I noticed Montblanc Individuel by chance while looking for another perfume on Youtube, and a video appeared that examined the cheap men's fragrances with an unquestionably significant impact. Vlogger, like many other people on the web, referred to the similarity with Joop! Homme, the dark purple juice that I loved and wore just released in the early nineties. Hence, I pursued research and found that three colognes share the same vibe and common foundation, with a strong orange blossom initial note, such as Joop! Homme (1989), MB Individuel (2003), and Creed Original Santal (2005). The former has appealing qualities, much bolder, opulent and somehow cloying if worn in the wrong season, but was one of the biggest clubbing bombs, instead, this one is more on the aromatic side. About the latter, I have no idea since I never smelled it. So yes, at first glance, the similarity with Joop! Homme is inevitable if you happened to feel it or use it. However, this is only the first impression, because compared side by side the two share the same vibration, the same cherry syrup accord, but then proceed in two separate ways.
As soon as you spray this scent on the skin, you're going to notice that raspberry sweetness, delightful with clean laundry nuances but neither gourmand nor cloying. You can get it from the very beginning up to the dry-down where the note is supposed to be. But, there is also a sort of crisp freshness and balminess coming from the aromatic herbs and spices. My chemistry enhances the odorous notes of icy mint, memory balm rosemary, calming blueish lavender, sparkling coriander leaf, and juniper berry, which rise from the skin pleasantly. Instead, I don't get any citrus notes, yet I seem to catch some fruity pineapple accord, but it could be my nose. Other elements provide a woodier spice accord, such as cardamom and juniper. In this initial stage, Individuel is metallic, grey, a little deep. The cinnamon, raspberry, and juniper notes in Individuel give it a slightly fruity aroma which distinguishes it, in my opinion.
A little while later, there are a bunch of floral notes present, which creates a powdery feel. I can nearly detect individual blossoms like jasmine, violet, and orange flower, surrounded by a touch of green geranium.
Eftsoons, as it dries down, this clean freshness becomes woodier and creamier. The sweetness of the raspberry pairs with vanilla, on top of that sandalwood base. And a touch of amber, which arrives rather quickly for an oriental. A chocolate-like berry note lurks in there, too. Musk and moss hesitate, and I don't get them so pronounced as in Joop!. Thus, a luscious slightly woody scent, with a creaminess, and dotted with cinnamon spice.
Provocative, some people love it, some others hate it. Though, I believe that this scent grows and grows on you, the more you wear it, the more you appreciate it. On my skin, the overall smell highlights juniper berry, raspberry, vanilla, cedarwood. The sweet, fruity aroma makes MB Individuel perfect for those seasons where its neither too warm nor too cold, Autumn and Winter's days fit flawlessly. The projection is pretty good, it's not overwhelming, but not weak either, and I also get moderate longevity, of about the whole day, depending on the weather. Individuel is a solid performer and more than useful, for most occasions. However, for the price, I think it'd be a nice pickup for the late winter or early spring months.
About the perfumer, Pierre Bourdon likes to create pure aura scents using complicated formulas and pyramids, and he does it successfully in Kouros, Cool Water, and Individuel. I love the first two more than the third, but Individuel holds its own and is worthy of Bourdon, and of anyone who wears modern orientals.
This review is based upon a 75ml bottle I own (Batch code i353, Production date 2018-12-19).
Stay well; stay healthy.