Perfume Review: Montale White Aoud
My name is Marina and I am a born-again Montale addict. I take back everything I have ever said about their oud line. There can't be too many aoud scents. And they don't all smell the same. And I will strike down with great vengeance and furious anger upon those who attempt to bad-mouth my new favorite line ... sorry, got carried away... The oud-skeptics like me (in my previous, empty, Montale-less existence) should try White Aoud to find out how different the note might smell in a softer, sweeter, lighter composition. The oud beginners and those wary of the note's dry, spicy forcefulness, might want to start their acquaintance with the genre by smelling the gentle White Oud. I never imagined that I would use such a word in relation to an aoud fragrance, but White Aoud smells...fluffy. Fluffy, cuddly, comforting and incredibly delightful.
The scent starts with a beautiful rose accord, which is simultaneously fruity (the natural fruitiness of roses) and spicy (saffron, cardamom and, of course, oud). The juicy deliciousness of the top notes makes me think of exotically piquant rose jam, or rather of fresher, less sweet rose coulis. The honeyed roses never quite disappear, but after a while a soft, fluffy accord of patchouli, sandalwood, amber and vanilla emerges at the forefront, moving the roses to the background.
It is hard to explain what I mean when I say that a fragrance smells fluffy...fluffiness to me implies delicate sweetness, an enveloping feel, a downy, velvety quality. It also alludes to an understated character of a composition. A fluffy scent is never heavy, heady or overwhelmingly sweet. The examples of other fluffy scents would be Dior Bois d'Argent, Bvlgari Black (yes, really, underneath all the rubber, Black is totally fluffy), Barbara Bui, Malone Blue Agava & Cacao, Guerlain Iris Ganache (in parts, especially in the drydown)...Solange Stoned, Guerlain Cuir Beluga and L de Lempicka are a little too sweet and "thick" to be truly fluffy, but they are still quite close to the fluffy ideal. I believe that it is vanilla used in a moderate proportion and paired with soft woods and amber and often with heliotrope and myrrh that creates the fluffy effect. Vanilla is certainly quite apparent in White Aoud and it is that note, together with amber and sandalwood, that softens the striking, sharp beauty of oud making it more approachable, transforming its cold and brutish sensuality into something almost innocent and childish, something delightfully cuddlesome.
White Aoud is available at Suravi, $150.00 for 50ml (100ml bottles are expected to be in stock shortly and will cost $210.00). Call to order, (813) 657-6773, and don't forget that members of Makeupalley and Basenotes get 10% off retail price and free shipping.