I'll echo speedracer's review. There's a smoky and peppery sandalwood vibe and at times it comes off a little synthetic feeling. If you look past that, you'll find BR540. I'd give this around a 60% similarity to the original. In the air, it's probably 70-80% similar. If the peppery/synthetic aspect was removed, I'd give it 65-70%. The scratchiness sort of ruins the elegance and airiness of the original.
Al Haramain's Amber Oud Rouge is still one of the best BR540 clones I've come across with a 90-95% similarity. This still hits a similar vibe but it comes across slightly synthetic to my nose. However, this is still closer to the original than Ariana Arande's Cloud and Burberry's Her.
Few days back I bought it with magnetic cap & batch was 20C091C. It's cap logo is also changed "M" with some flower sketch. Mine is poor in performance :-( Longevity is hardly 4/5 hours with 1 hour week Projection.
Did someone else experience it??
Similar to Baccarat Rouge 540 with lots of sweetness but with more peppery sandalwood and feels like more smoke or something singed. I prefer Baccarat Rouge 540 and Kalan to Instant Crush but wearing this around my wife got me noticed. She liked it.
Feels like a unisex scent, best for outdoors or in a large crowd. It's just very strong both in projection and longevity.
Honestly this is beautiful. To me, it has that BR540 vibe minus the latex gloves, so it's definitely a winner in my book and I will wear this far more often than BR540.
Oh and it's a compliments machine, if that's your thing.
I do get a vanilla but not as a major player. I get synthetic, rubber, and a black tea smell. I was surprised when I looked up the notes. I don't get floral at all. It is hideous. I see it is categorized as a women's fragrance. I am a woman who wears mostly men's and unisex fragrances so perhaps other noses will get something completely different. My nose decisively says no.
One of Mancera's more recent releases, Instant Crush, is a sugary vanilla citrus floral that's an easy winner for those that like vanilla but want to keep it fresh and light, as well. This is not a weighted-down, cake-like vanilla, or even a boozy vanilla, but rather, a medium-bodied vanilla that has the tip-of-the-tongue sugary sweetness initially but that does not remain candied throughout its life. The opening is citrus-laden and zesty, with mixed citruses, saffron, and ginger, but quickly gives way to a more floral heart of rose and jasmine, with a dry down of vanilla, sandalwood, and musk. It's a solid formula for a versatile player. The vanilla isn't overwhelming to start despite the mix having a sharp sweetness from the onset, but it becomes a little creamier and more of an overall woody vanilla musk blend in the dry down.
I've seen comparisons to MFK Baccarat Rouge 540, and I don't feel that the analogy holds up for more than a moment. Out of the atomizer or when briefly in air, there's some sort of sweet commonality.
Instant Crush has the standard Mancera pricing of $180 for 120ml, which isn't bad at all if you want it now, as great retailers like Alan Berdjis at Beverly Hills Perfumery will probably have it available at some point, or you can wait to raid the grey market.
I don't find its performance to be all that special; it's boastful to start but because fairly mellow after a few hours of wearing, so it's nice as a casual option but not at all up to par with many of the other offerings in the gargantuan Mancera/Montale catalogue.
Overall, it's a nice agreeable vanilla that's fresh with citrus and florals but not overly feminine on the floral side. Certainly for those that find it similar to MFK BR540, it's a lot cheaper, but I really don't think that they're all that alike.