Does the mental association of airheads frying on the beach to attain a lizard-worthy tan, replete with tons of sweet oily stuff smeared within an inch of their lives come into your mind when you hear the word "coconut scent"?. Or is the scent of artificial "tropics" enacted via those atrocious derelict-cab-dangling "deo" yellowish pine-trees that are enough to only get a glimpse of for one's stomach to turn? Coconut-laced tropical floral scents are a risky affair lest they end up smelling vulgar. Luckily for all, Ylang in Gold by niche French brand M.Micallef not only isn't so, but passes muster on projecting as totally refined, golden, gorgeous and genuinely pretty.
The hints of boozy richness in Ylang in Gold recall saturated hues of rust and copper, done in a heavy silk drape, subtly changing with the play of the light upon the threads. I can feel—rather than see—the soft shimmer, like the trompe l'oeil of beige eyeshadow edged in taupe with a champagne highlighter gives the illusion of deeper, larger and more alluring eyes. This is a luxurious fragrance that is as delicious as a lemon-tinged vanilla pudding, taking a page off Casmir by Chopard, focused on the lusciousness of ylang in the floral heart.
The golden incandescence of Ylang in Gold lives up to the name, being a salicylate-rich floral (salicylate is that tropical floral element that is so prominent in the Ambre Solaire sunscreens) with a delicious floral tenacity that mysteriously intensifies the longer the perfume stays on skin. That treatment of ylang reminds me of the lily facets revealed by the subtle vanilla-salicylate accord of Vanille Galante by Hermes. Whereas there the vanilla thus emerged smelling like lily, here the vanillic tonality is a cross between milky sandalwood, suntan lotion and coconut water. Here the brûlée nuance is more "gourmand," a little thick, but done with elegance and restraint nevertheless. Without aiming to technically innovate or open new artistic pathways, the perfumer created a very pretty, very fetching fragrance to enjoy all year long. Its Orientalism is doe-eyed and contemporary enough to pull it through.
Notes for Ylang in Gold by M. Micallef:
Top notes: Tangerine orange, geranium, artemisia
Heart notes: Ylang-ylang, rose, sandalwood, lily-of-the-valley, magnolia
Base notes: Coconut, vanilla, musk.