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Black Aoud – Best Seller? I’ll take it! (October 29, 2010 New Fragrance Listing)

Black aoud - montaleparfums.com/en

I love wood notes in fragrances, but they can be weird, as in agarwood, commonly known as aoud, or oudh. Used in Eastern perfumery for centuries, oudh has a sour musty top-note that is difficult to get past for some people. But not for me, not for Gwen – we like weird.

Gwen wrote about Cuir D’Arabie  in her Monday blog – the perfect pairing of aoud and leather – sensuous and intimate, she said it was. I want to tell you about Black Aoud, the best-seller from Parfums Montale that Gwen passed over to feed her leather passion. “Best-seller?” I said, “I’ll take it!”

Black Aoud – the notes are Cambodian aoud, Patchouli leaves, Mandarin, Musk, Rose petals – pretty simple. The fragrance, on the other hand, is not, and I guess the name should be your first clue.

Whew – that opening! a bitter pungent medicinal note that is soon joined by heavy leather. Super animalic – a barn without the hay, if ya get my drift! Ten unrelenting minutes later (OK - maybe it’s five) the opening notes have relaxed, and I can now smell the rose. But this is a dark, dark, red rose, a black rose, a thorny and woody vintage variety - nothing sweet, or flirty here. This is a very grown up rose, sultry and uncompromising.

Thirty minutes into the dry-down the deep pure red rose is blended with the woody aoud, becoming full and luscious, with only a slight hint of sweetness  Then slowly over the next few hours the rose scent moves back into the leather, and the richness becomes totally seductive - the leather is sweetened by patchouli and musk, making it warm and sensual, like the rose leather accord in Cuir d”Arabie. But the rose is the star of this drama, now velvety but still earthy, dark and intoxicating, and backstage the aoud continues to faintly reverberate with its unusual woodiness.

The thing about Black Aoud is that it takes hours to dry-down and unfold its opulence, which is one of the things I admire about it. It really puts on a dramatic performance – passionate, seductive, always engaging, but never overwhelming – and it has a sillage that makes me weak in the knees. The development in this perfume goes on forever – I can still sniff the fumes the next morning on my pillow, in my hair, on my clothes, and the scent is hypnotic. I think maybe I should skip my shower and enjoy it until it disappears!

Aoud, leather, rose – Black Aoud is a rose scent like no other.  Montale labels Black Aoud as unisex, but I think it defies labels. This is just downright gorgeous, original, hypnotic, dark, luscious, and erotic. No wonder it’s a best seller.

Black Aoud is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $4.00 for 1 ml.

BTW - Montale perfumes are in aluminum bottles, which protect the fragrance from light and keep it sealed, maintaining the integrity of the scent for a long time.