A Bitch In A Tar Pit – Review: Montale Aoud Cuir d’Arabie

Hello Olfactoria’s Travelers,

Portia in the OT house from Australian Perfume Junkies and Perfume Posse.

A split I was part of a while ago that turned out to be a fave for a while and then the decant got put in a box and ignored. Well, I’ve resurrected it lately: Aoud Cuir d’Arabie by Montale. The Montale range is really enjoyable for me. I love their outrageous openings and sultry hearts. Of course, I’m not afraid of fragrances with size, he he he, though this particular fragrance is only enormous at the start…

Photo Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives only these featured accords in one line:
Tobacco, birch, leather, oudh.

I love the leather and medicine opening and in Aoud Cuir d’Arabie. Here we have a great example of a scent that provides a Band-Aid analogy but it wears as a hint rather than the focus. The hefty nod to a tannery dries the top of my mouth with its pungency: ie. my dream of a tannery, which is clearly a Disney version with a bunch of strapping, muscled, hairy chested tanners singing an ooompapa song about how hard their lives are and how the girls don’t like them because they stink.

The whole opening sequence is not for the faint hearted but totally enjoyable. Basically all the notes we are given are there front and center at the start. I found this great nude bikers picture and Aoud Cuir d’Arabie is the scent of one of these leather bike seats after a heavy day of nude riding.

Aoud Cuir d’Arabie by Montale Naked_Bike_Ride London WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

My feeling when wearing Aoud Cuir d’Arabie is that I am wearing way too much fragrance. It seems like I’m enveloped in cloud of it and that every person in a 5 km radius must be thinking, “EEEEW, that bitch smells like a toilet in a smoky tar pit” but it seems that though it has excellent sillage and more than moderate projection no one felt overwhelmed.

People that smell me get a warm floral leather fragrance, one person I asked saying pretty! My skin gives Aoud Cuir d’Arabie a sweetness that does not show on my BFF Kath’s skin, on her it is a more raunchy leather/oudh centric fragrance, still beautiful and interesting but less sweet tobacco. Now we are talking well worn leather that has taken on the scent of humanity and lost the edge of industrial whatever it is they use to make it leather.

Aoud Cuir d’Arabie by Montale Baseball Glove WikiCommonsPhoto Stolen WikiCommons

Nowadays in the morning after a wear I can still smell the remnants. Aoud Cuir d’Arabie ends up much sweeter at the end and though they’re not mentioned I get some musks along with sweet tobacco and some very soft warm resins that could be the oudh remnants, or it could be some labdanum, there is something sweet there at the end anyway.

Further reading SmellyThoughts and Memory of Scent
LuckyScent has 50ml/$120 & 100ml/$170 (Currently there is a discount!)
SurrenderToChance starts at $4/ml

Have you tried Aoud Cuir d’Arabie by Montale? Are leather and oudh your thing?
Please leave a comment because this is meant to be a conversation, join in!
Portia xx

I have written about Aoud Cuir d’Arabie by Montale before at Perfume Posse, this review is based loosely on that review.


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21 Responses to A Bitch In A Tar Pit – Review: Montale Aoud Cuir d’Arabie

  1. cookie queen says:

    Love leather, although anything worth wearing is few and far between. Have not tried this. I hate the “bottles”. Yeah I know …… whatever. 🙂 Bussi.

    • Hey there lovely Val,
      I love these bottles, so industrial and especially the colourful ones.
      I think this fragrance is EVERYTHING you hate about mass-tige perfumery and I would be very surprised if you like it.
      Portia xx

  2. Tara says:

    I perhaps foolishly tried this at the start of my perfume journey and it was waaay too pungent and powerful for me. I may find it less scary now, but probably not much 🙂

    I love how your skin manages to bring out the sweetness in the tar pit, Portia.

  3. Olfactoria says:

    I never tried this but it is most likely my personal perfume nemesis! 🙂
    I can imagine you bringing out the very best in this fragrance though!
    In any case, I thoroughly enjoyed this review.

    • YAY!! Birgit! Great to see you.
      I can only imagine how this would affect your asthma, don’t do it to yourself but Michael might like a little spritzipoo.
      I’m not sure I tell you often enough how thrilled and proud I am to be part of your team Birgit.
      Thank you.
      Portia xx

  4. Sandra says:

    Hi Portia. Leather is my thing – love it and am having a good time trying to find new loves. Truthfully, I have never tried a Montale and now I just need to smell this. You had me laughing and intrigued. Xo

  5. Polinia says:

    Hi Portia. Really funny review:) I need to revisit Montale shelves in our department store. I love leather and I am constantly in search of the perfect one. Oudh is my “horror” stuff – can be tested only on paper and for really a good reason…amazing review like yours.

    • Hey Polinia,
      The Montale oudh is a very striking synthetic concoction, much like Guerlainade or Tauerade, and if you love one of the set then most will work for you. On the flip side, if one is a freaking disaster then …..
      Good luck, I hope it is a happy outcome.
      Portia xx

  6. I giggled at your review and the choice of picture. I imagine I’ll give this a try at some point but I am pre warned!

  7. Happy to read about Aoud Cuir d’Arabie.
    I love it…
    It was my first out and the only one I still wear.

    By itself, I find it a bit too “flat”, so I usually wear it with Classique by Jean-Paul Gaultier (eau de parfum version). It’s amazing, wonderful and unique !


  8. Rob Hack says:

    After Chanel Cuir de Russie, definitely my favourite leather scent! And it’s a lot less dear than Tom Ford’s Tuscan Leather.

  9. Sun Mi says:

    Hi Portia –
    I’m not sure if I’d like oud and leather, I haven’t tried many leathers, and I haven’t tried many ouds. But I did just try Montale’s Aoud Velvet, and I actually liked it a lot – so maybe this one would work for me too! Thanks for the fun review, Portia! 🙂

    • Hey there Sun Mi,
      Sorry for the late response.
      Aoud Velvet is one I’m yet to try but if you like the Montale base in that then you are probably ready to hit the Aoud Cuir d’Arabie. Did you find Aoud ?elvet lived up to its name? Was It plush?
      Portia xx

  10. Michael says:

    I know what you mean about the feeling of wearing too much perfume with this one because I feel exactly the same. It turn a bit floral and powdery in the drydown on me which I really love though. I’m a bit scared to wear it out of the house because I think it’s been the cause of a couple of disgusted sideways glances in the past 😦

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