An enormously popular fragrance among enthusiasts, Montblanc Individuel is often featured as an excellent affordable men’s cologne. However, how well will it stand up against the Bespoke Unit Fragrance Formula?
In this review, you will read our evaluation of Montblanc Individuel. Using our formula, we’ll analyse the fragrance’s bouquet of notes, quality and value for money as well as its seasonality and usage.
- Brand: Montblanc
- Fragrance: Individuel
- Concentration: Eau de Toilette
- Introduction: 2003
- Olfactive Fragrance Family: Woody Oriental Amber
- Related Fragrance: Cerruti 1881
- Price On Amazon: $75 for 75ml [Buy Now]
Released in 2003, Montblanc Individuel has been doing the rounds for some time now. It was developed by Pierre Bourdon, the nose of classics such as Davidoff Cool Water.
However, in recent years it caused a stir and gained traction within the fragrance community. Today, it is seen as one of the best affordable fragrances for small budgets and is regularly recommended by other bloggers.
Montblanc Individuel’s Composition
With a tableau of notes ranging from spicy to aromatic with a number of fruity notes on the way, Individuel is certainly a mixed bag. However, its overarching sandalwood accord, which we’ll talk about later, brings it into the woody family.
Combined with its musky and spicy notes, this makes it an overall Woody Oriental Amber fragrance.
- Juniper Berries
Opening on a fruity burst of juniper berries and pineapple, Mont Blanc takes an original approach in the head notes. This is then built up by layers of aromatic lavender and spicy cardamom.
Following a linear dry-down, we next experience a heart of various notes including coriander, geranium as well as mint and rosemary. The interplay between the aromatics and floral notes are fresh and comforting.
- White Musk
As the heart notes fade, an overtly sandalwood scent emerges to take centre stage. This is supported by a lighthearted white musk note and an unconventional raspberry note. The resulting bouquet is unusual but otherwise pleasant.
The sweet and fresh fruity notes make a unique contrast against the sandalwood and musky warmth, which is certainly one to try.
Somewhat paradoxically, Individuel is both a conventional and unusual fragrance. Whilst the general structure follows that of a classic pyramidal accord, it’s included some unexpected notes on the way.
For instance, the raspberry note in the base was somewhat surprising and quite refreshing. Usually, fruity notes tend to be featured in the head or the heart rather than the base. Otherwise, Individuel is a linear trip of sequential notes.
Wake & Strength Of Individuel
At first, Mont Blanc Individuel is a strong and unabashed fragrance. However, it soon dies down into the heart and leaves a relatively faint but noticeably sillage. However, it projects very well and should be applied sparingly.
Similarly, the fragrance’s longevity is reasonable whilst not being a superstar. A few sprays before going to work should last until sometime after lunch.
Do People Like Montblanc Individuel?
One of the most polarising aspects of Individuel is found during testing with other people. There are two clear and distinctive camps with regards to this fragrance. The first consists of people who really like the fragrance. Furthermore, they find it comforting to wear and tend to liken it to fabric softener.
However, the opposition find this fragrance to be overtly synthetic and struggle to enjoy it. Many find it very cheap in this respect and a general disappointment.
Nevertheless, the majority tends to find itself in the middle. Whilst people realise that it does smell quite synthetic, they also appreciate the comforting association with fabric softener. That said, this doesn’t make it a seductively appealing fragrance but one that is enjoyed as a scent.
When Should You Wear Montblanc Individuel?
In terms of seasonality, Individuel is an overall versatile scent. Nevertheless, it tends to perform well during the milder months. This is because of its wide spectrum of notes that range from fruity to spicy with a few woody notes in between.
It can also be worn quite well during winter. However, its musky and sandalwood notes may suffer during summer and feel somewhat out of place. In short, it doesn’t quite lack character but it doesn’t have an identity strong enough that links it with a particular season.
Similarly, it’s hard to put a finger on a particular age range that is best suited to this fragrance. The budget and aspirational aspect of the fragrance may make it an attractive choice for younger men in their teens and twenties. However, the sandalwood accord would be more adapted to older men in their thirties or older.
In the right conditions, it could be likely worn by any man of any age. Specifically, we would say that this is a fragrance best suited for conservative environments. As it lacks the overt identity of some fragrances, it can fit in quite easily with the workplace or high school.
In this respect, it’s not a particularly seductive fragrance but something that’s comfortable and reassuring to wear. So it would be unlikely used for formal or special occasions.
Paradoxically, it’s a fragrance that features particular notes that go well with the nighttime. Therefore, if you’re someone that works the night shift, this would be perfect! Either way, you could likely use this fragrance to suit your environment.
Finally, Individuel features classic properties that make it a generally masculine fragrance. It’s generally strong but somewhat subdued by its fabric softener association.
Presentation and Value For Money
Despite being a fragrance on a small budget, the bottle is very stylish. Its slim design fits comfortably in the hand with an understated yet elegant text in opposing corners of the facade. The cap can be difficult to remove at times, but it’s well-made and features the iconic Mont Blanc ice cap logo.
However, the atomiser isn’t particularly elegant and rather than creating an accurate and refined mist, it tends to leave a thick layer of fragrance. Therefore, consider using this at a distance rather than close to your skin. Otherwise, you may end up with a thick layer of alcoholic liquid on the skin.
Like the bottle, the packaging is quite stylish with a brushed chrome effect and embossed Mont Blanc logo. This presents itself quite well and makes a rather fetching gift.
Finally, in terms of value for money, this is where Individuel really shines. People often flock to this fragrance as it offers a scent that echoes premiums brands at only a fragrance of the price.
However, for reasons we don’t quite understand, Amazon seems to be retailing it for a whopping $75… This is strange as they tend to offer good deals so hopefully it will subside soon enough.
Some argue that Montblanc Individuel is an overly synthetic fragrance that may be lacking character or originality. Whilst I personally agree that this is true, it’s hard to criticise what Mont Blanc has achieved by making a fragrance that’s both elegant and accessible.
If you’re looking for a pleasant daily scent that’s both affordable and more refined that a regular cologne, this may be one to seriously consider.
Like the sound of Mont Blanc Individuel? Watch the video below to see our initial thoughts!
"A well-deserved following. Despite its synthetic and understated identity, Mont Blanc Individuel is an affordable and pleasant fragrance that still offers refinement."Rating: 4.0 ★★★★