I have discovered that I have now officially been wrong once in my life. Despite, or perhaps because of, my limited understanding of fragrance a few years ago, I confidently proclaimed myself Not a Fan of Florals. And then the world laughed.
Fast forward two years and here I am, grabbing every intensely floral scent I can find with my grubby, essential oil-covered fingers and spraying them quite robustly.
One of my favorite floral notes has quickly become Ylang Ylang (say it: EE-lang EE-lang or YUH-lang YUH-lang), a tropical bloom. It is sweet and pretty, though not necessarily exclusively "feminine". It is often used to help build a tropical feel in a perfume or other product. "The fragrance of ylang-ylang is rich and deep with notes of rubber and custard, and bright with hints of jasmine and neroli."1 As such, it combines neatly with jasmine, rose, and is often paired with woods. It is considered by many to be an antidepressant, to have a soothing, calming impact on the mood, and to be an aphrodisiac!
I recently heard perfumista friends raving about Ylang in Gold, a scent by M. Micallef, and was thrilled to then get a chance to sample it.
Tangerine, geranium, sage, rosemary, artemisia,
Ylang Ylang, sandalwood, lily of the valley, magnolia,
mint, coconut, vanilla, musk, moss
M.Micallef- Ylang (In Gold or not) -$245, 100ml EDP
Take a look at the list of notes, and you may expect a fairly complex scent with spinning, sparkling facets. You may figure you'll have hours to experience the layers, pulling them apart and thinking them over. What you get, though, is much more straight-forward: ylang ylang and vanilla. Maybe there's some lily of the valley in there, perhaps the coconut and musk, softly. But mostly, ylang ylang and vanilla.
Ylang in Gold is in the same vein as Baiser Volé (Cartier) and Songes (Annick Goutal), though those are based around lilies, and jasmine with tiare and ylang ylang, respectively. Songes is, like Ylang in Gold, supported by a beautiful, creamy vanilla note. While Baiser Volé does not list vanilla in the base of the scent, I swear there's a touch there. Certainly, the three scents have a similar mood and feel: creamy, feminine, soft, green, tropical.
To be honest, I prefer Songes. While Ylang in Gold is beautiful, on my skin it's just a bit too soft. Too passive. However, it's definitely office-friendly. It probably works in a lot of situations, actually. I just prefer the more over-the-top femininity of Songes. If you're going to go there, GO! Why be shy?
Have you tried Ylang in Gold? What do you think? How are you on the topic of florals? Ylang ylang? Tell me your favorite florals in the comments!