The memory of some smells accompanies us always. It may be discreet and silent, but it is ready to pop up at any time. A few years ago, I visited an African country where I lived for a few years during my childhood. When I passed the plane's exit door, I scented a strong smell of damp red earth that immediately made me travel back in time when I was nine years old. I never imagined that I still had that pungent smell so vividly etched in my memory.
Another aromatic family that both Europeans and Americans recognize immediately is the scent associated with Christmas. This comfortable smell is traditionally linked to the festive season gastronomy. Depending on the different cuisines, the spices' number and quantity may change slightly. In some countries, cinnamon and vanilla are favored, while in others, ginger leads the way. As far as drinks are concerned, some people prefer to drink warm brandy or absinthe while others eat their treats served with a glass of good Port wine, or even with a mug of cozy hot cocoa. The mix of all these aromas is undoubtedly associated with the family dinner on Christmas Eve and the lively morning of December 25th. But there is a corner of the house that smells different than Christmas desserts and liquors. I refer to the space occupied by the traditional Christmas tree. This souvenir of ancient pagan times always stands out with its clean, starchy, waxy, piney, and sometimes citrusy smell. Accords of leathery woods and mosses hang in the air. So does the unmistakable smell of pine needles. From the delicious spicy delicacies on the table, we may still get light nuances of floral arrangements and spicy sweets. A balsamic smoke may emanate from the fireplace as well. These accords all together of this are the essence of the smell around the Christmas tree.
Montana Parfum d'Homme does smell like a Christmas tree. The aldehydes with spices in the opening contribute to this. The same happens with the middle notes blunt pine needles scent sweetened by flowers, and the woody bottom strong mossy leather. This classic and manly perfume reminds me of other perfume facets. To my mind arises Antaeus by Chanel and Derby by Guerlain. Perhaps its greatest resemblance occurs with Havane by Aramis, launched five years later.
Its perfumer, Edouard Flechier, worked several times with the remarquable Jean Guichard. I consider Flechier a phenomenal wizard that signed masterpieces such as Dior's original Poison, Christian Lacroix's C'est la Vie, Courrèges in Blue, Frederic Malle's Lys Méditerranée and Une Rose, and Valentino's Vendetta Uomo. I believe he never fought for protagonism and his name often gave way to Givaudan, the company he almost always worked for.
The art deco bottle in the form of Babel Tower created an unmistakable "Montana" style, along with the flasks of Parfum d'Elle and Parfum de Peau. Although discontinued, Parfum d'Homme is still easy to find out there.
Here are my rates for Montana Parfum d'Homme Eau de Toilette
__ __ __ __ __ __ __
- Opening: 8.0 (pleasant clean aldehydes and spices accords)
- Drydown: 9.0 (manly mossy and woody notes; the key leather is a must)
- Longevity: 8.0 (not a power horse; 8 hours with 3 sprays)
- Sillage: 7.0 (5 feet with 3 sprays; mild projection for 2 hours)
- Versatility: 8.5 (quite versatile for an "old school"; you may use it in many situations but it is not suited for clubbing, gym, and seaside)
- Portability: 8.5 (better than most manly "old schools" due to its clean aldehydes opening; it is of little use in hot weather)
- Praise: 8.5 (an elegant and mature scent; an above-average pleaser due to its seductive leather note; however it will never grab the attention of very young people)
- Exclusivity: 8.5 (similar to the five years younger Aramis Havane but without its tobacco note)
- Quality: 8.0 (not a shining star but not bad also)
- Presentation: 9.0 (I like the Babel tower shape)
- Price: 9.5 (€20,00 for 125ml taxes and shipping included)
__ __ __ __ __ __ __
- Average: 8.41/10.00
Opinion on Montana Parfum d'Homme:
It is a very classy scent. The lovers of "old-school" scents will like it for sure. Its leather key bottom note is certainly a distinct differentiator. I also own Montana Black. It is a more modern and darker flanker of this perfume. Although very nice it lacks the class of Parfum d'Homme.
Recommended? If you are a man and like "old schools", you should give it a try.
Blind buying worthy? Yes if you are over 40 years old. Younger people should sample it first.
Music: Tony Bennett and Diana Krall singing "They Can’t Take That Away From Me"