Montana’s Parfum de Peau (1986)

© Victor Wong
© Victor Wong

I didn’t know about the Montana brand till I read the “Top 10 discontinued male fragrances” article on basenotes.com. Montana Homme is amazing; I bought the cheapo 50ml traveller’s kit for $12 and later bought the 100ml as my first ever backup bottle for an equally cheap $20. (Note: it has been reformulated, if you are interested, get the one in the red box.) Montana Parfum de Peau (1986), the women’s version, however, didn’t make the top 10 list of discontinued women’s perfumes, and it’s a shame.

I blamed its modest minimalist packaging, for the longest time it didn’t get any of my attention whenever I visited a perfume shop. But, eventually I heard its weeping sound and looked up and saw it sitting on the top shelf, and decided to bring it home. I’d say it’s one of my best blind-buys. First of all, the bottle rocks. Folks who live in Toronto probably know there is a pair of very famous condo buildings nicknamed Marilyn Monroe in the neighbouring city, Mississauga. The bottle of Montana Parfum de Peau looks crazier than those towers, and not to mention it was designed in 1986, not 2006, without the aid of industrial design software. The scent itself, is another big surprise. I’d say I feel very satisfied when I am wearing it – nothing seems missing and it’s very “full”. Almost like going into a hot bath with the perfect water temperature – a little bliss. I didn’t analyze of the genre of the perfume when I first applied the perfume, for there was so much going on – most noticeably black currant leaves, blackberries, pepper, marigold, aldehyde, the heavy floral top notes hitters, followed by another wave of thick layer of floral mix middle notes; only two hours later I realized it’s a leather chypre. Strangely, it reminded me a little bit of Estee Lauder’s White Linen, except half-way through rolling in the giant bed you realized it’s Brown Linen for someone who wore a leather jacket had slept in that bed before.

Absolute World Towers, Mississauga. © Victor Wong
Absolute World Towers, Mississauga. © Victor Wong
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Valentino’s Uomo (2014)

© Victor Wong
© Victor Wong

There are two brothers who look alike, but have quite different personalities. One likes to live out loud and party hard, and the other likes finer things in life and takes things slowly. One is exuberant and likes to announce his presence, the other is more charismatic and discreet. Angel, nicknamed A-Men, chooses to live in New York, can’t survive a morning without a bottle of Red Bull, while Valentino, who people like to address him as Mr. Valentino, lives in Milan and enjoys a cup of Amaretto coffee while wearing his favorite fine jacket.

I brought my bottle of Valentino Uomo to work and my coworker sprayed a splitz on his wrist. He said he didn’t like it. Five minutes later we went to a meeting, and my boss who sat next to him said, “Oh I can smell Victor.” My coworker said, “No, it’s probably me. I sprayed Victor’s perfume on my wrist.” “Well, you smell very pretty today.” They both looked at me, and I looked at them, no words were further exchanged.

L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Dzing! (1999)

L'Artisan Parfuemur Dzing! 100ml, EDT
© Victor Wong

Circus Animals?

Luca Turin gave Dzing! a 5 star review and the way he described it was quite entertaining: “…Dzing! is a masterpiece. Dzing! smells of paper, and you can spend a good while trying to figure out whether it is packing cardboard, kraft wrapping paper, envelopes while you lick the glue, old books, or something else.”

I dunno, I can’t smell of any cardboard, but brand new plastic slippers made in China. It’s a strange scent, and it takes a while to realize what’s going on. I sprayed it on the back of my hand, and every few minutes I had to sniff at it, an indication that it’s an interesting scent. I feel like it’s Bvlgari Black without the floral, and Serge Luten’s Diam Blonde without the apricot.

Katie Puckrik has a short and sweet review on Youtube.

Etat Libre d’Orange’s Charogne (2008)

Etat Libre d'Orange's Charogne.

Etat Libre d’Orange’s Charogne.

The top notes are very beautiful florals… when all is dissipated, the unusual leather, incense, cardamon take control and turn the scent completely odd and old-smelling, like a bouquet of wilted flowers stuffed in an antique leather luggage. I wear it occasionally.