Augusto by Mazzolari

*****
Year: 2014

Notes: bergamot, orange, mint, lavender, geranium, rosewood, sandalwood, ambergris
Augusto is "a tribute to the patron Augusto Mazzolari, who led the company's fortunes for many years".

It's a woody-aromatic, which is devoid of any tonka bean and oakmoss to be considered a true fougère. With a healthy serving of lavender, the mint and citrus accords are noticeably apologetic in the opening. And when the woods reveal themselves, it quickly becomes apparent just how vacant the composition is.

Those very chords, which are crucial to fougères, could have done wonders but, once the lavender dissipates, it transforms into a muddled and slightly sweet woody affair for quite a while. With an old-school sandalwood and ambergris drydown providing a small reprieve, the pseudo-fougère base indicates what could have been, if more thought had been put into its structure.

Remaining close to the skin, with good persistence, Mazzolari is now just another niche house that appears to be churning out too many new fragrances (2014 has seen five new releases, from this house, so far).

An extra star awarded for the somewhat nostalgic drydown alone.


Share

Nero by Mazzolari

*****
Year: 2014

Notes: bergamot, apple, blackcurrant, pineapple, rose, jasmine, patchouli, vanilla, ambergris, musk
With a name partly in reference to the Roman Emperor Nero, Nero is classified as a fruity-aromatic.

Commencing with a tropical fruit blast, it smells no different from many soulless masculine designer scents of this ilk. One also senses a fleeting aquatic nuance, as well as some herbaceous accords. With the florals kept in check, so as not to throw its masculinity into any doubt, the patchouli is somewhat dry in its stature. Sadly, the oriental base fails to enhance the patchouli, with an underhanded serving of Iso E Super that later emerges in full force towards the end.

Considering previous masculine creations, from this house, such as Mazzolari, Lui and Vetiver, Nero isn't even worthy of joining the ranks. But, if the recent output is anything to go by, one can only conclude that Mazzolari has completely lost the plot.


Share

Elena by Mazzolari

*****
Year: 2014

Notes: lime, orange blossom, osmanthus, amber, vanilla, vetiver, precious woods, musk
Elena opens with a stimulating lime and orange blossom pairing, before shifting to the aroma of a sub-par floral designer offering. It then goes through a cheap floral-aromatic body spray phase, after which the floral remnants are thrown into a synthetic mire of vetiver, scratchy woods and white musk.

Ultimately, the only good things about it are the fleeting top notes and its impressive sillage. While the journey itself was compelling, in its own twisted way, it's still a confused mess.


Share

Vaniglia by Mazzolari

*****
Year: 2014

Notes: wild orchid, caramel, vanilla
It was only a matter of time before this Italian niche house released a gourmand vanilla. Unfortunately, Vaniglia brings nothing new to the table.

In general, it's a derivative vanilla scent, with underlining caramel and floral accords. Compared to other vanillas, Vaniglia lacks the olfactory authenticity of Maria Candida Gentile's Noir Tropical, the richness and depth of both Farmacia SS. Annunziata's Vaniglia del Madagascar and Profumum's Vanitas, while being marginally superior to Alyssa Ashley's Vanilla and Des Filles à la Vanille's Vanilla Girls (both of which are a lot cheaper).

One was expecting much more from Mazzolari so, naturally, one is quite baffled by the end result. Although it's far from being a failure, the quality isn't high enough to justify the price. With vanilla-centric fragrances being so common, even among niche houses, it's also devoid of any real distinction.

Projection is moderate and longevity is above average.


Share

Sofia by Mazzolari

*****
Year: 2014

Notes: orange blossom, rose, jasmine, honey, patchouli, woods
Sofia is a soft and pleasant floral offering, with noticeable orange blossom top notes.

However, one can't help but perceive Sofia as nothing more than a citrus-free variant of Fleurs d'Oranger, with a drydown faintly similar to that of Farmacia SS. Annunziata's Fiore di Riso (albeit woodier and thinner). Staying close to the skin, with moderate longevity, it fails to compel and lacks sufficient substance.


Share

Aoud Night by Montale

*****
Year: 2014

Notes: bergamot, Sicilian lemon, fruits, Malaysian oud, Moroccan rose, Indonesian patchouli, amber, leather, guaiac wood, Mysore sandalwood, white musk
Aoud Night is a typical Montale leather-oud offering, vaguely along the lines of Moon Aoud.

The fruity opening is quite conservative, providing fruity-gourmand top notes as opposed to those that are zesty or juicy. However, what's surprising is how the oud and rose are timid in their stature. As for the other accords, the patchouli, amber and leather are far more discernible, as is the sandalwood and musk base.

While it's gentle, creamy and inoffensive, it's yet another recent Montale creation that's lacking a soul, let alone any originality. As for longevity, it lasts around six hours but any projection is minimal.

Although it's one of the better recent Montale releases, it still leaves one greatly dissatisfied.


Share

Rose Night by Montale

*****
Year: 2014

Notes: rose leaves, Bulgarian rose, Sumatran patchouli, amber, white musk
Rose Night is basically a shameless variation of Roses Musk, with the patchouli substituting the jasmine.

With a stronger and more metallic rose presence, than in Roses Musk, Rose Night smells crude and cheap. In fact, Rose Night is also extremely similar to Al-Rehab's Amber Rose, with the main distinguishing factor being the earthy patchouli, which tends to occasionally pop-up throughout the proceedings.

On the whole, there's nothing redeeming about it at all, as it's completely derivative and overpriced.


Share

Nepal Aoud by Montale

*****
Year: 2014

Notes: Sumatran nutmeg, saffron from Kashmir, Nepalese oud, Bulgarian rose, amber, leather, Madagascan vanilla, white musk
With short-lived nutmeg and saffron top notes, Nepal Aoud is a leathery rose-amber-oud combo.

While it lacks the edge or smokiness of Oud Cuir d'Arabie, it's one of the smoother oud releases, very much in the same vain as White Aoud and Moon Aoud. However, its close resemblance to these two Montale creations is one's main problem with Nepal Aoud.

Nepal Aoud is practically Moon Aoud, but with the base notes (i.e. vetiver, patchouli and sandalwood) replaced by a selection of base notes from White Aoud (i.e. amber, vanilla and white musk). With a prominent Bulgarian rose accord and an insubstantial oud presence, especially after the somewhat animalic opening, Nepal Aoud is yet another tired reiteration of oud from this house.

Possessing good sillage and average staying power, one seriously wonders for how long Montale can continue to keep recycling old olfactory ideas.


Share

Orange Aoud by Montale

*****
Year: 2014

Notes: bergamot, saffron, Malaysian oud, violet, rose, patchouli, white patchouli, leather, oak moss, Mysore sandalwood, white musk
Opening with a sweet and spicy citrus aroma, Orange Aoud is a strange addition to the Montale oud line.

With noticeable accords of violet, rose and leather, against a murky woody backdrop, one is instantly reminded of those cheap fruity bakhoor scents sold in Islamic shops, which isn't a good thing. Furthermore, the inclusion of two different varieties of patchouli does very little to enhance the composition.

With the most recent Montale oud releases now using oud as either a top note or a supporting accord, Orange Aoud possesses more evidence of oud this time around. And as the hours elapse, that awkward fruity bakhoor redolence gradually subsides, to reveal an unexpectedly fresh and soapy woody-orange drydown.

Longevity is over ten hours but its projection is rather subdued.


Share

Aoud Melody by Montale

*****
Year: 2014

Notes: elemi, clove, saffron, leather, oud, rose, Egyptian jasmine, ylang-ylang, amber, Virginian cedar, Mysore sandalwood, musk

Being highly reminiscent of Aoud Velvet, Aoud Melody is a creamy oud-based floral-oriental.

With an elegant spiciness, against an almost tropical-smelling floral backdrop, there isn't that much distinction to be found. Furthermore, while the resinous aspect is suave, one is hard-pressed to detect any leather. As the creaminess gradually intensifies, some amber and sandalwood slowly seep in to round things off.

Overall, it's a somewhat plush feminine creation but it doesn't leave a lot to be desired. In addition, the opening is briefly shaky and, like Aoud Velvet, Aoud Melody doesn't always behave well on the skin. However, for lovers of Aoud Velvet (and quite possibly Velvet Flowers and So Flowers), Aoud Melody may appeal.

Both sillage and longevity are reasonably good.


Share