Reviews of Montaigne by Caron

Montaigne is big boozy and retro.Smells like metopolitan city. You can walk city streets, in stylish outfit and high heels to cool café, talk with friends and order tasty dessert covered by black currant glaze. Reminds me of a more polite version of giorgio with out the weird petrol undertones. This one is an absolute pleasure to wear.

The scent itself is great, and it's not a shy one: it's an extravagant banquet of a scent, full of ripe fruits at first, warm spices later on, and sweet flowers all the way through. At the same time, it actually manages to smell a lot like bubblegum without smelling cheap. Think of Guerlain L'Heure Bleue, but happy and glowing instead of moody and melancholy.

Montaigne is a really happy scent, Lots of sun-ripened black currant, citrus and a little coriander-touch on the top (I feel this luxury bubble-gum scent for 1-2 hours) then powdery, woody, elegant, unmistakable dry down. I feel the mimosa and the flowers, only the well-rounded whole composition. Like a little black dress or blazer, you could wear this one with anything, and for just about any occasion.
18th September 2022
I found myself a bottle from 1986. Very pleased! Gorgeous oriental top notes. Every note, in its place. Every note, sounds off, making itself self known. Then, the notes all merge. The top notes, including the citrus are actually fairly well intact. The "top" is a medium to dark floral, a touch of spice, and bitter citrus.

The middle remains somewhat "dark", brooding, always oriental but, with the addition of narcissus and black current. The vanilla from the base makes its way into the mix. Montaigne mellows, becomes smoother.

I have always associated Caron with dark and deep fragrances. I'd been attracted to them since the late 80's / early 90's. They may have been a bit more "mature" for me back then. I loved them anyway. I am very glad I discovered Montaigne once again. It is better than I remembered.

Later on, an amber-sweet accord appears. More vanilla, with the addition of ambrette and mild sandalwood. Wintery, warm, and alluring. It fits right in, with modern perfumes of orient stylings.
1st March 2019

Genre: Floral Oriental

They were pushing Montaigne like a drug last holiday season at Nordstrom. The elaborate displays suggested that the promotion was Caron's not the store's and I wondered what the motive was. Were Montaigne sales slack? Does Caron think Montaigne is one of their more approachable fragrances, and hence a good “entry level” selection? Did they just have excess stock to unload? I don't suppose I'll ever know.

I don't know about “approachable” but Montaigne is certainly conventional. In style it's a straightforward floral oriental, with all of the expected components: sweet spiced citrus, a bouquet of white flowers, and a sweet vanilla-amber foundation. These same building blocks have served for scents as fine and varied as Byzance, Ysatis, Boucheron, Tocade, Flower, Amaranthine, and Insolence. In Montaigne's case it's the white floral accord that dominates, aligning it more closely with Byzance, Boucheron, and Ysatis than comparatively streamlined, modernistic scents such as Flower or Tocade.

I can detect jasmine, rose, tuberose, and orange blossom among Montaigne's floral notes. Though the arrangement is moderately indolic, it is so generously seasoned with aldehydes that it smells clean and soapy, rather than decadent and animalic. The amber and vanilla in the base notes are offset by a very smooth, creamy wood accord. Without the woods Montaigne might be oppressively sweet, but their presence assures adequate balance. The drydown, with its remnants of soapy florals tempered by soft woods and amber, is my favorite part of this fragrance. In its parfum concentration Montaigne projects and lasts well, but I don't find it as oppressively heavy or overbearing as Boucheron or Insolence can be when over-applied.

After a few wearings I appreciate Montaigne as a solid, pleasant scent, though nothing terribly exciting. Caron offers more stimulating orientals in Nuit de Noël and Parfum Sacré, and in the heady white flower-floral oriental field Byzance, Boucheron, and Amaranthine present equally fine, though more distinctive alternatives.
19th June 2014
This is an ideal scent for gifting a young lady in her late teens or early twenties. It is exuberant, cheerful and confident.

The fruity mandarin and blackcurrant float over tuberose, jasmine and mimose, supported by coriander, vanilla and sandalwood.

Although much too fruity for my tastes, I can still objectively rate Montaigne as a marvelous Caron creation for the very young and young in heart.
16th April 2013
There is - after a boisterous opening - a steady stream of perfume that reminds me of vintages. Full, even, long lasting. I am not good at describing notes, but a warm haystack comes to mind. It gets better and better as it dries down.

Thumbs up for a classy perfume.
23rd March 2012
Exhuberant. Quite loud. Opens with rich fruits and then switches over to florals, I get a lot of tuberose over a vanilla base. This is the EdP. The parfum on the other hand plays out the same way, but is more luscious and quiet. I adore Caron and must eat crow having villified the house and Richard Fraysse since I loathed Parfum Sacre and was totally baffled how Tabac Blond could be interpreted as a leather. But Infini? Sweet mother of God how lovely! Montaigne? Pure cheerfulness. I love that Caron still offers so many of their scents in extrait, that alone, is very vintage. I think they beat Guerlain hands down. I don't see me reaching for Montaigne too too often, but I'm glad I have it. Infini is my go to Holy Grail . . . so far. I am now on a mission to try them all.
15th March 2012
A few minutes alone with Caron MONTAIGNE (edp) is time enough to convince me I am in the presence of a stunning beauty. While many floral orientals tend to go heavy on the syrupy sweetness, Caron has managed to keep the saccharine base to more tasteful levels, allowing the heart of the fragrance to blossom in all its splendor.

It makes me smile and I'm not even sure why. There is this certain joie de vivre about this Caron that simply lifts my spirit. Not unlike a secret joke shared between friends with a wink or a knowing smile. The barely concealed tension between powdery and lush floral accords is the cherry on the cake or if one is so inclined to think, the glossy red smacker that leaves a gentleman bewitched, bothered...and bewildered.
12th September 2011
I love it! In fact, I really really love it!!!
I can't tell if there's mimosa or narcissus in the composition (I know, I'm no expert!) but to me, it's one of the best floral orientals I've tried.
Montaigne is heady, indolic and creamy as everybody has stated. It started a little spicy and slightly bitter at first, then settles down in a sweet,warm and creamy base.I find the scent plush and sunny. Very French and old-fashioned.
I tend to wear Montaigne a lot in winter because it cheeers me up, as if the sky was not so grey any more, the weather no longer gloomy and like I was walking on a carpet of yellow flower petals! If I wear Montaigne on warm days, I feel like the sunshine started to be collected around me and the atmosphere started to shimmer! I think it's drop-dead beautiful!
29th August 2011
GLORIOUS, WONDERFUL, DIVINE! The opulence of this is second to none. Thumbs, way, WAY up on this classic!
4th January 2011
Fantastic winter scent; heavy and sweet but refined and warm.

This concert notes of jasmine, vanilla and sandalwood produce the greatest of symphonies for hours...

An absolute treasure for a scent lover...big thumbs up...!
25th December 2010
Beautiful ,beautiful ,beautiful ! Warm ,sweet, rich , long lasting ,creamy . I love the mimosa in this with the jasmine, vanilla combination. Smooth . Smells typically Caron. Classic .
27th July 2010
Gorgeous! Montaigne is just wonderful, rich, heady stuff. It is a very formal French style fragrance – no surprise there as a Caron. As much as I generally love orientals, this must be applied in very judicious doses. In spite of the fact that it is a rich oriental, I thought the opening has a summer garden feel with the amazing lush jasmine and mimosa combo. The heart notes get rich with the lily of the valley and narcissus – very much like being in a hot house with these beauties. As it warms up and moves into the dry down the wonderful spices come to the front. It is just gorgeous! Anyone who likes Coco, Bal a Versailles, Badgley Mischka, Boucheron, etc., should try Montaigne. At the risk of sounding ridiculous, it is almost as if Guerlain's Chamade with its wonderful lush floral accords and Bal a Versailles with its jasmine and spices had a very soft & sophisticated love child…
18th February 2009
Not a full review, but I did want to confirm that the edt is indeed remarkably true to the parfum. I am wearing the parfum on one wrist and a goodly amount of the edt everywhere else and while the parfum is a touch smoother and less effusive,Caron did not dumb it down or cheapen it.I am by no means the duchess this was meant for, but I can wear this.Slightly dark, elegant, very French and one the perks of growing at least a bit older. Montaigne just would not smell believable on a teenager.
16th April 2007
Rich, warm and gorgeous! An incredibly beautiful amber and floral scent with a soft powdery sandalwood in the base. I have the parfum and find it perfect for a sophisticated cool weather evening. Though some have called it opulent and feminine, I find it works well on my male skin.
15th January 2006
Into my lady's chamber. Seduced by a deep, luxurious yet sober and restrained trail of scent reminiscent of dark brown velvet and old books. But who is this gentleman confronting me there? And why do these distinguished fumes seem to emanate from him rather than from my dear lady Hortense? I draw my swordstick. Simultanously he draws his own. We posture and growl at each other menacingly. Enters Hortense. 'De Charlus, you old ninny,' she cries, 'why are you preening in front of the mirror? And why are you growling at your own reflection? And who gave you permission to wear my Caron's Montaigne?'
31st August 2005
Strictly speaking, Montaigne is not one of Caron's urn fragrances but is considered one of their boutique scents. As I write this review, Montaigne is not mentioned on the Caron web site, but it is most assuredly still in production. It is available in both pure parfum and EDT strengths. This review is for the parfum; my understanding is that the EDT is very faithful to the parfum and is probably more cost effective in the long run. Montaigne was developed on the same aromatic, fruity liquor that revs up Alpona's engines, only there are enough changes in Montaigne that someone who has trouble with Alpona can most likely wear Montaigne. This is certainly the case for me who “has trouble” wearing Alpona (understatement). Montaigne is an intense fragrance, so apply sparingly; it is also long lasting and at times reminds me very much of the torrid Amarige. Montaigne has notes of jasmine, bitter orange, mandarin, mimosa, blackcurrant, coriander, vanilla and that fabulous Mysore sandalwood which anchors both Guerlain's Samsara and Ferre's Ferre 20. There is a hint of an exotic sharpness to Montaigne (probably the Alpona accord) which teasingly plays around the edges but never overbears as it does in Mother Alpona. Very wearable, very luxurious and exotic, very womanly, Montaigne is a modern day classic.
10th August 2005