montale: 5 posts

Montale Black Aoud : Perfume Review

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Miniature

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

To be perfectly honest, I find many Montale oud fragrances to be overly brash and lacking nuance, yet I am ready to eat my words anytime I discover something that proves me wrong. Black Aoud, a surprisingly authentic Arabic style fragrance, made me forget both my distaste for the oud trend as well as for Montale. Oud (agarwood), derived from a species of Aquallaria trees affected by a fungus, has a unique fragrance, which ranges from honeyed tobacco to warm fur. Given the numerous nuances of this material, it is possible to fashion different effects, whether dusky and smoky or luminous and suave. Black Aoud exemplifies the East Arabic style of perfumery that tends towards the latter.

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Montale Steam Aoud : Fragrance Review

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Persianminiature

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

One of the newest fragrances in Montale Aoud range, Steam Aoud is a scent that blends the earthy warmth of hot stones, darkness of dry roses and medicinal pungency of oud. Its base laced with sharp sandalwood and patchouli, Steam Aoud is reminiscent of other fragrances in the Aoud range. …

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Montale Aoud Queen Roses : Perfume Review

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Lovers_mogul_art_ii

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Pierre Montale’s creations quench the desires to travel over the temporal and spatial map, inviting one into the Middle Eastern souks and the Mogul palaces.  The tapestries of rose, sandalwood, oud and spices are woven as intricately as Scheherazade’s tales.  My favorite fragrances in the line are from the Aoud range, incorporating pungent and medicinal oud.

Aoud Queen Roses is a majestic fragrance of crimson roses veiled by dark earthy richness of oud.  At first, the composition is redolent not so much of a rose, as of a piece of heavy silk permeated with a scent of rose petals.  The silky sensation vanishes as a dry medicinal note of saffron turns rose softness into hot cinders.  The dark shadow of oud fills the composition with intensity and inscrutability, as the dusk fills the room in the evening distorting the outlines of familiar objects. The warm glow of rose is even more sensual and arresting against the dark pungent backdrop.

Before one overindulges into the intoxicating pairing of rose and oud, the composition transforms once again.  Now, it is suddenly dawn, with the first rays of sun turning the horizon burnished orange. The smoke of rose incense escapes through the carved screens, yet the petals remain on the cold marble floors. As the fragrance dries down, Aoud Queen Roses tempers the opulence of its dark rose heart, continuing its beguiling tale of seduction and mystery.

Available at Montale website, Aedes, Parfumsraffy, and First-in-Fragrance.

Painting: A Noble Couple Star Gazing, a Mogul illustration.  rubiyat.com 

Montale Aoud Lime : Fragrance Review

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Woman20with20a20veil

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Montale perfume house is based in Paris, with a charming boutique near Place Vendôme. Pierre Montale, the perfumer behind the line, created dozens of scents based on such traditional Middle Eastern notes as oud, attar, rose, sandalwood and patchouli. After having much success with Aoud Roses Petale, I became curious in Aoud Lime, especially since the combination sounded intriguing. How would the marriage of medicinal pungent oud and tangy sparkling lime develop?

The first impression is of rosewater seeping through a heap of Chinese herbs. However, as soon as patchouli warms up the composition, the moist quality vanishes like a raindrop on hot asphalt. Medicinal veil of oud is evident from the first inhale, which only intensifies turning darkly herbal, earthy and pungent. Paired with the dense richness of rose, the result is quite heady, however not unpleasant. If there is any lime here, my nose does not register it.  I would love to hear other opinions on this fragance.

The drydown is redolent of rose attar, which is a hydrodistillation of rose into sandalwood oil. Under its heavy and stilted wrap, even oud is muted, even though its pleasant pungency cuts through from time to time. I do not find Aoud Lime particularly interesting, but fleeting is an accusation one cannot make against it. It lasts for the entire day and into the night.

Available at Montale website, Aedes, Parfumsraffy, and First-in-Fragrance.

Painting: Woman with a Veil, Persian painting of the Qajar Epoch (1785-1925). Exhibition at the Brunei Gallery, London, UK.

Jasmine Perfume Note and Material

It seems fitting to start my reflections by devoting some attention to jasmine, which is not only my favorite fragrance note, but also the most widely used perfume ingredient, be it natural or synthetic.  While the rose is “the queen of flowers,” jasmine is indisputably the king.
jasmine
The original habitat of jasmine is considered to be India, which alone possesses about 42 species with various olfactory characteristics. In India, Ghazimpur has traditionally been the center of jasmine cultivation, while in Europe, it was Grasse, France. The jasmine was first cultivated in in Provence in 1548, being a gift of the Arab trade network (Morris 1984, 104). Today, jasmin de Grasse is the most expensive jasmine available, and the only widely available perfume using it is Chanel No 5 extrait de parfum. It is sweeter and fruitier than the more commonly available jasmines from Italy, India, Morocco and Egypt (responsible for 80% of jasmine production).

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