Jay Z Gold Cologne Guide: One Business Too Many

Ever a “business, man,” Jay-Z has put his name and hands into several different commercial endeavors. Rap’s first billionaire is a mogul in every sense of the word, having stakes in record labels, clothing lines, Cognac liquor, nightclubs, owning part of the New Jersey Nets, and much more.

He makes his fortune from strategic investments and owning the masters and publishing rights to his music catalog, which amounts to his high profile as an opportunistic investor.

But not everything has been such a success for Shawn Corey Carter.

In fact, one business decision has been a complete failure due, mainly in part, because of the mogul himself, but more on that later. Right now, you’re here either because you love everything Jay-Z or looking into the short-lived ‘Gold’ cologne line of fragrances with Jay’s name on it. Whatever the case, you’ll learn all about the line-up here.

Smelling great makes me feel so much more confident. Knowing precisely what notes and aromas blend together to create a distinct smell I love is a luxury we have today thanks to the fragrance industry, and many celebrities have played a part in its growth.

And while Jay-Z’s Gold series isn’t my go-to, the attempt at the spicy, fruity, and amber-driven scent is worth knowing about if you are also a cologne fan.

Bottom Line Up Front

Gold by Jay-Z is an Eau de Toilette Aromatic Fougere fragrance crafted by Ilias Ermenidis. The line was launched in 2013 with then-partner Parlux, who partnered with Jay-Z to have his name and likeliness associated with the product. The actual fragrance line-up consists of the initial Gold fragrance and the Gold Extreme fragrance, released in 2015.

After poor sales, decreasing customer interest, and a lack of promotion from Jay-Z over the product, the fragrance line was discontinued. A legal battle began between Jay and Parlux in 2016, and as of the end of 2022, the rap mogul is set to receive nearly $7 million in compensation from the ex-partnering company.


The Gold cologne line comes from the partnership of Jay-Z and Parlux that started in 2009 when the fragrance company began reaching out to the rapper. Showing Hova the potential the partnership could have, it took three years for Jay to say yes, and in 2012, Shawn Carter accepted their offer.

An exclusive license agreement with Parlux gave them the rights to his name and likeliness to be used on their fragrances.

At the time, the deal made sense. Jay-Z had grown his empire to all corners of the business world. This Jay Z Gold Cologne guide focuses on his fragrance endeavor, but our Cognac guide on his D’Ussé liquor brand also shows how profitable his other business decisions have been for him.

So, it’s no surprise that the idea of expanding even further into the realm of fragrances won him over. But unlike the success of D’Ussé, his Gold collection went in the opposite direction. But we’ll get there. First, let’s look at the actual products.

The Gold Collection

Getting right down to it, I’ll show you everything that falls under the Gold moniker. There are the fragrances that started it all and extended products that also carry the name.

Gold by Jay Z

gold by jay z
Image Courtesy of Amazon

Launched in 2013 as the flagship product from Jay-Z and Parlux, this Aromatic Fougere fragrance brings warm spicy, fruity, ozonic, and other scents together in one spray. The top notes include ginger, grapefruit, cardamom, and blueberry, which can leave a shorter-than-expected scent when sprayed.

Middle notes include violet leaf, lavender, pink pepper, and vetiver, which linger similarly to the others. The base notes, teak wood, amber, myrrh, and vanilla finish the aroma.

The fragrance has been reviewed as “fine” by critics and starts with a genuinely pleasing scent that lives up to its description but fades over time and may need frequent applications throughout the day to keep the smell going.

The fragrance doesn’t leave a significant impact on the cologne world and is nothing to write home about, but the nose of Ilias Ermenidis does a great job of blending these notes for the time it lasts.

If you’re looking to buy a bottle of this, expect to pay up to around a few hundred for the discontinued fragrance. On Amazon, the cologne goes for $306.98 for a three-fl oz bottle alone, so be mindful of that.

Gold Extreme by Jay Z

gold extreme by jay z
Image Courtesy of Fragrantica

The only follow-up to the original, this 2015 release was once again nosed by Ilias Ermenidis. With a focus on amber this time, similar main accords, such as the warm spicy scent, vanilla, and citrus, make this follow-up slightly different from the first.

While also bringing in “powdery” and “iris” scents into the fray, according to fragrantica, the subtle changes bring elements to the Extreme version not found in other products.

However, the “extreme” of it all may not live up to that title, as the fragrance holds similar notes to the first. The top notes, sicilian bergamot, grapefruit, cardamom, ginger, and blueberry, follow the previous entry with slight variations.

Middle notes consist of saffron, violet leaf, orris root, and lavender, so this tier brings more variation that can be detected. The base notes, vetiver, teak wood, myrrh, vanilla, and amber, round out the aromas that make this fragrance like its predecessor.

You can find it on Amazon for around $249.95, which is still no low price. It’s your money, and you can do what you want, but I recommend not paying that much for a 3. oz bottle unless you are a collector or really want it.

Gold Jay Z Deodorant Stick

gold jay z deodorant stick
Image Courtesy of Amazon

The Gold series also released an accompanying deodorant, bringing a simplistic design. Like the fragrance, the notes include ginger, grapefruit, blueberry, cardamom, pink pepper, lavender, violet leaf, amber, “peace” apparently, teak, and vanilla.

Thankfully, the deodorant counterpart is much more affordable than the partnering fragrances, listed on Amazon for just $11.95.

Other Products

A company Jay-Z had been a part of for years before the Parlux partnership, Rocawear also has released a daily product set. There are a few other products out there that relate to Jay as well, which I’ll go into a bit of detail here:

9ix Rocawear

9ix rocawear
Image Courtesy of Amazon

Another Eau De Toilette fragrance, the “fresh and seductive” scent captured in this spray, matches the sleek design of the packaging. A musky, leathery, and woody combination of notes blend with hints of melon, mandarin orange, and coriander for the top notes.

The middle notes bring geranium, suede, and lavender, while the base notes bring that amber, musk, and woodsy touch. You can find it over at Amazon for around $100.

9ix Rocawear: Spray, Aftershave, & Deodorant Set

9ix rocawear - spray, aftershave, & deodorant set
Image Courtesy of Amazon

If you want more than just the cologne, there’s a whole set for grabs that’s even cheaper as of now. The collection includes an aftershave balm and deodorant stick, all with similar scents that can be grouped for a consistent smell. If interested, I got the link right here.

Gold: After Shave Balm+Shower Gel Set

gold - after shave balm+shower gel set
Image Courtesy of Walmart

An extension to the original Gold release, an aftershave and shower gel set was released. Having virtually no promotion, this set surprises even me that there are still some out there, but here we are. You can get the pair here.

Jay Z Gold – My Oil Perfume Impression

jay z gold – my oil perfume impression
Image Courtesy of My Oil Perfume

This one is the furthest from the others, but an oil version of the Gold fragrances has been made. A small 10oz bottle is available that stays faithful to the original if you prefer to have the scent through this method. It is reasonably priced at around $17.99 and can be found on the My Oil Perfumes website.

With a promising line-up, the partnership looked to have a bright future, but as alluded to earlier, this was far from the case.

A Failed Attempt with No Publicity

The partnership between Jay-Z and Parlux started great. A successful launch of the new fragrance showed promise for a fruitful future. The predicted sales were $15 million by the end of the first year and $35 million by the second.

These sounded like reasonable estimations on paper, and with Jay-Z promoting the product by showing up to promos and posting about it on social media, the move should have been a slam dunk. Should have.

This is where problems started to arise. It’s unclear the specific reasons why events occurred the way they did. Still, Mr. Carter, who was contractually obligated to a minimum number of public appearances, failed to meet his end. In hindsight, Jay did little to no promotion for the cologne and barely even spoke about it after the launch.

When a large part of a deal such as this relies on a big-time celebrity tying their name to your product, the marketing from the said individual is crucial to the product’s success. And yet, Jay-Z almost separated himself from the business move entirely.

Along with the failed promotion from Mr. Carter, the rapper didn’t contribute to developing new fragrances for the line-up either. When Parlux tried to reach out to Jay and his representatives, they were unsuccessful and heard nothing from the busy man.

These instances were seen as a breach of their contract together, and Parlux had to deal with a lack of interest from customers and returns of 300,000 shares. Instead of the predicted earnings they initially saw coming in the first two years, the first fiscal year only brought in a total of $14 million.

The second year only brought in a measly $6.1 million compared to the predicted $35 million.

The fragrance company felt abandoned by Jay-Z and his refusal to hold up his side of the deal, so a lawsuit was filed against him in 2016.

Jay-Z V Parlux

jay z on trial
Jay Z on Trial Photograph: Alec Tabak/Pool

Seeking damages for the failure of the Gold series, Parlux Fragrances and Perfumania Holdings Inc. sued the rapper for $18 million.

A day before his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, Jay-Z appeared in court to testify in the lawsuit in 2021. A focus on his lack of promotion for the product was kept at the center of the whole ordeal, and Parlux ended up looking like the party in the wrong by the end, with Jay-Z smiling as he walked out.

He claimed not to have read the initial contract, stating, “All I can say is I have creative control over what I do with myself, my body. No, I did not read the contract.” As per Vulture.

The jury then rejected the lawsuit. As a result, a counterclaim was made against the two companies suing the mogul due to the trial, which would cause a significant shift for everybody involved.

The Results of the Trial

The countersuit was made on behalf of Jay-Z for $4.5 million in royalties. Sales of the fragrance after July 31st, 2015, were the foundation of this rebuttal, and the rapper’s lawyers went to work.

This led to Parlux having to pay back $6.78 million to Jay-Z, including interest. As of the writing of this article, Parlux is expected to appeal the jury’s verdict, but only time will tell what will happen from it.

What the Future May Hold

So, don’t expect any more Gold cologne any time soon.

I can’t definitively say that Jay-Z will never go into the fragrance industry again, but, likely, he won’t after the blunder this one was. After all, the man is a billionaire, and reentering the industry may not be the wisest decision. With other brands and businesses under his name, Jay-Z will be just fine leaving the cologne game for good.

The industry is filled with competition, and other musicians and celebrities also offer their fragrances. So, there’s no shortage of notable colognes and perfumes to seek out from your favorite artists.

Other Rappers with Fragrances

Just because Jay-Z’s line of fragrances didn’t pan out doesn’t mean other rappers followed the same fate. Take this list of other rappers who have their own fragrances to offer.

50 Cent

50 cent fragrance
Image Courtesy of Amazon

Power is the name of 50 Cent’s cologne, released in 2009. Notes of Artemisia, woody, musk, and moss fill the levels of this uniquely designed fragrance.


diddy fragrance
Image Courtesy of Walmart

From his “I Am King” lineup to “Empress” and “Unforgivable,” Puff Daddy has had a slew of releases in the fragrance industry. The rapper has remained prolific in this field and caters to all types of scents for every individual.

Nicki Minaj

nicki minaj fragrance
Image Courtesy of Amazon

The queen has released a consistent line of fragrances with unique packaging. The “Pink Friday” line of hers has been another endeavor the Barb has taken, and we have a detailed “Nicki Minaj Perfume Guide” if you want to find out more about this lineup.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What Does Gold by Jay Z Smell Like?

Answer: The original Gold by Jay Z fragrance was curated by Ilias Ermenidis and is a mixture of warm spicy, aromatic, and citrus aromas. The top notes include blueberry (that isn’t noticeable at face value), cardamom, grapefruit, and ginger.
Middle notes include pink pepper, violet leaf, lavender, and vetiver. The base notes bring the fragrance together with vanilla, amber, teak wood, and Myrrh.

Question: What is Jay Z’s Favorite Cologne?

Answer: Although Jay Z has had his own fragrance, it isn’t his favorite. The rapper’s preferred scent is the Creed Millésime Impérial. Described as “a warm romantic scent with an evocation of citrus and marine notes,” the popular fragrance is said to be ‘fit for royalty.’
Creed is considered the gold standard in the fragrance world and is known to have been worn by Clint Eastwood, George Clooney, and others.

Question: What is the Name of Jay Z’s Cologne?

Answer: There have been two official releases of cologne that feature Jay-Z’s name. The first original cologne is called ‘Gold’ released in 2013. The one and only follow-up are ‘Gold Extreme’ by Jay-Z, released in 2015. Another cologne released under his Rocawear company is called 9ix Fragrance.

Question: How Much Does Jay Z’s Cologne Cost?

Answer: The pricing for Jay-Z’s Gold cologne varies on where you purchase the fragrance. You can find the cologne on Amazon for $89.97, but places like eBay offer slightly lower or higher prices. The Gold Extreme version, however, can be found on Amazon for $249.95 and much higher prices elsewhere.


My thoughts on the lawsuit and how Jay-Z handled the partnership with Parlux bring an unpleasant aroma. The carefree approach and uncaring nature to the contract he agreed to back in 2012, only to disregard the company that invested in their product, doesn’t sit well with me.

On top of that, he’s making them pay him millions of dollars to add to his $1.3 billion fortune. That’s pretty messed up if you ask me, and although all of the information isn’t out there for me to study and get the whole picture, the information we do have paints the whole fragrance attempt by the rapper in a negative tone through my eyes.

Regardless of the lawsuit, the colognes themselves do still smell well. The scents may last less time than others, and frequent daily applications may be needed, but Ilias Ermenidis has an excellent nose for curating fresh new scents.

I’d say keep in mind that people are people, and behind the failed product line of colognes are still individuals trying to create the best aromas they can and bring these bold new scents to their widest audiences. Unfortunately, this particular group of people at Parlux happened to partner up with Jay-Z.

Take care.

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