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.
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
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)
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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...