Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Greyland by Montale

Total Reviews: 36
This is my first Montale purchase. If this scent is any indication of their other offerings, I'm done for...

This, was a blind buy. And blinded, I was. More like blind-sided. My first impression nearly made me fall down, to bawl like a baby. A free ride on an Oriental express train to nirvana-land. I got a natural high on this combination of pepper, cedar, vetiver, sandalwood, guaiac wood, ginger, and musk. Oh, the rose it found itself cradled amongst its spicy cousins! Thank God, I detected no leather. THAT, would have ruined it for me.

I would write that this an offering for Autumn days. Or an evening secret. No such restrictions, for this old girl. I shall wear this whenever I damn well please.
10th May, 2017
A burst of bright shiny cedar, then cumin. LOTS of cumin. It is somewhat metallic, but mostly smells like I didn't use deodorant or shower for 4 days, then ate some chili, and tried to spray cedar on to cover it up.
19th May, 2016
Comme des Garcons by way of Montale, and absolutely worth a sniff whether you're a fan of both or either houses. Even when compared to some of the CDG scents this immediately brings to mind (The oft-mentioned Monocle #2, Wonderwood), Greyland has a clarity of purpose and a laser-like focus that I find wonderfully appealing.

This is brutish austerity. Especially at the opening which asserts Greyland at its most cold and calculating. Though soon enough, the cumin speaks up for itself and the strident austerity of the opening gives way to something just slightly warmer, maybe approaching an impolite indifference.

About the time you realize a cumin bomb is about to reach critical mass and detonate, right there on your arm, a mix of creamy precious woods gessoes over the spaces, diffusing the threat.

Finally, the whole thing begins its slow descent into a methodically-fading and devastatingly lovely ennui. The last gasps are all discontented malaise, a graceful yet bittersweet (emphasis on the bitter) disappearing act.
04th February, 2015 (last edited: 06th May, 2015)
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Greyland has an arresting opening of lavender, sharp cedar, leather, and spices, including cardamom, black pepper, and cumin. It’s aggressively masculine, but also civilized and remarkably well balanced. The heart is still leather, cedar, and spice, joined by labdanum and dark incense. There’s nothing floral and nothing sweet about it. In this it reminds me of Yatagan, but without the astringency of artemisia or the animal reek of castoreum. The much-discussed cumin is not intrusive to my nose. It just lends a warm, toasty aspect to what might otherwise have been a very severe scent.

Greyland dries down very quickly to a crisp woody base, then disappears after two or three hours. I think I might like it if it hung around a little longer. As it is, it’s just OK. and just OK is not enough at these prices.
15th June, 2014
Great creamy sandalwood scent that I truly love. However, as mentioned by alfarom, it has poor longevity. What a shame. Would have easily been bottle worthy.
15th March, 2013
What a lovely blend of spices and incense................. and then.........


Cumin and sweaty armpits

No thanks
07th December, 2012
Sort of half-way between Sycomore (the lush green) and Dark Aoud (sandalwood). It's pleasant enough, and lasts a long time on me, but I won't be buying a big bottle. I'd prefer to wear either of the aforementioned juices in lieu.
16th November, 2012
only_me! Show all reviews
United Kingdom
The names of Montale perfumes are typically functional in that they list the ingredients as in, e.g. ‘Aoud-plus-something’, or an adjective is added as prefix to evoke a mood such as, ‘Dark’ or ‘Royal’, all of which direct one’s mind towards the seductive history associated with perfume; its mythology, and the Arabic tradition.

By way of clever suggestion, however, and in a black flacon, the enigmatically modernistic ’Greyland’ allows one to relocate, perhaps to a kind of uninhabited Scandinavian landscape found on an ECM album cover: an esoteric bleak space paradoxically densely full of ‘elements’: the ‘outdoors’ in which existential Bergmanesque journeys towards some form of primal telos are made possible.

The title aside, 'Greyland' delivers one of the most sumptuous leather-musk masculines I have ever had the pleasure to wear. Together with a subtle flourish of dark rose and spices, Greyland impresses as a dense, full-bodied smoky, beguiling incense-type composition that resonates with all the majesty of Jan Garbarek’s rich, haunting and spacious tenor saxophone: at once man-made and somehow metallic in tone, yet exquisitely organic and comfortable: a warm carpet of velvet within Nature’s playground.

One of the most gorgeous creations from this magnificent House and, for me, a seeming ability to discard time somehow given its longevity.

(For 'G' to whom I remain indebted for my introduction to Montale perfumes and Life. x)
31st July, 2012
Sharp, fluidy and peppery. I see the association with fragrances as  Gucci Pour Homme, CDG Monocle Scent 2 and Rochas Lui because of its woodsy melancholy. As usual elsewhere , just in here the chord of cedar, pepper, other spices and incense is since the beginning a desolating affair indeed.  I smell transparence, manliness, crispiness and woodiness. The basic woodiness is realistic and pensil-shavings kind. The woody-ambery dry down  is aqueous, dusty, peppery and silent, the smokiness is plain ( mostly at the beginning) but not overbearing, the amber is dry, supplementary and masculine. I detect a softening work from the musk in the dry down, in order to tame a bit the starkness enhancing the sensuousness on the side of a corporeal and dissonant cumin. A touch of leather comes out in the middle of the forest at the end of the trip, completing the work of refinement. This is a fragrance for  methodic and lonely souls,  a severe and highly minimalistic juice for those that love to live in the shades. A good scent that won't let its trace indelible in the centuries.
04th March, 2012
Comparisons with Gucci Pour Homme I are inevitable but where the Gucci is a bold peppery/incense laying on an woody/ambery base, Greyland strikes as much more starker and minimalistic. The main peppery/incense accord is immediately joined by a sharp cedarwood note that while it's perfectly executed at the same time adds even more severity to this extremely manly composition. Other woods, cumin and leather work as rough (but fascinating) refinements. Nice.

If you like bone-dry fragrances a-la French Lover, CDG Monocle Scent 2 Laurel or the aforementioned Gucci Pour Homme, give Greyland a chance.

Downside: zero sillage, weak lasting power.
01st November, 2011
Rubbery. Scrubber.

I love Montale, both in terms of scents generally and how they develop on my skin, but this one just doesn't cut it. Too rubbery, too industrial, too synthetic. Nothing sexy or inviting about this one, other than ironically the decent sillage.
27th February, 2011 (last edited: 14th April, 2011)
For fans of the voluptuous Gucci pour Homme who long for a variation of the same thing, here it is. The two scents have smoke, incense and a sweaty-crotch sexiness (the cumin?) in common, mind you a sweatiness of a well-groomed body; most pleasant. What I like about Greyland is the absence of a certain Bourbon vanilla note that was very gourmand and very gorgeous in GpH, but which verged on too-muchness. Greyland goes light on the vanilla, adding more musks instead, which makes for a pleasant, modern, heady masculine which is 'clean' enough for the office but sexy enough for after hours. A pleasurable scent that I enjoy getting compliments on.
22nd August, 2010
Montale certainly picks some odd names for fragrances: there is Sliver Aoud, which most people seem to misread a Silver Aoud; there is Chocolate Greedy, which doesn't quite sound right in English and to keep this list short, there is Greyland. The mental picture Greyland gives me is of a barren, parched land; or perhaps where the space aliens from Area 51 go on vacation. The name does not sell itself to me! Okay, but how is the fragrance? The opening hits with an intense spicy mix of black pepper, a cumin like accord, and elemi. Indeed, two reviewers note elemi and I think it is the most pronounced note in Greyland. The cumin goes away, the black pepper tones down, but the elemi lasts a good long while. I don't really get sandalwood or leather accords. I think it is an okay scent, a bit intense, but nothing I would wear. And I certainly wouldn't call it Greyland! I give it a neutral rating.
06th August, 2009
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Wood notes: cedar, sandalwood, vetyver, "kayak" = guaiac wood
Spice notes: ginger, black pepper
Base: Arabian leather, musk, Tibetan rock rose

These notes are from the Montale site. I note that oud is not mentioned, and I believe it – I don’t detect any here. This is a woody scent. The opening is a bit sweet. There are woody notes with a bit of texture. Peppery spices accompany the wood and I detect cumin in the mix. Further sweetness from the light leather and musk base notes. So, while I appreciate the woody notes, I don’t think this especially distinctive in the world of cedar scents. Nothing wrong with it at all; it just doesn’t bring something new to the table.
03rd June, 2009 (last edited: 12th December, 2015)
kess Show all reviews
United States
Woody, balsamic, peppery and smoky! This is a great scent, quite unisex. It does not create the same enveloping 'aura' like Montale's aoud scents do, but it fine nonetheless.
30th May, 2009
I like this. At first I smelled absolutely nothing, zip, zilch, nadda. Montale? Can't be! Then, in about 15 minutes, smoke, vetiver?, spice. Next a very, very subtle cumin note that barely hints at body odor, not offensive, rather interesting, then soft, sweet smoke, sandalwood. On me, this is not overly masculine at all. While I can see that it is intended as a masculine fragrance, body chemistry turns it sweet on me. Very nice. Not my favorite Montale, but I think 50 ml. worthy
01st April, 2009
Much too much going on for me. As mentioned in my Montale Oeillet review, it feels like the Emperor in Amadeus to say that - but my nose has no idea what direction to run in when Greyland is around. And it stays and stays and develops and develops for ever. Dizzying, really. It is also one of the few frags in my collection to have never garnered any notice, query or compliment from anyone (and it is strong enough for a dead dog to notice).
21st February, 2009
lex Show all reviews
United States
very intense and right at u.associated with pepper. this is strong. i didnt wait for the complete drydown. just a scent i dont wanna smell like or be remembered by
21st February, 2009
Incense and cedar woods. It's like Vetiver 46 and Rochas Lui got married. All this is on me is cedar and incense. Nothing much develops. I really liked it in the opening but it just fades, nothing else. And it fades fast. An alright scent.
22nd December, 2008
I`m so suprised there is 18 reviews to this one as I type, and only one has mentioned Gucci Pour Homme. WTF?

Generally I cannot quite follow the comparisions to other scents that people here has been related this to.
It`s okay, we have our own opinions and that is great, really.

But yes, I find this more similar to Gucci Pour Homme more than anything. Its somewhat very similar. The pepper, incense and ambery note is strikingly similar to the one of Gucci, not to mention how similar I find the leather note between the two. Also, the same kind of BO thing going on, but I don`t think its the cumin though. At least I don`t get any cumin from Greyland nor Gucci PH for that matter. IMHO that BO notes comes from dusty, ground peppers lingering together with some other notes like musk, dry ginger and leather.

Comparing to Gucci PH Greyland is a bit richer, longer lasting and not as smoky. They are close cousins nevertheless.
13th November, 2008
Greyland: Opening is quite promising. but, thats pretty much it. it is sort of a very ultra light version of SL Gris clair. i smell fumes emanating from a burnt wood from distant. Anyways. greyland has a very nice dry ash based incense with hints of green notes(which reminds me of Let me play the lion quite a bit). One has to be pleased with its close to skin nature with occasional whiffs..liberal sprays should solve this or else. a nice one, it might grow on me. a try before you buy types...
07th October, 2008
Greyland starts off with an intense blast of sharp cedar, spice (cumin, which when dabbed is much less prominent) and a touch of incense, before moving to a heart of incense, woods, black pepper, and something that is piney, resinous and slightly citrusy, with a faint indication of clove oil that seems to tie the resinous, incense and cedar together. This lasts forever on my skin, I was still getting whiffs of Greyland a good 10 hours after a light application. All in all this is a fairly linear scent, as other have mentioned it slowly becomes more faint with the sharp edges dropping off over time until only a slight musky, sloightly vanillic wood scent is left on the skin. This is a very masculine fragrance and one that needs to be worn several times to fully appreciate.
09th September, 2008 (last edited: 20th June, 2009)
One of the few leather scents I could come to love. I'm not quite there yet; however, I'm still playing around with this (recently discontinued?) Montale.

Very animalic first hour or so, with the leather and the cumin duking it out like nobody's business.

After that, I have to admit that the drydown, while sophisticated, is a bit less than I'd hoped for. It's dry and smoky and masculine, yes, but I guess I had just expected the hairy chested testosterone therapy to continue after the first hour.

Interesting fragrance -- am curious now as to why Montale no longer blends it, or at least features it on the site.
28th December, 2007
One of the manliest scents I've ever smelled, Greyland starts with a strong opening of cumin, cedar, and leather. The cumin is very pronounced in the first phase of this scent, and at times is so pungent it reminds me of a Pakistani cab stand at shift change: full of hairy, sweaty men eating hot, spicy food.

There is a dry, stone-like quality to Greyland that is distantly related to the mossy, somber crypt walls of Passage d'Infer and a leather that, if you look for it, jumps out from the roar and can take the stage just as powerfully as the cumin. Powerfully long lasting (on me; there seems to be quite a variety of opinion on longevity), Greyland even survived a scrub-off with passionfruit scented soap.

I love men's scents but this one is way too Man for me. This is a true he-man scent: wood, spice, lots of leather, and good old sweaty cumin. You better be able to own this one if you wear it: not for the meek.
05th April, 2007
I like the sweet, spicy, cedary opening, and I smell shades of pine needles too. Maybe the woodsy cedar, sweet sandalwood, and herbal. . . herbs creates that effect? I'm reminded a lot of Eau des Iles, and even a little of Dzongkha.

I also get the cumin. The good news is I find it far subtler than the cumin in Eau d'Hermes or Kingdom. The bad news is I don't feel it's integrated well into the overall fragrance creating a jarring sense of "Huh, what's that?"

I'd give Greyland a thumbs up but the longevity is more like shortevity, and I'm not a fan of fragrances that wear as close to the skin (after the first half hour or so) as this one does.
04th April, 2007
ZZ is right about the cumin, but whereas most cumin-heavy fragrances (Kingdom, SL Santal Blanc) send me running for cover, this one keeps me hanging around. The spices are balanced enough with woods and musks that it keeps is balanced and inviting. Unfortunately, it is hard to find and costs an arm and a leg, but it is definitely worth a try.
08th February, 2007
Greyland opens with a strong spice / wood accord that I find very impressive. Distinct spice notes of pepper, cardamom, and cumin join a rich and smooth wood / incense accord for as memorable an opening as I’ve experienced in months. The cumin doesn’t stand out to me, nor do I think it animalic. The cedar and the incense chime in with a very solid smoky / aromatic contribution helped by the leathery cistus, which also imparts a subtle sweetness to the package. The accords are strong and deep and, I find, a bit linear. The development of the fragrance seems to limit itself to simply quieting and dulling down—losing the spices one by one to dry down to a lighter, sweeter wood accord. I don’t get an aquatic note such as Griff mentions — I wish I did. I get a light accord that is woody and incensy and nice, but it seems too much of a letdown after the superlative opening. The disappointment continues when the longevity of the scent is considered. I’ve found the lasting power to be very unsatisfactory. All that’s left after an hour is the mild, hugging-the-skin wood and incense dry down, and even that is gone in another hour or two. I am afraid that I expect more than three hours from a scent like this. Others, apparently, find Greyland to be longer lasting, so it must be a particular reaction to my skin. Regardless, I don’t feel I can vote it a thumb’s up. 271
04th December, 2006 (last edited: 18th March, 2008)
Greyland smells "perfumey". Nothing else. I think most Montales have a certain "perfuminess" to them and I had to grow accustomed to some of my favourites, but in Greyland there's nothing to grow accustomed to. It starts out with an interesting smokiness but after that has faded it's just synthetic, sweet, and slightly perfumey-sharp and cool. I'm sorry, but I can't be more specific than that or pick out a single note.
01st December, 2006
zztopp Show all reviews
United States
Notes: Ingwer notes, pepper, elemi, cardamom, woods of teak, kayak, cedars, Aromatic Cystus Albidus from the coast of Southern France, grey musk, the finest sandalwood, leather

Greyland is a spicy woody fragrance to the extreme. Upon contact with skin, Greyland immediately releases a smelly cloud of woods, cedar, and cumin. Especially cumin. Greyland is cumin-ed out to the max. The overriding accord driving Greyland is a salty spicy woody smell with loads of cumin, which inturn makes it a bit "smelly". I kept waiting for the musk and sandalwood base to appear and tame this cumin-ized accord, but it never happened. Cumin won it all, and conquered Greyland. Longevity is average.

Greyland smells like "Jean Pascal by Jean Pascal" without all the citrus-lavender notes taken out and the salty spicy wood notes bumped up in concentration. I like Jean Pascal because of its great mix of spicy woody fresh and faintly animalic smell. Greyland on the other hand smells like the spicy-salty part of Jean Pascal...and feels overdone and unbalanced. Theres only so much cumin a person can take. Grab a bottle of Jean Pascal and drive past Greyland without stopping.
03rd November, 2006
This is a very woody composition of cedar, sandalwood from Mysore, spices from Sri Lanka, on a sensual base of musk and benzoin. This one was love at first sniff for me and I bought a full can.

What does it smell like? When I first spray it on, I smell cumin and cedar (it has some spicy similarities to Diptyque’s L’autre). This is the smell of a hot construction worker sweating in the sun. Oh yes, this is the dreaded B.O. note that so many people loathe. Not me. This is my pheromone of choice. It’s a little like hairy armpits and maybe a little bit…like crotch. It’s sweaty and hot. I can feel my pulse quicken when I wear Greyland. The musk in this doesn’t enter the picture until the dry down and the scent becomes sweeter in the middle notes and base notes. I smell the sweet blond sandalwood that Montale loves to use in the base notes as well. There isn’t much development with this scent either. The spices start to drop out after about three hours and I am left with cedar and sandalwood and musk. Like I said, this scent is fantastic and makes me feel week in the knees. Sillage is great at first and then after the spices are gone, the scent stays close to the skin.
17th October, 2006