Perfume Directory

Black Aoud (2006)
by Montale

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Black Aoud information

Year of Launch2006
GenderMasculine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 697 votes)

People and companies

HouseMontale

About Black Aoud

Black Aoud is a masculine fragrance by Montale. The scent was launched in 2006

Reviews of Black Aoud

Love it. Oud done right. As if there is some sort of "honeyed" note in there like Mugler uses in Pure Havane. Not a honeyed tobacco, it's more like all of the remaining notes of Black Aoud have been honeyed.

In short, this rounds out the oud so it doesn't have its usual sharpness and is less predominant, less pungent.

Subtle rose, nicely done so it doesn't go towards feminine at all. More or less as we know it from 1 Million.
29th December, 2019
This is what you get when you bury a rose in the "Pet Sematary."

This is a dark rose fragrance, simple as that. I love a well-done rose, and coupled with the medicinal tinge that the agarwood brings (similar to the medicinal note from the agarwood in M7 (2002)), this is a pretty linear trip, but an interesting one at that.

It starts off a bit strong and somewhat off-putting, smelling like a rose-scented medical compound, but as it dries down, the rose becomes more prominent and smooth, and the agarwood fades a little more into the background, balancing this out nicely. It's a very dark scent; one that I think would have been the perfect "official band fragrance" of Type O Negative, for those of you who get that reference. This is something to be worn at night to something intimate or formal, as long as you want to give off a gothic, brooding vibe. Although this is a men's fragrance, I think a woman with a dark, mysterious kind of image (think Eva Green) would be able to pull this off without issue.

This is certainly a try-before-you-buy fragrance, and one that I could see as being in the "love it or hate it" category. It's not something I would buy, but this could certainly be a signature scent for the right person, with my assumption that said person is of the Tim Burton/Rob Zombie variety.

Thumbs up

22nd November, 2019
Not so much red wine, as another reviewer notes, and more like Turkish delight. Sweet and rose-heavy, with a questionable amount of oud (no matter what its provenance) going by the performance... in short, there are plenty of "black ouds" out there, and this one is certainly inferior to its Dumont namesake, which actually smells like something that deserves the name "Black Oud".
10th November, 2019
I liked this fragrance very much. But unfortunately my girlfriend didn't. She wrinkled her little nose and said "you do NOT want to smell like the inside of an old woman's handbag". I was tempted to dispute her mistaken gendering of the rose. But then I remembered who's boss, and wisely kept my mouth shut.
24th June, 2019
This smells like red wine to me. I'm not a big drinker, or wine connoisseur, so I don't know what kind. And it was not a fleeting resemblance. When that beginning smashes you it seems like all nuance is lost, and almost all my thoughts inherintaly come back to "Whew, its pungent." Two hours in the fragrance settled down to "normal fragrance initial spray levels." There really is a lot of Black Oud in MFKs Oud Silk Mood, which was my favorite I have tried from the Mood line. Medicinal oud with rose just go really well together, though they would seem to me to be the type of thing I would only ever need one of. I think this could be worn by a man or woman. It is a dark deep seductive red either way. This would go great on a brunette in a little black dress with ruby red lipstick.
27th March, 2019
The perfume houses of Montale and Mancera are not entirely separate in my mind, and instead come across like two sides of a coin minted by Pierre Montale in 2003, after what he claims to be a career as a successful by-appointment perfumer for Arab royalty in his former Dubai base of operations. Many of his clients, citing his French heritage, supposedly requested Western-style perfume instead of the traditional attars, and his affinity for mixing Middle East ingredients in Western ways was born. Skipping back to 2003, and his new niche perfume house in Paris became responsible for launching the "Oud Craze" in Western and designer perfume, with his much-adulterated synthetic oud accord which contained but a sliver of actual agar, projected with aromachemicals like Iso E Super. Several releases came and went between 2003-2006, but it was Black Aoud (2006) that put him on the map, setting a standard which other Western houses would follow. Mancera would represent something of an equal opposite for the perfumer, with mostly Western themes presented to the Middle East market, which ate up his takes on popular Western tropes just the same as Westerners consumed his synthetic ouds. Of course, there is so much crossover that really both name plates are the same brand, with Montale using metal sprayers and Mancera using traditional glass spray flacons. Black Aoud still remains the top-seller for the house, besides being a more-basic interpretation compared to later Montale/Mancera ouds, and that has to do with the hype it's garnered.

Most consider this the best starting point for the house too, but after sampling around both labels, I'm not so sure I can agree with that, even if I do enjoy what's here very much. To be honest, Black Aoud feels more like a rose fragrance than one centered around oud, and it makes sense considering the medical nature of the Montale/Mancera oud compound, and the rest of the aromatic backbone surrounding that rose. It's also logical to guess this is more of a rose perfume given that rose is such a prominent player in many Middle Eastern styles, perfume or attar, oud or not, with the same level of ubiquity present that lavender, citrus, or aquatic accords enjoy in Western markets. On that note, Black Aoud opens with and is carried by an intense Turkish rose. This is a dark, rich, serious, and brooding "Gothic" rose found in antique Western examples, with zero bergamot or jasmine to lighten or sweeten it. Black Aoud is a thoroughly masculine rose, but the composition itself is sold as unisex in most markets, so I see this appealing mostly to genderfluid or generally adventurous folks outside the Middle East where it's par for the course. Cistus labdanum and dry patchouli make up the middle of Black Aoud, adding a lush green facet to the stoic rose, but not adding any humor. The medical oud note is the obvious finish, softened with a touch of orange, but otherwise standing alone with the rose. Longevity is an all-day 12+ hour affair, while sillage can be catastrophic if not applied carefully, so beware. Black Aoud is a no-apologies perfume worn by an unrepentant lover of strong, domineering rose scents, so find your own suitable context for wearing it. I find Black Aoud good in all temperatures, as it pierces the air regardless.

You likely won't get many compliments wearing Black Aoud, but I don't think this is the kind of perfume for seeking that attention. Western rose oud perfumes have not only grown in sophistication since the release of Black Aoud, but also in authenticity too, as perfumers either substitute in more of the real material (if niche/artisinal) or find better ways to shape their synthetics into something closer to actual oud macerations, dressing up the note pyramids to make more complex and less naked presentations than how Black Aoud comes across to the nose. I like a good kick-in-the-ass rose, and a shrieking medical oud underneath just lets that grim rose shine even more, so this is a huge thumbs up for me, but with the caveat that Black Aoud is basically a rose-scented agarwood sledgehammer that totally lacks finesse. Still, without any barnyard funk of more-authentic ouds, Black Aoud is less Marilyn Manson and more Gene Simmons in total shock value, which suits me just fine but may disappoint purists. My only complaint is the brutal simplicity of Black Aoud, as I've worked backwards from some newer representations in the field of Western rose oud perfumes which arguably have rendered Black Aoud obsolete; even the bargain-basement Jovan Intense Oud (2012) showcases a slightly more-believable synthetic oud with a drop of animalic growl (as per their specialty), feeling more like a cyborg with a bit of skin stretched over than a full-on metal-clad android like Black Aoud. Ultimately, it's the quality of rose that keeps Black Aoud safely at it's niche perfumery level, since the Jovan (and many others including some higher-priced designers) use cheaper synthetic rose oils which vary in tone from sweet to citric depending on where that geraniol is sourced. Black Aoud is still a pillar in the rose/oud genre for a reason, but has the grace of a pickup truck, so I'd sample this first before paying that niche-level price for a bottle. There's simply too much choice now to dive into this blind. Thumbs up!
28th November, 2018 (last edited: 29th November, 2018)

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MONTALE BLACK AOUD EAU DE PARFUM UNISEX 2ML 3ML 5ML 10ML DECANT VIAL SPRAY

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