Perfume Review: Montale Perfumes. Oud Ambre, Greyland, and Oud Cuir Arabie
Review by Kelley
For the second part of my Montale reviews, I know I had promised to review an entirely different set of fragrances…so spank me! As I was testing my samples, I realized that I had a small group of these fragrances that all fit a theme. You all are probably going to think I am twisted and strange (I probably am!) but I couldn’t help myself. I want to see if anybody else agrees with me on these.
A very old oud combined with magnificent amber for a duo with vitality thanks to the Cystus ladaniferus from the Indies and to 50 other ingredients.
Amber is fossilized tree resin and was formed thousands if not millions of years ago. Being related to incense, it has a warm, golden incense or pine smell. For me, Oud Ambre has little to do with amber. Oh, I am sure it’s in there…somewhere, but to me this is all about sex. Yes, you read that correctly. This reminds me of Serge Lutens infamous house note (Muscs Koublaï Khän and Cuir Mauresque in particular) and also Paco Rabanne’s La Nuit.
The liquid is a gorgeous, thick golden brown color. It opens with a slightly odd woody accord (not the medicinal oud smell I was looking for) with all other notes subdued in a strangely quiet mix of notes. None of the notes really stand out at first. Because of the high oil content of all Montales, the back of my hand is very shiny. As the scent heats up, the beauty of this scent starts to radiate. It is a beautiful, sexy leather scent.
I am instantly transported back to traveling cross-country and having to stop at a truck stop bathroom. I smell sweet urinal cake which is frequently used in men’s bathrooms to cover up the urine smell. The same thing is happening here in this fragrance. There is a dirty civet note that is hiding under the more dominant notes. Oh, but there is more! There is an odor in here that reminds me of mingling body fluids. I don’t find Oud Amber as raunchy as MKK or Cuir Mauresque or as hard to wear as La Nuit. This is a slightly cleaner version. I am thinking that the oud adds an interesting twist to this creation. That is why I can say with all confidence that this smells like hot sex…on the floor of a truck stop bathroom. When I smell this, I have visions of tangled legs and shiny sweat and crumpled paper towels strewn about the white tile floor. MKK is almost impossible for me to wear and La Nuit has a few notes that really turn me off but Oud Ambre is just lovely. As it dries down, there is a slightly powdery quality that makes this seem so much softer than most leather scents. Sillage is excellent (I am wearing barely a drop) and longevity comes in at around 8 hours. This should be worn only when you have one thing on your mind (and it’s not church). This is fornication in a can.
Oud Cuir Arabie
Combination of tobacco, leather and burnt dry wood notes, here the Oud produces all of its strength and softness.
I tried doing some research on the use of leather in fragrance. I found in the Wikipedia that the smell of leather, which closely resembles ambergris, comes from the use of Labdanum which is obtained from the Cistus shrub (rockrose). The odor is tenacious and long lasting. Its odor is described as sweet, woody, ambergris, dry musk or a lot like leather.
I doused myself with my sample and still it wasn’t strong enough. When I first put this on, I pick up a black tea note…along with leather. This is the most “true to life” leather I have ever smelled in a perfume. This is what sweaty leather pants smell like, or the luscious smell of a new car. The oud adds a strange chemical quality to the scent which is no accident. When you sit in a new car you smell new plastic and fresh epoxy…and leather seats, it’s a stew of animal and chemical smells. I love it. This is what someone would wear that was into bondage. It is black leather coats and harnesses and riding crops. Yeehaw.
Sillage for this is low and stays very close to the skin for the duration of the scent. I would guess that it lasts about 3 or 4 hours on me. If I had a bottle of this, I would spray my chest and then quickly press my shirt into it so it would last longer. Not much development either although the oud note starts to disappear after about an hour and it becomes more of a pure leather scent. So, I call this Montale, S&M in a can.
This is a very woody composition of cedar, sandalwood from Mysore, spices from Sri Lanka, on a sensual base of musk and benzoin.
Now, this is probably my all time favorite Montale fragrance which I was hoping to save to the very end but it fits so nicely with my theme of sex that I had to review it with the others. This one was love at first sniff for me and I bought a full can.
What does it smell like? When I first spray it on, I smell cumin and cedar (it has similarities to Diptyque’s L’autre). This is the smell of a hot construction worker sweating in the sun. Oh yes, this is the dreaded B.O. note that so many people loathe. Not me. This is my pheromone of choice. It’s a little like hairy armpits and maybe a little bit…like crotch. It’s sweaty and hot. I can feel my pulse quicken when I wear Greyland. The musk in this doesn’t enter the picture until the dry down and the scent becomes sweeter in the middle notes and base notes. I smell the sweet blond sandalwood that Montale loves to use in the base notes as well. There isn’t much development with this scent either. The spices start to drop out after about three hours and I am left with cedar and sandalwood and musk. Like I said, this scent is fantastic and makes me feel week in the knees. Sillage is great at first and then after the spices are gone, the scent stays close to the skin. It seems to last about 8 to 12 hours for me. This is hot sweaty construction worker in a can.
These can all be ordered in the United States, at Suravionline.com which is the cheapest place I could find the Montale line by far. Oud Ambre and Oud Cuir d’Arabie are both $189 for the 3.4 ounce can. Greyland is $122 for the same size.