I'm torn on this one. On one hand, it's like nothing else I've ever smelled. On the other hand, its so bombastically strong I'm scared to wear it.
Red Aoud is basically the gourmand of the line. Saffron and oud open the show, but the oud is subdued compared to the others in the Montale line. It's creamy, and fascinating.
The saffron fades, as does the oud, and what you're left with is a chocolate musk. It's great, but not for everyone, and not for those looking for subtlety.
Also - don't buy the big bottle, for the love of god.
Pepper, spice, oud in Red Aoud make for a strong opening and agreeable spicy dry down, much more pleasant than Amouage Journey Man, in my opinion. Certainly masculine, with a good balance of spicy and herb-ish notes, I'd probably classify it as a cold weather night scent. I'd agree with some of other reviews in that it is well blended, as no particular note is cloying. It has some sweetness to it in the dry down, albeit subtly.
Projection and longevity are both strong.
This is definitely an appealing addition for fans of spicy fragrances. Generally I am not but I have to agree that this probably would work for a lot of men, and isn't overwhelming or overly formal. I'm not familiar with much of Montale, but this wants me to make try more of their scents. Not one that I'd necessarily buy at the price but worth considering.
7 out of 10
This is one of the more condom-themed Montale’s — the rubbery saffron-rose note that’s oddly appealing. But I think that what’s actually impressive about this is that it’s not as rose-dominated as you might expect, rather it takes the saffron as its focus and honeys it up a bit over the standard Montale “oud” accord. The effect is a slightly powdered, slightly gourmand take on the line’s usual Orientalist cliches, and it actually works. Furthermore, it’s not belligerently loud like many of their scents. As it settles, the rose does bloom a little more (not a good thing in my opinion as they usually smell cheap from this line), but all in all, it’s one of the better of the 50 or so ouds they’ve cranked out. A saffron gourmand with some spicy, rosy flourishes. No actual oud in sight, but that’s to be expected.
Red Aoud has an opening so obnoxious that you just want to slap its face. Really, it is quite an ugly cacophony of notes – red pepper, that fake chocolate/wheat note from Chocolate Greedy, the sour fizzing Montale oud, and bready cumin – all tumbled in together with no thought as to the outcome. But wait half an hour and all I can say is, Oh. My. God. The snowstorm of notes banks down to reveal a warm, rich gourmand oud that is deliciously reminiscent of halva, that Middle Eastern sweet made from pounded sesame paste and honey. The cumin and saffron notes contribute a bread/pasty feel and the sandalwood adds creaminess. But what really makes Red Aoud special is that red pepper note. It is pulpy, sweet and vegetal all at once, and smells exactly like pureed roast red peppers. Placed against a backdrop of mouthwatering creamy and sugary notes (the honey, the cocoa, and the pastry notes), the red pepper note sings out loud and clear. That, for me, is the secret of Red Aoud – it is half-vegetable, half-dessert. I think it succeeds for exactly the same reason Safran Troublant succeeds – they are both fragrances that balance an array of edible and inedible notes that are just disparate enough (but not clashing) to make you think of dessert but hesitate before putting it in your mouth.
When I first tested Red Aoud, I was disgusted. I thought it was an awful fragrance, stomach-turning in its richness and head-spinning in its cacophony of notes. Now I am obsessed with it. I am not claiming that it’s a great fragrance, but something in it work on me like no other, and I find myself wanting to wear it at least twice a week. I only have a drop left in my sample and I am rationing myself until I can get a bottle of it. I should mention that it is an extremely loud and bombastic fragrance, lasting for days on skin and hair, and weeks on clothes. I love its loudness and vulgarity. Red Aoud is all tits and ass, and wolf whistles from construction workers. And who doesn’t need a bit of spray-on sexual confidence sometimes, I ask you?
One of the most captivating synthetic oudhs of the market. A veritable "oriental in style fragrance". Extremely exotic mélange of creamy oudh, inebriating fresh-velvety spices, piquant pepper (the "Red" effect lingering throughout as piquant undertone), soapy amber and woods. The saffron-cumin peppery accord, as merged with creamy agarwood resins, amber (benzoin?), fresh vetiver, smooth-powdery iris and musk, hangs out immensely exotic, vaguely laundry, daring and luxuriant. The note of balmy saffron is heady as mixed with creamy-musky oud. The spiciness is extreme, musky, waxy-rosey and bath-foam/soapy like (with a touch of suede). The "luxurious arabic hotel-hall type of aroma" (fresh, inebriating, vaguely medicinal) conjures me (in a more synthetical way of course) the fresh honeyed exoticism of several Abdul Samad Al Qurashi's concoctions a la Qurashi Family Blend and The One Blend, for instance (and ideal memories about hotels ballrooms, piano-bar, succulents and white-linen clothed daring men in sun glasses and crocodile shoes starts jumping on mind). Probably Red Aoud smells too strong over a synthetic-medicinal side despite I appreciate a lot conceptually the freshly exotic combination of notes. Not bad.
16th January, 2015 (last edited: 13th July, 2015)