Montale AOUD FOREST opens with a decidedly Pine Sol-y demeanor: citrusy, aromatic, and relatively loud, with a lot of evergreen trees creeping in shortly thereafter. What I interpret as brash may well seem merely bracing to others, but I don’t think that anyone can really deny that, at least at the outset, AOUD FOREST is far more masculine than feminine.
As the citrus and aromatics begin to fade, a dry vetiver-like woody base shows its face, reminding me vaguely of some of the more masculine Bond no 9 unisex edps (MONTAUK, BLEECKER et al.), especially the ones with gentle leather in them. I’m not smelling much in the way of aoud here, but it’s becoming plain after a few cases that Montale wields aoud with a measured hand. Most of the “Aoud” perfumes I’ve tried from this line do not emphasize the note, though they include it in the name-—perhaps for marketing purposes or to justify the cost? I’m thinking that some of these should be renamed: FOREST (with a jot of aoud), ROSE PETALS (ditto), etc.
I do find the smooth quasi-leather (would that be the ambergris?) vetiver drydown of AOUD FOREST rather likeable and something that I wouldn’t mind wearing in certain moods, but the Pine Sol opening is all-too-jolting for this tender nose. Désolée.