Friday, June 21, 2024

Aoud Lagoon: Montale’s Tropical Vacation Fragrance

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We treasure the moments when we are blown away by a fragrance. This holiday season, I was fortunate enough to experience two of those moments through Amouage’s Fate Woman and Histoires de Parfums’ Fidelis, both symphonic creations that reimagine old ideas with jubilant inspiration. It’s truly a privilege to experience such things so close together.

In the wake of such events, I sometimes feel as if my poor nose has been strapped to a rocket and flown into the stratosphere: it’s exhausted, disoriented, and a little overwhelmed. During times like these, I need a perfume parachute that will float me down to earth.

The idea of a ‘comfort fragrance’ is nothing new, but lately, I’ve found myself thinking about how none of my favorite perfumes occupy that category. They tend to be arresting and bursting with personality, brimming with notes that flesh out core ideas into olfactory landscapes. Even the most comforting of these landscapes, Serge Lutens Chergui, has an edge that prevents me from settling down. A true comfort fragrance is like a long-loved television series: it allows you to turn your brain off and sink into a familiar feeling. For me, there are very few fragrances that provide the comfort of Montale’s Aoud Lagoon.

Aoud Lagoon Notes

Top Notes: Osmanthus, Mandarin Orange

Middle Notes: Tiare Flower, Lotus

Base Notes: Guaiac Wood, Vetiver, Moss

It’s often an insult to say that a fragrance smells like shampoo; it implies that the perfume is rather simple, soapy, and inexpensive. However, these broad generalizations are often far more personal than we think they are, and I realized that when I smelled “shampoo” in Aoud Lagoon, I was actually recalling the friendly floral scents I’d encountered growing up. Nostalgia aside, the clean floral effect of the tiare-osmanthus-lotus notes in Aoud Lagoon is spacious and inviting. Aoud Lagoon features a delightful bouquet of tropical notes that doesn’t impose an experience on its wearer, but rather provides a friendly background on which new memories can form.

Aoud Lagoon bears another advantage in its simplicity: it is a fragrance of stability. Like many Montale perfumes, Aoud Lagoon offers its wearer a powerful scent-cloud that changes little over time. Its base notes are blended beautifully beneath its floral heart. Even as Aoud Lagoon transitions into a skin scent in its eight hour, the green notes in its base offer something akin to the stems and leaves beneath each blossom.

Aoud Lagoon does not offer the hyperreal experience of hiking through brush toward a hidden spring. It lands far closer to a beach resort glittering in the depths of a billboard, a tropical dream too clean to pass for reality. The lack of adventure might be a turn-off for those who want a true lagoon experience. But for those who would rather drift toward a vacation sans bugs and mud, there’s hardly a better mode of transport.

You can purchase a sample of Aoud Lagoon here or acquire a full bottle here.

The Fandomentals “Fragdomentals” team base our reviews off of fragrances that we have personally, independently sourced. Any reviews based off of house-provided materials will be explicitly stated. 

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