Step into the spotlight. A new scent from Sarah Baker invites us to take centre stage.
Orange blossom, bergamot, neroli, butterscotch, dark chocolate, cypriol, Laos oud, Suyufi agarwood, musk, amber, vanilla, and sweet myrrh.
Gold Spot by Sarah Baker is a newly released fragrance born into a family of huge, characterful scents. It’s always interesting to observe where a brand perceive there to be niches to be filled in their collections, and how they then go about doing that, which seems particularly pertinent here.
In the House of Sarah Baker terms, Gold Spot would be the flaxen-haired younger sister of Loudo, on the basis that Gold Spot uses a big dose of oud, sweetened up. Here, however, rather than the fruity aspects we find in Loudo, we have instead a slightly metallic facet and an underlying floral warmth which take that same oud heart and turn it in a slightly different direction.
An initial spritz of Gold Spot reveals the rumble of oud, a metallic vein which is warmed rather than piercing, and a warm, sweet glow which hovers between chocolatey and an interesting kind of crumbly texture. It conjures a sense of a fancy, beautifully formed little chocolate dessert adorned with gold leaf and presented on a platter with one or two edible blooms, for you to reach over and delicately pop into your mouth.
Ok, Gold Spot, you have me intrigued, what else is there beneath your golden facade?
If the start of Gold Spot is a gold-blushed petit four, then the heart of the scent becomes a little more serious, perhaps. The oud really hits its stride here. It is deep, brown, old smelling. Like something which has been kept maturing, away from light for a long time, perhaps buried in the earth or stored in a dusty catacomb somewhere – that sense of something rarefied, something precious starts to shine. A mental picture of a mysterious, wooden statue starts to develop. The statue is old, crumbling, its surface rubbed away, but here and there you can see the gilding it would have once worn, the lustre catching and reflecting the light still, even now. Now imagine that statue is set on a base of crumbly, chocolate crumb and dotted with orange blossom petals, and a picture of Gold Spot the fragrance emerges.
We do need to talk about the oud here though. Yes, it is oudy. Yes, you may notice that full-bodied, at times vaguely challenging, sense of oud from the fragrance. Overall it is the sort of scent which invites examination and invites the enjoyment of the multifarious elements of oud. The sweetness makes it easier to wear and much more approachable than a more traditional oud may be, but it would be remiss to not note that there is that deep, musty, animalic feel to Gold Spot too – at least now and again.
Gold Spot does have a feral kind of edge and it does have delicate hints of a barnyard note at times – not too loudly or persistently, but it is there and perhaps to a greater degree than it is noticeable in Loudo. The oud is multifaceted and scintillating in the way in which it shimmers and changes, and the more challenging aspects of its nature are just part of that, adding to the fascination.
Everything calms in the base of the scent. The animalic tones of the oud reduce leaving us with the deep brown growl of the more woodier facets. Gold Spot forces us back again to this idea of something feral which has been domesticated, just a bit, a wild animal wearing a golden chain around its neck but which could break loose the moment it sets its mind to it. In reality it is the oud which is chained by the sweetness and this metallic and floral cage which is constructed around the wood – half enticement to stay (the sweetness), half prison (the metal intertwined with floral elements). The result is a dance which is intriguing and thrilling to experience.
Towards the final phase of wearing the scent the metallic vein we noticed closer to the start appears to come back a touch, giving a little shimmer here and there and gathering the light. The floral scaffolding adorns the prison bars with a touch of beauty and adds that luminescence that refers to the inspiration for the scent – that idea that Hollywood starlets would be positioned in the best gold spotlight in order to make them glow. That radiance is throughout the scent and continues into the base. The thrill of Gold Spot is that you are never quite sure if its a golden halo or an adorned prison but the excitement and delight of Gold Spot is that the answer is never fully revealed.
The other stuff
The perfumer for Gold Spot is Chris Maurice, who also did Loudo.
The longevity of Gold Spot is great – it’s one of those scents which will do twelve hours on the skin without so much as having to break a sweat. The projection is also good, going to beyond handshake distance with more than just a couple of sprays. Indeed, if you went heavy on the spray with this one, you could easily fill a room wearing the scent.
Oud-based scents are, for me at least, fragrances which wear the best in the height of summer or the depths of winter. The extremes of temperature seem to bring out the best in them. Personally, I tend to wear them more in winter because I like to tame them a bit, and I find the warmth of the oud comforting when the cold really bites.
I’d wear Gold Spot for occasions where you want to turn heads and be noticed. The Christmas party, the glamorous event, anywhere where you want to feel radiant and like you have a fragrant spotlight on you at all times.
The Sarah Baker brand is kitsch and edgy. It encompasses a couple of different collections. The Sarah Baker collection is comprised of perfumes of extrait strength and these are the real heavy hitters of the brand’s line up, delightful scents but not for the faint of heart.
The S. Baker collection is a slightly lighter bunch, designed to be spritzed at any time of day. These scents are EdP concentration, and there are currently five in this group (Bascule, Flame and Fortune, G Clef, Far From The Madding Crowd and Symmetry). Don’t mistake this idea that they are lighter for thinking that they are less accomplished – that is most definitely note the case. They still have loads of guts!
In addition to these two collections there is also the Sarah Baker – Motif collection which features the four original scents in their original bottles (the scents being Leopard, Greek Keys, Lace and Tartan). To complete the brand, there are the Sarah Baker Artists Editions which are scents in limited, numbered bottles. You can find a page on Sarah Baker’s website explaining the different collections.
Gold Spot will be available shortly from the Sarah Baker web boutique where it will be priced at £145 for 50ml extrait.
Sarah Baker very kindly gave us a sample of Gold Spot when we met up at Esxence in 2022. No strings attached.