Some time ago I received a much-coveted sample of Montale Aoud Queen Rose from a fellow perfumista and then promptly lost it. Recently I was doing some deep cleaning (by my definition anyway) and there it was. Between the time I had lost the sample and then found it again, I had tried it at my local perfume shop when they began to carry the Montale line. I discovered the addictive character of Aoud in a big way via the many Montales that have a hefty dose of this resinous wonder in them. In fact, there was not a single scent in their Aoud series that I did not find fascinating. There were standouts of course, and among them were the “sister scents” Aoud Roses Petals and Aoud Queen Rose. You might wonder why there even need to be more than one Aoud/Rose perfumes in the same line (and there are more of them, check out Aoud Damascus), and I had the same thought. Yet upon closer examination they are quite different, and even if they were not, can you ever have too much of what’s in these perfumes? I didn’t think so.
Aoud Queen Rose belongs to a class of fragrance very dear to my heart: The “Bombshell Rose.” This elite club counts among its members such classics as Parfum Sacré, Magie Noire and Nahema, so the standard is high. Many bombshell scents are either white florals (Fracas, take a bow) or gigantic chypres (Paloma Picasso). The bombshell rose has to have some of the same elements, such as room-clearing sillage, a strong base of wood/leather/spices/vetiver etc. and a big wallop of sex appeal from animalic elements. Aoud Queen Rose has the whole package; Velvety Grasse and Arabian roses, Hibiscus, and a lot of Aoud. The roses are so heavy they are almost candied, like my beloved Nahema, but the overall effect is not nearly as sweet because of the musky, somewhat nutty hibiscus and pungent aoud. This is a dark perfume, smoldering with mystery, and once it’s on your skin it’s on for good – this stuff does not just have longevity, it has the half-life of a radioactive isotope. That’s good if you love aoud but exercise caution anyway. There are other Montales that have a bigger hit of aoud, but there is plenty of it in this.
The effect of this perfume is almost narcotic as it wraps the wearer in a haze of sensuality like smoke from a magic lantern. Like Parfum Sacré, it seems to have an effect on other people too; doors are opened, chairs are pulled out, eyes lock and smiles are exchanged. Wear it when you feel daring and a bit wild - it’s a perfect match for any fantasy you might conjure up.
Available at Luckyscent online and select retail stores such as The Perfume House - $150 for 50 ml of Eau de Parfum.
Image credit: Photo of Hybrid Tea rose ‘Red Chateau’ from Wikimedia Commons.