I first sampled Montblanc Explorer when it was first released. As it immediately reminded me of Creed Aventus, one of our top 10 best men’s fragrances, I know that it would experience a lot of hype. Frustratingly, however, I didn’t get around to reviewing it until now!

In this review, you will discover Montblanc Explorer with a focus on the following topics:

Use the links to jump ahead or scroll on to read more.

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  • Brand: Montblanc
  • Fragrance: Explorer
  • Concentration: Eau de Parfum
  • Release Year: 2019
  • Batch Reviewed: 03J41J198
  • Olfactive Fragrance Family: Woody Aromatic
  • Related Fragrances: Montblanc Individuel, Creed Aventus, CDNIM
  • Price On Amazon: From $78 [Buy Now]
  • Price On FragranceX: From $30 [Buy Now]

Released in 2019, Explorer was developed by three Givaudan perfumers, Olivier Pescheux, Antoine Maisondieu, and Jordi Fernandez. Olivier Pescheux is probably best known for Paco Rabanne 1 Million as well as a variety of other Montblanc fragrances such as Legend.

Montblanc Explorer Sky Background

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Montblanc Explorer Composition

In the following section, we’ll break down Montblanc Explorer’s individual notes and accords, which you will discover is an overall woody aromatic fragrance.

Head Notes

  • Bergamot
  • Clary Sage
  • Peppermint

Immediately after spraying, you will smell a fruity breeze that is distinctive of Creed Aventus. What’s interesting is that it’s only in the head’s opening, and then quickly it fades.

At the head, you will likely experience some fruitiness. However, it’s bergamot as opposed to pineapple. I did get a whiff of that tropical fruitiness right at the beginning, but it faded as soon as it was noticed.

Here we have bergamot, some sage, and a little bit of peppermint. So a very aromatic head with an accompanying rounded, fruity note.

Heart Notes

  • Vetiver
  • Guaiacwood
  • Cocoa

As you get to the heart, we have some vetiver, so we’re going to be a little bit more aromatic. You’ll notice some guaiacwood, which is reminiscent of pipe tobacco and woody muskiness.

There is also a surprising hint of cocoa too, which is quite light, almost like milk chocolate. It’s very faint, but it’s definitely in there, and it’s quite enjoyable. Nevertheless, the cocoa fades very quickly, as this is a very refreshing fragrance, after all.

Base Notes

  • Labdanum
  • Patchouli
  • Agarwood

Finally, we have a base which is refreshing again, but still quite musky. It’s dominated by labdanum, a musky herbaceous note, earthy patchouli, and agarwood. So it’s not an oud per se, but it’s still on the musky side, and still quite woody.

Explorer’s Life-Cycle, Wake & Strength

Although fans of Aventus will likely comment that Explorer doesn’t nearly match it in performance, it is still a fragrance that holds its own. The sillage provides a nice trail behind the wearer, but not too long neither.

Projection is okay. The scent bubble is very tight and relatively close to the body. Therefore, you do get a nice little whiff from a distance, but you have to approach to really start to appreciate it a little more. Meanwhile, the longevity does endure quite a while.

Overall, Explorer gives you about six hours of performance, but as you can see in the photos, it’s available in convenient travel bottles that you can use to reapply throughout the day.

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What People Think Of Montblanc Explorer

With regards to the third party feedback, needless to say, it has become the subject of the great Creed Aventus debate, which somehow is still raging on. This fragrance has been often compared to it because it is clearly inspired by it.

Yet, I feel that it does manage to differentiate itself and has created its own identity. Generally speaking, people were saying it does smell like Creed Aventus, but it’s different enough to be its own thing.

There were comments that it was a little bit synthetic, but has a nice clean smell to it. It’s not particularly popular among older generations, so people aged forty or above.

As for those in their twenties and thirties, it tends to be quite successful among both men and women. In fact, I would argue it is more popular among women than Creed Aventus is itself.

Funny enough, from what I hear and from the feedback I’ve had, Creed Aventus is not as much as a panty-dropper as people like to think!

When To Wear Montblanc Explorer

Earlier, I mentioned that it was particularly popular in people in their thirties and younger. I think this is better suited to people in their early thirties, rather than their twenties, but could still easily be worn by somebody in their twenties if they wanted.

It’s a great daytime fragrance and not something I wouldn’t particularly wear during the evening. Similarly, it’s probably best worn in the office.

Indeed, it’s a great professional fragrance that could also be worn casually, but I think that a professional setting would be a perfect fit for it.

Finally, in terms of masculinity, it’s not mild by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s certainly not strong. I’d say this is a moderately masculine fragrance. It’s not overly verile or overbearing either.

Presentation & Value For Money

Finally, with regards to the presentation, I love the bottle and I think it’s very cleverly designed. I’ve seen the larger bottle but I actually prefer this format. It’s thinner, more convenient, sits nicely in the hand.

You have the exact same rubber finish that is meant to look like leather with the little Montblanc snowcap emblem on the front. The cap comes off quite nicely and the atomizer produces a nice mist. It’s focused and not too wide, just the way I like it.

In terms of packaging, it emulates the bottle’s design with the same faux-leather effect , which is nicely framed there at the centre. This would make a great gift as it’s very nicely presented.

Finally the value for money. Montblanc can be found for around $50 depending on where you shop. that being said, the larger 100 ml (3.4 Oz) bottles retail for closer to $70.

Although more expensive than an Aventus clone, it’s a higher quality fragrance. Meanwhile, it’s significantly cheaper than Aventus itself. We love using the 30 ml (1 Oz) travel bottle, which can be picked up on FragranceX for just $30!

Closing Thoughts

While Montblanc Explorer can be considered as a little bit synthetic, it’s a clean fragrance with a summery character as is quite affordable too. It offers an impressive experience with a rich bouquet of notes.

Indeed, it’s clearly influenced by Aventus. Yet it does try to create his own unique identity as well. Rather than criticised, it should be applauded for using a very popular trend while going in its own direction.

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"Montblanc's approach in creating an affordable alternative to Aventus should be applauded as this is an excellent fragrance in its own right."
Bespoke Unit Rating: ★★★★★

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