Fencers at a tournament playing dreidel with their medals as the pot. One fencer is disappointed that the medals are chocolate.
Return to Perfume Home

Marshalls was one of the first stores I hit after lockdown ended. I ended up there at a good time of day, when they weren't incredibly crowded. They had in some Juicy Coutures. Well, of course they did, they always have Juicy Coutures. But this time they had some bottles of Viva La Juicy Gold Couture(too long, it's Gold Couture from now on) in the packaging with a scratch-and-sniff preview sticker on it. It was time for another first I'd keep hitting throughout the pandemic: my first attempt to smell something through a goddamned mask. Those stickers don't tell a perfume's whole story even when I don't have two layers of cotton jamming themselves up my nose on every inbreath. I could smell something non-specifically pleasant. Good enough. Into the bag it went.

Most Juicy Coutures follow this bottle pattern: glass square brick with a nameplate and an acrylic doorknob top that has trinkety things wrapped around a long neck. Gold Couture is one of those. Its trinkety thing is a black net bow. There's also a gold panel on the back of the bottle that reflects light inside. The liquid is straw-colored. The reflective panel makes it look gold from good angles. My bottle is a half ounce, so the proportions are a little weird and the nameplate is just a sticker, but it looks similar enough to the full size. It's small and cute.

Gold Couture kicks off with massive berries, a caramel ribbon, and plastic. It isn't good plastic. I've loved a lot of fruit-scented plastic in my life, from dolls to jelly shoes to erasers. I have a high plastic tolerance. When I say it's too much, it's too much. Fortunately, it stops being plasticky pretty fast. 15-ish minutes in, the plastic goes away. The berry remains massive, and it remains massive, and goddamn, it remains massive! Some tidy - neither sterile nor narcotic -white flowers spin up, but the berry continues to dominate for another couple hours. When it finally begins to diminish, the fragrance resembles Juicy Couture Classic's sweet floral drydown with some caramel traces. I wish I hadn't thrown the box out. I'm pretty sure the drydown is what I was smelling on the preview sticker. Important: note that I said 'diminish', not 'die'. Those berries hang in there until the whole perfume is gone.

Gold Couture is sweet. It's sugar-coated sugar, where the sugar coating is even more sugar than the sugar center. It is not warm, rich, luxurious, or expensive-smelling. The only golden thing about it is the criminally underused caramel note. Gold Couture could have easily been called Pink Couture, if Juicy Couture didn't already have a perfume called that.* It says the same thing in the same way as eleventy fuckbillion pink berry whatevers that came before, and could replace or be replaced by most of them. I grabbed it because of Pandemic Mind. I don't regret doing that. The experience of buying and trying Gold Couture was necessary due to time and place. But it's not great. I prefer Juicy Couture Classic, which is equally pink, equally gold, but more interesting and done better.

*I want to try Pink Couture. If Gold Couture is what they make when they're not trying to make the olfactory version of Semple's Pinkest Pink, what do they make when they break the handle off the pink flow control?

- 12/16/20