Not that this should be a surprise to anyone who knows me and/or has skimmed the fragrance tag on this site once or twice, but I love men’s fragrances. Crisp and sporty scents with water and citrus notes are my jam, with the occasional nod to cool woodsy blends tossed in here and there. I’ve tried and liked Jay Z’s previous forays into fragrance, particularly Rocawear 9IX – while not particularly groundbreaking scents, they nailed that New York sporty feel that I like so much. Jay Z Gold cologne EDT is the first fragrance to hit the market under Jay Z’s own name, however, and I’ve been curious to try it ever since I saw it mentioned on a few US perfume blogs.
The packaging of Jay Z Gold is hella nifty, with a heavy embossed gold cap, a matte white bottle in a shape redolent of a hip flask, and golden detailing. It looks nothing like the fairly plain square bottles of most of my masculine fragrance collection, that’s for sure!
I was expecting a fairly stock standard masculine celebrity perfume from Jay Z Gold: crisp aqua opening notes, tangy citrus middle notes, and a woody drydown. You know, the usual. Not too different, not too challenging, not too wild. Then I gave myself a spritz of Gold on my wrist, and let me tell you something: I’ve never been so totally, absolutely, completely wrong when it comes to trying out a perfume blind.
Jay Z Gold opens with a predominantly blueberry note balanced with a tiny whiff of cardamom and grapefruit; mellowing into a floral middle expanse of pink pepper, lavender, violet leaf and a touch of earthy vetiver for weight; and finishing with a warm base of vanilla, teak and myrhh. Like I said, I couldn’t be more wrong if I tried. It’s a mildly sweet floral with a soft and subtle woodsy base, and if pressed I’d dub it a true unisex fragrance: not overtly masculine, and not overtly feminine.
The wear time of Gold is reasonable, around five or six hours on my skin, and longer on my clothes. The sillage is reasonably close hugging, enough that I can get a delicate catch of fragrance in close conversation, but not bold enough that it lingers when I leave the room.
I’m somewhat taken by Jay Z Gold, but not as a strictly masculine fragrance. If you presented me with a sample of Gold and told me it was called, say, Beyoncé, I’d totally believe it. To my nose Gold is more evocative of a feminine celebrity fragrance, albeit one with some dignity (no pop starlet syrupy sweetness or sugar-frosted synthetic florals here), and I’m struggling to connect the masculine branding and the forceful words of power on the cap (strength, success, courage, pride, confidence and power) with the gentle and soft juice in the bottle.
Hmm. Maybe that’s the secret to Jay Z Gold: don’t expect another Rocawear-style sporty juice. Move it out of the men’s perfume section, pop it squarely into the unisex/gender neutral fragrance section, and you’ve got a potential cross-audience success story.
Who: Jay Z
What: Gold Jay Z cologne
How Much: AU$89 for 90ml
When: available now
Where: Priceline, My Chemist & selected pharmacies and perfumeries.
This item was kindly provided to swatchgirl.com.