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Quote Originally Posted by NickZee View Post
I have 25+ Montales. Why? They are big, brash, unapologetic, exotic scents. They are very affordable. The rose notes are excellent. They have a distinct Montale signature that no other brand comes close to.

But it takes a lot of work to navigate the range. Once you get past the 10 or so scents that everyone raves about, it’s possible to step on a dud, but there are also gems to be found which either have not caught on or were popular 8-9 years ago but have since been forgotten about.

I read lots of lazy reviewers saying “another Montale rose oud, they’re all the same”. Well the openings on some of the old aoud compositions can be similar, but then they become distinct variations on a beautiful theme. Why bother releasing a dud, when you can take the beautiful Black Aoud and give it a mid that features violet petals and sandalwood (i.e. Aoud Flowers). Or take Black Aoud and give it a big dose of candied dark berry notes (I.e. Aoud Purple Rose). Or take Black Aoud and give it the sensuality of original Dior Homme (i.e Red Aoud). Or take Black Aoud and insert a big cloud of vanilla (i.e. White Aoud).

This variation theme has its origins in how Montale started before the brand even existed. The founder made “tailored” perfume for brides and grooms In the Middle East and the couples essentially chose from a set of accords which added up to a finite number of choices. The early perfumes were then bottled in similar cans as Montale uses now and had the bride and grooms names on them. It’s these early compositions which then led to an explosion of releases in the early days of Montale.

Once you step away from the Aoud, you can find designers on steroids. One of my guilty pleasures is Fougere Marines, which has Cool Water vibes, but the Montale growls for 10 hours+.

I personally think the older aoud completions in the Montale range, from their golden period circa 2006-2012 remain benchmarks for what a great oud composition should smell like and how it should wear (LOUD).



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