There are lots of perfume ingredients which are notoriously difficult to work with. Most in this category are bulldozers. They can just appear in a fragrance and take over everything. It can sometimes be disappointing when I perceive an attempt to cage the rambunctious ingredient, only to watch it break free and take over. Montale Oud Pashmina is an example of completing the enclosure.
Montale is the brand of record in bringing actual oud into perfume lover’s homes. Black Aoud was the introduction of real oud in concentration to many. Over the last twenty years they have displayed every shade there is of oud. If there is a type of oud you desire, there is probably a Montale to satisfy it. Oud Pashmina is part of that continuum. It is a typical rose-oud pairing. What I enjoyed is the other ingredients form a gilded cage around that classic duo. One of the effects of that is to soften the scent profile of the oud. It forms a more accessible oud.
It begins with the oud and rose together. There is a reason this is a classic they smell sophisticated without doing anything else. The cited source of the oud is Nepal. In my little collection of oud oils I don’t have one of those. It seems to be woodier in profile with hints of that bandage scent underneath. The floor of this cage is an earthy patchouli another frequent partner to oud. The bars begin to be built as saffron, incense, and leather begin to close it in. Each of these attenuates some of the rougher edges of the oud. The final pieces to the cage come from musk and vanilla. The musk used here is not a growling animalic nor is it an expansive white. This is in between, slightly shaded towards the animalic. It also forms a harmonic with the vanilla. They form the top of the cage. Once it is all together you have the rose-oud surrounded by patchouli, musk, and vanilla.
Oud Pashmina has 24-hour plus longevity and above average sillage.
Twenty years on I think Oud Pashmina is a gentler introduction to oud than Black Aoud was. All it took was finding a way to cage it.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample I purchased.