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Monday, May 05, 2008

Perfume Review: Montale Red Aoud

You probably know by now that I am a big fan of Montale's aouds. And yet I must admit that there are so many of them and the differences between them are so subtle that, well, they all smell kind of the same. Yes, I adore Aoud Roses Petals and Aoud Flowers but, were you to make me blind-smell them, I probably wouldn't have been able to tell which one is which. Red Aoud, however, has something distinctive about it ...

Namely, chocolate. That's right, somehow a strange and strangely appealing mix of aoud, cumin, saffron and orris produces a chocolate-like effect on my skin. Imagine one of those bizarre-sounding Vosges bars that blend chocolate with chili and pimento (and things almost unthinkable, like wasabi and bacon). The combination of bitter-sweet chocolate and spice is, to me, irresistible, in food and in perfume. I have a feeling that ingesting aoud is "almost certain to disagree with you, sooner or later", but were it safe to consume it in tiny doses, an aoud-rose-saffron-cumin chocolate bar would have been something I'd happily pay $7.50 for.

The "chocolate" effect does not last too long. After a while, Red Aoud turns into the usual rose-heavy, resinous, dark and sensual scent that unites all Montale aouds. But the spicy-sweet beginning is unique enough for me to want to own the bottle.

Available at the usual Montale retailers, $150.00-$210.00.

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33 Comments:

Anonymous AnthonyF said...

What a wonderful review. I bought this about 6 weeks ago in Paris and I am loving it.......so much so that I bought 2 bottles; one to use on my body and one to use as a room spray. Yes I know, decadent but it makes me so happy. I am also pleased with the Montale Aoud candle however it is based on the black aoud fragrance and not this red aoud that is giving me so much pleasure!! As for Vosges....I can hardly wait until the warm (read hot) weather approaches and their store here in NYC on Spring St starts selling ice cream in their unique chocolate bar flavors. Meet me there??

2:14 AM EDT  
Anonymous lady jane grey said...

It sounds to be quite me (being the happy and loving owner of a regular tin bottle of White Aoud and Roses Petals). And I'll be in Paris for the coming long weekend (it might become an expensive one...).

3:04 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

I have to say that Red Aoud is not one of my favorites. I believe you have just identified why. I think I am alone in this, so in my defense I will add that I love to EAT chocolate!

6:48 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

I don't normally like scents w/ chocolate, but Red Aoud is just heaven on my skin - an extreme comfort scent and definitely was FBW for me.

7:13 AM EDT  
Anonymous perfumes of paris said...

Ich war Wanderschaft, wenn Sie irgendwelche Formeln für Vanilla Duft.
Gibt es irgendwelche anderen Chemikalien beteiligt. Und was ist das Messprotokoll von ihnen allen.

7:35 AM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Anthony,
Hold on! Montale has candles? Vosges does ice cream?! The new avenues of spending just opened up...:-D

8:36 AM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Melinda,
Ooh, have fun!!

8:37 AM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Judith,
I actually don't like EATING chocolate, believe it or not. Only bizarre spicy bars, once in a while.

8:38 AM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

L,
I think I need this one too!

8:38 AM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Perfumes of Paris,
From what I can understand, you are asking for perfume formulas? :-) Sorry, I don't know any.

8:39 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It sounds intriguing! I love that you are reviewing fragrances I have not tried yet, because you give me an incentive to make a trip to Aedes. I have not been there in ages.

I am now craving some bitter chocolate. Yesterday we made some chocolate custard for ice cream, but we got around to dinner so late that I have no time to freeze it. Now, it is all I am thinking about!

Vika

11:06 AM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Vika,
And all I can think about now is your custard :-)

11:24 AM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

I would definitely eat an aoud bar. As you know. And I'd eat all those other ones, too! ;-P Joining lilybp in saying I am not sure I'd want to wear it as a fragrance, though... oh, wait, Elle loves it, I should buy some.

11:59 AM EDT  
Blogger Koki said...

What a nice review, and I wish that the note that came out on me was chocolate and not the cherry cough syrup I'm getting. I ordered a sample from The Perfumed Court with high hopes. Oh well - . Hope the rest of you continue to enjoy!

12:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

March,
I know you would. So would I :-)

12:06 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Koki,
Oh I am sorry it didn't work for you. A cough syrup note would kill a scent for me too, instantly.

12:06 PM EDT  
Blogger Solander said...

Speaking of odd chocolate bars, I got one with frankincense, myrrh and real gold leaf. (Liberty in London sells them for Christmas.) Not too bad. I'm not a huge fan of spicy chocolate bars though unless it's pink pepper or chilli pepper. I got a couple with nutmeg and cardamom and although I adore both spices (I could just smell freshly grated nutmeg for hours, I'm the same with white pepper - I think it smells like L'air de rien!) I didn't like them in chocolate.
A perfume smelling like spicy chocolate might be interesting though...

12:42 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

T,
well, if it's OK to eat frankincense and myrrh, it should be OK to eat aoud :-)

1:39 PM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Admit I sort of gave up on the Montale Aouds...I like a few, can't see needing more than a few? But this does sound really nice.

2:19 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

R,
Even I can't see needing more than a few. But this one I need, I think.

2:40 PM EDT  
Blogger the oblitterati said...

Mmm! That sounds provocatively delicious! (A little like my beloved and dearly departed Fresh - Lucia) And it anyone were to do an edible version, Vosage would be the ones - after a Vincent Gallo flavored ganache, aoud seems so straight forward.

Have you tried the Green and Black Maya Gold bars? I love chocolate in many forms, but their spicy bars are heavenly. I'll also give a shout out to Jacques Torres' Wicked collection, you might love it if you haven't tried it already.

3:38 PM EDT  
Anonymous alyssa said...

Hello, dear. Given aoud's psychoactive properties, I would be very careful about how much you ingest. And where and when and how you ingest it. But...mmmmmm...

And -- did you see? PST got a mention in the National Post today. The link is up on Robin's blog.

3:40 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

The Oblitterati,
You are killin' me! :-)

4:09 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Alyssa,
That is ever so nice. But what perfume blog is "Bogharbour"? :-)

4:10 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

have you tried the bacon chocolate bar? It's sutprisingly good..

4:57 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Tom,
Yep. I liked it. Mr C did not.

5:23 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

what does he know? He likes cheesesteaks!?! ;-)

5:42 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Tom,
Exactly!! :-D

5:48 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post...love Montale Aouds. I'm with you about the similarities between the aouds but the three that seem very distinct are White, Black and Aoud Flowers. The rest, they could be anything in between. Not being a chocolate fan, Red Aoud felt very gourmand for me but delightful in it's own right.

7:29 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Dear Anonymous,
Have you tried Golden one? Also great! Has saffron and patchouli, yum.

7:38 PM EDT  
Anonymous 2scents said...

I love me some oud! I adore Black & White aoud, Roses Petals, Queen roses, even the bold Cuir d'Arabie. But while I ordered up a large sample of this with great anticipation, I traded it away pretty quickly. Should have known...I have not yet liked a fragrance with a red pepper note. It was a hot mess on me.

10:52 PM EDT  
Blogger Flora said...

Delicious review! But wait - Vosges ice cream? Bacon & chocolate bar??? This is torture! The best kind, of course... :-D

I adore the Montale aoud scents but I have yet to try this one - I must do so soon!

5:20 PM EDT  
Anonymous joe805 said...

A bit late to this comment thread. I'm curious about the Red Aoud, and your review makes it sound very nice, but I have recently fallen completely in love with Black Aoud (the first and only one I've tried) and I know that some day I must have a bottle.

10:30 PM EDT  

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