They were not that strong back in the day, and they are not that weak today.
I don't think any fragrance can suffocate with 1-2 sprays (and I have old Montales)
Most montale have, after the first minutes, what i'd call a medium projection, but it is quite constant for a few hours, and that's what I like about many of them.
Anyway there have been always weak Montales as Soleil de Capri or average ones as Full Incense or Cuir d'Arabie.
Many have a very good performance, but there has been excessive hype on the forums.