Cuba Paris – Cuba Gold

Cuba Gold is one fascinating perfume. The exact year of its release can’t even be said with full conviction due to the controversies surrounding it. 

Made by the Cuba Paris fragrance and cosmetics company, the cigar-shaped perfume (inspired by the deeply steeped Cuban tobacco industry) was the first to be released.

Known for sourcing natural elements for its unique fragrances, the company was formed in 1992. Keeping this in mind, the scent might have hit the market in the early to mid-90s. 

A whole history lesson can be dedicated to it, but since we don’t have three hours to kill, we’re going to summarise as much as possible. So, buckle up!

Cuba Gold: Overview

  • Brand: Cuba Paris
  • Perfume: Cuba Gold
  • Release: 1979/Early to mid-90s (further explained below)
  • Gender: Men
  • Perfumer: N/A

Fragrance Notes

  • Top Notes: Pink Pepper, Grapefruit
  • Heart Notes: Lavender, Vetiver
  • Base Notes: Vanilla, Amber, Tonka Bean

What Does Cuba Gold Smell Like?

A good mass appeal fragrance, the first thing to note here is that this hidden gem, fortunately or unfortunately, has no tobacco notes. Despite the complexities surrounding its background, the scent itself is straightforward. 

A powdery, smooth vanilla fragrance, the notes in this pale compared to most other fragrances. The initial fruit and pepper combination gives birth to a warm, spicy opening that smells good, starting things off at a nice, relaxing pace.

The middle notes then introduce some sweet lavender notes while the vetiver brings out a dry woodiness, paving the way for the well-blended vanilla. 

As head notes are normally brief, the previously described warmth doesn’t last that long. However, it does make a comeback as the base note of the perfume amid the leathery woodiness.

It should be said that despite not mentioning a specific perfumer, a bottle of the scent does make attribution to Parfums Des Champs (translated into “Field Scents”). Not a real person, but a reference point worth mentioning.

How Long Does Cuba Gold Last For?

This appealing perfume is described as an eau de toilette, and luckily it’s not an offensive fragrance as it does last for about six to seven hours on the skin. This is longer than some EDPs. 

When Should You Wear It?

Fall and winter suit it perfectly while spring is something of a hit or miss. As with all Cuba fragrances, it’s perfectly tailored for everyday use. 

You won’t have any problem wearing it during the day, but it does work better at nighttime. 

Where Should You Wear It?

Everywhere. From date night to concerts to formal occasions like work, the moderate projection of such a versatile fragrance is impressive enough to suit all occasions.

That said, this same projection has also been referred to as “weak” or straight out “mediocre.” These are personal opinions, of course, but if you want to stand out at a cocktail party, a reasonable choice would be a strong parfum or EDP instead.

Presentation and Value For Money

As represented by the Cuban cigar, the perfume is mainly for the older generation. Its marketing represents the chill individualist (beer with the guys, sweaty poker nights, etc.) – it’s the embodiment of an ultimately masculine scent.

It’s mass appealing because it’s an absolute steal, so if it’s your first time trying it out, know that you’re not being scammed, even at such a low price. Sold in 35ml (1.15 oz) and 100ml (3.3 oz) bottles, the latter can cost you about $8 to $15, while the former goes for around $6 to $8. 

The low price represents very good value for money overall. It can also be sold as a gift set (inclusive of aftershave and body spray) for around $20, with free shipping.

The Bottom Line

The selling point of this perfume is, undoubtedly, its inexpensiveness. So if you find yourself in need of a quick fix (or a decent perfume that smells great), Cuba Gold is sure to save the day. 

And at a bargain too!

Perfumes that Smell Like Cuba Gold

1. JPG Le Male

Cuba Gold’s similarity to Jean Paul Gaultier’s Le Male is on a scary level. Most people know it as a cheaper copy of JPG Le Male (released in 1995). 

On the other hand, those that hold the view that it was first created in 1979 believe that it actually precedes Le Male.

A good number of online sources state Cuba Gold’s release date as 1979, but most of the credible ones don’t, including the company itself. So, while there’s no reason to disbelieve this view, there’s also no reason to believe it either.

If one is lucky enough to have smelt Le Male, it’s a certainty that making a reliable comparison would be next to impossible, despite it being a pretty nice fragrance. 

2. 360° White for Men (Perry Ellis)

Confusing dates aside, this 2005 release is a citrusy version of the above two. It starts with notes like lime, followed by a floral heart that finishes off with a warm, musky base.

3. Cabana (La Rive)

A primarily warm fragrance, Cabana is more of an extended version of Cuba Gold’s opening. 

Not nearly as close in scent, it does however share some similarities, such as soothing vanilla and lavender notes.