Pierre Montale’s extensive line of fragrances is relatively new to the world. Launching in 2001, Montale is renown for the quality of raw materials used and the eastern and oriental cultures that have inspired the creation of over twenty oud wood fragrances alone. In 2005 I read an article about Arabian oud and its limited supply. At the time the scent of oud had an almost mythical quality to it. Articles like this surely paved the way for the exhaustive number of oud perfumes that made their way onto the fragrance market in the five years that followed. These days every perfumer seems to have an oud fragrance in their catalogue, from L’Artisan Parfumeur to Creed, The Different Company, Tom Ford, Le Labo, By Kilian, Byredo and of course Montale. Pierre Montale gained 30 years of experience as a perfumer in the Middle East before returning to Europe and launching his own line of perfumes attributed to the precious woods of the east as well as attars of flowers and balsams. In Paris, Montale can be found along side the world’s most revered fine jewelers in Place Vendome. The simple aluminum bottles that carry the perfumes ensure the precious juice is protected from light.
Purchasing a Montale fragrance is like deciding which flavour of chocolate you should buy. Oud presented twenty-four different ways, it takes some time and consideration to decide what flavour of oud you are in the mood for and think you will continue to be in the mood for the duration of the bottle. Created as eau de parfums, Montale fragrances have an intensity and longevity you would expect from both an EDP as well as something inspired by the Middle East. A friend of mine used to work for Emirates and any scent of rose and oud makes her feel like she is living back in Dubai. I purchased Aoud Lime because most oud perfumes I have smelled have a somber, heavy feel to them. Aoud Lime was a pleasant surprise. Cheerful and fun, immediately oud, I thought this was a unique scent I could see myself wanting to wear. I also love roses and am always looking for masculine rose scents. Linear in its design, Aoud Lime begins with notes of candied lime, Indian roses and saffron. Italian iris and oud from Pakistan balance the sweetness of the other raw materials. Sandalwood, amber and patchouli are the base notes. The lime is a little screechy and enhances the phenolic notes in the composition. I like this sterile hospital floor cleaner smell that contrasts the rich allure of precious wood and spice. I’m sure it was not intentional but I love the paradox that exists in this moment. In time the fragrance is veiled in sugar, possibly ethyl maltol, an aroma chemical from the vanilla family used to create the scent of candy or sugar (Thierry Mugler’s Angel). Aoud Lime has an uncontainable silage and takes over every space into which it is introduced. Just as well it smells so amazing!
I am conscious that most oud perfumes smell like money. Aoud Lime on the other hand has a bohemian side that is very attractive. It is modern, well travelled and creative and will suit a wearer who also shares these qualities. On workdays when I can dress down a little, I like to wear it. Loose fitting linen trousers, cotton shirt with sleeves rolled up, sneakers and lightweight cashmere scarf. Perfect for autumn and cooler months.
L’Artisan Parfumeur Safran Troublant, Diptyque Opone, Frederic Malle Noir Epices, Montale Aoud Shiny.