I have a set of three small roller ball bottles from this house to share with you in today’s post, and two of the three are not in the typical Montale style with which many of you might be familiar. All of these are unsurprisingly from perfumer Pierre Montale. Let’s dive in.
Rarely do I say that a fragrance is too strong. But Aromatic Lime, launched in 2005, is too strong. The only way that this fragrance is palatable to me is if you limit yourself to one spray, or in this case, one stroke of the roller ball, and wear outside. I wore two or three strokes of this stuff when I first got it and it choked me off. I had to take a shower to get relief, and even then, I could not get 100% respite from this insanely limey, herby, bitter patch bomb. This linear explosion of lime-zested spices is NOT for the faint of heart.
- lime, bitter orange, patchouli
- myrrh, saffron, galbanum,
- vetiver, sandalwood
This is an old style fragrance that runs in the traditional masculine vein. I would describe it as a more unique and far more powerful Drakkar Noire style of fragrance. This lime incense will put hair on your balls, whether you have balls or not. It will radiate lime laser beams off your skin to potentially destroy any passerby for at least three hours. If you do like this fragrance, use with caution so as not to create carnage. Three or more sprays of this in the morning and you will likely be able to smell it on yourself the next day.
I was hoping for fresh lime juice and herbs of a more gentle nature when I first opened the cap on this one. Instead, my nose was assaulted with myrrh, saffron, galbanum and patchouli that had been beaten to a poisonous pulp with a mortar and pestle, smeared onto unsuspecting wood, and then aggressively rubbed over with lemon zest, making it very dry and smokey. I said it was linear, but in fact the drydown is less zesty, more soapy and powdery and not as exciting, but also softer.
Much as I respect powerful fragrances that last forever, this fragrance is a pass for me, and I think it might be a pass for many of you ladies, too. It’s most certainly a polarizer, and I don’t mean to genderize any fragrance, but this does fall into that traditional masculine type of concoction. I could see quite an age range of men enjoying this and smelling fine, just as long as they’re not trigger happy with the quantity they put on. Don’t get 100 or even 50 ml of this stuff if you can help it. This 10ml roller ball would be all I’d ever need, but yes, I am passing this one on to a male friend, assuming he likes it. Interestingly, despite being a beast mode fragrance, I can see this working in hot weather too, thanks to the lime, although no – it’s neither thin nor transparent. It’s a heavy scent for summer. This is something I wouldn’t mind getting a waft of should it emanate from the outdoors and not on my person.
Woods & Spices
Next we have Woods & Spices, a fragrance from 2005 that is infinitely more wearable, though also somewhat assaulting to the nose upon initial sniff from the bottle. Here are the notes:
- sandalwood, incense, agarwood (oud), vetiver
This fragrance is not as abrasive or loud as many others from the brand, but it does perform like a Montale fragrance. It’s better in the drydown; the opening is strong and synthetic in a not-so-great way, but don’t judge it by the start. It does mellow out on skin and in the air and a lovely incensed woody creaminess spills forth with time. But sandalwood has more cream than wood to it, so I don’t describe this as a particularly woody scent, or even insency for that matter. There is more to it than the four notes listed. There might be some other spice notes lurking in here, such as cardamom, perhaps, and maybe some vanilla and tonka bean, too.
Again, I feel this falls in the category of a traditional masculine scent. I’m sure the vetiver helps with that, but women might also enjoy it. It has a slight sweetness to it, almost like orange blossom. Personally, I’d prefer to sniff this on a man than on my own person. I think this smells distinguished and sexy, and even though it’s strong and on the perhaps cheaper side of Montale, somehow it’s also understated. I think it has a clean and casual vibe to it, but could be worn dressed up, and although it’s dense, I feel it can be worn in warmer weather as well, day or night. It’s it loud, though, so wear less of it in the day and more later on.
You could more safely blind buy this one in my opinion, but unless you find it for a good price, personally I would not. And the reason for that is that some people find there is a synthetic, urine-like, undertone to this. I don’t smell it, but you might, and you might not like it. If you’re put off by the fact that there’s an oud note in here, don’t worry: the oud in here is featured only backstage – way backstage. If you like Versace’s The Dreamer, which it a superb great value fragrance, you’ll probably like this, as I feel this is a more niche take on it. People have also likened it to Scuplture Homme by Nikos and Desire Blue by Dunhill. You’ll probably get compliments with this. I have.
Aoud Roses Petals
Last in the set is Aoud Roses Petals, a floral oudy musk targeting women, also from 2005, which definitely falls within the scent profile of many other Montale fragrances. Sadly, however, much as the notes are alluring, this is not a winner for me.
- tea rose, agarwood (oud), geranium, saffron,
- amber, cedar, teak wood, guaiac wood
This is supposedly similar to Al-Rehab’s Aseel, but I have not smelled that one. It starts with a very sharp and clear oud note which I find medicinal, like Montale’s Dark Oud. It’s very bracing, and the rose petals, which are comparatively realistic at least, try to burst past the oud, but don’t quite succeed. They’re certainly there, though. I concede that the saffron, amber, and geranium fill out the composition beautifully when the abrasive opening calms, adding some spicy texture to the mix. However, that natural rose is also very soapy, which I simply don’t appreciate. It’s also bright or “high-pitched”, especially at the start, and reminds me of aldehydes, which I also don’t care for. They might be in here, but it’s hard to tell with that synthetic oud hogging the limelight. It could be some tangy citrus, but nothing lemon-like is listed. Montale fragrances tend to be more cool-weather friendly that warm, but this one is so bright and airy that I feel you can pull this off in summer weather, too.
Overall, if you’re patient and can wait for the drydown, this isn’t bad at all. There is a pleasant earthy green undertone to this. I get the image of a rose bed that has been uprooted – all the flowers have been pulled up from the earth and dumped back on the ground, and the soil is damp and rich, and the roses ripe, fresh, and dewy. Sadly, the oud opening and the soapiness in the rose are just too much for yours truly. I prefer darker, jammier, sweeter roses than this fragrance offers. Aoud Roses Petals is very interesting, though, in that the roses are very pretty, and the oud is so loud that it shouldn’t work, but it does… for other people, though – not moi. Another rose oud scent that carries a somewhat similar vibe with roses is Rose Anonym by Atelier Cologne. That one, I adour!