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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Montale Aoud Ambre, Fougeres Marine, Sandal Sliver, Sandalflowers and Vetiver des Sables

Review by Tom

Kelley was kind enough to send me samples of these a while ago. My lateness in writing about them had nothing to do with laziness, er, it was that I was afraid I'd love them and be forced to purchase. Yeah, that's it.

That, and I was lazy.

Vetiver Sables

I've been on a bit of a vetiver tear recently, falling in love with about three recent scents with a heavy vetiver bias. Vetiver Sables starts off with the medicinal part of vetiver amped up, as if it were a poultice of some sort. Colombina wrote of it as being rooty, and it is: it's as if Guerlain got all the leaves and the Montale people came in at about 5 am, ripped up the plants by their roots with the wet earth still hanging in clumps and made that into a perfume. Do I have to tell you I love it?


Starts off on me with the disconcerting scent of Doublemint Gum. Gradually morphs into a marine scent. Not me at all.

Fougeres Marine

It's clean and inoffensive. On my skin it reminds me of Bvlgari Blv. Take that any way you want.


Milky sandalwood that really should not work, but oddly does. I don't know if I'd get a whole bottle, but if it showed up in my Christmas stocking I'd be happy.

Aoud Ambre

Starts with a marvelous wininess and a sweet blackness that reminds me a bit of something my Mom had- I want to say Antilope? Maybe Bandit? It's sloe-eyed opening tones down to a very sexy woody leather amber that I would happily own. Sadly, Aoud Ambre is $210 as opposed to some the others which are $135.

Kelley once made a very funny comment that he and I could never get together, since we would pilfer each others perfumes. Dude, if I am ever within a hundred miles of you, hide your Aoud Ambre well.


Blogger Kelley said...

Tom, great reviews as always...and, don't worry, the fragrance collection is already hidden. I can't take any chances! Why do you think I moved so far away? Hmmm?

10:06 PM EDT  
Blogger Kelley said...

Due to the fact that I can't read my response I decided to do the only respectable thing...and double post.

Tom, great reviews as always...and, don't worry, the fragrance collection is already hidden. I can't take any chances! Why do you think I moved so far away? Hmmm?

10:09 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

This could be like a perfume horror movie: the phone rings and a breathy voice says "have you checked the Montales?"

Then the police tell you the call is coming from inside the house! Aiiiiieeee!

10:49 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom, that is a terrifying horror move plot! From inside the house! =:0

I like the Montale aouds, but why does he have to sell them for so much money? Actually, I was relieved recently when the rose in Aoud Roses Petals started to annoy me.

11:32 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


It is kind of annoying (as a matter of fact it's out of my range) but I guess he is pricing his stuff based upon cost to him.

But I still have to ask, would it kill them to offer smaller bottles for us perfume piggies?

11:42 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I need to explore more Montale. I've sniffed a few and was kind of, hmm, well, okay, well, erm, yeah, about them.

Now, you and K would certainly pilfer, but you'd smell HOT together.

6:15 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

Excellent reviews! Wearing Vetiver des Sables in your honor.
Great--although my first loves are the Ouds. And they DO make smaller bottles. 50 ml. bottles are available through the Montale website (or by phone, since the website stinks). They are also sometimes available from The Perfume Shoppe in Canada and SuraviOnline in Florida. I have also bought a number of cute 20 ml. bottles from a decanter; I think these are actually a GWP from Montale if you buy enough.

6:51 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Whatever you do, don't buy from them online.
Great reviews, Tom, as always, and I LOVE the plot of that movie. :-)

7:44 AM EDT  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

Hey, angel-
These do NOT play nicely for Mama, alas.

When I want to get really dirty, I'm gonna wear me some MPG Route de Vetiver...
Man, that's some gooood skank.

It'll be a way to use my Aedes discount card, AFTER retrograde Mercury [ which is why I'm having one DEVIL of a time on IE these days...]

Sending my pretty pansy a big smooch.

8:14 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

Love the reviews and got shivers just reading the plot of the movie.
You really should check out the smaller sizes of the ouds. If they have them at SuraviOnline that probably would be your bet. They're not on his site, but I heard he was going to try to get them, so am wondering if he has them, but just hasn't added them to the site yet. However, I know that from the Perfume Shoppe the 50 ml ouds work out to around $126 w/ shipping to the East coast (yep, am plotting an order for myself at the moment). Might be less to CA.

8:31 AM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

Some commenter hates Sandalflowers with a passion we reserve for Blue Sugar -- I think she describes it as seaweed and dead things on the beach. Sandalsliver (which I misread forever as Sandalsilver) I'm wearing right this sec in your honor. You're right -- it shouldn't work but does, and it's in my "can't decide if I need a bottle" pile of samples.

9:05 AM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

Sandflowers. Sorry.

9:07 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aoud Ambre and Sandalsilver sound wonderful. Like you, I wish they would sell smaller bottles. In fact, I think 1oz would be the perfect size for me.

10:15 AM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

Its always scary trying new and highly expensive fragrances there is always that factor that they are going to be good and way above your budget. Unfortunately, my Serge Luten's is quickly becoming that with the price hike in the last few months.

10:29 AM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

I've missed my rounds of the blogs this week, but now I'm caught up.

I need that Oud Ambre, it's calling my name. I've tried a couple of the others on your list, and I was just mystified by the Sandalflowers, it was so meh. But sandalwood and I don't get along that well anyway.

10:47 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now, the real plot for me is : why we shouldn't buy from their web site ??? (anyway, Marina sad we shoudn't, so I won't !)

10:56 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I tried to avoid sniffing them since I got a sample once of Aoud Lime and liked it, but sort of winced at the price (I would have put it in this review, but the sample is long gone)

I am trying to be somewhat good about jumping in for full bottles. Somewhat.

11:20 AM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

I'm currently fascinated by Montale ouds, and Oud Ambre is one noteworthy scent, IMO. I agree on the price, though. I wish we could all go to their shop in Paris and get a bunch of those 20 ml bottles...

11:20 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I see that now on the website. Dangerous. Very dangerous. Thanks for pointing that out. I think.

11:21 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot wear any of the several Montales I've tried except for Aoud Cuir D'Arabie. Aoud Ambre starts off so aggressively sweet & heavy on me that I had to declare it a scrubber. I gave my sample to a friend Tues night. She loved it, promptly annointed herself ALL over. It sucked all the air out of the room, made my eyes water & bam, I suddenly was too tired for ANY more company, thanksbye! AND I could smell it in the air for an hour after she left. No Aoud Ambre.

I've been wanting to by the 50ml Arabie from Perfume Shoppe tho. Why the warning not to buy from Montale directly? And ... how does one wind up with an Aedes discount card???

11:54 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Don't buy them online? Why?

11:58 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I need to try that Route de Vetiver.

Kisses back to you!

11:59 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Forgive the poor typing skills...

11:59 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


More and more danger to my checkbook..

I like the plot of the movie- but if it happens to me it's going to be like the end of "Aliens"- as in "get your hands off my MKK, you bit@h

12:08 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Sandalflowers didn't bother me that much- it just wasn't me. Sandalsliver was, but I'm not sure that it's up there on the "to-buy" list. It worked in sort of the same way Farnesiana worked- that "I should not be liking this that much" kind of way

12:11 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Exactly! 1 ounce would be perfect. I think every perfumer should do a 1oz size. Call it travel sized or something

12:13 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


It is scary isn't it. That SL price hike hurt.

12:16 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


It really was just "meh", right? Did absolutely nothing for me, not even offend. I'd like to hear from the commenter who hated it so much: I was just bored

12:18 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I know! I want to know what the big mystery is..

12:20 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I wish we all could too. Can you imagine all of us descending upon France? Does France shudder at the thought? France, want to chime in? ;-)

12:22 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I liked Aoud Ambre, but my application is only ever a few drops. I think dousing oneself with it could be a Hazmat situation.

I have a friend who applies like that and with some of the ones she wears- oy, watch out! Death by Agent Provacateur..

I was thinking of giving her Un Lys for her birthday, but I am afraid that her application procedure would put me of the scent forever

12:28 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zee idea is reediculos. I cannot ave so many seely Yanks traipsing across ma beauty, s'il vous plaît. Quelle horreur.

Liberté, egalité, fraternité!


La belle France

12:39 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Tom, Lady Jane,
Here is the thing. There is Swiss Montale and there is French Montale. They sell the same scents, obviously, but are independent of each other. The Swiss site is and it is (or was when I ordered) just absolutely inefficient, as was the order follow up and customer service (or rather the lack thereof).They don't reply to emails, they don't answer the phone. So just stay away from those. The French site,, is said to be better, but their customer service over the phone is absolutely superb. So I'd recommend just deal with the Paris Montale boutique over the phone.

12:49 PM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

T -- I dug around on the internets in my random way, and I swear there's Ina awhile back on one of our blind sniffs comparing Sandalsliver to ... YSL Nu!!! And I'm sniffing my wrist right this sec thinking, she's got a point. Off to find my ugly bottle to see how right she is...

1:15 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

'Tis was me :-) Ina sent me Sandalsliver in the blind swap and I was dead sure it was YSL Nu. I mean they are so similar on me, it's ridiculous. Here:

1:21 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


don't make us start calling them Freedom Fries again!

1:30 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


A-ha- mystery solved...

..and money saved. I'll just tell myself that I can't order these because of the poor customer service.

Of course, then I will go out and order them anyway.

1:31 PM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

Marina/Tom -- well, it's true. Sandalsliver is marginally sweeter than Nu, but they smell very, very similar. Nu's incense is a bit stronger, but I'm at different stages of the drydown. Hmmm... the Montale is demonstrating some serious tenacity, wonder if Nu will Go The Distance?

2:15 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Nu is Indestructible on me. One of the scents that I almost wish lasted less :-)

2:16 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see Colombina, you're completely right. I hate when a company web site has poor customer service (fortunately I can buy Montale in Vienna...)

3:12 PM EDT  
Blogger Kelley said...

By the way, Vijay at has most of the Montales in the 50ml can if you are interested. We were emailing today and he told me he had lots of them in stock.

3:48 PM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

I haven't tried the Aoud Ambre, but disliked all the rest. Your description of Vetiver Sables is so compelling I might have to pull it out again and give it another shot -- it sounds exactly like something I would adore and now I can't remember why I didn't like it...

6:08 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


(holding fingers in ears) la la la I can't hear Kelley!!

Oh dear, somehow that doesn't work with print.

7:25 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


If you do try it, please report!

7:26 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

YSL Nu, huh? Have to try that....

7:27 PM EDT  

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