September 13, 2015
For the very first time, the niche subscription service Olfactif.com is offering a collection curated for men. September’s theme is Past is Present and this month’s sampler includes Histoires de Parfums 1889 Hemingway (Gerald Ghislain), Thirdman Eau Moderne (Bruno Jovanic) and Montale Paris Santal Wood. In finding a common thread between the three, there was the element of surprise. In our 2013 review of Hemingway, we anticipated tobacco and booze (reflecting Papa’s predilection for both). Instead, Histoires de Parfums’ Hemingway evokes Hemingway’s travels to the Caribbean and the Mediterranean with pepper, cinnamon, bergamot and orange blossom, amber, vetiver and vanilla creates an unexpected mix of tropical humidity is added to an opening as bright as the Mediterranean sun. When we reviewed Thirdman Eau Moderne we noted that the interplay of iris and cedar takes this out of the same old, same old men’s citrus scent and elevates it into a neo-cologne.
Two of the sculptures at the waterfront in Marseille by French artist Bruno Catalano
When most of us think of Montale Paris we think of oud. Most of the House’s offerings are Oud-centric and many niche perfume lovers gravitate to the. So put aside your preconceived notion about Montale and approach Santal Wood (2012) with an open mind. While you are at it, set aside the expectations of what a sandalwood fragrance should smell like and be open to what the scent brings you. If you can do that, I think you will be pleasantly surprised.
Surreal Polish artist Jacek Yerka Three Seasons
Montale’s Santal Wood opens with a very sheer and refreshing aromatic feel, the fresh scent of an herb garden lovingly tended to at an ocean-side cottage. Breezes of cleansing wind roll in off the sea, invigorating the senses and bringing a quiet contentedness to the soul. After a bit of time, honeyed woody notes emerge, a beckoning from the forest nearby. A causal stroll into the woods and we begin to smell more of a warm, dry wooded note, hints of moss, moist sea air, a sweet collection of scents that is both calming and grounding.
Ålholm Environmental installation from the Tree Project created for International Forest Day 2015 Zonenkinder.org
The dry down is the most memorable; I feel like I am hugging a tree. It was if I was in a forest and Montale Santal Wood was able to put the entire tree in a bottle… the bark, the leaves, the wood, and branches. While it shares similarities to men’s sports scents, it is composed with much more finesse and attention to providing a journey instead of linear experience. Montale Santal Wood is marketed by Olfactif as a masculine scent but can be enjoyed by both men and women. Its sillage is moderate, it will be noticed but not overwhelming. The longevity is great, especially at its base. I would happily add a bottle to my collection
Notes: sea water, juniper, sandalwood, oakmoss.
Michael Singels, Senior Contributor
Disclosure: Montale Santal Wood was provided to me as part of Olfactif’s new Men’s Collection launched September 1st and available through their subscription service.
Art Direction: Michelyn. I chose sculptures, installations and art, somewhat surreal, that I felt lent an element of surprise.
Thanks to Olfactif.com we have five September Men’s samplers for five US registered readers. To be eligible, please leave a comment if you think a men’s sampler set is a good idea, if you subscribe to Olfactif.com and what you enjoyed about Michael’s review of Montale Santal Wood. Draw closes 9/ 14/ 2015
We announce the winners on our site and on our Facebook page, so Like Cafleurebon and use our RSS option…or your dream prize will be just spilled perfume.