Last week I interviewed Josh Meyer of Imaginary Authors for a local magazine. I brought some perfume samples, including Parfums M Micallef Ylang in Gold, and when Meyer smelled it, he said, “It’s so smooth. That’s their style.”
At home, I dabbed some on, and I couldn't agree more. Ylang in Gold is as smooth as silk charmeuse. It’s whipped into a soft, creamy blend that reminds me of custard. Like custard, Ylang in Gold transforms and unites its materials into a mellifluous whole. Also like custard, Ylang in Gold is sweet. Really sweet.
Ylang in Gold, a floral oriental, was created by house perfumer Jean-Claude Astier. It has top notes of tangerine orange, geranium, sage, rosemary and artemisia; a heart of ylang-ylang, rose, sandalwood, lily of the valley, mint and magnolia; and a base of coconut, vanilla, moss and musk.
All those tantalizing notes! Yet all I get is a warm, sweet ylang and vanilla at first tinted with sweet orange and a hint of green, and drying down to straight vanilla. It’s not a sticky, viscous ylang-vanilla, but neither is it vaporous and chiffon-like. I have to go back to silk here — Ylang in Gold wears like a honey-toned charmeuse gown.
In the end, it’s the texture of Ylang in Gold that intrigues me, because the fragrance itself doesn’t particularly inspire. As Francis Bacon said, “There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion,” and there’s just plain nothing strange about Ylang in Gold. No surprise, no grit. Ylang in Gold is pretty and sugary and, well, that’s about all. For sweet comfort, I prefer my “house” vanilla, L’Artisan Parfumeur Havana Vanille (now called Vanille Absolument), with its skin-like feel and woody-tobacco grounding. But sniffing Ylang in Gold makes me want to test some of my old favorites to see how tight or expansive, warm or cool, wet or dry, rough or smooth they smell. That’s a gift all by itself.
Martine Micallef created Ylang in Gold’s bottle. That gal sure loves her bling. I imagine her at home, going mad with the bedazzler, covering the appliances with Swarovski crystals. In keeping with the disco-fever quality of the bottle, Ylang in Gold comes in two formulas: one that deposits a gold sheen on your skin, and one that doesn't. I tested the plain one.
Micallef Ylang in Gold Eau de Parfum comes in a 100 ml gold and Swarovksi crystal-bedecked bottle for $245 in a sparkly or non-sparkly liquid. For information on where to buy it, see Parfums M Micallef under Perfume Houses.