Perfume Reviews

Neutral Reviews of Dark Aoud by Montale

Total Reviews: 7
Montale Dark Aoud is true to name in that it definitely evokes a certain darkness. Its only listed notes are oud and sandalwood, but I definitely get more of a vetiver/oud mix, myself, with some of the characteristic dirtiness of each, with some of the fresh side of vetiver as well.

Dark Aoud is frankly a raw, dry expression of the principal Montale DNA that's often discussed--the generic, dark oudlike essence that many associate with the brand. Imagine that enhanced with perhaps a touch of vetiver and sandalwood, and there you have Dark Aoud. Though probably synthetic, it strikes me as very essential, for some reason.

Needless to say, this is mainly suited for colder weather wearing, and for men, but it's a classic case of it working fine when and for whom the wearer wants.

It's mellow enough in its dry down to be regarded as sophisticated but unfortunately I find it unpleasant enough to not regard it as something that I like, but something I could take or leave, even if I had access to it for free.

Performance seems exceptional, as with most Montale fragrances, and in that respect the value is there if you love the scent, at circa $100 for 100ml on Notino, its usual discounted spot.

6 out of 10
02nd February, 2017
I may be anosmic to some components (I am very skeptical about “selective anosmy”, though) but I don’t get anything “dark” here, not even by mistake. And no oud either, but that’s no surprise with Montale offerings. Dark Aoud seems to me a very inoffensive, quite pleasant, slightly boring and extremely artificial cedar-sandalwood scent with a polite, understated, mannered dry look – almost minimalistic, in some way. It feels very clean, slightly earthy-herbal too, with a mild touch of spices to add a delicately sparkling edge to the core woody galore. That’s it. No oud, not even a synthetic hint of that, and no darkness for me, at all. Quite the opposite, actually (you know what scent Dark Aoud reminds me of, if any? A Quiet Morning by Miller et Bertaux).

Despite the criminally misleading name and a certain feel of flatness it’s a decent scent though, almost nice - a very clean and discreet everlasting woody blend with no particular sparks of interest, but effortlessly enjoyable. A very safe and versatile workhorse, I guess. One of those clean, generic “IKEA-like” woody scents, just with some spices and an eau de parfum strength and longevity. Not exactly the catchiest scent around and definitely overpriced, but there’s worse than this.

5,5-6/10
21st January, 2016
A bit surprising that this made its appearance so late in the day in Montale’s oud series as it is quite the archetypal ‘Arabic’ masculine scent – variants of which I have encountered emanating from Arab men. Intense, focussed, going ‘Daddy!’ with full-throttle phwoaar.
The concentration is what will first hit the wearer. This is a perfume that is pretty single minded: it makes a hell of statement with a full-on smoky, spicy, intensely woody, oud accord. Dry, with some sharp (as opposed to creamy) sandal in the base, and with great tonal variation in the overall effect, Dark Aoud is rich and thrilling. It has such an enlivening effect, it’s almost aphrodisiacal. However it does flatten quite considerably after about half a day’s wear (when in terms of volume it is still going strong), by which time a certain post-aphrodisiacal tiredness may ensue. Use sparingly for maximum enjoyment.
03rd July, 2014
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Bone dry, intense, please dry down, come hither....

Dry, austere, dark, sightly industrial when first applied. Someone write that it was what Freddy Krugger smells like; perhaps a bit strong, but I follow. Shrek's cave? Shrek's date night scent? For the first couple of hours, I just do not like this, and cannot imagine wanting to smell like this. However, after about four hours in, it begins to calm down. The intense austerity gives way to a sweet note, almost rose like. At this point, the sandalwood is prominent, and it while there is still this chemically, almost motor oil synthetic grease like quality, I actually like it. The problem is that I had to endure wanting to sand paper my skin off to get to this place, and since the longevity on this is so good, it just is depending a bit more patience that I think I might have.

I can see wearing this to an all night dance party in a warehouse, but alas, those days are pretty much gone for me.

I am not sure how to rate this, as I would give it a 1 star for the few hours, 3.5 for the smell now, but a 5 for performance. Sounds like a quixotic 3 star to me.

30th July, 2013
cerjr Show all reviews
United States
I like this, but am not sure it is bottle worthy.

I had a sample that I wore for a week. The first time I tried, it opened a lot like many of the Tom Ford Signature Collection. I am a big fan of Oud Wood, and this has a very similar opening to that, so was very excited.

In the dry down, however, there came a sharpness that was less refined, more brutal than I was hoping for. I expected a bit more refinement, a bit more subtleness. This was more rough around the edges than the other top line oud's I've tried in the past.

The amount of money this costs, in my opinion, would be better spent on Tom Ford's Oud Wood.
24th March, 2013
The best I can say about this fragrance is that it is 'interesting'. The oud has a pungent chemical smell, almost like 'poppers'. Unfortunately the oud dominates, and there is only one day of the year when I find this fragrance is useful - on Halloween.

It may be considered hyper-masculine by some, but I would be more concerned about whether women will run away when they smell it.

Edit: Hmm...it seems to me that the juice has changed, like good wine. Now it seems more mellow and rounded, like aged wine. It could be that my taste/smell has changed, but I don't think so since my friend agrees. It gets better with time....


23rd November, 2012 (last edited: 08th November, 2014)
At the wonderful MONA in Hobart there's an installation called the Death Chamber. Entering along a narrow concrete path surrounded by pools of pitch-blac, highyl-reflective water, one enters a dim room containing a glass-lidded sarcophagus, complete with mummy. It is completely silent inside the room, except for the sound of a single water-drip that echoes through every 15 seconds or so. And the smell... It smells, we agreed, exactly like a tomb would after being closed for many, many centuries.

Collect that smell somehow and distil it, and you would have Dark Aoud. Black, reflective, foreboding, and not of this world. This is one of the most difficult Montales to wear, and also one of the most interesting.

Highly recommended (and so is a visit to MONA).

July 2016 - And my new bottle of Dark Aoud clearly has a great deal less parfum extrait in it than my previous one. It's now a mere shadow of its former self, which is very disappointing. I'm afraid I have to change my rating to a neutral now. What's the story, Montale?
28th January, 2012 (last edited: 28th July, 2017)