We review Ylang in Gold, a sun-drenched, radiant, and exotic Eau de Parfum (EDP) from French niche perfumery M. Micallef’s Jewel Collection.
The French house of M. Micallef was founded in 1996 by wife-and-husband duo Martine Micallef and Geoffrey Nejman, at a time when niche perfumery was still in its naissance, and a handful of houses that could be considered “niche” even existed.
Martine sold out of her beauty business and Geoffrey retired from his banking career. And so, in the basement of their villa in Grasse, a small town on the French Riviera that happens to be the perfume capital of the world, the couple put a start to M. Micallef.
(The “M,” should you be wondering, stands for Martine.)
A quarter of a century has passed since. The duo, in a fragrance triangle with nose Jean-Claude Astier, has been concocting some of the finest scents we’ve tried and tested, and formulating many of the rules of niche perfumery as we know it today.
From the artistry of the bottle and the alchemy of the scent to the exceptional appreciation for the customer—one can order any fragrance the house has ever made, even if that fragrance has been discontinued—M. Micallef has become synonymous with niche perfumery, its creations collected and cherished by fragrance connoisseurs around the world.
Ylang in Gold
|Fragrance||Ylang in Gold|
|Concentration||Eau de Parfum (EDP)|
|Description||Sun-drenched, Ylang in Gold is a radiant fragrance with intriguing exotic accords. Its sensual texture lays a delicate veil of pearly gold on the skin.|
|Sizes||1.01 fl oz (30 ml), 3.4 fl oz (100 ml)|
Water, Denatured Alcohol, Fragrance, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Ethylhexyl Salicylate
Source: M. Micallef, last retrieved January 8, 2022
As I sat on the couch and opened the lid on my MacBook Air, I looked closely at the hand-made, crystal-adorned bottle of Ylang in Gold on the coffee table in front of me and I thought to myself: “Simona, how do you even begin to describe this?”
For someone who writes about perfumes for a living, Ylang in Gold left me speechless. Not because I was at a loss for words, but because I had so many words to describe it, I didn’t know where to begin.
Should I start by mentioning that it’s heady and sumptuous? Or maybe exotically tropical and delectably sweet? Surely, I can’t go without alluding to the fact that it’s discerningly elegant and unpretentiously lush. Perhaps I can call it “gleaming sunshine in a bottle,” and everyone will get it.
Clearly, I made up my mind: I decided to start by mentioning it all. This is Ylang in Gold—a one-of-a-kind, vivaciously feminine floral oriental Eau de Parfum (EDP) from niche perfumery M. Micallef’s Jewel Collection.
The top notes are geranium, lychee, bitter orange, and clary sage. The heart notes are ylang-ylang, lily of the valley, sandalwood, and rose. The base notes are coconut, vanilla, musk, and oakmoss.
The opening can only be described as delicious. One almost immediately smells the sweetly petals of the geranium flower, the soapy rosiness of lychee, the citrusy freshness of bitter orange, and the herbaceous, lavender-esque hints of clary sage.
Soon after Ylang in Gold becomes exotic. The tropical nature of ylang-ylang and the jasmine-like nuances of lily of the valley reveal themselves in unison with the powdery essence of rose and the groundingly woody scent of sandalwood.
The dry down is subtly sweet, but in a white-musk, vanilla-milk kind of way. There’s the lactonic creaminess of coconut. Bourbon vanilla’s comforting creaminess. The cleanliness of musk with the earthiness of oakmoss.
Picture yourself in a fashionable yellow dress with gold sequins, sitting at the balcony bar of the Hôtel Martinez in Cannes, France, sipping a coconut cocktail while watching the sun set over the sea under the flawless, near-nightly sky of the Côte d’Azur.
Ylang in Gold is exotic, tropical, as pretty as a picture. Sweet, sensual, sophisticated. A show-stopper of a perfume that turns heads from the very moment you enter the room, causing others to work up the courage to ask you, “Excuse me, I just need to know… what perfume are you wearing?”
Wherever you go, M. Micallef’s Ylang in Gold leaves behind a trail of magic. It has extraordinary longevity and a rather remarkable projection; its fragrant molecules linger in the air long after you exit the room, enchanting others and reminding them of your radiance.
I always reach for my bottle of Ylang in Gold when I want to feel effortlessly classy and inherently feminine. For me, it was love at first sniff; after years of wearing it, a spritz of it still puts a smile on my face. It’s so irresistible and intoxicating, it takes my breath away.
Ylang in Gold is a signature scent that can be worn all year round, though I find it particularly suitable for daytime wear. Like a gold necklace, it is an essential accessory that says exactly what it should say about you; nothing less, and nothing more.
M. Micallef’s Ylang in Gold Eau de Perfume (EDP) offers fantastic longevity. Spray it on your pulse points in the morning after showering or bathing, and it will easily last upward of 12 hours. If you also apply it to your hair, you will be able to smell it on you the next day.
You asked, we answered: Why some perfumes last longer than others
Ylang in Gold is not only long-lasting but has grand sillage. This Eau de Parfum (EDP) projects impressively; it leaves a strong scent trail behind wherever you go, even after 6-7 hours of wear.
If you layer Ylang in Gold by M. Micallef with Sunshine Woman by Amouage, you will get an unrepeatably uplifting daytime scent that gets tons of compliments.
Layer Ylang in Gold by M. Micallef with New York Nights by Bond No. 9 for a distinctly sweet, mysteriously femme-fatale gourmand scent for nighttime wear.
M. Micallef offers Ylang in Gold in two tall glass bottles, one with a capacity of 1.01 fl oz (30 ml) and the other with 3.4 fl oz (100 ml). The bottles are bejeweled with hand-laid Swarovski crystals especially designed for M.Micallef. Many consider them to be works of art by themselves.
If you buy a bottle from M. Micallef’s online store, you can request a personalized engraving. Those who get the 3.4 fl oz (100 ml) size also get a complimentary travel-sized spray with their purchase.
Read our guide: Which size perfume to buy?
Ylang in Gold by M. Micallef is a niche fragrance, and it is sold at a niche price. On the day this review was published, the 1.01 fl oz (30 ml) bottle was selling for €79.17 ($89.95) in the perfumery’s online store, and the 3.4 fl oz (100 ml) bottle for €187.50 ($213.02).
Consider Oud Jaune Intense, a melange of monoi, ylang-ylang, and pineapple by Fragrance du Bois; YLANG 49, a blend of Pua Noa Noa and ylang-ylang by New York City niche perfumery Le Labo; 51 Pour Femme, an amber ylang-ylang scent by Roja.
Ylang in Gold Nectar is a flanker of Ylang in Gold with the same olfactory notes as the original. The original is fruitier and lighter, whereas the flanker is heavier on the ylang-ylang, sandalwood, and musk.
Ylang in Gold could be the signature scent of your dreams if you want to appear as sunny, exotic, and affluent; a woman with a bright mind, a golden heart, and a forever-young soul who lights up the room with charm and benevolence the moment the door opens.