Sunday, February 1, 2015

Montale - Aoud Velvet (perfume review)

Taking a break from the search for a Serge, I start my birthday week with a review of Montale's Aoud Velvet. This is my first experience with a Montale, and I only came across this sample because it was included in January's Olfactif set.

The opening of Aoud Velvet is tingly sharp, tart and sweet, like a mixture of deep cranberry and camphor. After a moment the sharpness recedes a bit, but the perfume maintains an energetic spicy kick. To me, the tartness and spiciness of the opening give Aoud Velvet a slightly fruity, jammy feeling. In that respect, Aoud Velvet it reminds me a bit of plum in Gold Leather (though I should really test them side by side to see if their scents are as comparable as their auras).

But be not deceived as the superstars of Aoud Velvet are not fruits but flowers. Ylang-ylang, tiare and orange blossom, according to the notes. Together, they're bright, creamy, sweet and lush. Anyone could expect that they would smell good together, and naturally they do. But in this case, it's really the oud that adds an entirely new dimension of beauty to these flowers. The spiciness of the oud cuts through their sweetness and turns an otherwise tropical floral into a dark, sensual and intoxicating perfume. 

When I take care to sniff my wrist closely, I can pick out the band-aidy oud note. Though my previous experience with oud wasn't the finest (I surmised at that point that I might hate oud, actually) - I can say with assurance that this oud *isn't* overwhelming within the context of the perfume. The medicinal sharpness of the oud acts as mediator between the sweet, tropical florals and the dry woody and vanilla base, and the whole concoction has a rich, balsamic feel without being too heavy. In the early stages, Aoud Velvet caresses the body like a cool, purple silk rather than a velvet.

photo stolen from a highly interesting (and inappropriate) post on unclerooney.com

For the most part, Aoud Velvet doesn't change a lot over the course of the wear.  However, between one and two hours in, the flowers lose some of their sweetness, and the oud loses a bit of its tartness. The wood notes and vanilla become slightly more prominent and Aoud Velvet becomes creamier - more reminiscent of the 'velvet' in the name.

I found that I really liked Aoud Velvet - there's just something about that spicy floral that keeps me coming back for more. For me, this is probably decant/FB worthy. If you're a lover of oud, and you want the oud to be a strong and prominent note, I think you may be disappointed with Aoud Velvet - but if you like florals with a spicy twist, you might really like it!

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Clint's 3: Sharp, Floral, Spicy


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My rating of Montale Aoud Velvet: 4

1  -  - -  -  2  -  -  -  -  3  -  -  -  -  4  -  -  -  -  5
   Nausea/Gagging         Meh        Decent       Great         Olfactory Elation    

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Aoud Velvet as described by fragrantica:


Top Notes: Ylang-ylang, Orange Blossom, Tiare
Middle Notes: Oud (agarwood)
Base Notes: Vanilla, Tonka Bean, Mysore Sandalwood


Family: Floral / Woody (my choices)


Perfumer: Pierre Montale

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Have you tried Aoud Velvet? Do you have any favorite Montale scents, or favorite oud-focused fragrances?


5 comments:

  1. I love ylang ylang but don't have a good track record with Montales, even ones that are not so heavyhanded with the aoud. But the velvety texture and spicy twist do appeal and you do say the aoud is not really centre stage here. And you have also got me curious about the inappropriate post, now, haha. PS Happy Birthday, when it comes!

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    1. Hehe, click on the link! And thank you, in fact today is my birthday!

      I think this is an interesting scent but I haven't tried many Montales, so I'm not sure if this would fare better for you or not. I guess it's worth a try if you come across a sample for free - but what isn't?? :)

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  2. Happy birthday, Sun Mi!! I used to work at a shop that carried Montale, but I was so overwhelmed by the size of the line (more than 50 fragrances, all in that hideous aluminum bottle) that I must admit I didn't explore it as much as I should have. Not sure if I ever tried Aoud Velvet, but I remember being impressed with Moon Oud. Chocolate Greedy is also a classic gourmand.

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    1. Hi Ari! Thanks so much for stopping by, commenting, and wishing me a happy birthday. :) There ARE a ton of fragrances!! I was browsing their website and I was just shocked - how many oud combinations could there possibly be? Moon Oud does sound intriguing - I guess only because of the name because I can't really imagine what it smells like!

      I hope things are progressing well with your shop, BTW! I look forward to visiting when it opens - I hope there will be a big bash :)

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    2. Oh and I just noticed your page wasn't on my blogroll - so I fixed that!

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Thanks for participating!