“All that is gold does not glitter”
~ J.R.R. Tolkien
Saffron, oakmoss, vanilla, patchouli, nutmeg.
Let’s start by getting the slightly complicated Commodity offering out of the way. Basically, they have two groups of fragrances. Firstly, the Archive scents which are those remaining from the scents which were in existence before the brand closed (prior to being revived). Secondly, the scents which come in the Scent Space concentrations, some of which were also present before the brand shuttered, and some which are new. Gold is part of the latter group.
The Scent Space fragrances are available the three concentrations: Personal (which is the quietest form, wearing closest to the body sometimes denoted as “Gold-“), Expressive (middle for diddle level concentrations, expressed as “Gold”) and Bold (the fragrance amped up to its biggest and boldest, sometimes labelled as “Gold+”). It is the bold formulation (Gold+) that we will be looking at here. Okay? Good…
Gold+ opens with a warm, woody, spicy sweetness. The nutmeg comes through, along with the rich warmth of vanilla and amber. Gold is an appropriate name for the scent because it really does give that impression of warmth and oozy luxury.
This fragrance does have some development but is actually quite linear in the way that it wears, so whilst the brown woody tones come out at first and although they do mellow, the overall vibe remains quite similar all the way through – a positive if you’re a fan of scents which you don’t get any unpleasant shocks with as they dry down.
Once Gold+ has really warmed up on the skin, the leathery touches of saffron start to make themselves known. Saffron can wear very leathery and very savoury, but here it is gentle and lightly handled. It gives a grounding warmth to the vanilla and spices, and adds a counterpoint to stop them becoming too sweet, too sticky.
Sandalwood also starts to reveal its charms in the heart of the fragrance, smoothing and enveloping the other ingredients. The sandalwood seems to refine everything it touches, easing everything, polishing everything, and just making the fragrance nicer, more refined, more elegant.
The base of Gold+ is given over to a woody, resinous sweetness. The vanilla and benzoin collide to make a sticky and heady concoction, the sandalwood smooths it all out, and little piquant flecks of the remaining spices add sparks of liveliness and movement within the fragrance.
Warm and sweet are the watchwords of this scent which would be particularly delicious in the cooler months of the year. There are whispers of something which is a touch smoky in the fragrance, like a bonfire caught on the wind on a cold autumnal day which make me feel that odd sort of end-of-the-year nostalgia.
More than just soothing, there is something satisfying about Gold+. It’s like you’ve eaten a huge, milky vanilla sweet pudding and are just luxuriating in the satiated afterglow.
The other stuff
For all Commodity’s talk about Scent Space, and their definition of the “Bold/+” fragrances as being “for you and everyone else” I didn’t, personally, find the projection of this fragrance as being THAT big. It certainly goes to handshake distance, possibly a bit further, but it doesn’t feel like one of those nuclear perfumes which you can only afford the tiniest of squirts of without risking choking everyone in the vicinity out.
The longevity of this fragrance is, again, perfectly acceptable, but perhaps not quite as monstrous as the blurb around this scent space level would suggest. I get about eight hours or so out of this scent following an application, which is more than fine.
Gold+ feels like the sort of fragrance which would work well to evening events in the cooler months of Autumn and Winter. It feels slightly more like an occasion scent than just day wear, but in actual fact you should wear it whenever and wherever you like.
The perfumer for Gold was Donna Ramanauskas.
I did try to do a direct comparison between Gold+ and an old sample of the original formula Gold that I had, unfortunately the original sample had evaporated. I would say there are some differences though between the two scents, so definitely sample this one if you are wanting to recapture the old Gold feeling – they may not align completely. Some of the Commodity fragrances have been reformulated in order to fit the Scent Space model, whilst some have been reformulated in order to adhere to current legislations.
Commodity have had an interesting ride so far. Originally a Kickstarter brand, they popped up in 2013 originally and were doing really well before internal issues forced the brand to close up shop quite suddenly in 2019. The brand were then bought by a perfume distributor and entrepreneur, Vicken Arslanian, and re-opened in 2020. You can find out more about them in their documentary series charting their resurrection.
The brand has a modern, clean and no-fuss aesthetic. They aim to demystify and reduce guff around the way we experience and talk about perfumery (amen to that!) and the fragrances they currently carry are all build around a central concept (Milk, Paper, Gold etc). The scents do exactly what they say on the tin, which is pleasant. Here at The Sniff, we are in two minds about the usefulness of the Scent Space offer, however. On the one hand, allowing people the chance to go quiet or go bold is nice, but on the other you could just have one formulation and spray it less or more depending on how out there you wanted to be (OK, we know it’s a bit more complicated than that, but you get what we mean).
Either way though, kudos on Vicken Arslanian for resurrecting the brand and seeing potential there. It’s interesting to watch the rise and rise of a brand which was once dead in the water.
Gold+ is available from the Commodity web boutique where it is priced at £130 for 100ml.
We were delighted to be gifted a bottle of this fragrance by the brand (and allowed to pick which scent and at what concentration we would prefer). Our thanks to them.
Header image by Ralf Kunze from Pixabay. All images of the product by The Sniff.