Donna Karan strived for a lushly feminine lily effect with her stupendous Gold fragrance for women in 2006. Its mix of vibrant lily with animalic profundity puts Gold on a pedestral of worship, that of a stony goddess who demands the coming of Choephoroi.
The fragrance necessitated no less than 3 perfumers of the caliber of Yann Vasnier, Calice Becker and Rodrigo-Flores Roux. Usually that would be a recipe for disaster (too many opinions and twinkering often lead to an incoherent vision), yet in Gold the result is none the worse for trying. On the contrary.
The main accord in DK Gold focuses on bright, trembling with life lily, suave woods plus musk, effecting a round and creamy composition accented with discernable jasmine adding its indolic glory. The opening of Donna Karan Gold has the dewy freshness of green tonalities of muguet, vaguely reminiscent of the green overture of Annick Goutal's Des Lys (another floriental focusing on Casablanca lilies) and the sharper start of Lys Mediteranée by F.Malle. Although the floral phase is clearly discernible from the start, the more the scent dries down the more the sensuous aspects reveal themselves beneath the droplets of lucid coolness. Underneath, a camphoreous scent is peeking through, like a riddle on the edge of the screenshot in a Greenaway film : now you see it and now you don't.
The development of Gold in the Eau de Parfum concentration adds a very alluring animalic submantle which hints at ductile leather and ambergris rather than the traditional resinous amber mentioned, yet it doesn't do so with too much rebelliousness, remaining a sensual touch warming the proceedings and adding gravitas. Perhaps Gold, although certainly not ground-breaking, is a knowing wink of Donna Karan to her first perfume, the long discontinued Donna Karan New York in the phallic black bottle, which utilized lily, amber and suede to great effect.
Concentrations & Notes
Please note that Donna Karan Gold comes in Eau de Parfum concentration, which is warmer and much more complex than the more aqueous and linear Eau de Toilette, as well as a Sparkling Eau de Toilette. Between those versions Eau de Parfum is highly recommended as per above, also being much closer to the revered Serge Lutens Un Lys. Parfum amplifies the cistus and incense with more vanilla.
The elegant bottle is created by jewellery designer Robert Lee Morris.
Current distribution of DK Gold is bust; get some while you can on online discounters.
Notes for DK Gold: Casablanca Lily, Amber, Acacia, White Clove, Golden Balsam*, Gold Pollen and Patchouli
*a mix of Peru tolu balsam, olibanum, benzoin, vanilla, and cistus
Photo of French actress Eva Green via Google (have since forgotten the exact source)