Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Red Aoud by Montale

I'm torn on this one. On one hand, it's like nothing else I've ever smelled. On the other hand, its so bombastically strong I'm scared to wear it.

Red Aoud is basically the gourmand of the line. Saffron and oud open the show, but the oud is subdued compared to the others in the Montale line. It's creamy, and fascinating.

The saffron fades, as does the oud, and what you're left with is a chocolate musk. It's great, but not for everyone, and not for those looking for subtlety.

Also - don't buy the big bottle, for the love of god.
04th May, 2015
Pepper, spice, oud in Red Aoud make for a strong opening and agreeable spicy dry down, much more pleasant than Amouage Journey Man, in my opinion. Certainly masculine, with a good balance of spicy and herb-ish notes, I'd probably classify it as a cold weather night scent. I'd agree with some of other reviews in that it is well blended, as no particular note is cloying. It has some sweetness to it in the dry down, albeit subtly.

Projection and longevity are both strong.

This is definitely an appealing addition for fans of spicy fragrances. Generally I am not but I have to agree that this probably would work for a lot of men, and isn't overwhelming or overly formal. I'm not familiar with much of Montale, but this wants me to make try more of their scents. Not one that I'd necessarily buy at the price but worth considering.

7 out of 10
12th March, 2015
This is one of the more condom-themed Montale’s — the rubbery saffron-rose note that’s oddly appealing. But I think that what’s actually impressive about this is that it’s not as rose-dominated as you might expect, rather it takes the saffron as its focus and honeys it up a bit over the standard Montale “oud” accord. The effect is a slightly powdered, slightly gourmand take on the line’s usual Orientalist cliches, and it actually works. Furthermore, it’s not belligerently loud like many of their scents. As it settles, the rose does bloom a little more (not a good thing in my opinion as they usually smell cheap from this line), but all in all, it’s one of the better of the 50 or so ouds they’ve cranked out. A saffron gourmand with some spicy, rosy flourishes. No actual oud in sight, but that’s to be expected.
04th March, 2015
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Red Aoud has an opening so obnoxious that you just want to slap its face. Really, it is quite an ugly cacophony of notes – red pepper, that fake chocolate/wheat note from Chocolate Greedy, the sour fizzing Montale oud, and bready cumin – all tumbled in together with no thought as to the outcome. But wait half an hour and all I can say is, Oh. My. God. The snowstorm of notes banks down to reveal a warm, rich gourmand oud that is deliciously reminiscent of halva, that Middle Eastern sweet made from pounded sesame paste and honey. The cumin and saffron notes contribute a bread/pasty feel and the sandalwood adds creaminess. But what really makes Red Aoud special is that red pepper note. It is pulpy, sweet and vegetal all at once, and smells exactly like pureed roast red peppers. Placed against a backdrop of mouthwatering creamy and sugary notes (the honey, the cocoa, and the pastry notes), the red pepper note sings out loud and clear. That, for me, is the secret of Red Aoud – it is half-vegetable, half-dessert. I think it succeeds for exactly the same reason Safran Troublant succeeds – they are both fragrances that balance an array of edible and inedible notes that are just disparate enough (but not clashing) to make you think of dessert but hesitate before putting it in your mouth.

When I first tested Red Aoud, I was disgusted. I thought it was an awful fragrance, stomach-turning in its richness and head-spinning in its cacophony of notes. Now I am obsessed with it. I am not claiming that it’s a great fragrance, but something in it work on me like no other, and I find myself wanting to wear it at least twice a week. I only have a drop left in my sample and I am rationing myself until I can get a bottle of it. I should mention that it is an extremely loud and bombastic fragrance, lasting for days on skin and hair, and weeks on clothes. I love its loudness and vulgarity. Red Aoud is all tits and ass, and wolf whistles from construction workers. And who doesn’t need a bit of spray-on sexual confidence sometimes, I ask you?
23rd February, 2015
One of the most captivating synthetic oudhs of the market. A veritable "oriental in style fragrance". Extremely exotic mélange of creamy oudh, inebriating fresh-velvety spices, piquant pepper (the "Red" effect lingering throughout as piquant undertone), soapy amber and woods. The saffron-cumin peppery accord, as merged with creamy agarwood resins, amber (benzoin?), fresh vetiver, smooth-powdery iris and musk, hangs out immensely exotic, vaguely laundry, daring and luxuriant. The note of balmy saffron is heady as mixed with creamy-musky oud. The spiciness is extreme, musky, waxy-rosey and bath-foam/soapy like (with a touch of suede). The "luxurious arabic hotel-hall type of aroma" (fresh, inebriating, vaguely medicinal) conjures me (in a more synthetical way of course) the fresh honeyed exoticism of several Abdul Samad Al Qurashi's concoctions a la Qurashi Family Blend and The One Blend, for instance (and ideal memories about hotels ballrooms, piano-bar, succulents and white-linen clothed daring men in sun glasses and crocodile shoes starts jumping on mind). Probably Red Aoud smells too strong over a synthetic-medicinal side despite I appreciate a lot conceptually the freshly exotic combination of notes. Not bad.
16th January, 2015 (last edited: 13th July, 2015)
Red Aoud opens with a stout, quite heavy accord of oud, flowers and red pepper, with a bold (and frankly a bit sickening, initially) overall smell that resembles to barbecue sauce on a roasted piece of pancake. Luckily it quickly becomes a bit more pleasant and tolerable, the floral side comprises mostly rose and other (a bit "generic") silky floral notes, then there's also spices and a light "red" note of red pepper. A more floral and "juicier" take on oud in short. I also detect a subtle honey-cocoa breeze on the base, together with the usual rubbery feel or synthetic oud. Nicely mediocre, and as other reviewers already remarked, hardly distinguishable from many other Montale's: not bad, but if you're into "rose and oud" you can find much better than this – for example Gold Rose Oudh by Tiziana Terenzi.

5,5-6/10
27th July, 2014
Genre: Woods

Red Aoud opens with the same bracing blast of oudh and rose as Black Aoud, Royal Aoud, and Attar, though sharper and higher than the others. The soprano voice in the opening eventually resolves into a sweet-tart fruit note while the sharp edge reveals itself as a pimento-red chili note that’s not unlike shot of Tabasco. The saffron in Red Aoud’s advertised pyramid isn’t all that evident. Perhaps it blends too closely with the red pepper note to register on its own. Ditto the cumin. What I perceive is a linear oudh and fruity rose accord with a bitter edge to it, and not a whole lot else.

I have to admit to losing some patience with the Montale oudh scents. The first few I tried struck me as novel and exciting, but having sampled many more, I’ve begun to see most as very subtle variations on a simple oudh and rose theme. Black Aoud holds my interest as perhaps the purest (certainly the most stark and powerful) variant, and Oud Cuir d’Arabie is unique in its smoky, animalic leather, but Red Aoud doesn’t seem to add all that much that’s new to the collection.
25th June, 2014
FISS80 Show all reviews
United States
Earthy, Spicy, Sweet. Who knew that these three adjectives could describe something so delectable! The initial blast of classic Montale Oud is quickly subdued by the soft smooth combination of Haitain Vetiver and saffron. Hours into the fragrance the red pepper begins to steal the show as the saffron and orris jump into the passenger seat. Excellent longevity and silage. Well blended and just a joy to wear. Thumbs Up.
17th February, 2014
While they name it as Red Aoud, I must say the oud note is one of the weakest notes in this fragrance!
If you're looking for oud go somewhere else!
The opening is a sweet and strong saffron smell with some oud note. you can smell the oud but it's nothing against saffron note and also disappears after about 2 minutes and only thing you can smell is strong saffron note with tons of sweetness!
Do you know what the mid of this fragrance smells like?!
In my country there is a home made beverage which is very simple to made. add as many as sugar you can in the water (make it syrupy) and then add saffron powder in it! bingo, you have this fragrance!
After a while rose note kick in and now you have rose and saffron notes hand to hand with that strong sweetness all the way through!
Where is that pepper and vetiver and the other notes?! dude, go kid yourself!!
In the base you can smell strong vanilla plus rose and saffron that are weaker but still strong enough to smell!
Projection is like a beast, I only sprayed once and the scent filled the whole house. also longevity is insane!
Believe me or not I can still smell it after 48 hours!
Yeah, I'm a lazy guy that didn't take a shower for two days but it's quite annoying that I can smell this fragrance after 2 days on my skin!
I think if you spray it on your shirt you should burn it or throw it away to get rid of the smell!
All and All, completely feminine with projection and longevity strong as sun!
16th February, 2014
Gourmand Oud

The opening notes is where I am getting a reasonable oud note, but soon a fruity cherry-like aroma comes into the foreground. The drydown adds spices, pepper, vetiver and a decent sandalwood base. This. A rich, deep, creamy and intensive scent, very well blended, developing nicely on my skin and displaying good silage and projection. On my skin the longevity is an excellent eight hours. For collier days.

Pros: Longevity
Cons:

16th October, 2013
This is my first sample out of the Montale house. I must say this is a beast.
28th March, 2013
Along with White Aoud, Red Aoud is definetely one of the best Montale's releases. It smells heavenly and it's a masterpiece in my opinion. Oud is not loud/harsh and does not play the main role here. It's sweet and warm, and a true unisex. Sometimes it reminds me of Dior Homme Intense. Thumbs up for this masterpiece.
04th January, 2013
I generally love Montale Paris scents... or hate them. Most I have to try several times before I know for sure. Red Aoud opens sweet and a bit spicy, only a trace of oud. While there is no vanilla or chocolate listed, there is a hint of them. Pepper and cinnamon hint also. It smells nice, just not for summer. This is strictly a cold weather fragrance.I wouldn't wear it often, but I would buy a small bottle for occasional use.
05th August, 2012 (last edited: 28th August, 2012)
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

This opens with a peppery note that sweetens which is quickly followed by a dry biscuit like woods and the soft medicinal oud. After a while I can pick up vetiver and a cherry sweetness at the heart of the frag. This scent does rub me the wrong way and gets a bit sickly.

17th May, 2012
At first I am surprised by how little aoud I detect; it strikes me as rather gourmandish and sweet with a definite saffron presence. Soon, the aoud comes through in typical medicinal manner, while the sweetness continues. I don’t really get a sense of cumin here, at least not any of its dirtiness. Red Aoud comes across as gourmandish fragrance. I really don’t like it very much at all.
05th February, 2012
If you have tried Chocolate Greedy, this scent is basically the same chocolate feeling mixed with oud. The chocolate feeling is very addictive and the oud gives it a touch of elegance and distinction. I really like this fragrance
28th January, 2012
Red Aoud by Montale - Upon application, an explosion of warm and vibrant, red pepper, coupled with the mustiness of aoud and a lovely, rich, red, fully-bloomed rose, with faint, lemony pixies flitting about, bestir for recognition. This vivacious blend frolics to the middle. Heaps of saffron, with its earthy and dusty floral aspects, tame the adventuresome pepper and rose, aided by a muted, yet biting, anise from the keen cumin, and further assisted by a winsome mysore sandalwood, which imparts its buttery and sweet woodiness. This sensuous melange covorts with the majical aoud, giving rise to hints of an inoffensive powderiness as well as a delicious cocoa, and flows to the awaiting base. Here, in the capable base, as the beautiful rose fades away, the drenched, citrusy greenness of haitian vetiver, empowered by the enabling orris, steps forward to morph the melange aforementioned into a delectable, chocolate drydown. This sexy and potent composition has very good longevity, 10-13 hours, and projection.
18th December, 2011
i really like aoud and i like other montale's aouds (especially black). but this doesn't even smell aoud-y on me... all i get is some bland sweet powdery scent that stays the same all the time. it reminds me of the 80s lipstick smell.
01st December, 2011
I can tell that I am supposed to think that this smells good.

Maybe if I were someone else?

Aoud is perhaps not for me.

This reminds me of the sweet, pulpy smell of rotting wood, (which I like, in isolation) but I cannot take the combination of spices and vanilla/cocoa. If this were a dessert, I wouldn't be able to eat it.

29th August, 2011
I am in agreement that compared to some of the other Montale Aouds this one has a more subdued oud note. It smells like a pastry when it gets on my skin, absolutely delicious. It also has great lasting power. It is quite feminine compared to Black Aoud, but I still find myself wearing it anyways because it smells really great. I'm going to chalk up another positive review for this one!
10th June, 2011
Montale. Sweetened.

It's classic Montale but with a twist. Recall that album when your favorite band took its music in a new direction? You recognized the vocals, recognized the signature guitar riffs, but it just sounded different somehow? That's this fragrance.

You get the strong, dark, almost rubbery aoud smell so identified with Montale right off the top. But you also get something quite uncharacteristic: sweetness. It's vanilla, it's honey, it's edible, it's utterly delicious, but it's roasting over a smoldering campfire of aoud. Fascinating. Intoxicating. Unexpected. And very, very good.
23rd May, 2011
I'd split Montale's ouds in two different categories. On one side we have Oud Cuir D'Arabie and Black Aoud that stand out for their uniqueness and their challenging power. On the other side I'd put all the other compositions form the same line as they basically consist in micro-variations on the main theme.



Now, beside what you may personally like or not almost any of the "Aouds" by this house stand somehow on the same level (a good level with the exception of a few really unsuccessful releases such as Aoud Forest and Sliver Aoud). A more or less strong / medicinal oud note joined by a complementary bunch of other aromas to match different tastes.



My suggestion to anyone who like oud is to pick up a bunch of samples from the Montale's range and see which one fits your bill better. Once you've made your choice stick with one, or maximum two of them, as I can assure you that by that point you covered a lot of ground already.



That being Red Aoud is a micro-variation on the main theme taking a spicy (red-chili) direction. The oud note here is not as strong and powerful as in other perfumes from the same line, but still remarkably present. Hidden cacao hints provide some refinement and a sort of gourmandic quality. Nice and pleasant but I stick with Aoud Musk.
01st May, 2011 (last edited: 13th February, 2012)
Folks, it's a Montale. Strong. Thick. Vanilla-Oud. (I like the Montale-style of Oud... Black Aoud, White Aoud...they are great.) This one has a strong saffron component and a minor rose presence. The effect is gourmand radiance. Yes, you smell like some scrumptious concoction to eat. The issue might be..it's hard to want that effect all day. But..done well.
27th January, 2011
I new new to the world of aoud but am really quite enamoured. Red Aoud starts off with sharp, medicinal blast of aoud, similar to Montale's other aoud offerings. The pepper,saffron and cumin present within minutes to make this fragance quite different from the beastly Black Aoud, which I love to death. What I end up with is a long lasting drydown of spice, gourmand notes with the aoud dancing beneath it all. I find this rich, pleasantly sexual and it never fails to draw compliments. This is less in-your-face than Black Aoud, it is softer, a bit more feminine, but has the sillage and lasting power that brings me back to the house of Montale time and time again. I wear this on days when I am relaxed and comfortable. All in all, I find the quality of the ingredients and the powerful sillage justified the purchase. Love this.
30th May, 2010
Yet another winner from the big box of Montale oud fragrances. It's true that many of them smell basically similar (with a few exceptions), but I kind of like that. I wouldn't/won't actually BUY more than one or two, but I'm enjoying the process of making fine distinctions through sampling.

Red Aoud is distinct enough from the rest of the pack that it's worth putting on your sample list if you're exploring the Montale space. It's distinctly gourmand, which is not true of any of the others in the oud line that I've tried so far.

This one is based on the standard Montale oud accord. It's got some rose. I also get lots of chocolate and vanilla and a general powderiness that's unusual in this line. I'm afraid I can't perceive the saffron and pepper that others have mentioned.

I'm not a fan of the gourmands in general, but that's largely because they're all so frickin' sweet. This one is not, and the chocolate is really quite delicious. The only thing that keeps me from endorsing this wholeheartedly is the powderiness, which isn't to my personal taste. Nevertheless, this is a winner.
01st May, 2010
Heaty red pepper + A Men (Chocolate aspects) + Fizzy saffron + Incensy-vanilla-rose base = Red Aoud.

Top gourmand.
16th December, 2009 (last edited: 24th March, 2010)
Different in character than the other Montale Aouds in that it's a hefty gourmand, and not the usual rose centered fragrance. It's a real spicebomb, reminding me of a thick honeycake type of dessert combined with a sweaty spicy, cuminy meat, couscous and chickpea dish, but with a powerful vanilla base It's a vertiable blizzard of spices, which is it's greatest asset as well as it's main flaw. As compelling as it is, it's too much of a mess for me. In particular, I find the aoud clashes with the other notes, especially when it's most prominent in the first hour or so (this one will last for weeks if you don't wash). In this sense it doesn't seem to be particularly well thought out, though it's a great idea. I think Mr. Montale should have held off on releasing this one so soon, and gone back to it after a break to fine tune it.
24th September, 2009
I really enjoy the warm, cosy saffron burst in the opening. Unfortunately, this soon turns sharp and soapy on my skin, the kind of soapiness I can literally taste, not just smell. I could swear there were roses and geranium in this - soapy, potpourri-like roses and unpleasantly sharp and aromatic geranium (I hate geranium!). Maybe it's the aoud at it's most medicinal. I find it not exactly bad smelling but very loud and annoying to wear.
15th December, 2008
Absolutely wonderful, especially for women. I swear I would buy a bottle of this for my girl immediately if she would like this one - but she doesn`t. She hates it. She hates oud fragrances in general.

Such a shame, because I can`t think of many other fragrances that I would rather smell on a woman. I get mouth-watering blend of oud, saffron, iris and most smoothly textured sandalwood. Red Aoud smells warm and glimmering, sensual and compelling. It`s like a magnet.

Flawless lasting power and satisfying sillage.

Beautiful fragrance, but yes, I find it too feminine for my own personal use.
09th November, 2008
Red Aoud: the opening 5 minutes is where one feels as if they were smelling chocolate. i think its a mirage created by the combination of Oudh, Iris & saffron...in time this note subsides intoa very warm layer of spices. the oudh by itself is very less pronounced at this stage. we have a very familiar note once we are 15 minutes into this, it's here that it smells quite inspired by Dior Homme(im surpised no one made this comparison . one can clearly view Iris laying down on bed with pepper sprinkled and it being massaged by Saffron...the interplay of notes now take on full swing with the spicy notes interchangin places with Iris. This essentially stays on like Dior homme for the entire progression of mid notes with spicy undertones to keep one busy. this one has a heart of Iris surrounded by spicy notes on a lush base on Aoudh. for ref, this is a spicier/oudh version of Dior homme). not for me, but many out there may like it...
07th October, 2008