Dark Aoud 
Montale (2011)

Average Rating:  57 User Reviews

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Dark Aoud by Montale

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About Dark Aoud by Montale

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Dark Aoud is a shared scent launched in 2011 by Montale

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Reviews of Dark Aoud by Montale

There are 57 reviews of Dark Aoud by Montale.

Years lapse between applications of Dark Aoud to my skin.

I bought this in 2012 at now shuttered Min New York after spending an afternoon sampling every Montale in their display. I visited frequently in those days and had spent months working my way through their Amouages, Frapins, Kilians (before Kilian was not niche enough for their showroom) Miller Harris’ Carners, L’Artisans, Penhaligons, until finally, in my slow months long spiral through their showroom, I settled in front of their Montales. Having already lived with samples of Cuir D’Arabie (which on me smelled like Southeast Asian squatty potty outhouse) and Black Aoud, I was eager to learn what else the house had to offer. In this manner I stumbled upon Dark Aoud, a scent that I knew nothing about and whose profound impact has not lessened in the years that have passed.

A monolithic potion that on first blast exudes thickness and singularity, Dark Aoud consistently manages the superheroic feat of channeling the same strength and vitality far into its deep drydown, increasing in depth and radiance as it decreases in volume. Astringent dryness in the opening slowly fades away to reveal what used to be referred to as “medicinal,” “camphoraceous” oud, delicately embraced by smoky tendrils of sandalwood. There aren’t really many other facets to this unipolar accord, but the level of commitment and single mindedness of this scent is the olfactory equivalent of a 3 dimensional artifact hovering in the air and slowly rotating on its own axis, and in this movement shifting vibrationally from lightless to somewhat lit, and back again. It is a mesmerizing and hypnotic achievement, that could be fully appreciated by those who appreciate noise and drone music, minimalist artists like Donald Judd or the paintings of Gerhard Richter. There were other scents that aspired to avant-minimalism at the time, for example some CDGs come to mind as well as some Nasomatto fragrances. Perhaps because Montale predated some of the later niche brands that played a lot with norlimbanol and ambroxan, the use of which I really don’t love, they had a proprietary way of attaining this same affect, without the coarse, smoky, almost charred but “powdery” burnt woods feeling that so many other dark woody fashionable scents of its time displayed, that I also tried many times until eventually i despaired of them all.

Instead, in its very final stages, Dark Aoud almost becomes “oily” on the skin, retaining its same characteristics of strength, vitality, and singular radiance, (on my skin these final stages arrive at the 14 hour mark and last another 8-10 hrs). Richness and purity from start to finish.

I don’t wear this infrequently because I don’t like it. I often reach for it and then stop, almost with a sense of dread because I know I am not made of such rigorous and uncompromising attention to detail as Dark Aoud. The idea of wearing it feels like a serious commitment. There is no way to wear this scent and not feel tall, commanding and noble. It’s a tremendous feeling, but not every occasion demands such a resolute and unwavering aura of power.

A towering achievement, in my mostly uneducated opinion, a masterpiece for this genre of perfumery. I have wasted much money and time chasing the dragon to find something that plays better than Montale at this game and I admit defeat. They kickstarted this trend and are still lapping the competition over a decade later. At least according to this old bottle I still have. Impressive.

Well, this is an absolute winner. Full bottle worthy. I find this similar to Oud Wood by TF. It has a smooth nuance to it that I find very appealing. Total winner IMO. Enjoy!

Just Oud man, with vetiver and pepper. Real simple. Real nice.

No rose. No saffron that I can detect. Nothing fruity or gourmandy. Just a layered, wood on wood experience.

Solid 8 hours on skin, longer on clothes. Decent projection for first 3-4.

Not quite bottleworthy to me, but a very good offering. Longevity standard of Montale. Unisex leaning masc.

Wood, oud and pepper - this is the triad that greet me in the opening blast. The wood is a mix of a dry sandalwood, touches of teakwood, and, of course, the oud. Whilst the first two and quite nicely done, the oud is also a good version of this wood that is currently so popular. It lacks and kindness, screechiness, or intrusiveness, has a slightly creamy texture and is blending in well with the rest of the gang - a team player oud so to speak. This out is rather nuanced, and I would not be surprised if Montale is using some small amount of natural oud here too; the performance is less than in many synthetic oud products, which points in the same direction. The creaminess is enhanced by a saffron component that develops further down the olfactory track, and a restrained note of black pepper is interwoven with the wood triad.

Later on a slightly earthy vetiver adds some brightness, with a smooth suede added that works well with the oud. An ambery hint comes and goes, whilst I get a slight impression of a dry dustiness towards the end of this olfactory sojourn.

I get moderate sillage, very good projection, and seven hours of longevity on my skin.

A delectable autumnal out creation that is composed of a good-quality oud that is blended well and displays some original touches. A good Montale. 3.25/5

This one is dreadful to me. When you spray it on, it smells like that of a freshly-opened summer sausage. Total scrubber. I really liked the black oud decant I ordered alongside this though. Montale has a good grasp on the oud fragrance market so I would recommend trying some of their others over this.

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