A dark (not only the colour of the juice) patchouli that explodes on my skin, rich and intense, with a discreetly resinous undertone, but, surprisingly, it is rather smooth. It lacks harshness and sharpness - this is no Purple Patchouli and comes across as much softer that Tom Ford's paradigmatic creation. Soon, quite soon, it is accompanied by an amber note that is equally brooding but remains an accompaniment only; nothing dents the predominance of the patchouli leaves here.
The main notes that contribute to the mix and add additional shades and variations are a nice labdanum, as well as a vanilla note that adds sone sweetness, although the latter is also provided by the judicious application of some white musks towards the end. Whiffs wood, oak mainly, as well of a slightly bitter cocoa, act as a counterbalance and keep the sweetness in check.
I get strong sillage, excellent projection, and a good nine hours in my skin.
This scent for warmer winter evenings is a luscious patchouli creation that is a good choice for someone who wants to explore patchouli compositions but dislikes the grating sharpness that they sometimes display. It is a bit linear at times, but overall it offers just enough development to entice. 3.75/5
Rampant promiscuity seemed like the only attractive feature of hippiedom for me (of course they preferred to call it free love'). The flares, the music, the flowers in the hair passed me by; peace, yes, well I wouldn't quarrel with peace. But the ultimate repellent seemed to be the hippie juice patchouli oil which seemed standard issue; I couldn't imagine getting up close and tumescent with anyone reeking of the stuff.
Over the years my attitude to patchouli has matured a bit. I realize that its full throttle expressiveness can take the wearer on a journey, that its intensity has rewards, helping draw together sensation and emotion into a palpable rush. But it is a scent I still always approach with caution and could never think of wearing every day; I need to be in a frame of mind capable of channelling its power.
All that throat-clearing is just to say that one needs that receptivity to love Montale's Patchouli Leaves. It's a one-spray perfume presenting a huge but properly rounded patchouli realization the narcotic main event ringed first with enticing humid soil and phenolic accents and then gathering up a creamy, dark chocolate layer before yeasty vanilla and a rich amber base finish the experience. All the time it stays true to its dominating ingredient patchouli nothing in the composition deviates from it. This singlemindedness has won it many fans. I won't argue with them, but my own preference is for something a bit more characterful, a point of imbalance even, say the Lethe-like darkness and density of Goutal's Mon Parfum Cherie Par Camille, the booziness of Patchouli Antique or the smoke-and-wood luxuriousness of my current patchouli fave, Meo Fusciuni's Narcotico.
Now THIS is patchouli! Raw, earthy, rich, and creamy! I own a few other patchouli-rich scents but this takes top honors in my book. It's a sillage monster, lasts FOREVER, and is addictive in it's dry-down. If you pay close attention when you spray it on your wrist, the juice is dark brown -- how befitting. My first impression of this was 'How am I going to pull this beast off?'. Having worn it for a couple of months now I say 'How can I NOT wear this beautiful beast?'. If you are a seeking a non-muted patchouli scent that doesn't hide behind too many fences then you need to try this. Thankfully you can pick this up discounted and avoid the ridiculous full price mark-ups. Pull out your best paisley shirt and go to town!
Beautiful scent, the patchouli is not too overbearing if you're afraid of it or don't like it. The vanilla comes on fairly quickly, reminds me of a sweeter Caron Pour un Homme. Lasts forever, and the patchouli comes back again, could still smell on skin next day.
Patchouli Leaves by Montale. From first spray I get a rich, earthy patchouli, with vanilla, amber and musk underneath. The patchouli, vanilla and amber are prominent, and the musk comes through late and semi replaces the amber. Not for everyone because you have to like patchouli, so try before you buy. Average sillage, but it stays linear for an eternity. Right up my alley, and a definite Thumbs Up for me.
Out of the vaguely familial group of ambery, vanillic patchoulis, I find Patchouli Leaves to be the most satisfying and comforting. The marketing copy for this boasts that the patchouli leaves for this fragrance were first soaked in vanilla extract and then left to macerate for two whole years in an oak barrel. The top notes, consisting of insanely rich but dry patchouli that has a raisin-like booziness to it, like aged cognac, suggest that this might in fact be true.
The dark, boozy patchouli is joined very quickly by a buttery, warm vanilla and amber that serve to sweeten the mix. All in all, the impression is of a warm, golden river of almost drinkable, spiced brown patchouli, boozy vanilla, and thick amber. In fact, Patchouli Leaves is easily the friendliest patchouli fragrance out there. It is mouth-wateringly good; almost gourmand in a way. The amber is slightly resinous, adding at parts a slight roughness to break up the smooth vanillic undertow and a touch of powder towards the end. This is not for people who like their patchoulis raw or as they might say, authentic', since the patchouli here has been shorn of its claws and stripped of its menace. But my God, it is sexy and rich and as comfortable as putting on a great big woolly sweater over your work clothes when you come in from the rain.