Montale Black Aoud was an early release from this house, released in 2006, and it was this release that put the house on the map. The nose behind this fragrance is Pierre Montale. The primary notes are oud and rose.

Like all Montale’s it comes in an aluminum bottle inside a small pouch. The bottle is very light. I think it’s nice packaging, although a drawback is that you can’t see how much juice is left. You could weigh it I guess because the bottle doesn’t add much weight to the presentation. The pouch the bottle comes in is lovely, not very useful I think but it’s a nice touch.

Notes in Montale Black Aoud

Primarily this scent consists of oud and rose, with some other stuff thrown in. Something sweet like honey or plum though I’m not really certain. I always get something sweet underneath all the oud and rose. I’m thinking there’s some patchouli in there as well. But yeah, primarily what you get when you smell it is oud and rose, the other notes just bring out some nuances. It is a great oud and rose smell though!

A little thing about oud for those of you who might be unfamiliar with it. I guess all of you will be familiar with rose. Oud, also known as agarwood, aoud or oudh, is a resinous wood that is formed when certain species of trees are infected with a type of mold. It is very popular in middle eastern perfumery. And it is one of the most expensive natural materials in the world. It has a very spicy and woody smell.

Now Montale specializes in oud based fragrances. Though oud is by no means the only note this house bases fragrances on. The house was founded by perfumer Pierre Montale who apparently doesn’t exist. Actually there are a lot of stories like that surrounding this brand but actually I don’t really care. If they make good stuff they make good stuff. I’m assuming Pierre Montale is a pseudonym, and probably the house brings in other perfumers anyway to help out with creating their fragrances. Otherwise I can’t really explain their enormous productivity. Often releasing four or more new fragrances every year. This is all speculation on my part though.

Montale Black Aoud performance

Black Aoud is an incredibly strong fragrance, performance is nuclear level with projection measured in miles and longevity measured in centuries. I once put it on in the morning, had a shower in the evening and went to sleep. The next day I wore another fragrance, in the evening when that scent had worn off I could still smell Black Aoud. So longevity is easily 24 hours, even if you shower during those 24 hours. Be careful with spraying it on your clothes!

When another fragrance thinks it’s a true powerhouse, Black Aoud says ‘hold my beer’ and sends it running for cover. It is that strong!

If someone wears Black Aoud I can smell it from a mile away. And I guess the same is true for other people when I wear it. You can’t wear it to the office. You can’t wear it on a date. The only time when I can wear it is when I’m by myself at home watching a movie or reading a book when my girlfriend is out partying with the girls.

Final thoughts

As far as niche houses go Montale is very affordable. A 100ml bottle of Black Aoud costs about the same as a 100ml bottle of Bleu de Chanel eau de parfum or Dio Sauvage eau de parfum. And has more character than either of those. Montale is a nice gateway into niche fragrances if you are looking for something more unique and distinctive than designer fragrances for not that much more money.

I love Black Aoud, I think it smells incredible and it is of very high quality. But its nuclear level performance brings some problems because you can’t really wear it anywhere.

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