Perfume Directory

Louban (2009)
by Montale


Louban information

Year of Launch2009
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 29 votes)

People and companies

PerfumerPierre Montale

About Louban

Louban is a shared / unisex perfume by Montale. The scent was launched in 2009 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Pierre Montale

Reviews of Louban

Montale Louban is a pleasant scent, not more. At the beginning it seemed to be dealing with a traditional (and not particularly innovative) rose-oudh-patchouli-musk combo (with a touch of "oriental" hesperidic/earthy/medicinal) but in a while the striking violet leaves presence takes "influencing the scene" providing a more changeful, dark-mysterious and velvety wave enriching the soapy-rosey woodsiness (vaguely a la Nabeel Telaal). Of course I see points in common with the darker, more rosey and temperamental Black Aoud which anyway plays (especially at the beginning) a more stout/bold, arabic, bohemien and resinous type of game. I catch the typical "violet soap" undertone pairing the rose/hesperidic presence and it provides a more typically western touch of modern velvety mystery. The Louban's dry down is typically soapy/laundry and musky/botanic with spicy-rosey and earthy undertones but unfortunately it is nowadays too much close to more that several flowers/oudh combos to fully "hit the nail". Anyway a nice resinous floral alternative to dozens further "alternatives of the alternatives" out there.
07th February, 2015 (last edited: 02nd January, 2018)
Louban opens with sandalwood, vetiver, a shady and dry floral note which may be a generic synthetic rose, then also violet and a base accord of patchouli and resins (I read olibanum but it smells a bit darker and thicker to me, almost like benzoin). Shortly a sort of woody-green chypre, with a dry and camphoraceuos undertone, also with a metallic-soapy feel witnessing again the average-to-low quality of Montale ingredients. Not bad per se, but if you are familiar with '70s and '80s chypres à la Guy Laroche, this smells like a pale, poor and uninspired rip-off of those – probably not on purpose, as I doubt both Mancera and his customers care about (or even barely known) that heritage, but it does a bit. The difference is only the synthetic oud note, by the way quite light, and a general "contemporary" lightness, which I'd consider more lack of depth and substance. Finally it quickly evolves on a clean, soapy drydown with synthetic nuances (from salty to rubbery, I guess due to the oud note). Not horrible, but dull.

18th August, 2014
Genre: Woods

Louban opens on a very rich accord of oudh and bittersweet spices, with especial emphasis upon the cutting, saffron-like aspect of the oudh. It’s an arresting and effective opening, and it at first distinguishes Louban nicely from the run of Montale rose-and-oudh compositions. The rose does eventually emerge as the oudh settles, along with a brisk green note (violet leaf?) and an unusually clean, dry patchouli. The spices simultaneously darken and take on a burning quality that overrides any excessive sweetness that the rose might impart. What I miss entirely is the olibanum (frankincense) from which Louban takes its name.

Once the oudh has receded, Louban lightens up considerably, and while I’d hardly call it a bright or light fragrance, it is less dense and weighty than many of the other Montale oudhs. Like any scent based on a rose and oudh accord though, Louban is potent, with plenty of sillage and ample projection. On the other hand, if you find say, Black Aoud too bold and aggressive, you may enjoy this new scent much more.

As a gender-neutral woody rose and spice composition Louban competes with scents like Cabaret, Paestum Rose, and Czech & Speake’s Dark Rose. It is bolder and spicier than Cabaret, more generous in its oudh note than Dark Rose, but to my nose devoid, despite its name, of Paestum Rose’s prominent incense accord. In all fairness must also point out that there are several other Montale oudh scents that get the same job done, most conspicuously Royal Aoud, Aoud Damascus, and Attar.

If intended as an incence fragrance I consider Louban an utter failure. As yet another oudh and rose scent Louban does not add much to the Montale range, but I suppose it does fit Montale’s apparent strategy of multiple near(?) redundant releases. If its siblings didn’t already exist, or if Louban's composition better expressed the ingredient for which it's named, I would rate it higher, but as it is my enthusiasm is bridled.
19th June, 2014
Louban smells like a dusty rose with some hints of musk and incense. Not overly sweet, it has a balanced sweetness. It's not like other Aouds: this one stays close to skin with a big lasting power. Unisex for sure. Definetely worth it. Thumbs up!
04th January, 2013
Like other Montale fragrances, this opens with an Oud note. It is much less pronounced than say Dark Aoud or Black Aoud. The Violet leaves are prominent. After the green opening, it dries down to a brooding dusty rose. This is a wonderful smell, I just don't know if it works for men. I wore it all day, and at times loved the spicy rose, at times thought of my grandmother's rose sachet. It is complex and long lasting. You can always count on longevity and projection from Montale.
03rd August, 2012

Déjà vu all over again… I wonder how many times I have written reviews about a Montale aoud /rose creation? I also wonder if I will ever be able to distinguish one of them from another without a straight-on direct comparison. As other reviewers have suggested, this fragrance suffers from a seemingly eternal Montale déjà vu production concept… Louban is very similar to one or two dozen other Montale fragrances I’ve tried, and there comes a time when it becomes pointless to put too fine a point on the differences between them, so all I’ll say is, If you liked the other Montale aoud / rose scents you’ll probably like this one; if you didn’t, you probably won’t.

05th April, 2010

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