vanilla and lemon bon-bons.” I’m not sure if I love Brit Gold enough to wait two hours into the drydown for the wonderful sandalwood to make its appearance, but when it does, it begins to set itself apart from the competition.
Burberry Brit Gold is a limited edition, and is available at sephora and many department stores.