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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Perfume Review: Montale Aoud Velvet

After all the gushing about Montale yesterday (and there is more to come), I decided to talk about a scent from the line I don't like. One has to maintain one's reputation as an objective blogger. So here is my take on Aoud Velvet. I believe a more fitting name would have been Aoud Chinatown, as in Bond No 9 Chinatown, because the two smell remarkably alike to me. Aoud Velvet displays the same thick creaminess, the presence of which in Chinatown I attribute to tuberose, and which in Aoud Velvet is most probably the characteristic of tiare. Blended with sandalwood and tonka bean, tiare here produces the similar effect, rich, "fatty", and strangely (not entirely unpleasantly) chemical, making Aoud Velvet reminiscent of the same lacquered boxes which some people, including me, smell in Chinatown. And it is not that this "lacquered sandalwood box" quality is not striking, but I have been there with Chinatown, and now I am over it. As a side note, some of Parfums de Nicolai scents, in particular Sacrebleu and Vanille Tonka, have a similar, although much less "lacquered" creaminess on my skin.

Another aspect of Aoud Velvet that bothers me is its fruitiness. I realize that there seem to be no fruits or berries listed among the official notes, but when have official notes told the whole truth? As far as my nose is concerned, Aoud Velvet starts with jam-like raspberry, followed by a note that smells decidedly peachy (by the way, peach is quite prominent in Chinatown) ...the peach note is soon accompanied by vanilla, then tiare appears on the scene, and then the "lacquered" effect I described above begins to unfold. As for the aoud note, it is altogether too understated, beaten into submission by vanilla, tiare and "fruits". Was the title ingredient stronger, perhaps the composition would have been less "thick" and cloying (and less reminiscent of Chinatown). As it is, the (heavy, opulent, peach-colored) velvet is there, but the striking, spicy sharpness of oud is sadly missing.

Aoud Velvet can be found at Suravi, Luckyscent and Montale boutiques, $150.00 for 50ml, $210.00 for 100ml.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gosh, Marina, I thought you liked PdN Vanille Tonka. Is this another change of mind??

I guess in this case the cause is tiare, but as you point out it also happens with tuberose--excessive creaminess. I don't like that quality.

11:13 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Gak- Peach! That is the note that is to me as garlic is to vampires. Ghastly! It's reek ruined Chinatown for me (and if I am in especially bitter mood I will send in a review). There is nothing in the world more alluring than the mouth-watering slightly musty promising smell of a really ripe peach: so provacative in its dewey freshness and so horrific when replicated in a test tube. The one scent that could be considered more abused than rose. After all, there are roses that have no scent at all..

1:28 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Colombina, I agree with you on Aoud Velvet. I warn everybody who doesn't like it to go anywhere near Velvet Flowers too: same notes, only not as subtle as in the aoud version, an overdose of sugar and it sticks to your clothes for eternity.

2:03 AM EDT  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

Good morning, my beauty!

I'm so sad to say that these two really made me sad.
I tried; I REALLY did, you know.
And I LOVE real PEACH... witness Femme, Mitsouko, Theorema, et al.
What went wrong ?

As for Black Aoud, it loved me for awhile, but bit the hand that fed, so Mando now owns it.

Forgive the heresy-
But SOMEONE has GOT to tell those Montale people to FIX THOSE BOTTLES, WILL YOU, PLEASE ?

At Sniffa, I was amused to see how many tops just popped off and rolled onto the floor, no matter WHO handled them...couldn't be found again, lol.


Will I ever find a Montale to call my own ?

6:32 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

Well, this isn't one of my faves either (though I don't think it's as fruity---or as hateful--on me as it seems to be on you--but then, Mitsouko IS my fave perfume, so I guess I'm not completely opposed to peach, although this is quite different).

Re your comment yesterday: I am SURE that they will have more and different scents at the Montale boutique, but, although I am a longtime fan of the line, I have become pretty confused--and a bit annoyed--by the number of (somewhat similar) scents I already know. And frankly, although I do really like some of the newer ones (esp. Aoud Flowers), nothing has ever replaced my two original loves--the Aouds Rose Petals and Cuir d'Arabie--in my heart (I think of them as a married couple because DH and I sometimes wear them together--in reverse order of course:) But I hear they are very generous with extras (little bottles?) at the boutique, so. . . .

Chaya--Those little locks do pop off, and I have already lost one (it's not really necessary), but I like the bottles anyway, both for the way they look and the way they protect the 'fumes. I have them in all sizes (100, 50, 20mls.) and they look like a little plump, silver family.:)

6:53 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chaya makes me breathe a sigh of relief here about my the gaping gap that is my montale knowledge (I think I've sniffed two).

Aoud Velvet - no fankoo

Marina writing about Montale - more, pwetty pweese.

7:09 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Over at NST, they called it a feminine, sweet, beachy thing of a fragrance... I'm so confused?!! Good thing I ordered a sample. I actually liked Chinatown... for a while, until my DH told me he couldn't wait for that bottle to be empty...or to fall on the floor and shatter into a million little pieces! Ouch! It smells amazing on my mom, just like everything does!! The White is coming too, hopefully it will be love at first sniff!

7:26 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

M, I cannot but admire your photoshopping skills :-D! great job today and yesterday with feathery wings, reminiscent of Victoria's Secret models.
what do you think: would I like White Aoud? given the fact that the first Montale I have ever sniffed in my entire life was Black Aoud and I've fallen for it the moment I tried it. however, I do not particulary wish to try Aoud Velvet. me and Chinatown was never meant to be. *sigh*

7:30 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

It's always reassuring to read about a scent I don't have to go add to my list of budget decimating lemmings. I really can't do vanilla these days. This mood may pass, as it has in the past - I go in and out of vanilla tolerant phases. However, I also didn't love Chinatown, so I'm not sure this would ever work for me.

7:44 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh lord, Chinatown was too high pitched and sweet for me (though I did like the "low" notes -- that lacquered box thing), so if Aoud Velvet is anything like that, no thank you.

It's fun seeing your obsession with the Aoud line these days. Do you think it's undying love or a short-lived fling? ;-)

7:50 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I do like Vanille Tonka. Of those creamy ones that I listed, it is the one I like and wear a lot in cold weather.

9:27 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I agree, peaches are scary, scary things, in perfume.

9:28 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I am now scared by anything 'velvet' Montale :-) Velvet flowers sounds scary :-)

9:29 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I hope you do find a Montale to love. There are so many of them that you are almost bound to find one eventually. :-)

9:30 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Aww, Roses Petals and Cuir d'Arabie are married (what a truly handsome pair they make!) and have a little plump, silver family. Aww :-)

9:32 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Oh ok, if you insist :-)

9:32 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Feminine and sweet- definitely. Beach? Well, perhaps, in a vague sort of way. Its sandalwood also kind of, very remotely, reminds me of the sandalwood in Lauder's (Ford's) Azuree, so in a roundabout way I can understand the beachy-ness.

9:34 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

But wait, wait a second...didn't you use to love Chinatown? Or am I mistaken?

9:35 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I think it is just too sweet. Thick and sweet. Perhaps it should be tried in a very different kind of weather. Right now it just feels wrong.

9:36 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I don't know :-) I am too fickle, perfume-wise, to tell. Right now it feel like undying love...but ask me in a month, and who knows :-)

9:37 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

M, I *thought* I would love it but it refused to like me back ;). swapped my bottle away a long time ago.

9:51 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Well, if it's any consolation, it loved me but then stopped loving me :-) We are not together anymore :-)

10:01 AM EDT  
Blogger Maura said...

Wow! It looks like I'm in a huge minority of enjoying this scent! You have a great nose...I remember reading that Aoud Velvet either contained peach or apricot which is what gave me the layering idea with White Aoud/CSP. I guess I am "lucky" that my skin amplifies ouds and subdues sweetness. I can't wait for future Monale reviews :o)

7:14 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I envy you! :-) If the oud was stronger, I'd probably loved Aoud Velvet.

7:31 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must admit, with at least a slight twinge of guilt, that certain samples languish at the bottom of my sample box, and Montale Aoud is among them. Although I could realy do without Montale's baffling ways of adding, dropping and renaming, I do really like more than a few of them, but my reaction to Velvet Flowers was strong and not positive and I just don't think a little aoud can fix it. Peach isn't the deal killer here, but candy sure is.

7:52 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Is that how they made Aoud Velvet? Put some aoud into Velvet Flower? Ha. I can't even imagine how scary Velvet Flowers are then.

8:32 PM EDT  

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