Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Oud Ambre by Montale : Perfume Review

One whiff and all I can think of is “I must have it. Right now, this instant, I must have it.” Smelling Oud Ambre for the first time at the Montale Boutique in Paris was like a revelation. It was the perfume I’d been looking for, an ideal I’d been chasing like a Chimaera I’d almost given up on. Being presented with this fragrance was like being deeply understood, a feeling that shook me to the core of my being. Smelling it for the first time on my skin, a liberated smile was etched on my face, like the unstoppable grin I’d get as a child when dolphins would race our speedboat across the Mediterranean. There is only one way I can think to describe that feeling: rapturous enthrallment.

Everything I’d hoped for when looking for a truly lethal evening fragrance is here... A seductive trail of spices, animal magnetism, dark mystique, beast-like dominance, luxury, diva-esque glamour and surprisingly perhaps, considering all this, plenty of sophistication. The jus is sharp and assailing, stinging the nose a way I am completely addicted to. Spices, pine needles and beautiful resin flourish on a backdrop of oudh, Yet, the oudh does not constantly creep up, nor is it as pronounced and dryly medicinal as in some other Montale creations. It is very well blended, and the end result is warm, rich and wonderfully piquant. Closing my eyes and inhaling deeply, I feel like I am sitting cross-legged on the paved grounds of a mystical garden. The sun is high, the day hot, and I am beating lashings of honey drizzled over strikingly fragrant oregano, geranium and labdanum in an ancient mortar and pestle, until there is nothing left in my mind but their smell. I feel no tiredness in my arms, not until the sun finally starts to fall and I open my eyes, finally coming-to from my trance-like state. A male caracal cat is defiling the rose garden with its sticky spray, hot with desire. I swoon. Tired, I succumb. I can be a cat too, wearing this...Rose petals in a sticky mess - loudly proclaiming my fertile days, clawing and biting. ...Dare I? Glowing hearts of amber wrapped in fur stoles make their appearance. The garden finally ready, night is truly upon us.



Considering my zealous fascination for devastating, offensive fragrances, Oud Ambre feels intimately personal, as thought it was created on request, only for me. It feels almost magical to have found it, as though I did not really buy it, but instead ventured on a quest, battled countless Nightmares and Nightshades until I got to brave the thorny path leading to the spindly tower of the last living sorceress to ask for one thing: the most potent philter of hellish desire she could concoct. The result is indeed a fiendish potion: a mixture of the putrid with the divinely sweet that leads my heart to experience inexplicable rapture. And as is true of every fairytale involving witchcraft, there is always a catch... only the bravest will be caught in the net spun by this philtre d’amour extrême... But then again, only the bravest would ever do for the ones that are able to employ it successfully.

The very fitting and gorgeous mandala design is courtesy of www.designsbywillow.com


10 comments:

Jenavira13 said...

Oooh, sounds wonderful Divina, not sure if I would like it, but the experience you are having with it sounds mesmerizing. I'm having a bit of a moment with Must de Cartier (which really makes me want fall and winter), the scent is of gingerbread, tobacco, smoke, vanille, and sometimes I almost get a cherry almond accord. Somehow seductive and comforting, but utterly strong when the vetiver comes out.

chayaruchama said...

Love that Must , Jen !

This is NOT for the faint of heart.
I really like it, but nearly all Montales seem to want to turn on me and nip me, like bad curs.
Oh, they play nicely for awhile..
Frustrating.

I'm glad they're good to you, though.
[Otherwise, I'd have to spank them]

Great review.

Linda said...

Dear Divina,
It seems that you have found your ideal fragrance that will speak to you personally for ever! I love the mandala design and your evocative description: it truly is a wonderful review. I am lucky to have a garden, but it is not like the one you describe here - more of an English town garden with lavender, thyme and mint...
I do so agree with you about your fragrances of choice: sensuous, animalic, somehow dreamlike.
With best wishes,
Linda

nattygold said...

Thank's for such a delightfully seductive review. I love intoxicating heady scents. I wear Montale's Black Aoud, Blue Amber and Patcholi Leaves. What's your opinion for a man wearing Oud Ambre? Would it garner the typical "Is that a woman's perfume you'er wearing?"

Divina said...

Jenavira, I adore Must but only the parfum concentration! That's the way I first got to know it, and the first time I smelled the EdT I was horrified and thought they had changed it..

Divina said...

Thank you, dearest Chaya! With so many Montales out there I hope that you also find one that works on your skin :) Oud Ambre is indeed not for the faint of heart..*sighs happily* just the way I like 'em ;)

Divina said...

Hi Linda! Your garden sounds wonderful. I grow mint, spearmint, lavender and basil (as well as a couple of baby trees!) on my balcony. It is so wonderful to be able to rub the fragrant leaves gently between my fingers and then smell them whenever I feel like it! I probably sound strange.. But I love doing that, it is one of those little-big pleasures in life to be able to please my senses in such a simple manner.

Divina said...

Hi Nattygold and thanks for taking the time to comment. To answer your question, no, Oud Ambre would not elicit such a response. It is not what you would call a stereotypical feminine fragrance. I also do not wish to call it masculine or unisex because it is neither. All I can see when I think of it, are the spices, the sex, the mystery, the sensuality of amber. None of those things have a gender and that is why I don't think Oud Ambre has one either.

Colombina (Marina) said...

I want a truly lethal evening fragrance too! I think the closest to that description in my collection would be Black Orchid.

Arhianrad said...

GOOD LORD, DIVINA!! It sounds like a MUST HAVE for me...