Oud Cuir d'Arabie by Montale

Year: unknown

Notes: tobacco, leather, oud, burnt wood notes
Oud Cuir d'Arabie is, unequivocally, the most challenging Montale oud release so far.

Possessing a very pungent barnyard opening, the oud and leather accords are raw, smoky and unmistakeably raunchy. With animalic undertones and a burnt rubbery note ever present, the leather accord is true to life. It's often been mentioned that this stage is redolent of the aroma of the leather interior of a brand new car, and the fresh chemical smells that accompany it. Personally, this makes perfect sense to one's nose.

The eventual emergence of a rich tobacco note provides a more masculine edge, before the entire composition settles down into something far less provocative. By this point, the leather has almost completely dissipated, allowing the oud to increase its presence. This is where it sadly fails to live up to the promise of its compelling opening, for what largely remains is some demure tobacco and woods until its final moments on the skin.

With such a short-lived leather accord, it's more of an oud affair than anything else. In fact, it's the only Montale oud offering that smells closest to pure oud oil (and Original Aouds doesn't even come close). With impressive sillage that later performs close to the skin, its longevity is also disappointing in comparison to other Montale ouds (approximately four hours). As a result, one is left yearning for an encore of what went on before.

While it's not a completely successful leather scent, it's still an impressive composition that could have been a masterpiece had the leather lasted significantly longer. With no discernible sweetness present, it may serve as a promising prospect for die-hard leather fans. However, one feels it would appeal more to those with a healthy interest in oud.