Montale is often slammed for producing far too many new ouds that are just slight variations of each other. Looking at some of the notes in this – rose, oud, saffron – it would be easy to leap to the conclusion that the house is at it again.
But Aoud Amber Rose is surprisingly different in Montale’s line up, being quite a stark and angular creation. The rose scent here is desiccated, like a jar of dried out rose petals, the oud and other woods are also dry as a bone but without the norlimbanol overdose horror, there are whip flashes of pungent leather, and the whole is presented under an overarching layer of saltiness, like dried sweat.
Does it work? Most certainly. But it’s not a crowd-pleaser, that’s for sure, it’s far too severe for that. It’s the imagined smell of a sadistic governess or housemaster – and has that kind of ‘wrong’ eroticism about it. This is how it smells to myself, but the trail is a much more approachable wine-soaked rose, so I don’t run the risk of coming across as Cruella to acquaintances.