Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Black Aoud by Montale

I acquired a decant of Black Aoud over the winter. In cooler weather, it retains its hissing, medicinal opening for several hours. I would get traces of something more luxurious, but they were fleeting.

Now that it's summertime, and Portland has been hitting triple digit temperatures, I gave Black Aoud another shot to see how the heat might change things -- and it did, noticeably! Walking around town, going in an out of shops on a hot afternoon, Black Aoud smoldered with all it had to offer. As with all scents, it didn't last as long in the heat, and yet was still generous in its duration.

Who says big, tenacious perfumes shouldn't be worn on hot days? Along with Bandit and Tubereuse Criminelle, Black Aoud has become one of my favorites for scorchers. Like the aforementioned, it's novel, inedible, cutting through heat-induced dazes to keep my mind clear.
02nd August, 2015

A different fragrance,A new dimension.BLACK AOUD MONTALE is one of those fragrances that is unlike anything you have smelled before.The fragrance presents a completely exceptional composition.It has a nice noticeable scent but not overpowering. Mysterious,Magnetic,Warm,Expensive,Gorgeous,Woody, Unpredictable,Senesual and Perfectly Unique.

it starts more like an real classic arabian with a great touch of oud.the notes are so perfectly harmonized especially rose and oud are so strong and dominant to my nose.the confident character will wear this perfume and feel the magic. it is not for the faint hearted.however everybody's chemistry is different and it's going to smell different on everybody but something is certain, BLACK AOUD is a unforgettable masterpiece.

Anyway BAM is one of the most majestic scents admist the MONTALE impressive line-up..It is a very good attention grabber fragrance and definitely make a sensual statement.Totally I would highly recommend anyone loking for a unique scent for Evenings or Romantic events.


Longevity?Noticeable on my skin.

13th June, 2015
Montale Black Aoud's title is appropriate, as this immediately conjures a dark oud, contra the more red pepper oud of Red Aoud, which I've tried previously. Rose and patchouli round out the eponymous note, creating a dark, heavy concoction that seems ideal for use on winter nights, given its density and seriousness. I found the patchouli more significant in the opening and the rose more significant in the dry down, which is the opposite of what I'd expected between the two. Nonetheless, this yields a softer, creamier dry down that does make the fragrance lean unisex, even, though I'm assuming this is marketed to men primarily.

Like Red Aoud, projection and longevity are very strong. Montales aren't in the highest price echelon but it's good that for nonetheless higher pricing ($120 / 50ml, $170 / 100ml), an EDP delivers in a powerful way. I'm starting to become convinced that Montale frags are pretty worthwhile, so I'm eager to try more, though more ideally when the temperature drops.

7 out of 10
02nd June, 2015
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wonderful sillage and longevity....peppery rose opening nicely blended with of the best from Montale, maybe the best!
21st April, 2015
Dominant rose atop 'westernized' oud, i.e. synthetic medicinal. N-u-c-u-l-a-r strength. Projects for light-years. Lasts for eons.

As with many others, dialing in on the proper dose for this one makes all the difference. Half spray around the navel works for me. I'm not into big florals yet I've got a softspot for rose. The thing is, I don't want to smell like rose to others, rather I want to be distracted from time to time throughout the wearing with a hint or notion that there just might be a vase-full in the vicinity. A little bit of Black Aoud does it well and for a long long time. Too much and it's a no-go however. There are things worse than gassing out a room by smelling of a ton of roses, but still.
23rd March, 2015
So...this is my fourth Montale experience and I hate to buck the trend but I just do not get it. I really want to LOVE one of Montale's offerings because I am searching hard for an affordable dark rose fragrance. And I like oud when blended (not as a solo note). Unfortunately, this fragrance is a major no-go for me.

In one word, this fragrance seemed "messy" when applied. Like others, I was curious about Montale's "ouds" and I hoped to experience a few fragrances...try to understand the hype. Like ALL the Montale fragrances I try, the opening of Black Aoud smells like an aldehydic, alcoholic, almost medicinal concoction that literally hurts my nose. Sensing a headache, I feel confused & dizzy...almost sick. I can barely tolerate the development of this fragrance on my skin because for nearly 30 minutes, Black Aoud is all over the place but consistently harsh harsh harsh...LOUD and almost vulgar.

After 20-30 minutes, I detect a bit of rose and BOAT LOADS of patchouli (which I really dislike as a primary note). As others have noted, Black Aoud is a loud, over-whelming, synthetic rose-oud fragrance that is not dark, rich, complex or mysterious. Resinous patchouli...that's about it. Pretty linear in the end with little development and no complexity.

But unlike the other Montale fragrances I tried, the longevity on Black Aoud is strong and silage is pretty high. Hate to say this but I had to scrub, eventually shower and wash all my clothing. And still, this fragrance persisted.

The house of Montale and I do not get along. This is another definite pass.
20th March, 2015
Montale’s entire existence is basically structured upon their ability to create a hundred or so variants of their house aesthetic — a crass take on Eastern perfumes that are well balanced, but tend to smell dodgy. The archetype for their success seems to be built on a blueprint that sits somewhere between White and Black Aoud. Black Aoud plays the standard Montale hand of rubbery saffron, spices, a woody-ambery base, and “rose," but in Black Aoud the focus in shifted more toward the rose that dominates much of the scent. This one is, first and foremost, and bitter rose. It’s green and a bit stemmy, and it’s undercut by saffron and spice. And that’s really all Black Aoud is. The usual woody base is there, cranked up to comedic levels, and it’s synthetic as all hell. Like the rest of Montale’s Aoud scents, there’s no oud in it — just a synthetic replacer that does the job perfectly well, but doesn’t smell much like oud. It’s really the model for everything that Montale does: vulgar and trashy, but dramatic, characterful, and somehow likable. It might smell cartoonish, and it’d be hard to pull it off tastefully (extremely low doses?), but it does what it sets out to do and makes no apologies along the way. It’s sort of the olfactory equivalent of standing in the middle of a public space and screaming “Look at me! Look at me! Everybody look at me!” over and over. You have to love rose to enjoy this one—well, rose chemicals at least.
04th March, 2015
Black Aoud is the benchmark for rose oud fragrances in modern Western perfumery. The problem with benchmark fragrances is that, just like in the computer industry, competitors come along and move the model forward or improve upon it, so if you circle back to try the prototype after having tried the mutations, like I did, it can seem like going back to a typewriter after having worked on a laptop. Black Aoud seems static and unexciting to me after having been wowed by some of the great riffs on the rose-oud-patchouli theme, like Rosam (Histoires de Parfums), Rose Gold Oudh (Tiziana Terenzi), and Rose Nacree du Desert (Guerlain), as well as brutally synthetic when compared to real oud oils.

It is worth trying only if you are curious about what Montale’s oud accord smells like, because it is presented in exemplar form here – it smells alcoholic, high-pitched and vaguely poisonous, like sticking your nose over a pan of vodka off which you are boiling the alcohol. Personally, I get a desiccated rose petal note only in the opening, after which it is pretty much this boiling-alcohol style of oud accent until you reach the drydown, which is more pleasant and based around a bland patchouli and sandalwood pairing. I don’t know where all this talk about a dark, masculine rose comes from. To me, this is an almost blindingly bright and synthetic rose-oud that is neither very dark nor mysterious. It doesn’t evolve much and just sits on the skin, belching out these objectionable, almost brutal rubber oud fumes for a few hours and then nose dives into that pale patchouli and sandalwood combo.

I am in the minority on the longevity and projection also – it may be the newer, weaker versions I am testing (a mini directly from Montale Paris and a recent sample from a respectable web retailer), but the scent is extremely weak on my skin after the first couple of hours and I can barely perceive it after five hours. It is perhaps worth owning if you are the type of person who likes to collect the important milestone fragrances that have defined perfumery. But above and beyond that – meh. You can do better.
23rd February, 2015
Montale's Dark Aoud is a gorgeous fragrance based on a dark rose note surrounded by patchouli and a deft, delicate handling of oud. The agarwood (oud) is less prominent, and creates a rusty deep woody background with the patchouli, letting the rose shine. The result is a deep, dark, haunting fragrance with great evocative qualities. It makes you dream of the orient, of the cosy alleys on dark cold evenings, of fragrant bazaars, and the alluring charms of an unseen land. It is not the most versatile fragrance, but who cares. It's a pleasure to wear on the right occasions, and is a very personal scent, much like another great oriental - Chergui. Deeply introspective, it has that rare ability to transport you to another time and place.
Wear this one on a winter evening, while reading Dubliners and sipping a favourite whiskey. You will not be disappointed.
15th February, 2015
KarenH Show all reviews
United States
This is one of those scents that I tried a sample of based on reviews -- and I hated it when I first opened it. It smelled heavy, too masculine, the floral note was like dead roses (I don't care for florals to start with); and it was my very first aoud, which I think is an acquired taste. I put a drop on my wrist, and really didn't notice or think about it by the end of the day. I forgot about it until one day I saw it again and decided to wear it. I still did not like it for the first hour or so -- but after that, it mellowed out considerably -- the heavy strong dead rose smell faded away to something lighter and quite pleasant. The sandalwood was also more noticeable as time passed and overruled the floral, which I really liked. The aoud adds considerable drama to it. It turned into one of my favorite scents. It's described in some places as a masculine fragrance, in some places as unisex -- but personally I find it doesn't have a male-only scent to it, and I wear it comfortably as a woman. And as soon as I can afford it, I will buy a full bottle!
23rd January, 2015 (last edited: 29th January, 2015)
Genre: Woods

Savage splendor – that’s Black Aoud: an uncompromisingly dark and woody rose scent that makes hash of the notion that roses are for old ladies and potpourri. In my earlier, unenthusiastic review of Black Aoud I wrote that I was disappointed with the scent because it was linear and had a simple structure. That conclusion, it turns out, was based on two mistaken premises.

First, I have learned over time that simple does not mean “inferior.” In fact some of the greatest modern fragrances I know have simple structures: En Passant, Parfum d’Habit, and Tam Dao come immediately to mind. So even if Black Aoud is simple, it’s pungent oudh, exquisitely rendered rose, and robust leather and patchouli foundation make for an outstanding combination. Indeed, one of Black Aoud’s most distinctive and appealing features is its brash, almost barbaric, impact ill served by too much nuance or complexity.

My second complaint, that Black Aoud did not develop, was simply unfounded. Black Aoud does indeed develop, and in interesting ways. The trick is that it takes up to twelve hours for the development to commence! Given Black Aoud’s twenty-four hours plus longevity this ought not be all that surprising. When Black Aoud finally does start to evolve the rose note recedes to reveal more of the leather, which in turn takes on a warm, animalic edge. At the same time a rich, creamy sandalwood note emerges from the depths. The wood and leather notes are seasoned by patchouli, and then sweetened ever so slightly by the barest hint of amber.

As I’ve implied above, Black Aoud is an extraordinarily tenacious scent. In fact it’s one of the longest-lasting scents I know. It’s also extremely potent and leaves a great deal of sillage, so I advise applying it sparingly.
10th June, 2014
Dark and rounchy Oud and rose (not in a bad way) make this one a winner for oud lovers. Settles down to a lovely patchouli and light rose with the oud still pushing for space. I like this one, but I am not that big of an oud lover. For that reason this one is not FBW for me. 7/10.
18th March, 2014
You know, there are some jokes that are funny only in particular countries. when you say it among your people, they may laugh to death but if you say it in other country they will just stare at you and say ..... so ?! O.o
This fragrance has the same situation!
It's really interesting and exotic fragrance for many folks in US, Europe but if you live in Asia and specially countries like IRAN which I am and countries at the same area, when you wear something like this that mean you smell like the cheapest rose extract that is called "Golab" and you can buy a 1 liter bottle of it for less than $1.
People will make fun of you when you smell like this!
There is a city in IRAN called "Kashan" that is very famous in the world for having very big rose gardens and special rose extract that is exactly the smell of this fragrance!
This rose extract has different uses! mostly they use it in holy shrines and also we use it in our funerals on the body to smell good and also has usage for making local cookies in some cities of my country!
Do I like to smell like a holy shrine or a body before bury?! hell no!
Also oud has a very small role in this fragrance!
All thing that you get is syrupy sweet musky rose for a very long time and only some oud in the background and also patchouli which was the only part that I enjoyed.
And please for god sake don't tell me how oud smell like because I've grown up with smell of oud and rose like every other guy in my country!!
Both projection and longevity is amazing with this!
01st February, 2014
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Love/Hate Relationship with this juice....

Me and Black Aoud a love/hate relationship... we fight.. Often. Usually about once a week.

One day, she's sexy, mysterious, her boobs are popping out of her blouse, her breath smells great, her eyes are stunning, and she's all over me.

The next day, she's a crackwhore, she smells like a cheap old lady, she has bags under her eyes, and she wants nothing to do with me, or I, her.

But when she and I are on the same page, it's a beautiful thing: They make sappy chick flicks about the things we do, R Kelly writes an X rated song about the things we're doing by the fireplace, classic porn is produced, and babies are made in the shower.

Yes, there's some rose in it for the dark lady. The oud is in there for that strong, suave man that needs to announce to every woman in the room, that he's different from all the other men in there, and wants to take her home.

I LOVE this fragrance.. about 3 days out of the week

..the other 4 days is a toss up. Sometimes we work, sometimes we fight.

Pros: Longevity
Cons: Me and Black Aoud figh a lot!

29th June, 2013
Synthetic rose, with hints of spice and wood

Never have I struggled so much with a fragrance as with Black Aoud. I wanted desperately to love this scent, so much so that my bias interfered with my nose. After 3 wearings, I still couldn't tell if I liked it or not.

Then I read all about the controversy surrounding the Montale company. I was disappointed, even offended at the deception. I allowed this to affect my perception of the fragrance.

Now, after about 10 wearings, I am finally beginning to form an *honest* impression of Black Aoud.

First, the obvious: this is potent stuff. A few drops are enough to project across a crowded room for 10 hours. Black Aoud has the strongest projection and longevity I have ever encountered in a fragrance.

It is not an overly complex scent, to be sure. It opens with a frozen clang of synthetic rose, supported by aoud and perhaps a hint of underlying sweet spice.

And then....well, nothing happens really. Black Aoud does not evolve. It simply "is." I could detect virtually no change from opening to heart to base. If anything, the rose note may have intensified over time. I wish I picked up more patchouli and spice, but the rose was so expansive it drowned them out.

I don't see this as a particularly "gothic" or dark fragrance, like some of the other reviewers. To me, it is a satisfying masculine rose, a good summer scent in warm-ish climates. The only cautionary provision is not to overapply!

Scent: 4/5

Sillage: 5/5

Longevity: 5/5

Pros: longevity, clarity of the rose note
Cons: linear, a bit synethic

24th June, 2013
Awesome in one word!! Must try. Not quite sure if ladies would like it or not. Try the samples at least. Trust me it's worth trying it. Very special and different smell. Silage and longevity is more than expected. Love the smell
08th May, 2013 (last edited: 09th May, 2013)
This is the epitome of a dark rose scent. I imagine an older lady, quite evil, wearing this. Can a man pull it off? He better be dark and mysterious. Can a lady? Only if she's old and evil.

Not my thing.
13th April, 2013
Got a sample of this and was shocked how awful this was. Smelled to me like a very powerful old grandma fragrance. Had to wash it off. For some reason I tried it again a few years later and now I love it. Even bought a bottle. As they say, this is a powerhouse fragrance and lasts ages, especially on clothes. Still a love or hate fragrance for many.
03rd March, 2013
Black Aoud is a strong rose scent with an equally strong agarwood and patchouli base. It is clearly made of quality ingredients. It boasts great longevity; however, like many other fragrances I've sampled with great longevity, Black Aoud is a fairly linear scent.

I gave this a neutral, though, because it is simply not my style.
11th February, 2013
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Lots of Oud and dark rose atr the two dominant components - a dark and rich mix of beautiful density and intensity. Over three hours this has good projection and is one of the best Ouds I know. I wore it in cold weather and it might be quite overwhelming in heat. A great composition.
11th February, 2013
Smells like Tom fords noir de noir with twice the oud. Normally I hate the smell of oud, very overrated note. In fact the reason I love creeds royal oud so much, is the oud is faint, almost nonexistent. Ok, back to black aoud. This is so rich, like eating gourmet chocolates. Rose and oud up front, it's almost as if the two notes go back and forth, sharing the spotlight giving way to a very convincing musk and sandalwood base. Here's the only problem, I own TF's noir de noir and even tho this scent is outstanding, ndn is constructed so much better. It does something to me psychologically, knowing that there's a better version of this fragrance on my dresser. If you don't own noir de noir, go pick this up ASAP one of the better rose/oud combos out
05th January, 2013
This is one of the most beautiful fragrances i've ever smelt. This is a well done blend of dark roses, oud and patchouli that has a incredible sillage, lasting power and projection. Smells very unique and sexy. Winner for sure.
02nd January, 2013
This is a fine brooding rose fragrance. It is not as smooth or feminine as Montale's Luban, which my wife own. Luban is more feminine, but Black Aoud is a medicinal, brooding more masculine rose. It's oud is hidden among the very powerful rose fragrance. I don't give number ratings, but this is on a level below Dark Aoud and Louban among Montales. I still enjoy it and love Montale's longevity and projection.
18th December, 2012
"Rose air freshener. Would be good as a candle." -my wife
08th December, 2012
This seems to my nose identical to Lalique's classic from the same year (2006), Perles de Lalique.

The definitive rose chypre - strong, dark rose with the usual chypre support. Musky, sensual and definitely unisex.

A winner - regardless of who stole from whom.
12th November, 2012
I tried it today and after 60 minutes it is just rose and rose and what? another dose of rose. not for me....... passing this one
15th October, 2012
I had high hopes for this disaster of a fragrance, after seeing numerous vlogs praising this juice in the black aluminum can. So with reckless abandon, I ventured and received a sample of the stuff from luckyscent. Out of the bottle, it is so fresh and aromatic. The rose just blooms before your nose and is ever so fragrant. I don't think I have ever smelled a rose that comes across so strongly. I smelled the rose before I even opened the vial. Things were looking pretty good so far with such a fantastic opening. Once the vial was opened it literally filled up the entire office. Very nice! I dabbed some on my wrists and I was wowed and amazed at the projection. This stuff projects very far and away, a couple feet in fact. Then, it starts going downhill with the oud creeping in sinisterly. I was overcome with this strong dark medicine-like odor. Which was very unpleasant. Kinda smells like camphor, which is in Vicks Vapor Rub and other cold medicines. After smelling this camphorous medicine note for a while, it started giving me a headache and I have not worn it since. The oud is this is much too strong and potent for me. When added to the overly fragrant rose it is nauseating. People who are thinking of picking this one up. Do yourself a favor and sample this one before you buy. This is not a blind buy.
12th October, 2012
A fantastic aoud and rose marriage that is too quickly ruined by a crappy wood base.

I suspect the spartan list of ingredients--aoud, rose, patchouli, and mandarin--are to blame for Black Aoud's rapid disintegration. Too bad.
20th September, 2012
this is the best there is!!! no need to talk about it! powerful juice ! my favorite so far
23rd August, 2012 (last edited: 30th August, 2012)
I so wanted to love this fragrance and couldn't wait to get my hands on some. I'd read all the reviews and knew what to expect - the initial medicinal/band-aid blast - check (it lasted about 5 minutes) then came the synthetic rose fast on its heels (it actually smells like some very, very cheap toilet cleaner). After roughly one hour this rose fragrance died away and i was left with - well i don't exactly know what it was - it didn't smell bad, it didn't smell good it was just there - but very, very subtle. I'd read about the monster sillage and projection, i'd had two good squirts - but nothing after two hours the smell had completely disappeared.

Not to to deterred, the next day before work I gave myself 3 blasts - started the same - band-aid, rose for one hour then fade. Next - nothing, nobody commented, said they could smell anything - eventually two hours after applying it, I asked a few of my co-workers if they could smell anything - a few said they could vaguely smell something very subtle and some said they could smell nothing.

Whats going on?! I so wanted to love this, but unfortunately I can't - It's expensive and for the result's im getting, i might as well have bought some cheap air freshener - it might have lasted longer
28th July, 2012