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Thursday, July 02, 2009

Montale Amber and Spices, Wild Aoud, and Aoud Leather

By Tom

Somewhere Kelly is doing his "Toldja So!" dance..

Lately I have found myself very drawn to Montale fragrances, especially the aouds. Aoud (or Oud) is actually (according to Wikipedia) a reaction of a hardwood called Agarwood to a mold infection, a resin is produced; the more mold, the more resin, and the more scent. I've grown more and more fond of Montale's various scents that feature this slightly mushroomy clean-skin note and was happy to sample 3 of the 7 new ones that are available at luckyscent.

Amber & Spices doesn't list aoud in the name, but it's in there from the opening to the end. The spices are cumin and nutmeg, lending this a slightly drrrty air and Montale's other trademark, deep winey rose. The woody amber drydown is lovely, but cumin hates keep in mind while this isn't Eau d'Hermes, if you consider for instance Serge Noire to be gaggingly skanky, this one isn't for you. It is however, very much for me.

Wild Aoud starts with a burst of candied sweetness, sprightly citrus and candied rose petals before being joined by geranium, aoud and finally resiny woods. I only get a hint of the listed tobacco in the drydown and the listed patchouli is still hiding somewhere, but none of that's a bad thing. I'd never thought I would come across a "summery" Montale, much less enjoy it, but we live and learn. This surprised me by being my favorite of the three.

Aoud Leather neatly tips your expectations on it's ear: the leather isn't a biker jacket, it's more a ladies opera-length glove. One with which she had inexplicably decided to zest some Mexican limes (the teensy ones that I think are Key limes in Florida). The effect is not unlike as luckyscent points out like Piguet's Bandit. Like one of those fashion magazine that dolls up Gwyneth Paltrow as Marilyn Monroe, this is a comparison that inevitably does Aoud Leather ill: it makes a very appealing scent pale by comparison. Actually, it kind of makes this seem like "Bandette". But if you find the Piguet just waaay to much, this is worth a try. Heck, it's worth a try on its own, because as luckyscent points out "there can never be too many leathers"

$150 for 50ML, $210 for 100, at luckyscent

Depending upon when this is put up, it will be a day shy of when Colombina first invited people to contribute to her blog. Three days later she kindly put up my first review. I want to first publicly thank her for three years of learning and growing as a perfume-lover and I hope as a writer, and of course to thank all of the people who have been so kind and generous with comments and thoughts. It's meant more to me than you can know and I look forward to more adventures in sniffing in the future. (Tom, the blog wouldn't be what it is without your elegantly snarky wit and you skanky tastes. You should know that I came up with that first call for contributors, to lure you in, because I loved your comments so much. You are the best! - M.)

The winner of the Scents by Alwexis drawing is Chaya, please contact us with your shipping information and thanks to you all for your comments!

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Blogger tmp00 said...


You make me blush!

12:28 AM EDT  
Anonymous dissed said...

I'll have to try some Montales again, someday. They put me in mind of dog-paddling in 50 feet of riptide, out of my depth, beyond my strength and running out of air. Wild Aoud sounds pretty good.

1:05 AM EDT  
Blogger Flora said...

Tom, great reviews as always, and I agree with what Marina said, you are priceless! I have not been writing for this blog as long as you have, but your reviews were one of the things that kept ME coming back to read more, and then I got lucky enough to be invited in too. It's all good!

I recently tried these new Montales and I agree with your impressions, they are wonderful. There are only two Montales I can't wear, and out of the many they have that's pretty impressive.

1:46 AM EDT  
Blogger Divina said...

Hey you! Here's to many more years of perfume writing and enjoyment. You, Marina, Flora make this a very warm blog, a friendly haven for perfume lovers :) Thursdays are always in my head as "Tom" days (shops open all day and no gym days as well, LOL!).

On subject: YAAAAAAY Montale LOVIN'! That's what I'm talkin' about baby :) Tom, I am in love with Montale, but you already knew that. Oud Ambre is holy :) And I dare you to try Oud Cuir Arabie! Oh there's no skank like that skank! :)

My next blog post will be very much devoted to Montales (with some more things discussed of course due to Paris travelogue) but if you're interested check it out. I discovered some real gems! I apologize for this btw, not meant to be a plug, I just love Montale so much I wanna share.

As for summery Montales: There are some, especially in the silver line! Soleil de Capri, Intense Tiare... also the coolness of Musk to Musk is perfect for cool summer nights.

7:52 AM EDT  
Blogger Nancy said...

Congratulations on three years of fun, informative, and incisive reviews. I enjoy your pieces very much.

I have samples of the new Montales from Luckyscent. I put off trying them until Fall, but maybe I'll give Wild Aoud a try next time I'm feeling a little skank mood coming on.

8:26 AM EDT  
Blogger Alyssa said...

Tom, I came to the blog (and perfume!) after you were already on board PST, so for me it's always been Tom+Marina over here! I couldn't imagine it any other way, and like Flora, I feel privileged to join in. (*Hears Marina clearing her throat in the background*) And, um, hope to be joining in a little more often very soon... (*waves at M.*)

9:41 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

Congrats on your three year anniversary! I always look forward to your reviews. You've steered me towards so many wonderful scents I might never have discovered otherwise. Thanks! And, speaking of scents I might not have tried otherwise, I had not ordered samples of Amber and Spices or Wild Aoud, but now it seems I definitely should have - and will. I adore cumin and Wild Aoud sounds like it may be my "must have" scent for July.

10:37 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I can see where some of them could get to be a bit much. I like a bit much, so..

11:59 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...



Montale is pretty impressive..

12:05 PM EDT  
Blogger violetnoir said...

Keep the reviews, and the sharp wit, coming!

Thank you all for three fabulous years of contributions.


12:06 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I hope to read much more of you in the future as well!

I actually bought Oud Cuir Arabie; it's fantastic on me!

12:06 PM EDT  
Anonymous PhinClio said...

Hmmm....Bandit Lite for four times the price of Bandit? I think I'll stick with the Piguet!

12:06 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...



I like them in the heat, but we don't get humidity. If it were humid here I don't think I could get away with them

12:07 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


and I think you should do more too!


12:08 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


thanks for the kind words!

If you adore cumin then you will absolutely love Amber & Spices.

12:09 PM EDT  
Blogger Ducks said...

Tom, very enticing reviews and you are a sentimental soul. You are a wonderful feature on this blog.

Marina, thank you for having us! I hope things settle down so that I can participate more in the next week or so.

12:34 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


thanks, and I hope to read much more of you on here!

12:55 PM EDT  
Anonymous Lavanya said...

love your posts Tom! Here's to many more..:)

I have loved most of the Montales that I have tried..(especially since I LOVE a deep winey rose)- so will try these (hopefully soon)..

2:27 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


thanks! I hope you love these!

4:46 PM EDT  
Blogger Tammy said...

I'm not so good with words, but congratulations on the anniversary, and thank you all so much for the wonderful, informative, entertaining and often moving posts and reviews. And I hope I don't chicken out the next time there is a gathering in LA!

10:45 PM EDT  
Anonymous lady jane grey said...

I just got the sample-set from Luckyscent, and still need a while to decide, if I'll get another Montale into my collection.
Tom, we had a "discussion" back then, when you reviewed LeLabo's Oud - well, after a short sniffing periode I "had" to run to "Liberty" in London and buy a bottle with my name on it (ooooh, it's skanky on my skin...).
And yes, it's nice having/reading you here !

9:15 AM EDT  

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