Lovely reviews! I too was graced by Vijay's kind assistance in sampling some of the Montale line, though it seems we didn't overlap much on the scents we sampled... Thanks to you I see there are more I should try! I agree with you that they are refreshingly unsynthetic-smelling, and many are strangely compelling!
I find the concept of this line intriguing; such sleekly mod aluminum packaging for a line set apart by its ancient oud and attar-inspired scents. Definitely an acquired taste in an era awash with transparency, fruitiness, ozone and headspace (the olfactory equivalent of truthiness), some of these fragrances challenge the nose and stir archaic emotion to an extent unsought even in most niche lines. Maybe it's the oud ... yes, it's gotta be the oud, talking to me.
Powder Flowers: uber-powder, with a background of smoke: dark, somewhat incensey, with a bitter acrid taste, very unusual.
Crystal Flowers: very mild, perhaps 1/4 the intensity of Powder Flowers - a clean floral herbal.
Sandalsliver: sweet citrus and sandalwood, in an arrangement similar to Trumper Sandalwood. Strangely this seems more fruity and less woody after the topnotes leave. This might be nicer on a man's skin - my husband's skin always seems to bring out woody notes with more oomph.
Intense Tiare: very heady atomic gardenia with a hint of coconut sweetness
Jasmine Full: I read all the reviews about this being the purest, truest jasmine, so likable, and to me it's just not so ...a consumnate jasmine lover, I've been working with a variety of jasmine absolutes and concretes for the last year, and it's not that Jasmine Full smells synthetic in the least; it doesn't, but there is such a rough dark edge to this blend - think Jessica Rabbit chainsmoking. I almost wonder if it hasn't aged enough ... it's quite striking how un-suave this is. It calms down and smooths out a bit after a couple of hours, but the whole show is over in 4, so... not my favorite jasmine.
Attar Damascus: Similar to Parfum Sacre, with the dark rose riding over such a deep, smoky but transparent base, yet it remains recognizably rose .... it kept my nose interested for hours. I think this one could really grow on me! There's something so compelling in this ancient pairing; my favorite of the Montales I've tried thus far. The sillage lasted about 4 hours; short for me - most things last 8-12 hours, which speaks to me of a high proportion of natural materials. It lingers quite close to the skin for 6-8 hours.