Sample Review: GOLD by JAY-Z

     It must be really tough being Beyoncé’s husband.

     Jay-Z married the singing sensation in 2008, and since then they haven’t stopped being the world’s power couple. But could you imagine waking up in the morning and thinking how popular your spouse is in contrast to you? I’m not saying she’s got a bigger fan base, but still… In all honesty, I don’t listen to Beyoncé much, and I hate rap, so I can’t say I know too much about Jay-Z either (or does he sing hip-hop?).

     When I heard that Jay-Z will be releasing a men’s fragrance, my immediate thought was, ‘What, did you get jealous of your wife?’ That, and I didn’t get too excited. My experience with celebrity men’s fragrances is poor, so I was perfectly happy not to search for this. But then, as luck would have it, a sample landed in my bag at Shoppers – darn it. Still, an unsniffed perfume is a horrible thing, so let’s get started!

     First, the fragrance film. Here’s my problem with it: why a female model for a men’s fragrance? Sex appeal or not, it is not relevant to the scent. Besides, it reminds me of Lady Gaga’s Fame film, and that is NOT a good thing.

     And here’s another video for you. This is a ‘perfumer’s video’, which is unusual and full of things that don’t matter a lot. Plus, the notes listed don’t match up to Fragrantica’s. Sloppy. You’ll notice the creative team is obsessed with gold paint.

Jay-Z Gold sample

Jay-Z Gold sample

     The carded sample comes in a clear 1.5 mL glass vial with a white cap, with gold lettering and clear fluid. It is noteworthy that this sample has exceptionally good distribution, which makes me warm up to it a little bit more.

     A 2013 release, the creator of Gold is Ilias Ermenidis, who has also done Victoria’s Secret’s Dream Angels Heavenly (reviewed here). This EDT is an ‘Aromatic Fougere.’

     Okay, let’s talk fragrance. I am a bit close-minded going into this, just because I’m not expecting to be dazzled. I sprayed it about a minute ago, and without really smelling it, I’m getting a general spicy vibe, which makes me feel even less confident about this. The top notes that stand out to me are grapefruit and ginger, both of which are done well. Blueberries are also listed, which could be interesting, but I do not get any of that. Somebody do a good blueberry, would you? Back to Gold, the top notes gradually convert to a very small, unremarkable dry grass smell – vetiver – with the spicy notes from the top carrying through. I’m relieved that unlike the last few fragrances I’ve tried the middle notes last longer than a few minutes. Something in the dry-down smells to me like a type of modelling clay I used to play with as a kid – Das – which is not so great.

Collective thoughts about what I’ve sniffed today: a perfectly fine fragrance, if nothing special at all. Save your money, find something worthy.

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You can follow Jay-Z on Twitter at


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