The Re-Issued Montana Suggestion Collection: Eau Cuivrée, Eau d’Or and Eau d’Argent
Named after three precious metals, they were Eau d’Argent, Eau d’Or and Eau Cuivrée. They met some love among specialists but were soon forgotten and discontinued.Copper. Gold. Silver. Three colors and textures that make sense to explore in perfume. Beside their value, precious metals have a rich list of meanings and symbols as well as myriads of perfumes with their names. In 1994, Montana launched a collection of three fragrances called Montana Suggestion.
Former Suggestion Collection from 1994
The new Montana Suggestion Collection was first presented to the press in 2015 at the Cannes TFWA expo, but only this year the bottles were made available on the market. I had the chance of trying and wearing this new collection from a brand that I have to say has been a favorite of mine (I do have my soft spots. Who doesn’t?) since their iconic fragrance Parfum de Peau, until recently with their strong and innovative creations like Graphite Oud Edition or their budget wonders like Graphite and Montana 80. So here I am reporting on the impressions I have from these bottles, in case you’ve seen them and are not sure of buying them or not.
This year the brand decided to revive this collection, launching it again with three perfumes that have the same name but completely different compositions. Make no mistake: this is a new line and if you are looking for the original ones you must look for them in the usual vintage markets online, old shops or flea markets if you are lucky.
Want a refined, classic scent with a touch of something different? Spot on! This is such a good quality fragrance, it even seems a miracle that is costs so little. It may have a shy character, and to be honest it stays very close to the skin so you have to hug someone in order to smell it. However, it lasts over 10 hours easily without reapplying it. Eau Cuivrée is an amber/patchouli classic combination. So far so good. For me this is always a winning couple. Sweet, powdery and deeply oriental, this balmy and resinous fragrance is not groundbreaking but it is sensual and rich, warm and comfortable. I smell no flowers here, only an earthy amber scent not very far from niche offerings like Rancé Laetitia, but for a fraction of the price. This is a perfume that supposedly evokes copper and the personality of a red haired woman. And I think that copper really makes an appearance as the fragrance develops, for there is a matallic bite in it that transforms a traditional oriental amber into something more peculiar and interesting. The core of the perfume hides a gourmand accord that is not too evident and gives the composition a bit more body. Eau Cuivrée is seductive but to me it feels more like a friendly hug. It’s also a very versatile and easy to like fragrance that is great in winter but still very good in summer. My favorite in the Suggestion collection.
“Copper was associated with the goddess Aphrodite/Venus in mythology. It is symbol of the energy transmission to which it attributes the power of reflection and motion. Eau Cuivrée is a contradiction between architecture and eccentricity seen on the Claude Montana fashion shows. Alexandra Carlin (Symrise) imagines a fragrance full of contrasts acting as a weapon of seduction. An addictive scent with its gentle and subtle praline suddenly pierced with luscious freshness. The whole composition is based on palpitations of a powerful patchouli.” – Montana Parfums
Top notes: bergamot, sweet praline, plum
Middle notes: sambac jasmine, heliotrope, carnation
Base notes: patchouli, vanilla, Amyris wood
Not very far from the main ingredients of Eau Cuivrée comes to the scene Eau d’Or. Gold here is in a different proportion of accords but not very far from copper. Floriental by nature, this one is still ambery but it pushes the floral notes to the front, namely jasmine. Is starts pungent with saffron touches and fresh with bergamot. Very quickly it enters into a very feminine jasmine note which in my opinion is what defines its main statement. Eau d’Or has high heels on and more of a diva temperament. More explosive but still creamy, with better sillage, Eau d’Or is all about amber and jasmine with hints of an arabian perfume but the elegance of a Parisian lady. The base is a bit stronger since the amber comes from cistus and incense. There is an important sweetness that dominates the whole composition and it lacks the originality of Eau Cuivrée. Where the former had a twist with that metallic edge, this one is plain understandable at first sniff. Not even the sweetness of the top notes and the slightly animalic undertone can turn this one into a beast. Not as stunning but equally beautiful, Eau d’Or is a sure choice and a crowd pleaser. Lucas Sieuzac, perfumer from Symrise, composed Eau d’Or as an oriental elixir with subtle spicy shades with the aim of delivering an aphrodisiac juice.
“Gold is a universal symbol of sophistication and glamour. The transparent bottle, classic and pure, is made of beautiful hand-polished glass and topped with a golden-hued cap, which affords a glimpse of the golden juice. Eau d’Or is modern, sparkling and luminous… all at once. A fragrance that celebrates the beauty of being a woman.” – Montana Parfums
Top notes: saffron, bergamot, strawberry
Middle notes: jasmine, papyrus of Ciane
Base notes: caramelized incense, cistus labdanum
Some fragrances you just can’t deal with and you can’t explain it. I can’t see any flaws in this composition. It is solid, it is balanced, it lasts an eternity on the skin with massive projection. However, I can’t bring myself to like it. There is a huge amount of osmanthus (not a favorite note of mine) and my nose smells rose even though it has no rose, apparently. It reminds me of Chloé, which to a lot of people is a good thing but to me it’s not. I can only say that Eau d’Argent doesn’t have one single thing wrong about it, technically. I just don’t like it for no special reason and sincerely hope you understand this. Emilie Coppermann (Symrise) used a heavy hand on lily of the valley in Eau d’Argent, which gives it a loud freshness and there is also a spiced cold white tea accord to extend that freshness. The base has a bold dash of clean laundry musk which can be the explanation why I have a hard time relating to it. Silver is a precious metal with known antibacterial properties but this fragrance is way too clean and sharp for my taste. Perfume is very personal, so try it, please. You may love it.
“Bright and white, the silver colour is symbol of all kinds of purity. It is pure light, as received and made by the transparency of crystal, the clarity of water, reflections in the mirror, the brilliance of the diamond. It looks just like the purity of intention, trust, fidelity, deep and caring love. Eau d’Argent is about a woman’s inner beauty, her confidence, her passion, and her sensuality. Inspired by the luminous radiance of every woman, the fragrance embodies a modern, pure femininity and has a surprisingly sensual energy.” – Montana Parfums
Top notes: white tea, mandarin, pink pepper
Heart notes: osmanthus, lily of the valley, jasmine
Base notes: patchouli, musk, amber
The bottles of the Montana Suggestion collection are inspired by the iconic shape of the prized Parfum de Peau bottle from the 1980’s. The architectural form is now more sensual and minimalistic. The frosted glass effect sublimes the curves of the bottle. Inside, the spray tube is painted in red and it creates a shadow and a movement when you turn the bottle. It’s like a sculpture that was made from another sculpture, emphasizing other aspects of an already genious work. Like many other perfumes in the Montana catalog, these are very affordable. A 100ml bottle goes for 55 euros on the brand’s official website.