I love many of Montale's fragrances and just bought the Aoud Roses Petals. it is amazing. I am in love. *Here is the review for Aoud Queen Roses from Bois de Jamin, but I prefer Aoud Roses petals. *http://boisdejasmin.typepad.com/_/2005/08/
Aedes de Venustus, a discrimintatingly wonderful boutique (and my ususal source for *scent besides Barney's and Takashimaya) has reliable descriptions of fragrances on their website . *Here's *the link to the Montale page: http://www.aedes.com/brand.php?brand_id=78&cat_id=1
You can call Aedes and discuss fragrances you are interested in possibly purchasing as well. They are very knowledgable. Their hours start at 12 Noon, Eastern but are open 7 dyas a week. *212-206-8674
I have not tried Amouage but the Gold for women & men were created by Guy Robert, the legendary nose behind Hermes's Calèche, Madame Rochas, Dioressence and*Equipage.
My two favorite on-line resources for good perfume reviews, the blogs Bois de Jasmin [http://boisdejasmin.typepad.com] and Now Smell This[http://nowsmellthis.blogharbor.com/] -- both of which cover new scent introductions and vintage perfumes exhaustively -- curiously do not have much on Amouage. That is a negaive in my book. Some coverage in NST *on the oringinal Gold but nothing much else except shopping notes to perfunctarally announce new prodcut introductions for the subsequent scents. Not a good sign.
On their own site, Amouage claim to farm out the creating of their new scents to places such as *Creations Aromatiques in Paris. Another not-good sign. *
The website is weird. *More about the corporation than about the scents or their scent making. *Very frustrating and unsympathetic to the fragrances. Shouldn't we be hearing more about their other, newer*perfumes, not just one older perfume whose laruels they may be resting on? Very little about anything except the orignal fragrance of twenty years ago by Guy Robert (Can he still be actively working? *Can he still be alive? He was a leading nose in the 50's, for Gosh sakes.) *It's as if the perfumes are actaully *unimportant to the Amouage "corporation." *And corporation it does feel like, far more than a perfume house.
*You can tell a great deal about a company from the "real estate" of its site. *How much space is alloted to what subject tells you what they really find important. So one would have to conclude that the fragrances are second banana to the Amouage "Organization". There is even an org chart complete with photots of all the Arab execs (find me one other serious perfume site that does this.) For investor relations purposes or outsized egos? Or a misunderstanding of web sites? *They think this should be a business site, not a perfume site? *
In any event, the Amouage website, in my opinion, *betrays a lack of focus on fragrance, fashion or beauty itself.*What there is about "the Complexity of Creation" (PR babble) relates to the twenty year-old fragrance now called Gold which was the first scent commissioned from Guy Robert. They seem to out-source the creation of the new scents. But not many words are wasted in describing the scents of the past two decades. There is what feels like a souless green-washing [enviro-freindly "white washing", to give an illusion of envoronmental consciousness to otherwise nasty corporations making little effort to clean up their acts] *statement about only using synthetic musk, civet and ambergris. So as to get on the cruelty free bandwagon? *
There is an off-note here which further reveals a lack of understanding of perfume making. * Ambergris, though it comes from whales, does not invlove the harming of whales. So why tout natural ambergris-free as being conscientous? Disgustingly enough, ambergris is sperm whale vomit that has been floating and aging at sea for a prolonged period (as long as 10 years). It is found, not taken.** So including ambergris in a list to show an environmental consciousness is phony, off-base and curiously out of step with their "committment" to the finest, costliest ingredients. If this is the finest, costliest perfume, use real ambergris!
Now all this does not mean that Amouage does not have a few worthy scents. They could indeed have hired very good folks besides Guy Robert to make them. *What all this out-sourcing and dismal hack webwriting that practically ignores the fragrances may mean, however, is that the House itself may lack vision, genuine passion and original drive.
** BTW: *here's a link to a recent article about an ambergris find in Australia resulting in a possible quarter-million dollar windfall for the finders. it was posted to the male fragrance discussion board yesterday.