One aspect of Montale's style that I particularly admire is the tendency in a number of the house's offerings to ring dark and sludgy perfume notes with a hallelujah chorus of zingier, fresher ones. The contrast and blending of light and shade makes for dynamic, often intriguing perfumes. Here we have Dark Vanilla, which, true to its name, opens with a dense and fudgy vanilla chord, sweetish and with patchouli depths to it. But almost immediately after comes the chaser of spices (cardamom, saffron, cinnamon to my nose) delivered in a mouth-freshener style, new shoe leather and a zigzagging, volatile oud' note that prevents the dark vanilla from getting too introspective and dour. Doesn't quite gel in the later stages where it turns more towards a gassy leather with the vanilla and oud retreating substantially.