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)
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)
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
This one is a long lasting scent on my skin. Had a sort of pine needles start to it, and it is definitely manly. Pine needles that mellowed out, and I can see the smokiness in it.
I like Greyland more and more each time I wear it. Similar in some ways to Gucci PH (I guess it's the cedar note), with a nice incense note, as well as a fairly noticeable cumin note that seems to make the muskiness more "sweaty" or "animalic." There are also some soft, distant floral notes, which lend complexity. Longevity is decent, but on me it wears close to the skin and doesn't last quite as long as I would expect an EdP to last. In terms of overall effect, somehow this also reminds me of a subtler and softer Villoresi Musk. I still like Villoresi better, as I think it has more development, but Greyland has gained some ground on it.
Montale scents all share a particular sharp, pungent accord whose intial, sudden burst in the nose is always a pleasant, if startling, experience. Greyland's top notes-an intoxicating blend of sharp, resinous cedar, smokey incense and almost ethereal, very light citrus and cumin notes-make it one powerhouse of a frangrance. Unlike other cedar/incense fragrances in my collection, Greyland lasts all day (at least on my fair, dry skin). And it isn't one-dimensional. After the bracing top notes slowly settle and quiet down, the sharp cedar steps aside a bit to reveal a soft, surprising semi-sweet aquatic note. Astonishing.
I ordered a bottle which I received last week and am quickly working my way through it towards a second bottle.
A very heady brew of deep fresh cut wood shavings. Cedar for certain. The description on the Aedes website says there is sandalwood in there but to my nose the other woods overpower it. This fragerance is not for the faint of heart or if your looking for light ephemeral stuff that you may or may not catch a light whiff of during the day. To my nose this is knock your sox off manly. I seem to detect a basenote of ambergris as well that gives it a slight animalistic charicter as well. Quite complex with an almost inscensy headiness. Well worth sampling. I wouldnt get this scent blind though. Now that I have tried it I find it quite bottleable for myself though.