Ylang (in Gold, or not) by M. Micallef (perfume review

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.

Ylang Notes
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

Ylang by M. Micallef

Technically, the perfume's name is Ylang, though it comes in a version mixed with gold dust, referred to as Ylang in Gold. Apparently the Ylang in Gold will actually leave a gold sheen to the skin. I dunno, I tested the non-bedazzled version.

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!


  1. Well, I have often declared that I, too, am not a fan of floral perfumes. And so far, that's still true. I am one of those spicy, incensey, woody, leather types (makes me sound way more titillating than I am). I like certain floral notes - rose, orange blossom & carnation come to mind, but I definitely have a penchant for more masculine type scents. I do have a bottle of Songes - and I'm quite thrilled to have it, since I have the beautiful moon bottle. It's not one of my favorite fragrances though. I mean, it's nice, but doesn't make me all tingly. So, I'm kind of thinking that perhaps Ylang may not rock my world, which is fine by me since my covet list is as long as my leg. The bottle is so darn pretty though - it sure would look lovely amongst a collection if one has $$$ to burn. ;-)

    1. Wouldn't it be lovely to buy just for the pretty bottles? :)

  2. Won't get too deeply into my thoughts, as I've got a review of my own to post soon, but I agree: a) pretty, b) tropical, c) not that complicated but it doesn't matter because a) and b).

    But I have always been a floral gal, always! and am only recently discovering that other things suit me as well. I don't think anything will ever kick florals (and floral orientals and green florals and floral chypres) off the top of the Me Perfumes list, but other types of scents have joined them.

    1. I have the weirdestrelationship with green florals. I love them, but I always think I don't, and I never pull them out of the perfume cabinet.once they're on, though, I simply adore them. Is there such thing as a perfume shrink?

  3. Funny that you say Ylang in Gold is quieter on you than Songes or Baiser Vole because Ylang In Gold is the bigger on me. It also outlasts on wear time, really smoochy for about 6 hours on skin that drinks fragrances wholesale.
    I love and wear all 3 regularly though,
    Portia xx

    1. Isn't skin an interesting thing, Portia? I would be head over heels in this if it were oouder on my skin!

  4. I'm a fan of floral perfumes and I've been exploring the other types in the recent couple of years proving myself wrong about those ;)

    I've tested Ylang in Gold a couple of times but haven't made up my mind yet.

  5. Yep, I've tried it. I think it's pretty and almost becomes creative with sandalwood and mint, but shies away from that in the end. Good work, but not groundbreaking.

  6. You know you've got a problem when people can't even pronounce the name of the fragrance!
    Regardless, it actually looks nice and I've looked up the notes of it. It will definitely be an interesting sniff once I get my hands on it.


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