Ormonde Jayne - Black Gold
'The most important aspect of creating the perfume was searching for the most absolute 'absolue' oils. Finding a quality of sandalwood 20 classes better than other sandalwoods, and that voyage was the lengthiest but the most enjoyable aspect in the creation of Black Gold. Each ingredient was extensively researched and the final perfume was a labour of love.'
Linda Pilkington, founder and creator of Ormonde Jayne
Linda Pilkington interprets it thus: Black Gold is a reflection not only of the concept of the proverbial "best of the best" of noble and precious ingredients, but also of the passion of a master perfumer for their craft and profession.
BLACK GOLD: HOW IT ALL STARTED
The brief from Harrods was to create a perfume based around Oudh but differing from most Western oudh-based perfumes by being "... velvety soft, very profound, smooth and rich."
To achieve this aim, Linda worked tirelessly (and for a long time) to collect, blend, and then re-blend the most exquisite versions of sandalwood oil, carnation absolute, Schinus molle berries, ambrette seeds, real Cambodian oudh (which has a scent profile of plums, berries, woods, and dark chocolate), and earthy, leathery labdanum (the honeyed resin that comes from rock rose, and adds a leathery, ambery heft to orientals).
The end result is just exquisite.
Linda Pilkington opens Black Gold with a citrusy-fresh teaser: a mouth-watering trio of bergamot, mandarin, and lemon, their bright freshness supported by the herbal elements of sage and juniper berry.
As the citrusy topnotes dissipate, they reveal a sensual, beating heart of lush, velvety flowers - chief among them, orchids, roses, lilies, jasmine, and carnation. The carnation note here is particularly superb - dark and spicy - the likes of which we haven't smelled outside of vintage Bellodgia and Poivre, both by Caron.
The polyphonic chorus of florals is joined by rich and intricately-interwoven basenotes in the dry-down, most notably a complex oudh note (containing hints of dark fruits and chocolate), an almost resinous patchouli, labdanum, vetiver, vanilla, the vegetal musk of ambrette seeds, and best of all - that superior quality sandalwood oil that Linda Pilkington searched long and hard to source, said to be 20 times better than its nearest rival.
Was her search for this sandalwood absolute worth it? Oh my, yes. All the complexities of real sandalwood seem to be magnified here: its creamy nuttiness, its raspy dryness, its hints of green roses, and milky, sappy new growth. It is a perfume that must be tried to be believed.