I thought I’d divert from my O’Driu spree and crack on with a few fragrances in my sample box that I haven’t reviewed yet.
I really want to like Montale, I want to find a fragrance by them I’ll really enjoy. It’s not working out for me so far though, I have been disappointed with the few oud offerings of theirs I’ve tried… so here’s two more.
Aoud Lime opens with Montale’s classic oud accord – a sharp and pungent gluey oud. I use the word “gluey” because it reminds me of an intense industrial glue, other people describe it as “bandaids”… it’s medicinal whatever it is.
It is a synthetic oud (which I have absolutely no qualms with) and there’s no arguing that the oud is flat and linear not like the real deal or more complex synthetic accords like that of Le Labo or By Kilian. However, once you are familiar with the Montale oud it becomes pleasant, always predictable and yet very comfortable.
My problem generally lies with the surrounding notes in the Montale ouds. Whilst I’m more than happy to sniff away at the linear oud accord, the rose (which is the next dominating note in Aoud Lime) is always extremely dull. I found this in Aoud Queen Roses also. It is classical, soapy and completely uninteresting. There’s nothing peppery, earthy or even “full” about the rose accord. It is instead reminiscent of a basic rose essential oil or scented soap.
I have never tried Black Aoud, which is probably the Montale signature fragrance, however I heard that this was identical with the addition of saffron. The saffron is much-needed in this composition and thankfully it’s on par with the rose in intensity. The saffron provides a lovely fragrant warmth and gives Aoud Lime a dusty texture.
To be honest, Aoud Lime remains linear from here on with all notes slowly calming down in harmony throughout it’s life. I actually am enjoying this more second time round. I think I’m just taking it for what it is and going in with low expectations.
In the same sense that I was discussing the simplicity of my L’Eau D’Ambre Extreme, I feel like if I owned this, it would be a basic enough composition for me to reach for it if I didn’t know what else to wear. It is pretty much these single three notes, in a pleasant, strong, long-lasting oud dominated fragrance. Nice.
Dark Aoud is a little bit more up my alley. I will admit before I start this review, that I did have to have a quick cheeky look at the notes list just to confirm what type of wood I’m smelling: Sandalwood.
I’ve always thought of sandalwood as a soft, creamy wood. I guess I was wrong! Maybe at times anyway. Here however, the sandalwood is bone dry, aged and dark. The reason I ordered this sample was because I heard someone say it smelt like a crypt, and now I can’t get that image out of my head.
I got ahead of myself there. Let’s start from the beginning:
Dark Aoud opens with a blast of dark, dusty, and bizarrely subdued sandalwood. I say subdued because Dark Aoud feels completely devoid of topnotes and it feels as though the basenotes are instantly present. It feels like you’re smelling “into” the fragrance because of how powerful yet muted the wood accord is. That probably doesn’t make much sense, but it’s the best way I can word it descriptively. Basically, it is a potent sandalwood completely devoid of any sweetness. It creates an atmospheric mass of dark matter around you when it’s on the skin and it radiates a smoky coolness.
The oud is much more subdued, almost non existent in Dark Aoud, completely the opposite of the other Montale oud offerings I’ve tried. This instead is all about the wood. It probably sounds extremely boring, and honestly, all I’ll say is it’s extremely simple. However, I find this one accord much more intriguing than the three in Aoud Lime.
Dark Aoud doesn’t smell like a fragrance, it instead smells like an atmosphere… a surrounding scent, or maybe the scent of a place you’ve just been still hovering on your skin. The whole time I’m thinking of this “place” I’m still thinking of the crypt image. If you’re not familiar with the smell of sandalwood like myself, I’m sure the fragrance is much more interesting than it needs to be.
It reminds me of walking into a library or a museum and going “It smells wierd in here…” – Dark Aoud has that kind of muted, old smell.
Having shared my thoughts on this oud, I’ve actually come to like it more and more over the last twenty minutes or so! I think I may just be adding it to my wish-list, more for a novelty factor. I actually think I’d wear this a lot! It’s fascinatingly simple, and I feel like it suits me perfectly.
Well there we go! I have found a Montale I like :)
Montale Aoud Lime 50ml EDP – $110
Montale Dark Aoud 50ml EDP – $110 both available from Luckyscent