As you can tell from our rating system, fragrances are judged not only on how they smell, but also on how they perform. In its broadest definition, ‘performance’ indicates exactly how a perfume radiates off of the skin. Perfumes with good performance will radiate for a long distance (projection) and for a long time (longevity) while also leaving a decent scent trail behind the wearer (sillage).
Predictably, performance is a balancing act. A perfume should make itself known without subjecting innocent bystanders to torment. This sense of balance is, for better and for worse, completely ignored by the house of Montale. The best Montale perfumes are like loyal companions that stay by the wearer’s side for days on end. The worst have the potential to flood rooms with harsh, unyielding blasts of aromachemicals.
Attar is one of Montale’s benevolent monsters. At first glance, Montale would seem to be an extremely hip perfume house – their scents traffic in ‘oud,’ the fragrance note of the moment. The rotting wood note is prized for its expense and depth, and Montale incorporates oud in literally dozens of its fragrances. However, Attar is one of many examples that showcases Montale’s blatant regard for perfume fads in favor of uncompromising artistic vision.
Bulgarian Rose, Oud, Sandalwood
Simple as its note pyramid may seem, Attar yields a very engaging wear. The medicinal rose-oud accord combines with sandalwood to form a surprisingly high-pitched heart to the fragrance. It’s neither sweet nor woody in a raw sense, but rather sits in a balancing act between the two. The opening of the fragrance places the funkier, sharper aspects of all three ingredients on full display. By the time the perfume reaches its dry-down, all three notes have transformed to reveal equally rich aspects of their character.
Attar’s final stage – which occurs somewhere between its eight and twenty-fourth hour of wear – presents a beautiful woody scent haunted by notes of unsweet rose. Attar truly is an all-day perfume, and wearers may find themselves quickly fatigued by its singular vision. However, those who find themselves enamored by the scent will likely love the dozens of shades that fall between application and disappearance. Montale offers a commitment to its wearers. Whether that commitment transforms unease to nausea or interest to addiction will vary between noses, but anyone curious in the raw power of perfume would be remiss to skip the experiment altogether.
If you would like to sample Attar, you can pick up a vial 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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