I picked up Dark Aoud as a sample from my 7 Vial Sampler Extravaganza from Europerfumes & have since purchased a full bottle.
I love Black Aoud & was interested to read that people think that Dark Aoud is blacker. When I saw it was in the Aoud sample pack, I was excited to try it.
Here's what Montale has to say about Dark Aoud;
A variation on the theme of dark and intense Aoud. The magnificence of the Sandalwood of India sieves this partition of materials come from the depths of the Asian forests.
Indian sandalwood, Aoud, Black Pepper, Saffron, Vetiver, Teak, Leather, & Grey Amber
Some sites list the notes simply as Aoud & Indian Sandalwood however I feel that the above notes actually represent what's in Dark Aoud.
Wow. This one is well, interesting. I think that being used to the aoud in other Montale fragrances didn't help me be ready for the Dark Aoud. This is going to be the weirdest review I've written, but this is one of the weirdest scents I have smelt in a while.
Here's my first impression;
Upon application I was waiting for the sharp medicinal scent I'm familiar with however I was punched in the face with peppery grease, cold metal & dirt - I look down & I'm wearing overalls, smeared with oil, standing in sawdust. I look around me & realise I'm standing in a car workshop. What on earth? The radio's blaring, car hoods are open. I see motors, car bodies, buckets of bolts. I'm aghast! I didn't expect to be transported here! Where am I? How do I get back????
Then the sandalwood, teak & leather step in & now I'm now sitting inside a Jaguar with the door open. I can smell the workshop outside, but that's muted. The leather seats get my attention. Soft & rich. I turn & see the dashboard, I can smell a little plastic, and a lot of wood.
It smells as though someone has polished the dash with a fancy oil. I lean back in my seat. I can tell right now this is going to be an interesting ride. I hope the owner doesn't mind the oil stains.
I wasn't sure about Dark Aoud at first, but it really intrigued me. I sat the sample on my desk & would smell a wonderful sandalwood wafting to my nose every now and again. The sandalwood is creamy & rich, I think the saffron really helps with the richness. I think that's what lured me in! The aoud is pungent & medicinal, which, like the aoud in it's brother Black Aoud, is quite addictive.
I find that also, like Black Aoud, the scent seems to alternate between the aoud & other notes (particularly the sandalwood). Sometimes I will simply smell aoud, other times sandalwood. Sometimes a mix. It's unpredictable.
After several tries, I realised that I quite enjoy wearing this.
Having since purchased a full bottle, I've been having fun co-wearing (on separate arms) Dark Aoud with other scents. I find that it gives depth to fruity scents and have worn it with other fragrances such as Montale's Mango Manga, & Fruits Of The Musk. Dark Aoud gives life to samples that I haven't really liked.
I quite like the Montale bottles. The fact that they don't have a lid is a little strange, but I do like that the bottle is metal & that the perfume inside stays in the dark. They look quite industrial & I think its clever of Montale to create a bottle that would appeal to men.
You might be shocked at first as they feel like they are half full - for some reason Montale have 120ml (?) bottles filled with 100ml of fragrance, so it splashes around like it's been used or hasn't been filled properly. Also, as the bottle is metal instead of glass it feels very light. Luckily I was prepared for this when I bought my first full bottle of Montale.
Dark Aoud lasts a LONG time. I have had a 16+ hour wear!
How much do you wear?
I highly recommend, especially if you're just starting off, wearing just a smidge of your sample (or half a spray) & work your way up if you want more.
Spray too much & you will hate it forever. You'll also risk being hosed down by family, co-workers & strangers - this stuff is strong!
Dark Aoud is strange, which is why I like it. An adventure in a bottle.... I find the cold metal, peppery oil & wood so interesting. The Sandalwood/Teak is very rich & alluring. I find myself detecting it during the day, wondering who is wearing such a mysterious perfume - then I realise - its ME! :-)
This is a scent that seems to be very popular with men, but women can definitely pull it off.
You MUST sample first however as it's love it, or hate it. Make sure you give it a few wears. You will either enjoy wearing it, or you won't. It's that simple.
Reminds me of: I have never smelt anything quite like Dark Aoud.
• Bottle: Typical of the Montale brand. I like them!
• Season: Autumn & Winter, cooler Spring days, not sure about using it in Summer...
• Cost: Usually around $160/100ml
• Blind Buy Rating: N/A
• Longevity: Amazing!
• My overall rating: 8.9/10