Reviews of Black Aoud by Montale

Do you want a nuclear dark rose oud that lasts forever? Hell yes you do. This is it. If not this, the similar Mancera Black Line.
7th October 2022
After reading the many glowing reviews, I bought a bottle. Right from the get-go, I was pretty sure this one's not remaining in my shave den. The rose is absolutely sickening sweet. The "oud", and I used quotations, is almost non-exsistent, but rather a chemical hodgepodge that'll wreak havoc with your olfactory senses. I didn't give up right away, but rather gave it three separate tries, before the wife put her foot down. Can't say I blame her as this was an extreme disappointment. Sold.
If you want a Montale Aoud that doesn't trip your gag reflex, may I suggest Aoud Cuir d'Arabie. Now this scent is head over heels superior in every way.
3rd July 2021

I remember how impressed I was with the Montale Black Aoud I sampled in the late 1990's, it was dark,deep, prominent notes of Aoud and Patchouli with a very deep and recessed Dark rose, subtle, dusty sweetness, maybe it even had some natural materials at that time. It was absolutely bottle worthy then. The bottle I purchased recently really shocked me in an off-putting way.
From the word Go, this fragrance is Full throttle aroma chemical Choking/Gagging Rose that never stops, ever. A sent strip is still shrieking Rose 24hours later. I actually did not get much of any other notes to speak of. The heaviness of the rose of so strong, the Aoud is minimally detectible. "The iconic of Montale's house" Black Aoud--such a sad reformulation of what once was, it is unrecognizable to me and unwearable under any circumstances.
18th May 2021
This stuff is legit! The opening is a bit harsh (smells like an old lady), but after an hour or so it smells delightful.

It's an incredibly strong, medicinal and somewhat floral fragrance that lasts all day. When I first sprayed this on I hated it, but by the end of the first day of wearing I was ready to buy a bottle.
14th November 2020
Rose in the opening, very strong and medicinal, but this is possibly one of the best rose and oud combo.
Dark fragrence with a touch of Patchouli thrown in the mix.

This frag stays strong for around 2hours, then goes to me poudery.... and this is where I feel this scent is very appealing. Lovely with close simiularities to Black Prestigium.

So for me this and Black Pestigium from sister house Mancera are my faves when I crave that dark Gothic Black Rose.

Scent 7.3-10
Performance 9 -10
Silage 8.9 -10

26th July 2020
Love it. Oud done right. As if there is some sort of "honeyed" note in there like Mugler uses in Pure Havane. Not a honeyed tobacco, it's more like all of the remaining notes of Black Aoud have been honeyed.

In short, this rounds out the oud so it doesn't have its usual sharpness and is less predominant, less pungent.

Subtle rose, nicely done so it doesn't go towards feminine at all. More or less as we know it from 1 Million.
29th December 2019
This is what you get when you bury a rose in the "Pet Sematary."

This is a dark rose fragrance, simple as that. I love a well-done rose, and coupled with the medicinal tinge that the agarwood brings (similar to the medicinal note from the agarwood in M7 (2002)), this is a pretty linear trip, but an interesting one at that.

It starts off a bit strong and somewhat off-putting, smelling like a rose-scented medical compound, but as it dries down, the rose becomes more prominent and smooth, and the agarwood fades a little more into the background, balancing this out nicely. It's a very dark scent; one that I think would have been the perfect "official band fragrance" of Type O Negative, for those of you who get that reference. This is something to be worn at night to something intimate or formal, as long as you want to give off a gothic, brooding vibe. Although this is a men's fragrance, I think a woman with a dark, mysterious kind of image (think Eva Green) would be able to pull this off without issue.

This is certainly a try-before-you-buy fragrance, and one that I could see as being in the "love it or hate it" category. It's not something I would buy, but this could certainly be a signature scent for the right person, with my assumption that said person is of the Tim Burton/Rob Zombie variety.

Thumbs up

22nd November 2019
Not so much red wine, as another reviewer notes, and more like Turkish delight. Sweet and rose-heavy, with a questionable amount of oud (no matter what its provenance) going by the performance... in short, there are plenty of "black ouds" out there, and this one is certainly inferior to its Dumont namesake, which actually smells like something that deserves the name "Black Oud".
10th November 2019
I liked this fragrance very much. But unfortunately my girlfriend didn't. She wrinkled her little nose and said "you do NOT want to smell like the inside of an old woman's handbag". I was tempted to dispute her mistaken gendering of the rose. But then I remembered who's boss, and wisely kept my mouth shut.
24th June 2019
This smells like red wine to me. I'm not a big drinker, or wine connoisseur, so I don't know what kind. And it was not a fleeting resemblance. When that beginning smashes you it seems like all nuance is lost, and almost all my thoughts inherintaly come back to "Whew, its pungent." Two hours in the fragrance settled down to "normal fragrance initial spray levels." There really is a lot of Black Oud in MFKs Oud Silk Mood, which was my favorite I have tried from the Mood line. Medicinal oud with rose just go really well together, though they would seem to me to be the type of thing I would only ever need one of. I think this could be worn by a man or woman. It is a dark deep seductive red either way. This would go great on a brunette in a little black dress with ruby red lipstick.
27th March 2019
The perfume houses of Montale and Mancera are not entirely separate in my mind, and instead come across like two sides of a coin minted by Pierre Montale in 2003, after what he claims to be a career as a successful by-appointment perfumer for Arab royalty in his former Dubai base of operations. Many of his clients, citing his French heritage, supposedly requested Western-style perfume instead of the traditional attars, and his affinity for mixing Middle East ingredients in Western ways was born. Skipping back to 2003, and his new niche perfume house in Paris became responsible for launching the "Oud Craze" in Western and designer perfume, with his much-adulterated synthetic oud accord which contained but a sliver of actual agar, projected with aromachemicals like Iso E Super. Several releases came and went between 2003-2006, but it was Black Aoud (2006) that put him on the map, setting a standard which other Western houses would follow. Mancera would represent something of an equal opposite for the perfumer, with mostly Western themes presented to the Middle East market, which ate up his takes on popular Western tropes just the same as Westerners consumed his synthetic ouds. Of course, there is so much crossover that really both name plates are the same brand, with Montale using metal sprayers and Mancera using traditional glass spray flacons. Black Aoud still remains the top-seller for the house, besides being a more-basic interpretation compared to later Montale/Mancera ouds, and that has to do with the hype it's garnered.

Most consider this the best starting point for the house too, but after sampling around both labels, I'm not so sure I can agree with that, even if I do enjoy what's here very much. To be honest, Black Aoud feels more like a rose fragrance than one centered around oud, and it makes sense considering the medical nature of the Montale/Mancera oud compound, and the rest of the aromatic backbone surrounding that rose. It's also logical to guess this is more of a rose perfume given that rose is such a prominent player in many Middle Eastern styles, perfume or attar, oud or not, with the same level of ubiquity present that lavender, citrus, or aquatic accords enjoy in Western markets. On that note, Black Aoud opens with and is carried by an intense Turkish rose. This is a dark, rich, serious, and brooding "Gothic" rose found in antique Western examples, with zero bergamot or jasmine to lighten or sweeten it. Black Aoud is a thoroughly masculine rose, but the composition itself is sold as unisex in most markets, so I see this appealing mostly to genderfluid or generally adventurous folks outside the Middle East where it's par for the course. Cistus labdanum and dry patchouli make up the middle of Black Aoud, adding a lush green facet to the stoic rose, but not adding any humor. The medical oud note is the obvious finish, softened with a touch of orange, but otherwise standing alone with the rose. Longevity is an all-day 12+ hour affair, while sillage can be catastrophic if not applied carefully, so beware. Black Aoud is a no-apologies perfume worn by an unrepentant lover of strong, domineering rose scents, so find your own suitable context for wearing it. I find Black Aoud good in all temperatures, as it pierces the air regardless.

You likely won't get many compliments wearing Black Aoud, but I don't think this is the kind of perfume for seeking that attention. Western rose oud perfumes have not only grown in sophistication since the release of Black Aoud, but also in authenticity too, as perfumers either substitute in more of the real material (if niche/artisinal) or find better ways to shape their synthetics into something closer to actual oud macerations, dressing up the note pyramids to make more complex and less naked presentations than how Black Aoud comes across to the nose. I like a good kick-in-the-ass rose, and a shrieking medical oud underneath just lets that grim rose shine even more, so this is a huge thumbs up for me, but with the caveat that Black Aoud is basically a rose-scented agarwood sledgehammer that totally lacks finesse. Still, without any barnyard funk of more-authentic ouds, Black Aoud is less Marilyn Manson and more Gene Simmons in total shock value, which suits me just fine but may disappoint purists. My only complaint is the brutal simplicity of Black Aoud, as I've worked backwards from some newer representations in the field of Western rose oud perfumes which arguably have rendered Black Aoud obsolete; even the bargain-basement Jovan Intense Oud (2012) showcases a slightly more-believable synthetic oud with a drop of animalic growl (as per their specialty), feeling more like a cyborg with a bit of skin stretched over than a full-on metal-clad android like Black Aoud. Ultimately, it's the quality of rose that keeps Black Aoud safely at it's niche perfumery level, since the Jovan (and many others including some higher-priced designers) use cheaper synthetic rose oils which vary in tone from sweet to citric depending on where that geraniol is sourced. Black Aoud is still a pillar in the rose/oud genre for a reason, but has the grace of a pickup truck, so I'd sample this first before paying that niche-level price for a bottle. There's simply too much choice now to dive into this blind. Thumbs up!
28th November 2018
First Montale I've sampled, and first rose-dominant scent also. The rose is just overpowering. It does smell good though, but I couldn't pull this off. Definitely staying a sample.
5th August 2018
Truly awful stuff!!

Artificial roses in a tin can. It's like something my great grandmother would wear. Nuclear strength to the point were it chokes you out and makes your eyes water.

I have no idea why and self respecting man or woman would want to smell like this??
2nd May 2017
A dark, powerful scent, lasts 24+ hours. I did 4 sprays from a sample and it would not leave my nose until showering the next day. Smells like roses and burning candles in an old, dark church. The rose smell is actually nice but just go very light on sprays.
I wore TF Noir de Noir and these are similar with the Montale being the more heavy and intense of the two.
9th January 2017
Rose is a tricky scent - you love it or hate it. I'll start off by saying "I hate it". I got BA in a decant sampler, put on 2 drops (not aware of the rose), and immediately began to get a headache. I tried to scrub it off with a wet washcloth, but it wouldn't budge. This stuff is certainly powerful and stubborn.

To me, this smells like my grandmother's body powder. The synthetic rose dominates whatever other notes are in here, and does not relent even after 8 hours (even with the scrubbing attempt).

If you like rose, you might like this. If you dislike rose, run away from this one.
4th May 2016
This is the best rose fragrance. This fragrance is in my top five for sure. I cant quit smelling my wrist.
29th February 2016
A huge combination of rose, aoud and patchouli, opulent but still classy, fantastic longevity.

Once I casually discovered this recently released EDP in the old Montale's shop in Paris I immediately fall in love with it, so much that I progressively abandoned (gave them to friends) all my perfumes collected in many years.

Actually I use it alternatively with some few fragrances and in these years many people asked me about my perfume and some of them bought it.

I usually buy black aoud in Montale's boutique in Paris, it seems better in term of quality/longevity.
29th December 2015
From a sample...
Finally acquired a sample of Montale Black Oud. I was interested to wear it as it seems to be one of the more popular of their oud fragrances. Although I'm not an expert , I have sampled about a half dozen oud-rose fragrances, which to my nose all seem indistinguishable in scent and quality. Black Oud is another indistinguishable oud-rose, with the single exception of it's synthetic, plastic like structure and near nuclear projection.

On the first wearing of BO, I quickly realized that Montale is a house whose formulations are seriously strong, and I had to shower off and start over because with 3 sprays the sillage and projection were massive. On my next attempt with just one spray to the wrist, I fared better and could give Black Oud a fair evaluation.

My first impression, trying to disregard my first attempt, was that BO is decidedly synthetic rose, patchouli and oud. It took a good two hours for BO to settle down enough to where it didn't smell like some cleaning liquid. After the viscous opening, BO settles into a common, yet dark wintery oud-rose fragrance. The rose is dark and rich, making for a somewhat heavy fragrance. It all still seems a bit plastic to me and it never really developed into a natural scent that I would want to wear or could enjoy. I could detect it on my wrist 24hrs later.

I probably need to wear this one again a few times to appreciate it, but right now it's not for me, so I'll go with a Neutral rating.
20th November 2015
Is a rose still a rose when it's mixed with patchouli & aoud? Yes, to its bitter core. The combination of rose, aoud & patchouli is almost ubiquitous in the Mideast or so I'm told. This is obviously Montale's stab at it. I've never been to the Mideast but Montale's take is very compelling.

Let's start with the rose. I could use words like deep, floral, not-your-grandmother's-rose but that would be a disservice. The rose is stunning, in a word. Opulent, dark red roses come to mind. I can't tell if it's synthetic or not but keep it coming, Montale.

The aoud and patchouli seem to hover at the same low frequency plane. The woody tones give BAoud its heart and base, like a rose growing from the noble piece of wood.

I have a recent version and it still lasts for days. I would add that the sillage isn't as powerful as it used to be but that may be a good thing not to fill the entire opera hall. Montale's flagship BAoud is still wonderful and a blast of exotic air.

9th October 2015
Montale's Black Aoud.

I like how BN lists "rose petals" rather than "rose."

I could see this being used to bless one, or to exorcize. Rose petal, Aoud and mandarin are the dominant notes. A heavy ethanol pricks your nostrils initially.

I Enjoy the formula, truly. Very confronting, I picture it being used on the predominantly dressed-in-black type, well structured cheek bones and completely indifferent to opinion. Not for me, I am more into the animalic kind. If you are kind of a Perfume bad ass, buy this frag.

8/10 (purely for admiration of craftsmanship.)
8th October 2015
This is one of the best of Montale offerings. Overall it has that Montale DNA and reminiscent of others in the line, but this one is better blended. It's simple but interesting; the dark rose paired with pungent oud is what it's all about from the start and well into the base, because the opening and the heart doesn't change much. The rose loses it's power with time, but the oud doesn't until very late, reversing the proportions of the rose/oud scent to the oud/rose. The longevity is very good and the projection is medium (I suppose the current formula is toned down a bit, because it's not a nuclear bomb as the older reviews are stating, but the performance is still good). In the last hours, when it has become a skin scent, it's softer, mainly a musky patchouli scent with just a touch of oud.
1st October 2015
I acquired a decant of Black Aoud over the winter. In cooler weather, it retains its hissing, medicinal opening for several hours. I would get traces of something more luxurious, but they were fleeting.

Now that it's summertime, and Portland has been hitting triple digit temperatures, I gave Black Aoud another shot to see how the heat might change things -- and it did, noticeably! Walking around town, going in an out of shops on a hot afternoon, Black Aoud smoldered with all it had to offer. As with all scents, it didn't last as long in the heat, and yet was still generous in its duration.

Who says big, tenacious perfumes shouldn't be worn on hot days? Along with Bandit and Tubereuse Criminelle, Black Aoud has become one of my favorites for scorchers. Like the aforementioned, it's novel, inedible, cutting through heat-induced dazes to keep my mind clear.
2nd August 2015
A different fragrance,A new dimension. BLACK AOUD MONTALE is one of those fragrances that is unlike anything you have smelled before.the fragrance presents a completely exceptional composition.It has a nice noticeable scent but not overpowering.magnetic, mysterious,warm,expensive,gorgeous,woody,unpredictable,senesual and perfectly unique.

it starts more like an real classic arabian with a great touch of oud.the notes are so perfectly harmonized especially rose and oud are so strong and dominant to my nose.the confident character will wear this perfume and feel the magic. it is not for the faint hearted.however everybody's chemistry is different and it's going to smell different on everybody but something is certain, BLACK AOUD is a unforgettable masterpiece.

Anyway BAM is one of the most majestic scents admist the MONTALE impressive line-up.It is a very good attention grabber fragrance and definitely make a sensual statement.totally I would highly recommend anyone loking for a unique scent for evenings or romantic events.
13th June 2015