For a brand which puts out so much perfume it impresses me how often Montale hits the mark. There is a quality of knowing what their typical customer wants. It seems power is what that most coveted ingredient is by the Montale consumer. These perfumes do not wallow in subtlety they ascend with confidence. There is a charm in knowing what I’ll receive in a new release. Montale Arabians Tonka showed me they can do sweet and powerful.
Arabians Tonka is nominally a flanker to 2017’s Arabians; except there really isn’t that much of the original to be found in Arabians Tonka. Arabians was a great spicy leathery oud that I enjoyed. Arabians Tonka is a horse of different stripe.
In this case there is no spice, no leather but there is oud. Arabians Tonka is a much more stripped-down style of perfume. It focuses on imposing tonka on the classic combination of oud and rose. It could have been a sickly sweet gemisch. Instead it harnesses many of the facets of tonka to add sweetness to that stalwart duo of rose and oud.
Arabians Tonka opens on that rose and oud pair. There is a reason it is a classic. There is a reason Montale does great versions of it. All of that is on display in the early moments. Tonka bean is an ingredient high in coumarin which has that sweet dried grass scent of hay. It also has a strong vanilla-like scent. Both of those faces of tonka find their places here. The coumarin is built to temper the rough edges of oud that the rose didn’t already take care of. The vanilla beings out the beautiful floral quality of rose. It creates a sweet component which inserts itself into the rose and oud for a great accord. There is some amber which warms things up much later.
Arabians Tonka has 16-18 hour longevity and average sillage.
I have no idea what number of rose oud Montale releases came before Arabians Tonka. It is a lot of them. I don’t think they have one which finds the sweet complementing the power of the rose and oud as well. This is a stand-out among the collection because of it.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample I purchased.