Initial by Montana (2015)

Again, just another "just-because-it's-new" review. Quite a meh, but fun scent.

Montana Initial is quite an odd scent for me. It smells as much cheap as quite unique, and with some stretch, fairly pleasant overall. It’s plastic, but fun. Out of the notes listed, I actually get just tonka (the powerful synthetic sweet-dusty-almondy tonka note featured in hundreds of cheapos/low-class designer scents), cinnamon for sure, some really generic crisp woods (“cedramber” and the likes), some citrus, a really faint cardamom, and most of all, a true ton of a really peculiar accord of, basically, spicy musk and ambery orange (which then evolves into “orange-infused amber”). This accord, which is basically the bone-structure of Initial’s first and mid phases, smells really powerful and bold, and I’m surprised it is missing from the “pyramid”. Now, I am not sure about the “orange” since it’s more likely due to the interaction of bergamot (which has surely some citrus-orange nuances) and cinnamon, but I am quite sure about amber and musk. They give Initial an almost overpowering feel of synthetic-soapy “laundry” cleanliness with a warm, dusty, slightly talc vanillic-ambery-woody vibe supporting tonka and cinnamon, with a whiff of syrupy fruitiness too, enhancing and taming them down at once (enhancing their power and the volume, taming down their, say, identity and their nuances). 

Still I admit it’s not a tragic scent; if I had to compare this, and it’s not an easy task since as I said, one of the few positive features of Initial is that it smells quite peculiar, I would probably think of a funky, ultra-spicy, sweeter flanker of Armani Code or similar fragrances. Sort of a cheap downtown sweet Oriental bomb. Actually it reminds me a bit of Zegna Intenso too, just sweeter, with double the power, half the refinement and more spices. The projection is powerful and the longevity is as much linear as impressive. A bit harsh and flat, probably a tad too much sweet and slightly tacky overall, but it works. Kind of the equivalent of a $10 tracksuit you can wear home or for some local grocery shopping. Quite unworthy its original retail price in my opinion, but Montana fragrances are usually sold in many grey-market stores for pennies – in that case, it may be worthy a sniff.

6/10

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