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  1. #1

    Default What should I know about Montale before buying?

    I know this brand produces a lot of different fragrances, sometimes with high frequency. What should I know about the quality, consistency, or uniqueness of the brand before making a purchase? Are there any sure-thing, safe blind buys? Are there only a few good bottles while the rest are mediocre? Any thoughts?
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  2. #2
    Emlynevermore's Avatar
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    Default Re: What should I know about Montale before buying?

    Montale has an almost-incomprehensibly huge line of offerings. Coupled with the aggressive house style, especially evident in the oud-based perfumes, this makes them possibly the worst candidate for a blind buy ever.

    Still, my impression with their stuff so far is that there are a few great fragrances, some very good ones, and many OK ones but nothing particularly awful. Of course, I have tried maybe 20% of what the house produces so...

  3. #3

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    Default Re: What should I know about Montale before buying?

    ......................
    Last edited by Descartes; 29th January 2012 at 10:29 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: What should I know about Montale before buying?

    Black Aoud is great and a favorite of many BNers, but the house sometimes gets panned for having a dizzying multitude of frags that are all riffs on the same rose / synthetic oud combo.

    I'd suggest getting a sample of Black Aoud and possibly Aoud Lime. If you've got money and like to gamble, Black Aoud is the one to blind buy.

  5. #5

    Default Re: What should I know about Montale before buying?

    less is more. never go for their 100 ml bottles. i wish they sold their 20 ml alum bottles. would;ve been fun. and yes, samples/decants would be another way to go. they have lot of interesting scents to offer. just too many of them to buy.

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    Default Re: What should I know about Montale before buying?

    I'd sample before you buy with Montale. Their initial offerings - the perfumes the line started with - were much better then the stuff they crank out at the rate of several each season. Their initial line had a variety of unique perfumes, both oud and non-oud. Chypre Vanille, Bois Vanille, Aoud Lime, White Aoud, Red Aoud, Sweet Oriental Dream, Aoud Damascus, Red Vetyver, etc. are all early Montales representing good, well made perfumes. For the last few years it seems like they've haphazardly taken pieces of one perfume with pieces of another, slapped a name on it and called it a new perfume without much thought to construction or balance.

  7. #7

    Default Re: What should I know about Montale before buying?

    They are all very strong and tenacious- a little goes a long way.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: What should I know about Montale before buying?

    They surely have an huge line but none of their perfumes is recommendable for a blind buy. They're very intense, with a tenacious lasting power and sometimes even challenging. I think you should start testing some of their Aouds (beeing oudh the main Montale's Hallmark). I'd suggest Aoud Cuir D'Arabie, Aoud Musk and Aoud Black. If you like lavender you could also try Sliver Aoud. Besides the oudh line I'd say you could try Greyland.

    Avoid at any cost Ginger Musk and Soleil De Capri.
    Last edited by alfarom; 29th April 2011 at 09:38 PM.


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    Al Gae's Avatar
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    Default Re: What should I know about Montale before buying?

    Personally, I think I have a chemistry problem with some of the musk they use. Both Roses Musk and Wild Oud feature some sort of musk note that explodes on my skin in this nasty, sour soap smell. Like, the worst thing I've ever worn... I actually had a similar experience with the latter stages of Not a Perfume, so currently I'm wondering if it's Ambroxan in these Montales that I'm having a problem with. Either way, if you've had issues with musks, definitely sample these ones before buying.

  10. #10

    Default Re: What should I know about Montale before buying?

    They are similar to each other and different from all the things in the market.

    Very unique indeed. I love the brand, and will buy more 3 perfumes next month.

    Try one Aoud. If you like one, will like all the rest. If you dislike one, the chance to dislike all the line is enormous!

  11. #11

    Default Re: What should I know about Montale before buying?

    Quote Originally Posted by nineXseven View Post
    I'd sample before you buy with Montale. Their initial offerings - the perfumes the line started with - were much better then the stuff they crank out at the rate of several each season. Their initial line had a variety of unique perfumes, both oud and non-oud. Chypre Vanille, Bois Vanille, Aoud Lime, White Aoud, Red Aoud, Sweet Oriental Dream, Aoud Damascus, Red Vetyver, etc. are all early Montales representing good, well made perfumes. For the last few years it seems like they've haphazardly taken pieces of one perfume with pieces of another, slapped a name on it and called it a new perfume without much thought to construction or balance.
    +1. Stick with their earlier (and better) offerings.

    Quote Originally Posted by Emlynevermore View Post
    Montale Still, my impression with their stuff so far is that there are a few great fragrances, some very good ones, and many OK ones but nothing particularly awful. Of course, I have tried maybe 20% of what the house produces so...
    Oh believe me, there are some real stinkers in the remaining 80% that you haven't tried...

  12. #12

    Default Re: What should I know about Montale before buying?

    Don't EVER blind buy Montale's. They make some good stuff, but some of their fragrances smell like $10 bath and body works sprays. Montale Chocolate Greedy notes might look good on paper, but after you take a whiff, it smell like the chocolate cookie fragrance Chocolovers by Aqualina that costs $10-15 dollars.

  13. #13

    Default Re: What should I know about Montale before buying?

    Many of Montale's offerings have a reputation for being a bit "raw" and maybe a little rough around the edges, but they are of decently high quality, as long as you stick with the tried and true options.
    "It's not what you look like when you're doing what you're doing; it's what you're doing when you're doing what you look like you're doing."

  14. #14
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    Default Re: What should I know about Montale before buying?

    Quote Originally Posted by Partagas View Post
    They are all very strong and tenacious- a little goes a long way.
    Agree.

  15. #15

    Default Re: What should I know about Montale before buying?

    They use low quality Oud oils. And IMO pretend to be high end like Frederic Malle and and Maison Francis Kurkdjian. Lol at least that's what the SA blatantly told me.
    " don't go back to Frederic Malle or MFK, thier perfumes are low quality".
    Even the shop in Place Vendome is cheaply made. Plasticy and glassy. No design. Its not minimalistic, its designed to be high class wood and gold but the stuff is all plastic. There's a Sudanese SA and a Lebanese SA. Both friendly but very unprofessional.
    I went in knowing thier Oud quality was low end, very.
    They're actually mukhalats not perfumes.

    Thier target audience are westerners who love Oud.

  16. #16

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    Default Re: What should I know about Montale before buying?

    ...........
    Last edited by Descartes; 29th January 2012 at 10:30 PM.

  17. #17

    Default Re: What should I know about Montale before buying?

    I don't see why hedonist222 can't find the 2 SA very friendly but not that professional. I do get his point even more as they seem to bash Malle and MFK for their quality. IMO Frédéric Malle's are higher quality than Montale's, and MFK is good too, but I'm not buying Montale's for the nice oud quality experience, they have lots of choices, many are strong and long lasting, the price is not that expensive compared to other niche (from Paris anyway).. From all they offer, you can find something you like and buy at reasonable price, that will last (most of the time)
    Also I much prefer when SA are being honest even if they can be wrong sometimes, than some of the more politically correct ones who show no opinion at all.

  18. #18

    Default Re: What should I know about Montale before buying?

    Im sorry but I blind bought Red Aoud and love it A HELL LOT <3
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  19. #19

    Default Re: What should I know about Montale before buying?

    I do enjoy Montale's line very much, longevety is king! I have smelled around 15 frags up to now, could highlight :
    - Deep Rose, Blue Amber, Black Aoud and Louban;
    Last edited by Bonoanimoes; 30th April 2011 at 01:44 PM.

  20. #20

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    Default Re: What should I know about Montale before buying?

    .............
    Last edited by Descartes; 29th January 2012 at 10:30 PM.

  21. #21

    Default Re: What should I know about Montale before buying?

    i would never blind buy a Montale. I remember the first time I sampled Black Aoud because of the hype on this forum. I had to check it out. But it was very similar to that scene in Anchorman when Paul Rudd's character sprays the Black Panther perfume. Black Aoud "burns the nostrils"....its a "formidable odour". I found it to be very unpleaseant. I would check out the Full Incense...

  22. #22

    Default Re: What should I know about Montale before buying?

    To the OP,
    If you're used to western and mainstream type of perfumery, Montales are a good gateway into Arabian style scents. They do transport me into an exotic mood. From there you can get into the hardcore and very expensive Arabian houses, natural oud oils and mukhallats if you find this field intriguing and worthwhile for you. Still, I respect the opinion of those who state there is no "oud" there and real oud smells different, etc. That is not the point for me and I don't compare them to FM or other houses. I like Montale for its own experience. It's not for nothing that they are so popular. Just like I may not like Acqua Di Gio but it's popular for a reason and I understand and respect that.

    With Montale, you have the ouds and the non-ouds.

    I recommend what you look up the Montale Review Thread on the Female Board and sample a few of each group.
    The ones that are most popular do merit testing: Black Aoud (Rose heavy), Red and White Aouds, Royal Aoud (citrus fruity), Aoud Roses Petals (to my nose the most beautiful feminine rose), Aoud Cuir D'Arabie (leather), Aoud Limes (saffron), etc.
    Among the non-oud titles, try Red Vetiver, Blue Amber, Attar (has some oud), Fougere Marine, Grayland, Musk to Musk, etc.

    Montales have a distinctive "oud" (note my quotation marks) note, their roses stand out, the amber is great and their musk is distinctive too. I have tested numerous titles and my favorites are among the oud compositions (regardless of natural or not, good or bad quality and everyone's opinions). I have also smelled natural, real oud oils and I still like Montales!

    And yes, the first time I smelled Black Aoud, my eyes rolled back.
    Last edited by Renaissance_Man; 30th April 2011 at 04:13 PM.

  23. #23

    Default Re: What should I know about Montale before buying?

    ive bought a bunch of montales all blind and love them. Black Aoud, Red Vetiver, Marines Fougeres, Taj and Dark Aoud. They are all great fragrances, I will defenitly buy a few more blind soon as i find them resonably priced and they last a long time.

  24. #24
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    Default

    The oud Montale uses smells mostly synthetic and definitely cheap. Some perfumes are better then others, but some are pretty bad. True that the highest quality oud is absurdly expensive but there's a middle ground of better oud ingredients that isn't the several hundred $ per/ml stuff. By Killians, Micallef, JHaG, and others feature better smelling oud ingredients then Montale uses.

  25. #25

    Default Re: What should I know about Montale before buying?

    Quote Originally Posted by Descartes View Post
    Quality means also creativity and a good designed product, using natural ingredients doesn't make a perfume, if it smells good I don't mind if it has synthetic ingredients or not. I am not a Frédéric Malle's fan. I think what they do is boring. If you look at BN threats Montale is always up for discursion and that' s only for one reason,because they have one of the best quality products in the market.
    Sure it also depends on your own selection standards and perspective. I agree if it smells good I don't care if it has synthetic ingredients either, but again in my opinion, Malle's quality has nothing to envy from Montale's, and in term of creativity they are not bad either I think. I'm no Frédéric Malle's fan or any house fan in general, in fact I'm still testing from samples to see which Malle's I might get because I'm not attracted by many, but I find that they still are quality fragrances (and I dont know if they use lots of natural ingredients or not). I don't have any FM's bottles for now but have bought a few Montale's recently from the store hedonist222 mentioned.

    For the OP, right now I really like black aoud the most, but try before buy really
    Red aoud is also a must try gourmand IMO, but heavy sometimes, for me evening or winter scent maybe
    Musc to musc, it smells nice but I also have some skin chemistry problem as it dries down, too bad.
    I did smell many of them, but my advice if you can, you should sample at home first, because some are so strong that you might kill your nose if you sniff too many of them at the boutique.

    Try as many as you can on your skin before buying lol,
    Montale is Montale, it is a nice house.
    Good luck

  26. #26

    Default Re: What should I know about Montale before buying?

    Quote Originally Posted by Descartes View Post
    Your argument or knowledge here is base in what 2 SA (shop assistance) told you but then you contradict yourself saying they were friendly but unprofessional. I believe Montale Perfumes are created from natural materials of high quality in large concentration . First quality Oud is 1,5 more expensive than gold. They target not only a westerner audience for luxury fragrances but also is one of the top perfumes in the GCC or the Middle East . Frederic Malle and MFK are obviously landmarks in haute perfumery with many uninteresting things to my noose.
    My knowledge is based on olfactory smell. The oud in Montale is just not top quality. I would say mediocre quality. My peers concur. I expect a higher oud grade from a company marketing themselves the way they do and competing, blatantly, with MFK & FM.
    I said they were friendly, which is correct but unprofessional too. This is a correct statement. You can be friendly and unprofessional as much as you can be unfriendly and professional. I prefer the latter to the former.

    They are NOT one of the top GCC perfumes of the middle east. I am from and live in the middle east.

    Look I am not saying they are bad. I am simply saying they are as hyped up as they make themselves to be. They were sitting in the store and there were 2 large cardboard boxes in the middle of the floor that the 2 ladies were stocking it with 20ml samples to be shipped out. This is their flagship boutique in Place Vendome!! Plus they weren't dressed neither in uniform nor in professional attire. It felt like I walked into a local shop in an Egyptian bazaar.

  27. #27

    Default Re: What should I know about Montale before buying?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Caesar View Post
    Don't EVER blind buy Montale's. They make some good stuff, but some of their fragrances smell like $10 bath and body works sprays. Montale Chocolate Greedy notes might look good on paper, but after you take a whiff, it smell like the chocolate cookie fragrance Chocolovers by Aqualina that costs $10-15 dollars.
    Absolutely not true, even it's closest sibling, CSP's Amour de Cacao (which was probably Montale's own earlier creation, and later reformulated when he wasn't around) is a different scent. Well, perhaps the ORIGINAL Amour de Cacao was more similar. CSP's smell is more "barebones" in comparison, and the vanilla in Chocolate Greedy is incredibly nice smelling. Basically, you are paying for the quality of this great, underdog scent, of course for those who love chocolate in any iteration. Montale's scent smells more expensive than 20 bucks, IMHO.

    Then again I respect what you are sniffing, I just don't agree with your assesment at all. Perhaps the chocolovers is a better value for your money, but it won't be the same scent, not at all... I have a full bottle, BTW.

  28. #28

    Default Re: What should I know about Montale before buying?

    Quote Originally Posted by à l'improviste View Post
    I don't see why hedonist222 can't find the 2 SA very friendly but not that professional. I do get his point even more as they seem to bash Malle and MFK for their quality. IMO Frédéric Malle's are higher quality than Montale's, and MFK is good too, but I'm not buying Montale's for the nice oud quality experience, they have lots of choices, many are strong and long lasting, the price is not that expensive compared to other niche (from Paris anyway).. From all they offer, you can find something you like and buy at reasonable price, that will last (most of the time)
    Also I much prefer when SA are being honest even if they can be wrong sometimes, than some of the more politically correct ones who show no opinion at all.
    I see why, he has an anti-Montale agenda, because he's used to "his" expensive oud oils. In his eyes, Montale is just a ripoff perfumer. But as you said, Montale offers, for the most part a good value. I love perfume as an art, and even as I see Montale bashed for using quality ingredients into "poor", non-artistic blends, there's a ton of unfair bias against his style. I have at least liked all of what I have sampled from him (not necessarily loved, though.) Why should we always go for the popular niche scents, or the ones that are "proven masterpieces"? Decide for yourself what's good. What's important is if you love the smell, not if an elitist panel of perfume art critics decide if it's good for you. And again, I LOVE perfume as an art. I just am no snob. I mean no offense, but elitism is the death of everything named art.

  29. #29

    Default Re: What should I know about Montale before buying?

    I agree with hedonist's views on montale. The montales I like are rare -from what I've sampled from their massive collection- and I find their bastard style usually not to my liking. I find it somehow similar to the occidental fragrances from arabian houses, which are at least more humble.

    Forgive me if this sounds rude, because it's not my intention at all. The intrigue they provide to people uninitiated to arabian/eastern notes and compositions are fine and ok. But the quality they provide is actually not that high compared to other houses which aren't that well known in west.

    I also agree that their luxury and exclusivity is more obviously fabricated. Not that I care too much about it. I think it's very rude and biased to call hedonist having an anti-montale agenda.

    Regarding elitism and snobbery, I believe myself to be as removed from that as possible. On the contrary, if anything, my problem with montale would be the lack of substance behind their elite look. They are priced and marketed as such, but aren't.

    In the end, if you think they are worth your money, go for it. Just don't argue over things you don't know and can not prove, like the ingredient quality. The perspective won't be the same. hedonist probably smells mukhallats, saffron and aoud on a daily basis. He's bound to have a different idea.

  30. #30

    Default Re: What should I know about Montale before buying?

    I've smelt ouds going for over £1,000 per 3ml and have been left cold. I've smelt ouds going for a lot less and only a couple so far have compelled me to reach for my wallet. The fact is, everyone's different and you can't equate price or status to quality.

    As for Montales, there are both brilliant and mediocre releases. Personally, I've always viewed Montale ouds as interpretations and nothing more. Anyone expecting them to consist of the highest quality oud and to retail at the prices they're current set at are expecting far too much. Of course there are Arabic perfume houses that produce better creations than Montale - it's a no-brainer from where I'm standing.

    With that said, there are at least 10-12 extremely good Montale releases (many of which have already been mentioned). As for the Western houses and their oud interpretations, I don't think they're any better than Montale, especially with regards to the quality/price ratio. IMHO, By Killian is a complete rip-off, Micallef is a mediocre niche wannabe, SoOud is abysmal, etc.

    If nothing else, at least Montale started the oud bandwagon rolling in the West than merely jumping on it...
    Last edited by Trebor; 28th May 2011 at 05:38 PM.

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