I may have mentioned it before, but I am a big fan of the Amouage line in general. Most of their perfumes suit my skin well and I like their lush, rich compositions, very often including high-quality ingredients such as frankincense, oud and rose. I have read Amouage being described as slightly conservative and old-fashioned, and I'm not sure why that is, because I don't find the perfumes to be that at all. They perhaps do harken back to an older style of perfumery, intense and uncompromising in a way, but I think the execution of most of them is decidedly modern. Anyway, onto Gold Man. It opens with a heady rush of green florals, which immediately struck me as being very unusual for a masculine fragrance. I know florals are more acceptable in Middle-Eastern perfumery, but even so, this struck me as very feminine in style, with a greenness that reminded me of green, leather chypres such as Bandit or A la Nuit. Just cutting the floralness is a biscuity/amaretti sweetness, almost caramel-like, but it fades quickly. I wasn't entirely sure of the florals, but definitely detected a strong lily of the valley note. As I said already, there is a definite chypre feel to Gold, with a slightly smutty leatheriness just beneath the surface. As the top faded I started to detect a metallic iris note and even a smidgen of incense, which prevented the florals from becoming too feminine. There is quite a lot of sandalwood and patchouli in Gold too, which are apparent in the heart, and I'm sure these notes are rounded off and enhanced by a generous dose of civet. At times I detected an almost rotting note, not unpleasant though, that weaved its way in and out of the composition.
In the dry down Gold never entirely loses its floralness and with the addition of oakmoss, the chypre style is even more confirmed, should it not have been apparent at the start. The incense that I thought I detected earlier never resurfaces, at least not on my skin, which I found a little surprising, considering Amouage's use of its famous silver frankincense. I should also state that Gold, particularly in the early phases, is not for the faint-hearted. It is a bit of a sillage monster and should be applied with caution, unless you want to stink out a room and its occupants. Having said that, the second half of the progression is a lot less blowsy, and it ends up as a fairly recognisable, traditional chypre, at least I think so. I should also state that in my opinion a lady could wear this as easily as a man could. In fact had I not known this was Gold Man, I would have thought it is a chypre for a woman, it is that floral.
I'm not sure if I really like Gold Man. I'm not generally a huge fan of chypres. I wear them, but there are other families and styles that I prefer, and I must say that other Amouage perfumes like Jubilation XXV, Reflection, Lyric and Epic are far more my kind of thing. I have read reviews, particularly by men, on Basenotes, that Gold Man is show-offish, crass and vulgar. I must say I find that surprising, unless you are a man who has major preconceptions of what a masculine or feminine perfume ought to smell like. Admittedly Gold is strong and a bit loud to start with, but I think this is more a result of its intense floral top and early heart notes, rather than for any other reason and in the end it is a decent green/leather chypre, but not really my cup of tea.