Black Aoud by Montale

Year: 2005

Notes: mandarin, rose, Cambodian oud, Indonesian patchouli, labdanum, sandalwood, musk
A lot has been said about Black Aoud, over the years, and it's certainly one fragrance that took plenty of time for one to understand and fully appreciate.

To those who have no experience of wearing oud, it would be advisable to sample and evaluate Black Aoud at least half-a-dozen times before reaching any conclusions. The difference between Western and Middle Eastern perfumery is immense and, therefore, one should allow adequate time for personal olfactory re-conditioning, as the potential reward for such perseverance is definitely worthwhile (if at all).

Going back to the actual scent itself, it's a lush, compelling and somewhat gothic woody-rose fragrance, with a high-pitched and medicinal Cambodian oud opening. The mandarin adds an extra luminescent edge, while an emerging bouquet of moist, dark and velvety roses mingle with a sultry and earthy base of patchouli, labdanum and sandalwood.

Although the oud eventually calms down, it never completely dissipates. Furthermore, while the rose is clearly highlighted, the overall depth of the dense woody undertones is never compromised. With regards to longevity, while it's certainly tenacious, its projection is not particularly nuclear but still rather noticeable.

Black Aoud once provided an insightful introduction into Middle Eastern perfumery and it's something that one is truly grateful for. Even though Montale has released many oud compositions since its launch, it still remains the best creation in Montale's oud line.