A Truly Masculine Rose
Some roses are dowagers; others are jammy fruity florals; others are orientals. To my nose, Montale ROSES MUSK--at least the batch from which my sample was drawn--is really a masculine rose. Lots of ambergris (ambroxan, it seems) suffuses the rose petals of this composition. In the opening, I also smell a blast of iso-E-super cedarishness, and it lingers throughout. There is more ambergris here, I'd say, than musk, but the musk contributes no doubt as well to the overall effect of this perfume which pushes it all the way to unisex, and just a touch over the edge to the masculine side. I am quite sure that men could and would wear and enjoy this creation, if only they knew!
I actually feel a bit like a traitor saying this, given the glowing review below by Turquoise, but ROSES MUSK does not settle down into a snuggly rose scent for quite some time, and even then the ambergris-musk base stays around throughout the entire duration of the wear. I read the reviews on the German side, looking for some sort of affirmation of my perceptions, and I found that there were a couple of naysayers over there. So it seems to be true: to those who are sensitive to ambergris/ambroxan and musk, they really dominate this composition. Others may well (and apparently do) smell right through them to a heavenly rose.
I have enjoyed wearing two full milliliters of ROSES MUSK--a generous manufacturer's carded sample--and can report that the longevity and sillage of this creation are superb. However, I do not really consider this to be a rose perfume, as strange as that may sound. It's just that I've worn so many more rose-centric compositions that next to those, this one seems like a rose-tinted ambergris-musk perfume. There is something very animalic and altogether foreign to rose going on here. In a word: ambergris.
Guys, come on down!