Perfume Reviews: Montale Intense Café & Chocolate Greedy

Source: Zedge.net

Source: Zedge.net

A perfume house known for its intense, extensive line up of potent ouds seems to be doing some lovely things with gourmands as well. Last month, the Paris niche house of Montale released a new fragrance called Intense Café (or, as my head always reads it “Café Intense”), and it seems to be a great hit with everyone who has tried it. So, I decided to try it along with another Montale that always caught my eye, Chocolate Greedy.

It turned out to be an apt choice, as Intense Café feels like a cocoa-dusted vanilla latte with rose, while Chocolate Greedy is a dark, bitter chocolate ganache cake sweetened by dark fruits and a jammy rose liqueur. The two faces of a chocolate-rose Janus, if you will. Neither scent is complex, both of them carry the Montale trademark of ISO E Super to the nth degree, and, yet, they’re both quite addictive fragrances that I actually liked. If they weren’t so ISO E Super intensive, I would enjoy wearing either one. Consider me pleasantly surprised!

INTENSE CAFÉ:

Cocoa roses, via Kew Gardens at Kew.org

Cocoa roses, via Kew Gardens at Kew.org

Source: Fragrantica

Source: Fragrantica

Montale puts Intense Café into the rose category, and describes the perfume as follows:

A truly enticing fragrance. Brillant Floral Notes reveal a surprising heart made of Delicate Rose and Sensual Coffee. This perfect duo leaves a very beautiful sillage of Vanilla, Amber and White Musk.

Fragrantica classifies the scent as an Oriental Vanilla, and lists the notes pyramid as:

Top note is floral notes; middle notes are coffee and rose; base notes are amber, vanila and white musk.

pink-roseIntense Café opens on my skin with a jammy rose and bucketfuls of ISO E Super, followed quickly by a café au lait aroma, and a creamy, warm, very rich vanilla. The ISO E Super dominates everything in its path for about 40 seconds before it retreats to skulk broodingly in the corner and around the edges of the rose. For all its name, Intense Café primarily focuses on a rose that is dark, rich, syrupy, and infused with vanilla bean concentrate.

Source: Saveur.com

Source: Saveur.com

Though the coffee nuance is not paramount, it’s definitely noticeable, especially after 5 minutes have passed. Actually the “coffee” might be more aptly described as “cocoa beans” processed into different things. I struggle to place the note with precision because it varies so widely from minute to minute. Sometimes, it seems like actual coffee or, to be precise, milky café au lait. Frequently, I’d swear that the aroma was actually that of a vanilla milkshake. At other times, it feels like a Chai or soy latte sprinkled with white cocoa powder. Whatever it is, it’s very pretty, but not particularly strong. What’s more interesting is how it fluctuates throughout the first two hours, almost like a wave that reaches a peak, crashes on the shore, ebbs, and then returns to do it all over again. At times, the cocoa variation feels very noticeable in its own right, but, at others, it ebbs away to become a more delicate nuance to the vanilla latte.

Source: Sivmui C. on Yelp.com

Source: Sivmui C. on Yelp.com

Either way, the primary aroma of Intense Café for the first hour is variegated shades of cocoa and coffee powder dustings on a vanilla latte or milkshake. The thick, creamy vanilla is the dominant note (besides the bloody ISO E Super), and its beautifully decadent lushness sits atop a thin layer of dainty roses. Visually,the colours are all pink roses, creamy vanilla, and pale, dusky cocoa. It’s very airy bouquet, though it has Montale’s trademark potency in terms of sillage and strength. As for the prodigious amounts of ISO E Super, Montale has always worshipped at its temple, but I will say that the amount in Intense Café seems far less than in many Montales and it didn’t give me a headache. The aromachemical sometimes takes on a rubbing alcohol, astringent facade, while at other times, it’s merely peppered and synthetic in feel. Either way, since few people seem to ever detect ISO E Super, I wouldn’t worry about it unless you know you’re one of those who always gets migraines from it.

Source: eBay.com

Source: eBay.com

If you smell Intense Café from afar, it’s truly delicious. At the start of the second hour, it’s a delicious cocoa-y vanilla, but soon, the rose starts to become much more prominent. At the 90 minute mark, Intense Café is cocoa-dusted rose with vanilla and it calls to mind an extremely similar note in Serge LutensSantal Majuscule. Of course, the Lutens is supposed to be primarily about the “sandalwood,” but the most beautiful part of that fragrance for me was the chocolate-dusted rose. It’s equally lovely here, in Intense Café, only it sits cocooned and embraced by the creamiest, richest vanilla essence. At the end of the second hour, Intense Café softens, fades a little, and loses a bit of its forcefulness. By the start of the fourth hour, the fragrance is a discreet, soft cloud of sweet, dusty cocoa-infused rose with vanilla with only the barest hint of coffee. It sits right on the skin, where it proceeds to get more muted, abstract and blurry. Finally, it fades away as a nebulous, amorphous blur of sweet but dusty rosiness.

All in all, Intense Café lasted under 9.75 hours in a really distinctive manner, and about 14.25 as a whole if one counts the fact that a tiny patch on my arm continued to emit a small burst of roses. Part of the problem is that ISO E Super can create a ghostly note that seems to vanish to one’s nose due to the large size of the molecules, before it reappears. Another thing is that I applied about 2.5 large smears. As a general rule, a perfume’s strength, longevity and potency are increased by spraying (and by synthetics), and given the normally prodigious longevity of some Montales, my numbers are obviously lower than what others may experience through aerisolization. Still, the numeric votes at Fragrantica indicate that Intense Café’s duration is generally “moderate” for most people with that category receiving the largest amount of votes (5) thus far, followed by 3 for “long lasting” and 4 for “very long lasting.” 

On Fragrantica, the commentators compare Intense Café to a few other fragrances. A handful of people bring up the new Mancera perfume, Rose Vanille. Others mention Rochas Man. I haven’t tried either fragrance, so I can’t comment, but I can discuss a third reference: Tom Ford‘s Noir de Noir. Quite a few Fragrantica commentators mention how the opening of Noir de Noir is very similar to that of Intense Café. I think it’s only the very jammy, beefy rose which the fragrances have in common, and not much else. On my skin, Noir de Noir opened with spices, in addition to that dark, baroque rose. There was saffron, the merest suggestion of oud, and the earthiness of black truffle. Absolutely none of that remotely resembles Intense Café!

What’s interesting to me about the Fragrantica comments is that a few people seem to think Intense Café has oud in it. It doesn’t, but almost all of Montale’s Aoud line has a blisteringly high quantity of ISO E Super in it, and I think people are so highly conditioned to that smell (or so unaware of the existence of ISO E Super) in the Aouds, that they’re confusing the two notes here. Another point that I found to be curious was the 3 or 4 references to musk in Intense Café. One chap even said that musk was the dominant note in the fragrance, and that Intense Café was not particularly distinctive from any other Montale musks. I blinked at that because, on my skin, there was no musk at all. Still, clean, white musk is listed as one of the notes, so it clearly depends on skin chemistry. 

As a whole, I liked Intense Café during in its first two hours when it was quite a rich, nuanced scent. The subsequent blur and haziness was still pretty, but a little too redolent of ISO E Super for me personally. The perfume is sweet, delicious, and obviously gourmand in nature, but it’s a lot drier than you’d expect thanks to the cocoa powder. If you’re expecting a pure coffee scent, however, you may be disappointed.

CHOCOLATE GREEDY:

Source: cakechooser.com

Source: cakechooser.com

Montale Chocolate GreedyDespite being an utterly scrumptious, decadent chocolate dessert in a bottle, Montale puts Chocolate Greedy into the vanilla category, and describes it as follows:

The delicacy of the Tonka Bean lightly toasted and flavoured with dry fruits, Orange and Vanilla.

The full notes, as compiled from Luckyscent and Fragrantica, are:

mocha bean, coffee, bitter orange, cacao cream, vanilla from Madagascar, tonka bean and dried fruits.

Molten Lava Cake. Photo & Recipe: Spicie Foodie. (Website link embedded within photo. Just click.)

Molten Lava Cake. Photo & Recipe: Spicie Foodie. (Website link embedded within photo. Just click.)

Imagine the darkest chocolate lava cake or, as it is sometimes called in Britain, chocolate fondant pudding. Now imagine slicing into it, and seeing a gush of warm, rich, oozy, thick, heated warmth that is at once bitter and sweet. A mere hint of juicy, zesty orange lurks underneath. Sweet vanilla wafts all around, like the delicious crème anglaise sauce used to go with lava cake.

That’s the opening of Chocolate Greedy on my skin. It’s lovely, quite heady, and very appealing — even to someone like myself who doesn’t normally go for gourmand fragrances. Unfortunately, as always with Montale, there is also that massive dose of ISO E Super mixed into the delicious mix. Even more unfortunate, it has a nuance of bug spray that quietly lurks underneath. Thankfully, it’s subtle and leaves after about 15 minutes.

Black Forest Torte. Photo/Recipe by Mark F. Weber at Clean Me. http://tinyurl.com/mb2j6rh

Black Forest Torte. Photo/Recipe by Mark F. Weber at Clean Me. http://tinyurl.com/mb2j6rh

What fascinates me, however, is the orange element which takes on an interesting characteristic after a few minutes. It actually smells a lot like a very jammy, fruited, syrupy rose. With every passing minute, the dark fruits grow more noticeable, creating an impression of dried cherries in some instances, and of dark rose liqueur infused with zesty orange in others. When it’s the former, it calls to mind Black Forest Cake with its rich, dark chocolate, sweetness, and candied cherries. Either way, the overall result is quite delectable.

"Bleeding Rose" by April Koehler. Source: redbubble.com

“Bleeding Rose” by April Koehler. Source: redbubble.com

The cocoa in Chocolate Greedy is equally complex and layered. At first, it’s merely dark, molten chocolate, but, later, it varies between: mocha; dusty, dark cocoa nibs with its dry, slightly bitter aroma; something more like dark fudge syrup; and expresso infused with both dark chocolate and cherry syrup. It’s beautiful, especially when the very fruited, jammy, almost plummy, rose liqueur swirls into Chocolate Greedy’s dark bitter-sweetness. Not even the final, dying whispers of bug spray chemical (just before the 15-minute mark) can ruin the heady, potent, decadently rich, delicious bouquet of dark chocolate ganache with boozy rose liqueur, dark fruits, and vanilla crème anglaise. The aroma is especially intoxicating from afar where it’s a swirl of beautiful notes. For my nose with its sensitivity to ISO E Super, it’s better not to sniff Chocolate Greedy too closely due to the aromachemical’s powerfully peppered, rubbing alcohol, facial astringent characteristics.

Like all the Montales, Chocolate Greedy is a simple fragrance without much nuance, complexity or layers. It’s linear, and continues on the same trajectory for hours and hours. But it’s a lovely, compulsively sniffable linearity. Oddly, about 3.5 hours in, Chocolate Greedy turns primarily into a rich, beefy, meaty, dark, damask rose followed by chocolate in second place. The floral element isn’t syrupy or cloying, thanks to the effects of the dry, bitter chocolate, even though it’s more like dark chocolate powder now instead of molten ganache lava cake. The rose is still also flecked by a rich vanilla essence, but it is no longer the rich warmth of vanilla custard sauce. Instead, it’s merely a background note, third in line behind the rose and chocolate twin-ship, and it soon fades away entirely. Montale may classify this fragrance as a vanilla one on its website, while placing Intense Café into the rose category, but I think the fragrances should both be in the rose group.

Source: frederickschocolaterie.com

Source: frederickschocolaterie.com

As time passes, Chocolate Greedy becomes hazier around the edges, and the notes all blur into one another. Around the fifth hour, the perfume is a nebulous, hazy, soft cloud of chocolate powder tinged by rose. The chocolate has returned to far overtake the rose element, and I really like its dusty, dark quality with a smidgen of milk chocolate mixed in. Chocolate Greedy becomes a skin scent about 6.75 hours in, creating a delicate, discreet veil that caresses you with dusky cocoa powder and florals. Eventually, hours later, it fades away to nothing more than a whisper of dark, dusty cocoa powder. All in all, it lasted a whopping 12 hours on my skin in a very noticeable way. However, like the Intense Café, those synthetics and ISO E Super’s ghostly characteristic helped create small patches on my skin where Chocolate Greedy continued to linger. On those tiny, dime-sized areas, I could detect the faint traces of Chocolate Greedy well past the 14th hour. If I had actually sprayed the fragrance, and a large amount of it, I have no idea what longevity numbers I’d get, but they’d be huge. It’s one of the benefits of Montale’s signature touch.

Unlike the brand-new Intense Café, Chocolate Greedy has been around long enough to receive quite a few reviews. On Basenotes, a lot of people really love the fragrance, with one commenting excitedly that Willy Wonka must have made it. However, there are quite a few detractors, too, though they still rate Chocolate Greedy with three stars out of five. Their primary issue seems to be that the chocolate is too sweet, and that the “sticky/thick vibe can be cloying.” I think the latter is definitely a possibility if Chocolate Greedy were sprayed in a large quantity; this is one fragrance where less is more, especially given the Montale potency.

Amour de Cacao Eau de Toilette. Source: Luckyscent

Amour de Cacao Eau de Toilette. Source: Luckyscent

On Fragrantica, 64 people said that the fragrance was similar to Comptoir Sud Pacifique‘s Amour de Cacao. I haven’t tried the fragrance, but a number of people argue that there are quite a few differences, small though they may be. For one thing, they say that the CSP has a significantly stronger orange zest note at the beginning, while Chocolate Greedy focuses on the dark chocolate. Others find the CSP doesn’t last long and has little projection (undoubtedly because it is a weak eau de toilette), but such comments are rarely said about a Montale fragrance. A few think that the CSP is milder, more linear, and less complex, while some others argue that it is better value for the money. Luckyscent certainly sells it for much less than it does the Montale, but the reviews for the fragrance there seem highly mixed with talk about how Amour de Cacao smells synthetic, resembles “cocoa puffs,” doesn’t have a good vanilla note, or doesn’t emit a lot of dark chocolate.

Choco Musk perfume oil. Source: Al-Rashad

Choco Musk perfume oil. Source: Al-Rashad

Another fragrance that is brought up by a number of people on Fragrantica is an Arab perfume oil called Choco Musk from Al-Rehab (Crown Perfumes). Apparently, it “not only smells better than this but you can find it for about $3-$5 online and in Arabic stores[.]” I’ve never tried it, but the cost issue did make me curious, so I looked it up. Yes, it really is that inexpensive. Choco Musk is sold through a supplier in Ohio and 6 ml (.2 oz) of the concentrated perfume oil costs $3.20. The three reviews on the company website are all positive, and talk about how long the fragrance lasts. As a further plus, the company also ships to Canada and worldwide, with all mailing costs dependent on weight (which can’t be much given the amount in question). In short, Choco Musk may be a definite option for those of you who are tempted by the Montale, but don’t want to spend a lot of money. I can’t vouch for the smell, and I find it hard to believe that it’s more than mere chocolate musk, just as the name states, whereas Chocolate Greedy’s nuances vary from the orange zest to the dark fruits and rose liqueur. Still, at that fabulously crazy price, the Al-Rehab is absolutely worth ordering to find out!

ALL IN ALL:

Given my prior experiences with Montale, I know it will surprise regular readers to the blog when I state that I truly enjoyed both Intense Café and Chocolate Greedy. And that actually brings me to another point. I’ve sometimes slammed Montale for having fragrances that smell extremely synthetic, and I know a few other perfume bloggers avoid the house like mad for the same reason (and, also, because the fire-extinguisher bottle). I will maintain until my death that Montale’s Aoud Lime is the perfume equivalent of Chernobyl, and should be used to exterminate cockroaches in a post-apocalyptic world. Actually, most of Montale’s Aoud line — which is how they made their name, after all — smells chemically artificial to me, and not solely due to the galloping bucketfuls of ISO E Super. Real, genuine agarwood is extremely rare these days, and a number of perfume houses use a synthetic, lab-made version of the wood to create the scent of “oud.” Guys seem to go absolutely nuts for Montale, but for me, there are better brands with more complexity and better quality ingredients.

Yet, despite all that, I think Intense Café and Chocolate Greedy are actually lovely and smell delicious. I mean it. Perhaps the inherent nature of a gourmand fragrance makes it easier to avoid the pitfalls of an Oud one. After all, how can you go wrong with chocolate and vanilla mixed with roses? Whatever the case, I think the synthetic Montale signature has been really minimized in each fragrances. (The exception is that blasted ISO E Super, but since most people can’t seem to detect it, the issue doesn’t apply.) Are Intense Café or Chocolate Greedy complex, edgy, revolutionary, or original? Of course not! How many gourmand perfumes are? Yet, if you’re looking for something very cozy, comforting, wholly unisex, and extremely versatile with a massive bang for your buck in terms of projection and duration, then you should consider Intense Café or Chocolate Greedy. The latter, in particular, has been around long enough to be offered at discounted prices on some online perfume sites as well.

Source: Cakechooser.com

Source: Cakechooser.com

For me, personally, I preferred Chocolate Greedy. The reasons are its greater layers, nuances, richness and depth. The chocolate is infinitely deeper, darker, and more interesting than the more café au lait cocoa in Intense Café. If the latter had a more noticeable, actual coffee note, as opposed to the light chocolate powder that dominated on my skin, the roles might be reversed. Or, perhaps not. I’m a sucker for dark molten chocolate, especially when mixed with dark fruits and a jammy liqueured, almost boozy rose. Chocolate Greedy was essentially like the best part of many desserts, only without the calories and weight gain. But if you’re one of those who lives at Starbucks and adores their soy lattes, then you may want to opt for the new Intense Café instead. Either way, you’ll smell delicious.

 

DETAILS:
INTENSE CAFÉ Cost & Availability: Intense Café is an eau de parfum and comes in two different sizes: 1.7 oz/50 ml for $110; or 3.4 oz/100 ml for $160 or €100. It is available on the Montale website where a 3.3 oz/100 ml bottle retails for €100. (They don’t offer the cost in other currency units.) There is no smaller size offered there than 100 ml, but Montale offers a free 20 ml mini-bottle of the fragrance at the time of purchase. Discount Prices: Unfortunately, the fragrance is too new for it to be available for less at the discount retailers. In the U.S.: Intense Café is available in both sizes at Luckyscent. It is offered only in the large 3.4 oz bottle at Parfums1 and MinNY (though they’re currently sold out at the time of this post). All the sites sell samples. Outside the U.S.: In Canada, Intense Café is available at The Perfume Shoppe‘s Vancouver site which sells the 3.4 oz/100 ml size for US $160. Since the site is originally a U.S. vendor, you may want to contact them about Canadian pricing. In the UK, I couldn’t find any sellers. Germany’s First in Fragrance sells Intense Café and ships all over the world. The price is €139, which is higher than through the Montale website. For all other locations from Italy to Bahrain, Poland, the Netherlands, even Uruguay and elsewhere, please check the Montale Distributor page. There are even more stores all over the world from Japan to Africa shown on Montale’s Store PageSamples: I obtained my sample of Intense Café from Surrender to Chance which sells 1ml vials starts at $4.49.
CHOCOLATE GREEDY Cost & Availability: Chocolate Greedy is an eau de parfum
and comes in two different sizes: 1.7 oz/50 ml for $110; or 3.4 oz/100 ml for $160 or €80. It is available directly through the Montale website, but only in a 3.3 oz/100 ml bottle that retails for €80. (They don’t offer the cost in other currency units.) There is no smaller size offered, but Montale tosses in a free 20 ml mini-bottle of Chocolate Greedy at the time of purchase. Discount Price: Chocolate Greedy is slightly discounted at Parfums Raffy which offers both sizes: the 50 ml/1.7 oz for $105, and the large bottle for $155. You may get a better deal for the latter from the Kuwaiti vendor, Universal Perfumes, which sells the same 100 ml bottle for $129.99, but shipping may take a little time. Chocolate Greedy is also discounted from LilyDirect which sells the large 100 ml bottle for $140.80 instead of $160. The site was planning to start shipping to Canada, so you may want to check to see if that has taken place. Rakuten sells the perfume for a similar price, $140.80, via LilyDirect. PennyLane has two bottles of Chocolate Greedy left for $140, with an additional 25% off taken for even greater savings. Chocolate Greedy is also discounted at Beauty Encounter which sells the large 3.4 oz size for $150. In the U.S.: Chocolate Greedy is available for normal retail price in both sizes at Luckyscent. It is also sold in the large 3.4 oz/100 ml bottle at MinNY and at Parfum1 for $160. Outside the U.S.: In Canda, Chocolate Greedy is available in the large 3.4 oz size from The Perfume Shoppe for US$160. The site is the Vancouver branch of an American company, so you may want to email for Canadian prices. In the UK, I couldn’t find any sellers. Germany’s First in Fragrance sells Chocolate Greedy and ships all over the world. The price is €94, which is higher than through the Montale website. Samples are also available for sale. In Russia, Chocolate Greedy is sold at Orental.ru in various sizes. For all other locations from Italy to Bahrain, Poland, the Netherlands, even Uruguay and elsewhere, please check the Montale Distributor page. There are even more stores selling Montale all over the world from Japan to Africa shown on Montale’s Store PageSamples: I obtained my sample of Chocolate Greedy from Surrender to Chance which sells 1 ml vials starts at $3.99.

29 thoughts on “Perfume Reviews: Montale Intense Café & Chocolate Greedy

  1. Wow! Two Montales–with heavy ISO E Super–that pass muster for you! I’m going to have to try chocolate greedy. It sounds like a fun evening/date night fragrance.

    I wonder if it has any similarities to L’Instant de Guerlain Extreme? That one was a chocolate-vanilla gourmand supported by woody patchouli on my skin. Surprisingly (and disappointingly) I got no more that 3-4 hours out of it.

    • I haven’t tried the L’Instant Extreme, but I’ve heard great things about it, Laird Angus. Pity about its longevity on you. What is up with both our skins??! Sheesh, it’s frustrating, isn’t it? Montale’s longevity is one of the great things about them, but it’s also one of the worst when you hate the fragrance in question. ;) lol

      BTW, I don’t know about Chocolate Greedy being sexy enough for a date night fragrance, but I think your partner may find you to be quite edible…. :D

  2. Surprising and delightful reviews of Intense Café and Chocolate Greedy. I received a sample of Chocolate Greedy from a BaseNotes friend and was amazed at how realistic and reminiscent of chocolate brownies it smelled – it created an immediate desire to consume mass quantities of same. Intense Café has received very nice reviews on Basenotes as well. I’ve avoided purchasing any Montale’s in the past due to their reputation for oudy products – not usually my thing – and for the chemical or medicinal openings for which they’re also famous. My sample of Chocolate Greedy will have to be my guilty secret as I can’t see myself ever wearing it out in public, but as a comfort scent or one to inspire baking chocolate confections it’s superb. I’ll have to get a sample of Intense Café – does it bear any resemblance to Coromandel at all? Also surprised you enjoyed two Montale fragrances!!!

    I bought Montale’s Patchouli Leaves last month FOR the opening because it creates a visual impression for me of golden leaves of patchouli in an oak chest. I love it, but the dry down though nice is less engaging – creamy vanilla again. The rumors swirling around Montale is that they’ve reformulated their line-up of fragrances, toning them down and making virtual ghosts of their product line. Intense Café and Chocolate Greedy seem to have escaped that fate. Oh, thank you for the heads up on The White Queen. Got Starz upgraded on my cable box specifically for the series. Am eager to see it’s debut tonight – I’m a lapsed Richardian and am happy that the series emphasizes the roles of women in the period. My medieval history professor first brought out the fact that it was women who ran the show back home when so many of the men were out fighting their wars. (Final aside – have you heard of a perfume house called Rania J.? Am intrigued – anything called Ambre Loup is going to get my attention! :-) Samples on the way.)

    • Gosh, I *WISH* it bore a resemblance to the glorious Coromandel! If only! No, it doesn’t. To me, Intense Café felt more like it has a small bit of the Lutens’ I mentioned, but that’s because the “coffee” note was much more of a general cocoa powder on my skin by then. As for Chocolate Greedy, I can see how it may feel a little strange to go out smelling like different sorts of cakes or brownies, but I’m ALL for comfort scents — in whatever way it makes one feel best to wear them. If it’s limited to being at home, then I think you should go for it! Are you thinking of buying a bottle? In the meantime, perhaps you can try that Arab Choco-oil to see if it’s a comparable alternative at a cheap price?

      As for the rumours regarding Montale, I have only heard the reformulation one once. What I usually hear about instead is the whole alleged controversy/rumour/debate over Pierre Montale and his existence or lack thereof. Honestly, I really don’t care much. If a fragrance smells good, it smells good — whomever the supposed owners of the brand may be.

      I haven’t heard of any “Rania J” except Rania, Queen of Jordan. LOL! I shall definitely have to look into it. Ambre Loup is a great name, especially as it sounds very Hansel and Gretel-ish.

      PS- Re. “The White Queen” and the Elizabeth Woodville saga on Showtime, King Edward IV is played by Jeremy Irons’ son, Max Irons! (I saw it already, as there was an early premiere Friday night. There are some fantastic UK actors in the show, but the A/V Club had a generally negative review of the show.)

      • Just saw “The White Queen” – good, but leaves room to become better. I’m smitten by Lady Rivers, however. Interesting to see the ‘old ways’ portrayed. The heraldry is good, not great, strange to see banners pasted to shields for armory in the royal palace. The standards are bare of royal badges…another disappointment. I look forward to the character development as the King and Queen age in their responsibilities.

        Yes, Ambre Loup got my attention…vetiver, amber, and a little smoke. I’ve ordered the sample set from the Rania J website – 5 1ml samples for under $11 – and free shipping from France. Fragrantica has some interesting reviews – the lavender scent also has some intriguing reviews though the name is less captivating, Lavande 44.

        Chocolate Greedy and Intense Café seem to be calling my name…:-)

        • That’s a great deal for a sample set, especially from overseas! I’ll email you about The White Queen and the great, fantastic Janet McTeer with whom you are now smitten. :D

  3. Montale’s Chocolate Greedy was my first niche fragrance purchase (I was 17 and in a ‘I want to smell like cookie phase’). While I no longer wear it on a regular basis, I still give it a spritz from time to time and continue to find it very yummy.

  4. I liked Intense Café on a paper strip when I smelled it in Vienna (didn’t want to risk putting it on skin there). Will try at some point.

    Chocolate Greedy smells so nice! I like it much more than Jo Malone’s Bitter Orange & Chocolate. But I’m not sure if I want to wear it as a perfume.

    • You must stop agreeing with me, Undina, it’s throwing off my sense of the universe’s balance! *grin* lol. Joking and teasing aside, I can very much see you loving Chocolate Greedy given your love for the Jo Malone. It’s heavier, more potent, and actually lasts, so it’s different from the Bitter Orange & Chocolate that way, but I think it’s so delicious. I agree that it may be a lot for continuous daily wear, but a decant of Chocolate Greedy would be so perfect, no? Was this the first Montale that you really enjoyed? As for Intense Café, I’d be curious to see what you think of it on your skin as I think you’d like that one too. The rose part is very pretty when dusted with all the cocoa/coffee.

      • I have to set the record straight: I hate Bitter Orange & Chocolate and, probably because of that, it stays on me forever!
        And, strangely, no, it wasn’t the first. I’ve just had a sudden changeof heart towards this line and I’m currently testing several of their perfumes. We’ll see if it results in a purchase (FB or a decant).

        • Oh, ooops, I thought you loved that particular Jo Malone. I know that was my favorite of the line, so I should have guessed. ;) I’m very intrigued to hear that you’ve had a change of heart re. Montale. Do you think access to more of their line in Paris helped initiate this attempt to test them out more? Either way, I’ll be interested to hear the results of your overall tests, if you post about them (which I hope you do).

          • Actually, it was “access to their line” (strike “more” – I do not know a single store to carry Montale in the SF area) but not as much in France but in Ukraine and then Austria.
            We’ll see where it takes me :)

  5. Pingback: Sunday Link Love, Volume #150 | FFBlogs

    • You are beyond sweet, Mr. Hound! In all ways, even outside of perfumery! As for these Montales, I’ve been pondering the issue and I think my liking stems from a general appreciation of chocolate notes. I don’t like vanilla fragrances which often come across as too cloying for me, and gourmands in general can be iffy unless they’re on the dry end with some fragrant bits, but I’m a sucker for a dusty, dusky, cocoa powder note. It’s a bit like catnip to me, at least when it’s done well or has some dryness to it. :) The cocoa powder was the best part of Borneo 1834 and Santal Majuscule, drove me wild in Anima Dulcis (where it was wonderfully dry and not gourmand), and also appealed to me in some other fragrances too. So, I think cocoa gets to me in a way that vanilla doesn’t. And, honestly, both Montales are very lovely. I was extremely surprised. And you know what I generally think of Montale!

      • I have to admit that I did like (not love) Anima Dulcis but I really think that the cocoa/chocolate would just grow tired after a while. And trust me I could eat chocolate all day…it’s just not something that I would typically want to wear. There’s a store close by that sells Montales, I’ll check these out next time I’m there.

  6. Being that rare perfumista who is a Montale fan ( I even like the bottles – they are incredibly lightweight and fit into my hand beautifully), I’ll have to give these a whirl – you describe them in such scrumptious terms! In general, I’m not a cake lover, but I do love Black Forest Cake … that combination of dark chocolate and cherries, mmm. Question is, do I want to smell like that? Probably not too often, but I’ll check out a sample of Chocolate Greedy the next time I place a Luckyscent order.

    Thanks for going outside your normal comfort area to review these, sweet Kafka!

    • You’re very welcome, my lovely Suzanne. I’d be fascinated to see what you think of Chocolate Greedy and whether you detect the other notes or if it is mostly chocolate brownie on you or some other simpler, pure chocolate dessert. Most of all, I want to see if someone gets quite a bit of rose, too, or if it’s just me. I agree that one may not want to smell of Chocolate Greedy constantly, but how cozy it would be for some curled up evenings at home once in a while. I think this is a scent that would be ideal as a decant for most of us, since I can’t see anyone with a large perfume collection going through a 100 ml of it!

  7. I really don’t like chocolate or coffee as a perfume note (the cocoa in Borneo 1834 notwithstanding, but even that I use rarely). I actively dislike the smell of cocoa butter and the like – it makes me feel slightly queasy. I think in general I’m just not a chocolate aficionado (I like it well enough, but I’m not crazy for it as a food and certainly not as a scent). I will pass on these, but color me pleasantly surprised by how much you liked them! Maybe Montale isn’t all bad! :) Their bottles, however, are still dreadful, IMO.

    • LOL at the bottle comment! If you’re not a chocolate fan, I wouldn’t bother at all with any of these. Still, isn’t it nice to know that not all Montale scents are like Aoud Lime? ;) :P

  8. I have yet to smell a Montale that makes me want to commit to a bottle, but these two made me come very close. Particularly Intense café. Funny, I get tons of freshly ground coffee on the blotter, but not so much on me. After a few seconds of (and it must be my skin) the most divine Folgers ever, it eases into a nice, if very potent rose.

    • It’s definitely a rose scent first and foremost, I agree. Did you get any cocoa powder from Intense Café at all, even if the Folgers coffee went away quickly? I feel a bit weird smelling more cocoa than actual coffee for a fragrance that’s supposed to have the latter, not the former!

      • Nope. No cocoa powder. Folger’s for a blissful 15 minutes and then pfffffft. Rose. Saffron. Oud. That was it.

        MiN just loaded me up with Montale’s sister brand’s Aoud Café and Aoud Black Candy (which smells like coffee without having any coffee in it) which I hope will be more successful.

  9. The Montale line is hit or miss with me, because I’m not a huge oud-head, but I like Intense Cafe. It actually smells like a tiny cafe to me, more about the smell of a latte being made than dousing yourself in Starbucks. The first note I get, which no one mentions, is bergamot. It is like the lemon zest served with espresso and a nice complement to the coffee been, which makes the next appearance. Then I get the rose with a creamy amber drydown. Like all of that line, monster sillage and longevity, so the notes progress slowly.

  10. Pingback: Montale Patchouli Leaves: Caramel Praline Patchouli | Kafkaesque

Leave a Reply