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Friday, June 15, 2007

Needle in a Haystack. Perfume Review: Montale Oud Queen Rose

It is funny that in a random draw from my sample box for Ina's and mine joint feature, Needle in a Haystack, my hand should happen upon this particular sample. Sometimes the Universe displays fantastic serendipity. Tom and Robin talked about Montale yesterday. Ina has been saying for the last week or so that she is falling back in love with Montales. I fell pray to the 50% sale on the Swiss Montale site (what a mistake, never again!) and all in all it's all about Montale, baby, these days. I said many times before that overall the line leaves me cold, with the exception of Jasmin Full (which may or may not be right now making its way to me from Switzerland), Oud Cuir d'Arabie and maybe Black Oud. I tried Oud Queen Rose (or Aoud Queen Rose) before and dismissed it as too harsh, however, something in it must have touched me, since it ended up in the To-Review Box. Well, here is the thing. I re-tried it yesterday and it has now joined the elite ranks of the Montales I love. The scent is a Dark Rose extraordinaire and undoubtedly falls into my favorite fragrance "category", Perfumes for Femme Fatale.

The beginning of Oud Queen Rose is "the odor of the deepest rose, the wounded heart of the earth" (Neruda); the dark juiciness, the sensual ripeness, the pungent earthy undertones (roots, black soil, fallen crimson petals) of the first accords are astoundingly beautiful ...intoxicating ...wanton ...sultry ...I could go on. As the scent develops on my skin, in its middle stage, a certain note creeps in, something creamy, almost a little fruity, maybe even musky (hibiscus?) that I find somewhat disagreeable. But I am able to look past it and to continue enjoying the luscious nocturnal roses, which are prominent from start to finish, and the dry, resinous spiciness of oud. The base notes are the darkest of all. I smell leather and patchouli, and, combined with roses, they make the drydown of Oud Queen Rose absolutely irresistible for me. Were it not for a prohibitive price, which, given the sumptuous beauty of the scent, I am almost ready to proclaim justified, I would have bought Oud Queen Rose right now if not sooner. As it is, I might have to wait till another sale comes along or watch eBay like a hawk.

Oud Queen Rose is available at Suravi, $210.00 for 100ml and at Montale boutiques (please, learn from my mistakes and order from Paris and over the phone), CHF 115.00-185.00.

Please visit Aromascope to read about Ina's "needle" of the week.

The image of the rose, A Rose in Black, is by SupersonicSquirrel, from


Blogger tmp00 said...

I think the Aouds are the best of this line- at least the ones that I have smelled. I hate to sound small, but the price is sust too much for my flintly little self. But those half-sized bottles are calling me.

I so want women to wear those femme fatale scents- I get so bored with those practically ansomic fruifos that are so prevalent.

With apologies to Mr. Columbina I would looooove to sniff you in Oud Queen Rose: in a totally gay "you go girl" kind of way.

11:31 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome back to the dark side.

11:49 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Nah, she's having the summer lights- if she'd really gone to the dark side there'd be a review with nothing but "I thought you were my friend.. I was just getting you coffee.." and she would tout the wonders of Luctor et Emergo.

11:58 PM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

Golly, I'm so glad you still love the rose! :) And talk about jinx! Really had a blast doing this. I've been super crazy about Montale ouds lately, and this one is one of my must haves, although Black Oud still tops it all. If only it was more easily available... shucks.

12:18 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Colombina, how would you compare the rose in Queen Rose to the one in Roses Petals (if you can)? I like Roses Petals except that after a couple of hours the rose annoys me in a pre-migraine sort of way. I've never tried Queen Rose. I don't object to dark roses, just annoying roses. :-)

1:10 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And then there's Montale Roses Musk, which I got at Perfumeshopppe and have seen nary a mention of, ever or anywhere. Gold cannister, draws puzzled looks, lasts on and on. It gives one a slightly queazy feeling like gasoline but keeps you coming back for more. Although it doesn't seem to be classified as an oud, I think it is. Any info or experience with it, and how it compares with the other Montale roses?

I'm loving all the Montale focus these days, you lot are all so in synch.

2:53 AM EDT  
Blogger Solander said...

Sounds lovely! So, how does it compare to Black Aoud (and Aoud Rose Petals, if you have tried it) - is it darker? More rosy? Black Aoud is one of the few rose scents I love, it's so over-the-top, yet never soapy or potpourri-like like most roses.

6:14 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

I have always loved Montale Aouds, and, given my preferences, this and Black Oud should be at the top of my list. But, while I like the Queen, the one that works by far the best on my skin is---Rose Petals (confirmed, with some surprise but no hesitation, by Naz in The Perfume Shoppe). It is softer than the other two, but still plenty dark. And if I want more leather, I layer it with Etro Gomma (works quite well). Thinking of trying it with Messe de Minuit, which worked wonderfully with Dark Rose yesterday (thanks to you and Nancy).

7:13 AM EDT  
Blogger rosarita said...

As I have started sampling some niche lines, Montale is one that I've avoided - waaay too many choices, notes that seem so similar, and they're too expensive for me anyway. But, this one sounds just gorgeous! It may be the one for me to sample; rose, leather and resins, mmmm...

7:46 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

Like Judith, I love the Montale ouds. Along w/ the leather, I get a peppery edge in Queen Rose that I *adore* and was thinking of getting it instead of the Black Oud since that one appears to have gone missing from the face of the planet. However, yesterday I went digging through samples looking for White Aoud when I found Aoud Flowers. Fatal mistake. Honey, rose and oud. Complete, immediate addiction. My new favorite Montale by far. But Naz doesn't have it (SOB!) and I simply can't justify paying for the industrial size bottles of an oud scent elsewhere when I only wear a drop at a time. Off to contemplate the cruel injustices of life...

7:55 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Montale's 20ml bottles are calling to me, but I believe they are only given as GWP sometimes. But what a perfect size for something as strong and long-lasting as the oud series. 20ml would last me years.

I would totally wear a fatale scent for you if you come to visit :-)

8:22 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you, it's nice to be back :-) Although I didn't stray very far off I think :-)

8:22 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Shhhh, we don't speak of The One We Don't Speak Of, on this blog. :-)

I don't think I am that much into light things as opposed to dark. I am still into darkness but perhaps done in a different way? I think all white florals that I now love can, paradoxically, also be called Dark Scents. Take Carnal Flower. Yes, it is white. But it is also dark :-)

8:26 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

It might shock you to hear that I actually crave roses. but not just any roses, only a certain- dark- kind, like this one or A Maze or Rose Barbare or Une Rose.

8:26 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I object to annoying roses to, and *whispers* most of them are annoying, I am sorry :-) Only dark ones aren't :-) Unfortunately I don't remember trying Roses Petals. But Judith says below that she loves it, so it must be great!

8:28 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I am sorry to say I haven't tried Roses Musk either, but after reading your comment, I definitely will. "Slightly queazy feeling like gasoline". I am destined to like this one, I just know it :-)

8:29 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Unfortunately I either haven't tried or can't remember Rose Petals, but compared to Black Oud, Queen Rose has more rose but is overall almost just as dark.

8:31 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

If you say Rose Petals is plenty dark, than I would probably like it too. I have a feeling I need to try more Montales. *sigh*

8:32 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I agree. Too many scents, and many DO smell kind of same-y to me. But there are some beauties in the line, this one is definitely one of them.

8:33 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really like this one too. Pungent and slightly spicy, it makes me feel powerful when I wear it. :-)

Speaking of roses, I layered West Side with Dzing! today, and now I get a sweet slightly woodsy rose with a leather kick! You should try it. :-)

8:33 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Oh woe is me. Honey, rose and oud? All right, who sells Aud Flowers? *wanders off sighing and grumbling"

8:34 AM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

That is so funny, you and Tom and Robin and all your Montales, in June no less!

It's funny how you can go back months later to something that was waaay too much and go, wow.

BTW -- I can STILL smell Sandalsliver on me a full 24 hrs later, enough for some sillage, and I put on just a few drops. TENACIOUS. The Nu gave up the ghost sometime yesterday afternoon. But you're right about the similarity.

8:35 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Pungent is a great word to describe it! West Side and Dzing, eh? Sounds great! I will try tonight, for sure.

8:35 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I hope Montale is grateful for all the coverage. *wink*
Listen, Nu is exceptionally long-lasting on me. As long-lasting as Sandalsliver. I do wonder whether the Montale people sniffed the YSl creation or whether they somehow stumbled upon basically exactly the same composition.

8:37 AM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

This sounds pretty amazing, but the only problem I have with the ouds from Montale is they are so oud heavy, sometimes they just all seem to run together, with the exception of oud d'arabie, which runs off into the sweaty mongol area, which surprisingly appeals to me.

Is this one quite a lot different than the other rose aouds?

8:49 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

That is my problem with their ouds too. In fact, maybe with ouds in general. In Queen Rose the oud accord manages not to overwhelm the rose and the whatever that creamy thing is in the middle.

9:01 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All this Montale talk! You're all seducing me with leather & musk & wood notes; Colombina, you're even making me crave dark roses, which I love the idea of but know would make me sneeze. Must remember, Montales make me choke, even a little bitty drop as Tom suggested yesterday. Must remember, must remember.

Well. Except Cuir d'Arabie. Perhaps one other would work? Despite the 8 vials in my scrubber pile. Perhaps ... ?

9:23 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I know what you mean about sneezing after one tiny drop. These are so strong! I am not the biggest fan of Montale, but I keep trying :-) And sometimes I do happen upon the one I like a lot.

9:34 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good morning,

After trying as many as niche lines as possible, I've had more success with Montales than any other. Perhaps it's Pierre Montales intimate understanding of east and west fragrance preferences but when the two are merged, it's sheer beauty. I feel at *home* when I wear any of his creations and I would urge anyone to at least try one scent to see the ingenuity of his creations.

I'd love to read further reviews of my favourite fragrance company and would like to thank lovely Nazrin at the Perfume Shoppe for introducing me to this true gem of a line.

10:57 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Dear Anonymous,
There were some reviews of Montale scents on PST. If you click on the link on the right side that says Perfume Houses I-Q, it should take you to the list of Montales we reviewed so far.

11:02 AM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

M, great review, and off topic, have you tried Steam Oud? V did a review of it some time ago and it just popped into my mind again. I think it is yet another rose-oudh thing.

12:56 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you! I don't think I have tried Steam oud, but Montales are all mixed up in my mind, especially the oud ones, so maybe I have :-) They have too many scents! :-)

1:44 PM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

Sounds delicious... Would love to ask for you wise perfumistas' advice. Do you all have a dark, fatale-y rose recommendation? Mind, I live in Bangkok, it is HOT. Am looking for something to wear to tango that will fit the mood...but won't stop people from dancing with me! Some of the Aouds look like they might work, if I sprayed about ten yards away from myself, or perhaps there is one on the original, wonderful "femme fatale" post? I and the men of the tango community in Bangkok thank you...they are too polite to say so, but I think they are weary of my feral experimenting...

3:15 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Tango! How wonderful!
I think Oud Queen Rose should work in the heat, as it has that dry quality about it. But I also think that anything works in any weather if one applies just a little, or, as you said, walks into the cloud of scent. I also find that many opulent fragrances open up so beautifully in hot weather.

3:45 PM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

Noy, I wear SL's Rose de Nuit for tango. When I do, I get more dances, I swear I do ... and when I'm not dancing, I sit wrapped in the music and the atmosphere and my perfume. It's a splendid match. But no, I have yet to try Oud Queen Rose ... sigh ...

4:33 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Oh you girls make me so envious. I want to tango too! :-)

4:44 PM EDT  
Blogger carmencanada said...

Marina, I'm another rose-shy perfumista, and the only one I truly crave now is Une Rose (though Ina's review has me thinking about trying Rose Barbare). It's a good thing to go back to earlier releases once the buzz is over, I think.
The bewilderingly multiple Montales scare me a little. I seldom, if ever, reach for Jasmin Full, the only one I own, but I've still got a generous decant of Aoud Queen Rose and because it's you, I'll try it again. And hope the migraine-inducing rose doesn't kick in.

4:50 PM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

I think you will get to try Aoud Flowers pretty soon. Just sayin'.

5:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Fingers crossed, it won't give you headache!!

5:14 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Just sayin' :-)

5:14 PM EDT  

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