Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Patchouli Leaves by Montale

Total Reviews: 34
Patchouli Leaves by Montale. From first spray I get a rich, earthy patchouli, with vanilla, amber and musk underneath. The patchouli, vanilla and amber are prominent, and the musk comes through late and semi replaces the amber. Not for everyone because you have to like patchouli, so try before you buy.  Average sillage, but it stays linear for an eternity. Right up my alley, and a definite Thumbs Up for me.
17th December, 2015 (last edited: 27th December, 2015)
Out of the vaguely familial group of ambery, vanillic patchoulis, I find Patchouli Leaves to be the most satisfying and comforting. The marketing copy for this boasts that the patchouli leaves for this fragrance were first soaked in vanilla extract and then left to macerate for two whole years in an oak barrel. The top notes, consisting of insanely rich but dry patchouli that has a raisin-like booziness to it, like aged cognac, suggest that this might in fact be true.

The dark, boozy patchouli is joined very quickly by a buttery, warm vanilla and amber that serve to sweeten the mix. All in all, the impression is of a warm, golden river of almost drinkable, spiced brown patchouli, boozy vanilla, and thick amber. In fact, Patchouli Leaves is easily the friendliest patchouli fragrance out there. It is mouth-wateringly good; almost gourmand in a way. The amber is slightly resinous, adding at parts a slight roughness to break up the smooth vanillic undertow and a touch of powder towards the end. This is not for people who like their patchoulis raw or as they might say, ‘authentic’, since the patchouli here has been shorn of its claws and stripped of its menace. But my God, it is sexy and rich and as comfortable as putting on a great big woolly sweater over your work clothes when you come in from the rain.
04th December, 2014
Genre: Woods

Patchouli and amber. Amber and patchouli. Patchouli Leaves is sweet, dark, rich, and sensuous. The amber and patchouli sit on a base of viscous vanilla, and the whole composition unfolds in a gratifyingly warm, smooth manner. I consider this a simple fragrance, but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable. It fills the same role for me as several other thick amber and patchouli scents, including Mazzolari Patchouli, Profumum's Patchouly, and Les Nereides Patchouli Antique, being a bit sweeter than most, and leaning more heavily on the amber as well. Interestingly, it is less tenacious on my skin than other heavy patchouli fragrances.
23rd June, 2014
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A decent patchouli featuring Montale's signature dull and unsubstantial plasticity: nuances ranging from rubbery, balsamic, dusty to salty and nutty, a woody base powdered with vanillin and that's it. You can hardly make a "soliflore" of patchouli smell bad, and in fact Patchouli Leaves it's not bad: if you like the note, patchouli smells always good, and here it is all about that – a full, dry patchouli. Nonetheless, "not smelling wrong" is obviously not enough to stand out from the crowd or however, does not turn into smelling good or great: and in fact, this is quite dull – decent, but dull. Not because of the fact it's basically a mono-note scent, but because of its quality – it's synthetic, pale, plain and mute like a school exercise. I would personally place this next to other low-quality patchouli's like Reminescence and that market segment, miles below the great ones like Etro and the very good ones like Patchouli Nobile. I'd define it unassuming and unpretentious, if it wasn't for the annoying and unjustified "niche look" (and pricing) of Montale.

10th March, 2014 (last edited: 23rd August, 2014)
Best patchouli ever made. Sorry Borneo and Coromandel, but you're a step below of Patchouli Leaves. Opening is raw and earthy, then join the vanilla and make it creamy and sexy. Projection is huge, same with lasting power (over 12hs).
29th October, 2012
The earthy aspect of patchouli, and the warm stone-scent aspects of cistus labdanum are the thread that joins these two key players in Patchouli Leaves. Sweetness isn’t hidden, but certainly isn’t pushed to the front. I find the patch that is there exactly the viscous, hippy patch that I was looking for. But it’s perfectly matched by amber, vanilla, and musk, which might make it sound candy sweet, but it isn't. They serve to add a rounded, cushioned feel. The whole fragrance reads like patchouli on a stack of pillows.
03rd May, 2012 (last edited: 22nd July, 2012)
Another fragrance based on a single note where the patchouli represents the backbone of the smell and the other notes, i mean amber, herbs, may be some spice and woods, whirl around the main element just in order to characterize it. First of all this fragrance starts its projection, and basically holds on to carry out, as an earthy patchouli far from the syrupy temperament of fragrances as Borneo 1834,  although  is not so straightforward  as the Etro Patchouli and others. The main note appears after a sort of herbal and aromatic starting and takes the scene till the end being just a bit softened  by the insertion of woods on a base of amber with a minimal whiff of vanilla. The note of oak is listed and i get it as that woody element that characterizes the vibe of patchouli for the main part of the development, till when it becomes obscure, a bit resinous,  ambery and as many have written chocolatey ( as a dark chocolate because the smell is averagely sharp and the amber on the side of vanilla tame a bit the rootiness and make a whiff  of obscure smoothness to carry out). I detect a touch of metal and humidity in the middle phase but I'm not able to qualify that feel and its provenance. Longevity and projection of this dark scent are really impressive.
25th November, 2011 (last edited: 27th December, 2013)
shamu1 Show all reviews
United States
Wow, this is totally overrated. No, it doesn't smell bad, but I have smelled so many niche patchouli fragrances that smell like this - you know, the typical heavy patchouli oriental that is weighed down by sweet amber.

Bois 1920's Real Patchouly, Mazzolari's Patchouli, Kolnisch Juchten... and on and on - you've smelled this before. There is nothing even remotely unique or inspired about Patchouli Leaves. Sure, you can smell the patchouli note loud and clear, but it doesn't take long for the leaden caramellic amber to hijack the whole fragrance. I'm getting tired of all these sugary patchouli scents that seem to cater to people who are afraid of patchouli.

Although this is not a bad fragrance, I don't like it because it's too sweet and too boring. I like a rip roaring patchouli frag, not this wimpy stuff. This is like the perfume equivalent of a box of Sugar Corn Pops.

23rd August, 2011
Several years ago I was eating outdoors at a restaurant in Provincetown Mass. A woman walked by my table and was wearing a beautiful patchouli cologne. When she walked past my table again, I asked her what it was. She said "patchouli by Etro". Since then I've been buying Etro pachouli online. Simply the best - at least on me. However, recently when trying to replenish my stock I found that it was unavailable. I got a hold of the Etro boutique in New York but they wanted $150 to ship me a bottle. So I went to the Lucky Scent website, read a bunch of reviews and ordered samples of Indonesiano, Nobile, Noir, Patchoulissime, Antique, Patchouli Homme by de Nicolai, Patchouli Patch and Patchouli Leaves. Patchouli Leave smells the most like Etro. Strong, clean, but not simply "one note". It's not Etro, but it's good enough for me to wear.
16th June, 2011
Wow. It's been a while since I last smelled a patchouli scent as robust. There is a dark green almost herbal quality to it that makes 'PATCHOULI LEAVES' such an appropriate name. I find it rather chypre-like to be honest, with a simmering warmth that is just shy of sweetness. One marketing spiel even has it described as 'patchouli leaves macerated over two years in an oak trunk.' For once, I don't find all that hard to believe - the oak wood is indeed prominent. It does however veer towards the masculine side of things though chypre-wearing ladies should not find it too difficult to wear. Projection and tenacity is Montale-certified, giving this superlative fragrance an emphatic 'two thumbs up'.
06th June, 2011
Or. Gasmic.

My girlfriend suggested I use "smellgasm" or something similar but I just felt, in my bones, that it wouldn't do this superlative scent justice. A part of me dies a little death each time I wear it. One would have to search to find a knock on this scent, and I don't feel compelled to do that. Still, if forced, I'd say it's linear, but in this case the linear patchouli is so unbelievably fine that you don't want or need anything more. In an incident sure to have amused the therapists already, my aunt refused to let me go after she gave an otherwise innocent hug during which she discovered my Patchouli Leaves. My goodness this stuff is dangerously divine.
27th February, 2011 (last edited: 14th April, 2011)
As patchouli is a favorite note of mine, I am not surprised to be in love with this fragrance. Montale continues to impress me with the quality and longivity of its frangrances. This is a dry, earthy, even tempered rendition of patchouli. Upon first application it seems extremely bracing, like my alarm clock in the morning before work. The patchouli is most evident, after a bit, woody notes come in and soften the sharp edge. This scent stays true to patch/wood notes on me, it does not turn sweet. I cannot detect the amber, vanilla or musk, but that isn't a bother, I love this scent from start to finish, and believe me, it takes a long while to finish. The longivity is nothing short of epic, but most of Montale's offerings fit this bill. I don't find this quite as resinous as Borneo 1834, I can see the comparisons, but the two are quite different. All in all, I can see this as a "must try" for fans of patchouli.
24th June, 2010
Eliza Show all reviews
United States
I'll tell you what I got with wearing this- old book pages in a library vanilla and I loved it. I'm going to own this some day (I hope). I sit down on the sofa and wear this as I read a book and it's so comforting to me. Funny thing how some different perfumes evoke different states of minds. This one makes me feel comfortable and it's a fragrance unlike any of the floral ones. I just love it as it does remind me of autumn.

OK, now that I own it... the first 6 minutes are hard to get through, since something in there doesn't smell pretty. If I'm patient, it unfolds into something I like to wear. I can really smell this one on me. It's that vanilla ( I think) kind of a mustiness goodness.
10th January, 2010 (last edited: 08th March, 2010)
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To me this smells like SL Ambre Sultan mixed with some Montale Blue Amber. It is extraordinarily tenacious and long lasting. It is a beautiful scent but just far too strong for me to wear.
21st November, 2009
This is what I wear when I NEED to smell patchouli. My grandmother has a cedar trunk she keeps her cashmere in and she wraps real patchouli leaves around everything to keep the moths at bay. When the trunk is opened it is pure bliss and you can't help but to breath deeply to take in the aroma so nice and warm and slightly sweet.
03rd September, 2009

Powerful and flawlessly handcrafted blunt patchouli scent. I love it although it’s probably not the most compelling patchouli scent I have tried.

I love the way the supporting ingredients are engaged with patchouli making the structure very creamy (dark) chocolate-like.
I see why someone can see this smelling quite medicinal too and even hippie-ish (Aaargh!).

Simple, rich and round scent that is on the butch side – definitely. It lasts forever, and I mean it….It just doesn’t seem to vanish from the skin at all if you don’t shower.

Patchouli Leaves makes me think of resinous, gummy dark chocolate plate that has a brown velvet winding sheet.

Wonderful stuff.
30th July, 2009
I love this juice! On me, it starts out with a very surprising coldness that one one else seems to have mentioned. In fact, it's like a big scoop of Mint Chocolate Patchouli ice cream on me for the first 5 minutes. It develops quickly and warms into a loamy patchouli within 15 to 30 minutes on my skin, but it starts out as patchouli wearing a winter coat of bracing green (mint and/or lime and/or lavendar) and dark chocolate-oak boots. Granted, this feeling of coolness is very fleeting. It begins morphing almost immediately into a warmer patchouli and amber brew with a touch of vanilla. This patchouli/amber/vanilla dry down lasts for hours, continually warming until it becomes less about patchouli and more about amber (about 12 hours later). During the patchouli/amber/vanilla drydown, I somtimes layer other scents on top. (My favorite combo is PL with Gris Clair by Serge Lutens. My 2nd favorite combo is PL with Neroli by Anick Goutal.)
06th July, 2009
Rakhee Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Like eating dark chocolate with your lover under a tree after it has rained.
17th April, 2009
I got a sample of this last august and wore it almost everyday that autumn while walking my dog in the swedish woods. This smells like the woods. Sweet, dry, powerful, earthy, serene. And it has the most beautiful deep brown colour. However, there is a lot of amber here. A LOT. A very beautiful fragrance that works amazing is the autumn.
05th February, 2009 (last edited: 05th November, 2009)
The first thing I smelled when I sprayed Patchouli Leaves on my arm was oak. And not just a little bit of oak, but, instead, freshly worked oak that has been burnished by the hot edge of a tool. My only other experience of smelling oak in relation to patchouli is in Caron Yatagan, which is a sort of inky oak that is in keeping with the aromatic nature of the fragrance, whereas the oak in Patchouli Leaves disappears as the sweet base develops.

For the first half hour there is also a metallic note that is neither interesting nor unpleasant. I can’t work out where it comes from or where it goes.

The patchouli is deep, earthy, and moist, and is a pleasure to wear.

As the amber and vanilla come into play the base becomes progressively sweeter until the patchouli takes on an edible spiced chocolate note. I didn’t expect the patchouli to become chocolatey, but I have to say that I quite like it.

Longevity is very good, and sillage is moderate.
07th November, 2008
Asha Show all reviews
United States
Notes: patchouli, oak, vanilla, amber, white musk, cystus ladaniferus (from luckyscent)

On first application (from a dabber), the scent is strong, sharp and rooty--the typical "head shop" patchouli. Within a few minutes, the sharpness fades, and the sweet vanilla and amber peeks out a bit. This scent is developing very quickly, and is taking on a foody and slightly metallic quality. There must be some spices in this frag, even though they are not listed. However, I have never smelled oak as a note, but I can see the resemblance of this strange foody, chewy metallic scent to the smell of oak when it is being milled in the woodshop. Needless to say, the quick development means the "head shop" quality becomes much more subdued, and the woodyness of the oak (and probably the labdanum) blend with the patchouli to balance it. I smell what seems to be that sharp leather note from Ambre Russe and Bois 1920 Real Patchouli (and several Parfumery Generale scents), too, although it is not listed.

The development seems to have slowed a bit after the first few minutes, and PL is settling into what I hope will be an earthy patchouli amber--sweet, sour, bitter, woody and resinous. I am worried about the longevity given how quickly it has changed, but that remains to be determined in a longer wearing.
20th October, 2008
bbBD Show all reviews
United States
Holy Smokes! This patchouli is no joke. This is not a classy, refined patchouli like Chanel's Coromandel. This is not a dry, chocolaty patchouli like Borneo 1834. This is a sting-your-nose, transport-you-to-the-Grateful Dead-lot-circa-1989 kind of patchouli. That it invokes flashbacks of Jerry kicking into I Know You Rider out of a smokin' China Cat is not to say the quality is $10-per-vial of oil cheap, but rather it is so strong and it is of such high quality that it is like smelling everyone in the lot wearing patchouli simultaneously. It is that smell that reminded you that you were at the show (minus the smells of sweat and pot smoke).

Patchouli Leaves starts out as a sillage monster. I was casually testing a few fragrances one evening when I applied a single mini-spray of PL to the back of my hand. This is a sillage monster. Testing anything else instantly became meaningless as all I could smell was patchouli, and this is without raising my hand to my nose. This patchouli is very earthy and very rich. The juice itself is dark and seemingly thick. The only patchouli fragrances I've tried that come close are Bois 1820's 'Real Patchouli' and S.M. Novella's single note Patchouli.

After about an hour the ferocity subsides considerably, leaving an amber/vanilla/patchouli that is indeed more akin to Coromandel, albeit more earthy. Sillage is still significant, and the longevity is on par with the other Montales - 8-10 hours. I first applied the spray to my hand around 10pm and I could still clearly smell patchouli and amber at 8am when I woke up.

If you want an end-all-be-all patchouli look no further. Just be careful applying or else you may find a bunch of heads following you around asking for tickets to the next Hampton show.
05th October, 2008
nthny Show all reviews
United States

My initial impression of Patchouli Leaves actually annoys me in retrospect. I asked myself, "who would pay $200 for patchouli oil that I can buy for $10 at that "decorative glass pipes" shop downtown?" Please... I roll my eyes at myself. This is an intoxicating, bewitching fragrance, and I would feel very confident in recommending Patchouli Leaves to someone looking for the ultimate patchouli fragrance. While patchouli is what it's all about here, it is combined so artfully and seamlessly with its supporting notes (especially amber) that it remains interesting to the end, without becoming overly complicated or bogged down.

I am happy I received a decant of this in a glass vial so that I am able to see how deep, dark, brown, oily and intense the fragrance looks, because that's how it smells, too. Opening with that big, round, enveloping, oily, earthy patchouli that we all know, it slowly morphs into something much more interesting, much more delectable. Experiencing the amber and vanilla interact with the patchouli in this fragrance is like viewing two opposing colors on opposite sides of a spectrum which bleed into each other as the colors mesh in the center. We start with patchouli and end with a slightly vanillic amber and are able to experience every beautiful moment of the transformation in between, like watching a cell divide. To all of this add the resinous qualities brought by cistus... yum! I notice the fragrance literally, all day. And while the little metamorphosis to which I referred earlier is most noticeable up close (as is the cistus) I can detect these changes throughout the day without having to actively sniff my arms. That is great!

I love patchouli so this fragrance REALLY does it for me. If you are an amber and/or patchouli lover, Patchouli Leaves is not to be missed.
04th September, 2008 (last edited: 08th August, 2009)
Clever use of vanilla here alongside a superb quality patchouli and a VERY dominant amber. Magnificent sillage and very good longevity (easily 8 hours on my skin).

One of my very favorite cold weather frags, and also one of Montale's more reasonably priced offerings. (Also one of the few sans oud, I might add.)

I have JockWithScents to thank for having turned me on to this gem -- thanks, Barry!
27th December, 2007
Patchouli Leaves--This was the best and biggest surprise. I tried this a while ago and didn't leave it on long enough. This is yummy and different from every other patchouli I've tried. The bergamot and lime forms a fresh green opening that unfolds as they're fused with the amber and musk. There's probably something else holding them together but whatever it is, the effect is mesmerizing. I couldn't stop sniffing my arm. A fresh gourmand effect without the hunger or overly sweet feel.
23rd April, 2007
A big patchouli with green notes this is a pleasant and sweet incarnation of this note which I find difficult to wear. It persists well and is dressed up with a few other woody notes and amber but remains dominated by the patchouli throughout. Surprisingly good to me.
08th April, 2007

"Patchouli leaves macerated for two years in the trunk of an oak tree”—I’m not sure that that sounds very yummy, but it certainly catches the core of what this fragrance is: It is patchouli: It is marinated, earthy, and aged patchouli. Almost everything else in the scent is secondary; of course there are those rather strong amber and weaker vanilla elements which are coupled with resinous rockrose, but those notes seem to merely augment the power of the patchouli... the patchouli leads... the others follow in the same footsteps. I must admit that the patchouli is a lush, earthy, abundant, resinous, beautiful note—possibly the most exquisite and sublime patchouli note I have encountered, because it is lustrous, elemental, and mellow. I love it. I find Patchouli Leaves an excellent fragrance with a winning patchouli interpretation.
06th April, 2007 (last edited: 07th June, 2011)
I recommend this patchouli to anyone seeking a sweet, smooth, but "true" version of this note. This is like a creamy, dreamy, stripped-down Oriental base. It is sweet patchouli, as simple and as enjoyable as it gets. Good longevity, and the patchouli remains warm and sweet throughout. Has the soft edges and chocolatey, musty aroma of nice, aged patchouli.
26th February, 2007
One of my favorite patchouli scents. As others have mentioned, this one is toned enough that it doesn't turn bitter (this is definitely no 1960's hippy patchouli), but it still keeps a distinct patchouli kick throughout. This one is what I wish L'artisan's Patchouli Patch had been; both sweeten the patchouli, but the L'artisan does it to the point that the patchouli nearly disappears. The Montale keeps it out front without overpowering.

Definitely worth a try.
19th February, 2007

It is quite a linear scent of patchouly infused with Vanilla and Woods. It is creamy and smooth; potent and long lasting; and more on the masculine side rather than being unisex.(It would be somewhat akin to Mazzolari Lui if you magically remove woods from PL).

This is the only patchouly for me. For some reason patchouly turns really rancid on me which ruins the scents like Patchouly Patch, Rochas Lui, and Etro Patchouly among others. That is not so with this one.
31st January, 2007