A Trip To Spain – Ramón Monegal Mini-Reviews Part I

Ramón Monegal is a spanish niche house that only recently came to my attention when I saw their beautiful bottles popping up on First in Fragrance. Luckily not long after, the brand contacted me and kindly sent samples of the entire line for me to try, and try them I did… Fourteen perfumes are in the brand’s line up, fourteen very different scents, something for everyone, for every occasion.

The perfumes come in an elegant, heavy inkwell-style bottle with a flip-top cap and the outer packaging is made of sturdy black bakelite. It gives a feeling of luxury and refinement. I wouldn’t mind owning such a bottle at all.

But how are the perfumes themselves?

Today, I want to start with mini-reviews of the first seven scents. Look out for Part 2 by the end of the week.

“Ramon Monegal comes from a long and distinquished line of the most important perfumers in Barcelona and Spain. He represents the fourth generation of the founders of the House of Myrurgia, which was the official purveyor of the Spanish Royal Family, and the most important international perfumists in Spain.

After 30 years in his profession, having become a Master Perfumer and authentic “Nose” the challenge of Ramon Monegal is to acquire excellence, in a way that only a luxury product can do, and transfer his knowledge to the 5th generation. Perfume can only rise to the level of art when accompanied by the complicity and absolute freedom of mind. It’s important to him to use formulas containing ingredients and proportions without being coerced by the cost, and thus recovering the true ancient traditional craft which is now the cutting edge. Ramon recognised this emerging tendency towards better crafted perfumes and in 2009 began his much longed for project: to propose the true “Olfactory image” of the master perfumist, having his own space like perfumers of the golden era before mass production, having his own workshop specializing in mixing, mashing, production and controling, working with the true freedom that has the luxury to create art, not to limit the imagination. He longed to use the most noble and delicate essences that exist in the world and as he is so capable, convey feelings and emotions with timeless Mediterranean passion, restoring the natural channel of the craft as art… to excite, entice, surprise, create desire, pleasure and magic. He aspires to crack the olfactory code of the Master and the message of his extensive collection of unpublished compositions, with the user as an accomplice, extending his hand to invite others to cross the path of addictive elixirs, filters, extracts and perfumes that make up olfactory communication itself. Because in essence, for Ramon Monegal it is all of this together that makes up true luxury.”

- from the press release

Cotton Musk (formerly known as White Musk): Notes include rose, gardenia, olibanum, vetiver, vanille and white musk.

A cuddly white musk scent, pillowy, downy, feathery light and decorated with a floral garland that slowly sinks into your skin, leaving a faint trace of incense and vanilla in its soft wake. Dreamy and hazy, a veil of white innocence. Makes me use adjectives with unrestrained abandon.

Mon Patchouly: Notes include patchouly, oakmoss, frankincense, geranium, jasmine and ambergris.

Patchouli and sweet jasmine – a very interesting and unusual perfume. Deep, woody, earthy, anchored and stable a cloud of jasmine unfurls from its earthy prison and soars into the sky taking me with it, in thrall.

A most unexpected beauty and very far from any hippie patchouli associations the name might evoke. Highly recommended.

Mon Cuir: Notes include leather, orange blossom, labdanum, nutmeg, Indonesian patchouly, musk and Australian sandalwood.

I have been testing many leather scents lately, so I was very interested in Mon Cuir. Dark leather made sweet and comfy by orange blossom and labdanum, it exudes masculine strength and power, but retains a softness and warmth that makes it eminently wearable for me. The very floral beginning makes way for the leather, soft, but with a hint of new car, in the heart and finally dries down to a creamy woody musk that is cosy and warm.

Agar Musk: Notes include Arabian agarwood, leather, nutmeg, vetyveryle acetate, musk cocktail.

Oud. Nicely done, but not earth shattering when it comes to originality. It is a very solid interpretation of a theme we all had a bit much of lately. But that is not the perfume’s fault after all. If you are looking for a good oud rendition, this is a very good place to look.

Umbra: Notes include Haitian vetiver root, Yugoslavian tree moss, Madagascan black pepper, Bourbon geranium leaves, Canadian fir balsam and tonka bean.

A very beautiful peppery opening segues into a deeply woody vetiver. Tonka bean and fir balsam give sweetness and depth to this perfectly unisex scent. I love Umbra! I will wear it and will certainly make my husband wear it as well! A winner!!!

Ambra di Luna: Notes include amber, ciste oil, extract of Egyptian jasmine, castoreum extract and Mysore sandalwood.

A very soft, understated amber. Powdery, velvety, not sweet, not dry, perfectly balanced. It reminds me of Mona di Orio’s Ambre. It is not a powerhouse as many ambers can be, but a stealthy charmer, that captures your heart while you are not looking. Unobtrusive and tender. Surely a fit for this amber queen.

Dry Wood: Notes include cedarwood bark, sandalwood, bay leaves, pepper, moss, spices, ambergris, cashmerewood and woods.

This is the only one of the fourteen I absolutely hate. It is a harsh, overly manly, wooden “screecher” of a scent. It smells artificial and frankly, cheap. Well, every line has to have a bummer and for me, this is it. But one out of fourteen is not a bad cut.

Stay tuned for the seven more feminine leaning perfumes coming soon.

Have you tried the line? Are you curious? What do you think of the packaging? I’m looking forward to hearing your opinions!

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This entry was posted in Amber, Chypre, Citrus, Floral, Fruity, Gourmand, Iris, Jasmine, Leather, Musk, Oriental, Patchouli, Ramon Monegal, Resins, Rose, Spicy, Tuberose, Vanilla, Vetiver, Woods and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

59 Responses to A Trip To Spain – Ramón Monegal Mini-Reviews Part I

  1. womo531 says:

    Birgit you just created some lemmings for Umbra, Mon Patchouly, Mon Cuir, and White musk…

  2. Is it just me or does Ramón Monegal *look* like a Goya painting? It’s pretty cool.

    The bottles look very nice too. I love a nice hefty bottle; it always feels so elegant to hold in your hand. I do kind of wonder if the flippy top would get in the way a little bit . . .

    Now I am very curious about this. I don’t think I’ve seen it anywhere here, but I wasn’t necessarily looking for it. I’ll keep my eyes peeled because Mon Cuir and Umbra sound beautiful. Thanks for the review! Looks like you are taking one for the team in a good way ;-)

  3. Oh! dear me Birgit, I have been avoiding reading reviews of new houses and potential lemmings. I have placed a moratorium on my purchasing for one month..Mon Cuir and Ambra di Luna (did I read that right – Mysore) are going on the wish list… What is ciste oil? ~S~

  4. Lady Jane Grey says:

    Nice bottles ! (“Yugoslavian tree moss” – sounds funny. I thought there was no Yugoslavia since 2006 anymore – so it must be a nice old tree moss).

  5. katyalil says:

    I just love the name Ramon Monegal- sounds so sexy ! Love the bottle but to me it looks like a fatter version of L’Artisan’s only with a different top of course.I would love to try Mon Patchouli and Umbra- both sound very promising, how much are they and do they sell sample sets- I can never resist a samplr set :)

    • Olfactoria says:

      A bottle is 110€ at First in Fragrance, no sample set yet, but the company’s website is being relaunched soon and I have high hopes that there will be 2ml samples and 15ml sized bottles available. We need to be vocal about the demand for those! We love small sizes, we love sets! (Anybody hear me?) ;)

      • Lady Jane Grey says:

        Yes, we hear you and agree !!!!!!!!!!!!!
        But do the parfum companies hear us as well ???
        Jo Loves, the worst ever example : the line is only sold via their homepage – so you cannot go to any shop and sniff. And there are no samples available from the homepage either. Dear customer – my way or the highway !
        Heeley is a good one ! (2 ml samples readily available from their homepage)

  6. Bottles are beautiful in the pictures, they look handsome and hefty. Now you have me intrigued by yet another fabulous house. Temptress that you are.
    Thanks Birgit
    Portia xx

  7. Ines says:

    Sounds interesting and some sound like true winners. :)
    Btw, I cannot help it, I wonder where he got the Yugoslavian tree moss as there’s no more Yugoslavia to speak of.

  8. Tatiana says:

    I find the bottles very elegant. I’ll wait until I can find samples at a reasonable price with reasonable shipping. I must admit I’m curious about a few of these. Cannot wait to hear how the rest of them smell.

  9. Parfumista says:

    I’m testing out the RM line at the moment and maybe I started with the best one at first the Impossible Iris because I’m head over heals with this one, my impressions here http://www.parfumistansblogg.blogspot.se/2012/07/ramon-monegal-impossible-iris.html
    From the further testing of the RM frags (more posts will follow) my overall impression is high quality and interesting fragrances, versatile and pleasant to wear.

  10. Oh man! Those bottles!!

    This sounds like a really good brand. I’m really liking the sound of Mon Cuir. I’m no leather freak but I am intrigued by the pairing of leather and orange blossom. I find that florals go really well with leather (see Sarrasins).

    Thank you for bringing them to our attention!

  11. Anna says:

    Yes, I´ve tried all of them. I think that the bottles are great, heavy and beautiful. So far my favourites are Entre Naranjos, Cuirelle, Agar musk and Umbra. There was something plastic in Mon cuir on my skin, I don´t know what was it… But I have to test few of them more =)

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hi Anna,
      oh great, you’ve tried them too!
      Too bad I can’t speak Finnish, I would have loved to read your take. :)

      • Anna says:

        Hi! <3

        Haha maybe I should teach you =D Today I tried Kiss my name. I have a huge white flowers season going on and I don´t know why I didn´t notice this one better before…hmm. I think the reason is that I didn´t have this white season going on then =D haha.

        By the way, I felt White musk a little bit aquatic. Was it just me? What do you think, did you find any watery on it?

        You have a great blog, thank you!

      • Anna says:

        I wrote a reply but it went lost I guess :/

  12. Tara says:

    I haven’t tried them but agree with the general positivity regarding the inkwell/lighter bottles!

    Very much like the sound of the first two – White Musk and Mon Patchouly. Plus Ambra di Luna sounds very pretty and if it’s good enough for the amber queen … :)

    Sounds like a good solid line. Looking forward to more mini-reviews.

  13. Alexandra says:

    Yum – I think I will just echo everyone else and say that the whole set up looks lovely! Mon Cuir and Mon Pathchouly sound especially wonderful. We just need an affordable Ormande Jayne-esque discovery set and he could be on to a winner…

  14. Suzanne says:

    Mon Patchouly and Mon Cuir sound reeeallly good!!

    Looking forward to reading Part Dos of your reviews, Senorita!

  15. Lila says:

    So glad you featured Ramon Monegal here. Myrugia is to Spain what Guerlain is to France. Spanish perfumes and perfumers deserve to be better known!

  16. Undina says:

    After reading Perfumista’s review last week and researching the brand a little I was already curious about it and now, after reading your take, I’m even more interested though I hate when a brand comes out with 14 (fourteen!) scents: as I’m a “serial tester” I would love to try them all but since they won’t be available from B&M stores around it means ordering 14 samples at least half of which, most likely, won’t be “my thing”. Grrrr. I want a discovery set! This way at leat I’ll feel like I paid for the finished product.

  17. Eva S says:

    I love the looks of those bottles! Mon Pathcouly sounds espescially interesting.
    Yes, we want a discovery set!!

  18. andreawilko says:

    Oh dear, these sound like they might be just right for me and I can’t wait for the second part of the review with more feminine perfumes especially the iris perfume as I have a soft spot for the odd iris. At least FIF is stocking them which makes for an easy and pleasant transaction with 3 free samples. Obviously these will come onto my list after the MDCI discovery set. ;-)

  19. unseencenser says:

    mmm, I want to try the jasmine patchouli, that sounds right up my alley these days. And the bottles are indeed gorgeous!

  20. Bee says:

    I agree with you all, this sounds like an interesting line! If señor Monegal is reading this blog: por favor let us order sample discovery sets!

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