Saturday, March 03, 2007

Montale Black Aoud & Blue Amber

Skin chemistry is fun. Except for when two fragrances that sound heavenly and perfect seem to not do what they are supposed to on my skin, and leave me with an unfulfilled longing. Two scents have broken my heart like this. They are two of the most popular Montale fragrances: Black Aoud and Blue Amber.

It's interesting in a cruel sort of way. Usually when I really like or really hate a fragrance I don't think of them as combination of notes, but more of an impression, good or bad, that evokes something deeper. However, with these two Montale perfumes it was almost a game- to feel and identify the notes one by one as they appear. Which is probably what went wrong. I never got the picture. just the colors, and none of them felt right.

Montale Black Aoud is a cyclical game of rose, camphory rose, leathery rose and back to rose. I get none of the mystery or darkness. The aoud part is dangerously close to turning sour, which I'm pretty sure isn't supposed to happen. It's rumored to be extremely sexy, but I can assure you that my skin isn't having any of it.

Montale Blue Amber starts with a very strong amber note, a hint of bergamot and a side of something stale. It feels like a cartoon version of amber, if you could have a cartoon scent. Exaggerated and aggressive instead of the promised contemplative and magnificent. I can smell the potential in the vial, but my skin is dead set against it. As it develops, the patchouli and vanilla soften it and make it all better. The drydown feels very similar to Mazzolari's Lei, only not as well rounded or comforting, because the amber leftovers and my skin do not agree with each other.

It's frustrating, because I can actually smell all the good notes in both Montale creations. I know that they are there, they just refuse to come out and play with me.


  1. I smell your pain...

    I bought Black Aoud because I loved it-
    But it gradually became larger than life, and tried to devour me, and everyone else in my area code.

    Now, it should be said that I'm not a delicate blossom,but this baby is tenacious as hell.
    it will cling to your clothes after washing.

    So, I think I've found a nice home in Nevada [that's a BIG state, right ?], and a sweet new owner for it.

    [Ironically, I'm waiting to hear from him today, before I mail it]

  2. It's nice to see a different perspective on the Black Aoud EDT...i just got a sample today and the rose was very refreshing, i guess because i hav'nt dipped into anything rose in years. Ok, but the real winner in the samplers was the Amouage Jubilation xxv for seems to be blended perfectly. Anyway--Thanks for the thoughts.


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