I always post my reviews on my blog, so I'll abreviate them here
I actually tried four samples today! (My day off work!) one on each hand for a half day wearing...
2 x Montales and 2 x O'Driu's
I'm not a Montale fan at all, even though I would really like to be, but I thought I'd review this two properly and give them a fair wearing. I ended up liking them more than I thought by the end of it!
Aoud Lime opens with Montale’s classic oud accord – a sharp and pungent gluey oud. I use the word “gluey” because it reminds me of an intense industrial glue, other people describe it as “bandaids”… it’s medicinal whatever it is.
Once you are familiar with the Montale oud accord it becomes pleasant, always predictable and yet very comfortable. Although as always it's flat and linear compared to other more complex mixes.
My problem generally lies with the surrounding notes in the Montale ouds. Whilst I’m more than happy to sniff away at the linear oud accord, the rose (which is the next dominating note in Aoud Lime) is always extremely dull. I found this in Aoud Queen Roses also. It is classical, soapy and completely uninteresting. There’s nothing peppery, earthy or even “full” about the rose accord. It is instead reminiscent that of basic rose essential oil or scented soap.
The saffron is much-needed in this composition and thankfully it’s on par with the rose in intensity. The saffron provides a lovely fragrant warmth and gives Aoud Lime a dusty texture.
I have tried this once before and I am enjoying this more second time round. I think I’m just taking it for what it is and going in with low expectations.
I feel like if I owned this, it would be a basic enough composition for me to reach for it if I didn’t know what else to wear. It is pretty much these single three notes, in a pleasant, strong, long-lasting oud dominated fragrance. Nice.
Dark Aoud is a little bit more up my alley.
Here the sandalwood is bone dry, aged and dark. The reason I ordered this sample was because I heard someone say it smelt like a crypt, and now I can’t get that image out of my head.
Dark Aoud opens with a blast of dark, dusty, and bizarrely subdued sandalwood. I say subdued because Dark Aoud feels completely devoid of topnotes and it feels as though the basenotes are instantly present. It feels like you’re smelling “into” the fragrance because of how powerful yet muted the wood accord is. Basically, it is a potent sandalwood completely devoid of any sweetness. It creates an atmospheric mass of dark matter around you when it’s on the skin and it radiates a smoky coolness.
The oud is much more subdued, almost non existent in Dark Aoud, completely the opposite of the other Montale oud offerings I’ve tried. This instead is all about the wood. It probably sounds extremely boring, and honestly, all I’ll say is it’s extremely simple. However, I find this one accord much more intriguing than the three in Aoud Lime.
Dark Aoud doesn’t smell like a fragrance, it instead smells like an atmosphere… a surrounding scent, or maybe the scent of a place you’ve just been still hovering on your skin. The whole time I’m thinking of this “place” I’m still thinking of the crypt image. If you’re not familiar with the smell of sandalwood like myself, I’m sure the fragrance is much more interesting than it needs to be.
It reminds me of walking into a library or a museum and going “It smells wierd in here…” – Dark Aoud has that kind of muted, old smell.
I've put this one on the wish list as I've figured it's the only Montale I'll ever like. I'd have it more for a novelty factor as for a fragrance it feels ridiculous :') But I'd probably wear it over and over.