Smells very feminine for me. It's a bit linear: camphorous opening and dries down to a dry old school type vanilla.
A very strong chypre accord twinged with the least-sweet, driest vanilla ever. At first the fragrance is very strong, and fairly discordant. The powderyness of the chypre accord is evident from the very beginning, and the volume is turned up high. Vanilla isn't blended in, but seems to take place as a note next to the chypre. The heart is the most pleasant part of the fragrance, with a prominent dry vanilla becoming more dominant, while the 'chypreness' is in the background. The drydown and base is long-lived, as with most Montales, and is classic chyrpe oakmoss. At this stage vanilla is not prominent, and perhaps only brightens the base a little. I detected other spice notes in the background as well.
For some reason and I am very drawn to this fragrance, and it's take on the chypre genre. I've already ordered a decant and depending on how it wears a few times will seriously consider a bottle.
A floral chypre with a touch of vanilla. Nothing too interesting, deep or mysterious.
Vanilla just as I like it: dry and pungent. Definitely not what one might expect from vanilla, it lacks much softness or overt sweetness, instead being quite sharp and crisp.
I see what Trebor means by the "vile" mid-notes... there is something harsh and almost antiseptic about them, but strangely compelling and even mildly alluring.
I can't say I'd recommend buyers on a budget socking away $175 for it (luckily I received it in a swap!), as there are many others at that price level I'd recommend first. But, for someone who has been looking for a VERY different take on vanilla and something that doesn't just smell soft and cute, then this might be the way to go.
Chypre Vanille--This has a split effect difficult to imagine...green and vanilla. The two are distinctly together yet separate.It reminded me of something, then it hit me--cream soda with mint leaves. Kind of nice but not my favorite. Definitely male.