Thursday, September 17, 2009

Montale Aoud Ambre

I have a difficult relationship with most of the Montale line. Many of the Aouds are too rosy and go sour on my skin. Other fragrances have too much this, that or cumin. I like most of the sweet ones, though, and have been wearing Chypre Vanille for a couple of years now, but that's not very surprising, considering my loving relationship with almost anything vanilla.

Aoud Ambre is an interesting one. The typical medicinal opening of the Montale Aouds is a little more restrained here (even my anti-Montale husband agrees). It's followed by a wood-incense note that makes me think of cool and crisp pine needles. The development is an interesting smoky leather with a vintage feel (think an airy Cabochard) over a very sensual powdery base. I expected Aoud Ambre to be sweeter, as most ambers tend to be, but instead discovered an animalic undertone that can be quite aggressive.

Aoud Ambre requires caution and moderation. Normally I don't shy away from big sillage and have enough personality to carry some of the bigger beasts of perfumery. Here, though, I've learn that the perfume can really wear me (and wear me out), so I prefer a more discreet approach. Two small sprays in the cleavage area are all that's needed to get the full effect. A black cashmere dress and something with an animal print complete the picture perfectly.

Note to self: never wear it in August.

Aoud Ambre used to be available from Aedes in NYC, but has been gone since they pared down their Montale stock. The Perfumed Court has samples and it can still be found online here and there (Google is your friend).

Photo by Louise Dahl-Wolfe for Harper's Bazaar (

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