The Montale Rose Series
Review by Kelley
So, I have all of these Montale samples in front of me and in doing the research for this series of scents, I am at a total loss because I can’t find very much information about them. How is it that a company can have so many scents that come in and out of production so quickly? I want to apologize if some of the following are not available for purchase any longer. They were available just a few months ago when I ordered them. And, have you been to the Montale website lately parfums-montale.com and looked at their inventory or lack thereof? I checked on the ingredients of several of the Aoud series and there were no listed ingredients. What is a guy to do except steal the information from many different Montale vendors online?
Aoud Queen Roses. Flavored with the most beautiful roses from Grasse and Arabia on a heart of hibiscus from Guinea, dry down notes of an Eastern princess.
What in the world is a dry down of an Eastern princess? That sounds a little “Silence of the Lambs” to me or maybe she needs a Depends undergarment? The oud in this is very slight to me at first. It opens with a magnificent rose/oud accord that has some interesting twists. This is the most complex of the Montales tested here at least in the top notes. It has a citrus quality that I find very uplifting and almost drug-like. It just makes me smile. Unfortunately, as I wear this for a while, it turns into a simple rose scent because the oud only hangs around for an hour on my skin. After testing all of these, this one seems the least interesting in the middle and base notes to me. It sure doesn’t live up to its “grand opening” accord. I don’t want this one for my collection.
Attar. The perfume of the Maharajas obtained by the double distillation of the fabulous Mysore sandalwood and Bulgarian rose!
When it comes to rose essential oil, there are three main methods of extracting the oil from the plant material:
* Steam distillation, which produces an oil called rose otto or attar of roses.
* Solvent extraction, which results in an oil called rose absolute.
* Supercritical carbon dioxide extraction, yielding an essential oil that may be marketed as either an absolute or as a CO2 extract.
I also found it interesting that they have classified over 300 different compounds in rose oil so it’s no wonder that roses don’t all smell the same.
I don’t smell any sandalwood in this at all! It’s a huge shock but I just get rose and even though it’s not listed in the ingredients, I smell oud (surprise, surprise!). This is a long lasting medicinal rose. I think the rose used here is more of a fruity rose, kind of plum like. The oud is nice but it wears off too quickly. Pretty soon, I am left with a soliflore rose scent. These Montale rose scents seem to be mysteriously simplistic in that they end up smelling very similar to me. At the end, this is simply another rose scent and to me this one seems cold (don’t ask me why). This one isn’t for me either.
Attar was also a famous mystic poet of Iran , heavily influenced by Rumi (one of the truly great poets…ever!). I am pretty sure that I read somewhere that there is a link between this poet and the rose “attar”. I will have to do some more research on this but in the meantime, I will leave you with a snippet of one of Attar’s poems.
"The next valley is the Valley of Love . To enter it one must be a flaming fire--what shall I say? A man must himself be fire. The face of the lover must be enflamed, burning and impetuous as fire. True love knows no after-thoughts; with love, good and evil cease to exist…”
Aoud Damascus. All the refinement of the Arabian Aoud, associated with Damascan roses, enhanced by Oliban pearls and sparkling Gurgum.
The oud in this is wonderful and woody with just a slight medicinal quality to it. The rose, while deep and red smelling seems to burst forth from the bottle with a vengeance but then it lessens considerably. I am assuming that the name refers to the Rosa damascena, more commonly known as the Damask rose or even just Damask. Damask rose is a very important old world rose with a deep rose smell. Oliban pearls is a fancy way of saying frankincense. Gurgum might be a musical instrument (although unlikely to be used in a fragrance) and also a neo-Hittite state (OK, probably not) but I think it’s the following from a website about the traditional medicines of Bhutan , “The main ingredient is Carthamus tinctorius flowers (gurgum in Bhutanese; it is the common safflower) which is a cardiac and nerves tonic”. This fragrance doesn’t change much in later stages and once it settles on my skin, it seems to last a long time with a mild oud note and red roses. Unfortunately, at the end of a few hours, it’s all powdery roses with maybe a hint of clove or spices on me and it’s the grandmother type of rose that to me smells a little like “Tea Rose” which my grandmother used to wear. Nope, this is not joining my collection.
Aoud Rose Petals. The most sophisticated rose fragrance blended with saffron, cedar, amber and exotic woods.
This one sounds a lot like it has the same ingredients as Aoud Lime (one of my favorites from this line). The opening is heavenly with a blast of saffron. In the opening, the rose is very slight and maybe non existent. I smell mostly spicy saffron with oud wood. In the middle stages, the amber seems to bloom. I can smell a little of the rose at this stage. The exotic wood that they mention has an interesting harsh quality that is hypnotic. It is this oddness that is drawing me to this fragrance. As it dries down, there is a wonderful soapy quality that makes this even more interesting to me. This Montale is breathtaking. Yep, this one is a keeper. This could easily be worn by a woman or a man.
If you are wondering why I didn’t include Black Oud in this series (because it belongs here), well, it’s because I lost my sample. I wore it several days and it is amazing. I am thinking that I would dump Aoud Rose Petals for Black Oud if given the chance! I am just fickle that way. It is a deep fragrance with a generous dose of patchouli.
Montale fragrances are available online at suravionline.com, parfumsraffy.com, and in Canada at perfumeshoppe.com. For the 3.4 oz. (100 ml) they are on average, $210.00, and for the smaller 1.7 oz, they are $150.
The Iranian painting is courtesy of answers.com and the damask rose photo is from the wikipedia.org site.