“GOLD HEART V.4 INHABITS THIS UTOPIAN WORLD WHERE WE ARE AT PEACE IN SPITE OF DIFFERENCES OF BELIEF: RICH ENOUGH IN OURSELVES TO ACCEPT EACH OTHER FOR WHO WE ARE. IT CELEBRATES INNER WEALTH, SHARING, RESPECT AND TOLERANCE. IT REMINDS US OF WHAT IT IS TO LIVE WITH A HEART OF PURE GOLD.”
Well let’s just fill a few fighter jets with this stuff and spray it across the globe because it’s exactly what the world needs right now: HEART.
Map of the Heart is, I suppose, what they really mean by “niche perfumery” – a concept born from pure creativity, collaboration, obsession with concocting something right out of imagination. A sensory journey that makes you think hard about well, that’s up to you now isn’t it?
I didn’t think at first that I could do better than to paste that beautiful statement straight from the brand‘s website and call it quits with this review. Maybe I could add, don’t just buy this for your lover, buy it for yourself. But I’m increasingly obsessed with this perfume and I’m not sure the wearing of Gold Heart is as purely celebratory as the sell. It’s more like how love might smell when we’re all outta red roses and romance.
Co-creator of MotH, Sarah Blair, apparently carried a prototype of the incredible heart bottle in her handbag long before its commercial birth, and holding it in your hand is a curious experience. Smooth and cold and somewhat alien, yet at the same time organic (literally right?), familiar, comforting in its contours. It’s not something you can grip unconsciously. It demands attention to the action of applying it and as soon as you do, wham ma’am. Gold Heart v.4 hurls a distinct idea of love onto your body to carry until you wash it off, for this a fragrance that holds on tight.
In their manifesto, Blair and her collaborator Jeffrey Darling talk about exploration. We are tourists, explorers, travellers of the heart. Gold Heart marks the start of that journey with sparks of pink pepper that fly up from the hot, sweet ignition of the scent. For a moment there’s just the shock of pure sensory reception (like the first, captivating moments of a love affair?), bright and spicy and all-consuming. A musky mix of cardamom and cinnamon earth that flash-blinding opening but there is a metallic element too, one that continues to wash in and out for me when wearing Gold Heart. At once as cold and artificial as the glass bottle, to be honest it reminds me of blood. In love, do we wound? Or retreat to lick our wounds?
Ultimately I get a viciousness from the opening that takes some time to finally release into the soothing, milky pool at the centre of the scent. It’s a land of milk and honey where the oxen no longer needs to fear the lion, where we are released from the shackles of drudgery, where we are safe from attack – an idea obviously inspired by Virgil’s bucolic fantasies of a pacifist paradise (obviously not because I’m clever but because it’s quoted on the website peeps). It’s a vision of love as abundant, motherly, bountiful, fertile. It’s golden, like the warm colour of saffron that is the fellow core note of the scent, warming and imbuing the white creamy fluid with a golden hue. But those stamens also pierce the gorgeous milky-ness with a reminder of that earlier sharp metal, a reminder of the wounding power of love? Or a call for endurance, strength, to remain pure of heart? I’m getting carried away now but that molecular echo is eerie.
Slowly, slowly, though, the battle of sharp and smooth ebbs into the relief of comforting sandalwood. Still warm but stable, solid, after so long bobbing in the milky sea, a reward for the tidal pull of a journey through the heart. Pure Heart is not an easy fragrance to wear – it’s less of a celebration than a challenge, but a worthy one. Love it.