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Explorer Montblanc

Montblanc Explorer Perfume Review

The so-called giant slayer – MontBlanc Explorer – has a heck of a lot to live up to. Taking heavy inspiration from one of the most popular men’s fragrances of all time, the Creed Aventus DNA, Mont Blanc twisted it and changed it just enough to be its own thing. But is it any good?

That’s what we’ll unveil in this Montblanc explorer review. We’re going to cover everything about this interesting and popular fragrance – from the history behind it and our thoughts to what Montblanc explorer smells like and the notes. We’ll even cover the best situations to wear it in and the performance. Let’s get into it:

Brand & Perfume History

Montblanc or Mont Blanc as it’s sometimes known is a German brand that is mainly known for its luxury pens and accessories. The brand itself was founded over a century ago in 1908 by August Ebersteain, Claus-Johannes Voss, and Alfred Nehemias.

The company has a signature star shape as its logo and this MontBlanc star has adorned its products since 1913, including its fragrances.

It wasn’t until 2001 that the company started producing fragrances though, releasing the women’s fragrance ‘Presence’ followed by various other fragrances for both men and women.

Montblanc is quite an overlooked fragrance brand, and whilst not commanding the higher prices other luxury fragrance brands charge, their fragrances and perfumes are still of incredible quality.

Explorer was released in 2019 and has a rather interesting story behind it…

Perfume Story

The rumor has it that Creed actually ripped off one of MontBlanc’s bestselling men’s fragrances, Individuel. Being released in 2003, Individuel was an instant hit thanks to its affordability and interesting raspberry note.

Creed released Original Santal in 2005 and it smelled eerily similar to Individuel, which apparently the head honchos at MontBlanc were not best pleased about. In turn, they apparently decided to take Creed Aventus, the dubbed king of men’s fragrances, and do their own take on it.

However the fragrance came about, and they ushered in a team of three Givaudan perfumers – Jordi Fernandez, Olivier Pescheux, and Antoine Maisondieu for the creative direction, which was all about the quest for excellence. Montblanc Explorer invites explorers to discover their untamed freedom and go on an adventure of a lifetime, using the rarest ingredients, the latest technology, and state-o

f-the-art manufacturing methods.

The success of Montblanc explorer Eau de parfum saw the creation of a flanker – MontBlanc Explorer Ultra Blue, which adds more blue notes into the equation with

The advertising campaign for the fragrance was all shot in lovely South Africa, and the face of the campaign is Rein Langeveld.

Perfume Bottle & Presentation

Montblanc Explorer has quite a unique presentation. Presented in a cylindrical bottle, it’s incredibly clean and simple. The bottle comes wrapped in a faux leather sleeve around the middle with the Montblanc logo. It’s incredibly tight and looks brilliant – the lid is nice and tight fitting and also sports the Montblanc snowcap emblem.

The sprayer is one of the best I’ve ever used. The juice sprays nice and evenly, meaning you get decent coverage in every single spray.

Our Thoughts

Mont Blanc explorer Eau de parfum is often seen as a direct substitute for Creed Aventus and I have to say I totally agree. To a totally untrained nose, they’re incredibly difficult to tell apart. But Explorer goes in its own direction, creating a slightly muskier fragrance but it will still make you smell good.

When I first sprayed this on, I’ll admit I wasn’t blown away. It’s incredibly synthetic, having only a few natural notes. But the more I sniffed it and as it dried down, I started liking it more and more. Eventually, Montblanc explorer became a full bottle buy for me as it’s just so easy to pull off.

How many sprays are required?

Montblanc explorer is an incredibly versatile fragrance and you can get away with quite a few sprays no matter the occasion. To cover all bases, we’d hazard between 4-6 sprays. This will set you up for the day and thanks to the smell you really won’t have an offensive scent bubble.

On hotter days and wearing for the gym you could even venture all the way up to 8 sprays to keep the fragrance around you for longer. The Montblanc Explorer smell contains almost no sweet notes, so you’re good to go in the heat.

For date night and evening wear you can get away with your usual 4-6 sprays of this fragrance. Whilst this thing isn’t a beast of a fragrance by anyone’s imagination, it performs well enough to survive an evening with that amount of sprays.

Finally, you can still get away with wearing Explorer in the winter, you just need a few more sprays.


Now let’s breakdown the notes of MontBlanc Explorer:

Top Notes


Pink Pepper

Clary Sage

Montblanc Explorer opens with an extremely bright fragrance. You’ll get that vibrant and slightly green citrus opening thanks to the bergamot, whilst the pink pepper and clary sage are more like background players to this bergamot.

Whilst Aventus opens with pineapple and blackcurrant, Explorer has Bergamot, which is a pretty big departure. This opening stage with its french sage & pepper is the biggest difference between the two fragrances, and where Montblanc Explorer set’s itself apart.

Middle Notes

Haitian Vetiver


The opening of Montblanc Explorer quickly settles down after the first hour and the mid starts to pop up. After that initial blast from the bergamot and pink pepper, a clean leather will start to poke its head through. This leather has a woody backbone thanks to the Haitian vetiver, giving a slightly smoky feel.

This stage is where Montblanc Explorer really starts to get that Aventus feel, smelling like a smokier batch.

Base Notes



Indonesian Patchouli Leaf

Cacao Pod

The base is where most of the synthetic notes of Mont Blanc Explorer reside. You’ve got the synthetic version of ambergris – Ambroxan here, which is a form of amber. This is just slightly sweet, but it’s a very addictive aroma chemical that provides the muskiness you’ll get with Mont Blanc Explorer. Akigalawood is also present, adding a strong woody backbone and making this undoubtedly masculine.

The Indonesian patchouli here isn’t the dirty patchouli you’ll find in many masculine scents. It’s earthy though, giving a gruff feeling. Finally, you’ve got a tiny bit of a bitter chocolate note from the cacao pod.

All in all, it’s quite a fantastic journey from start to finish and the fragrance is a testament to the way that Mont Blanc can combine craftsmanship and synthetic notes to create not just a good fragrance, but one that holds up against absolute heavyweights.



The fragrance sillage of Mont blanc explorer is decent. It won’t blow your socks off but it does exactly what it sets out to do – create a very good scent bubble that everyone around you will love. I personally get a nice trail behind me, not mega noticeable but every now and again I’ll catch a whiff.


The longevity of Mont Blanc Explorer is also average. You can expect 6-8 hours before it becomes a pretty undetectable fragrance, whilst some people get upwards of 12 hours thanks to it working well with their skin chemistry. Thanks to the relatively low cost though, it isn’t a massive problem with the average longevity.


The projection at the start of the fragrance is great, giving you above average projection for a good 2ish hours. After that, Mont blanc explorer settles down and leaves you with an arms-reach scent bubble for a few hours. After this, it’s a skin scent for a few hours.

While this hasn’t got the best projection on the planet, it’s more than enough if you’re just using it for casual wear and day-to-day usage.

Target Market

Explorer is undoubtedly masculine. So much so that I really don’t think a woman could pull this off at all.

Age-wise, any age could pull this off. It isn’t too playful, so a more mature gentleman could easily get away with this, yet it isn’t too serious, so a younger bloke could also wear it.

When to Wear

This is one of Montblanc Explorers’ greatest strengths – its versatility. It can be pulled off absolutely anywhere. Whether it’s a day-to-day scent, a scent you wear to work, a date night pick, or even for special occasions, it can easily be worn in any situation.

From using it at the gym to just spritzing yourself before you do your shopping, it really is perfect for all situations.

I don’t know if they created it to be that type of fragrance, but it is. In countless reviews all over the internet, you’ll see the same thing – it’s just so easy to pull off. It’ll be incredibly hard to offend anyone around you since all of the notes are pleasing, and there aren’t any sweeter notes to box it in for certain occasions. You can grab it and go, just varying the number of sprays you apply for different occasions. It is the ultimate ‘dumb reach’ scent.


Unfortunately, it isn’t that unique. There aren’t any bold or striking notes to set Explorer apart. Whilst it’s an easy-to-pull-off scent, that works against Explorer when it comes to standing out – it can easily blend in with other Aventus-like scents – for which there are plenty out there now.

Value For Money

Back to the good things about Explorer – the price. It can be had for incredibly cheap – I got 60ml on offer for about £30/$36. It’s one of those fragrances that can easily be found at discounters, which means you can find it at unbelievable prices.

Some people are claiming to have found 100ml bottles for as little as £40/$55ish, which is an absolute bargain if you can pick it up for that price.

The affordability of Explorer makes it a great gift idea for sons, husbands, brothers, and dads, as well as an easy entry for people who want to smell in the same vein as Aventus but can’t afford the hefty price tag it now commands.

Pros & Cons


  • The smell is incredibly easy to like
  • Pretty good performance
  • Stellar bottle & sprayer
  • Super versatile
  • A cheap option for Aventus


  • Not very unique
  • Doesn’t stand out
  • Can smell a bit synthetic

Similar Fragrances

Creed Aventus

The supposed inspiration behind Explorer. It smells similar but anyone who knows their stuff can tell the difference. Commanding around 8x the price of Explorer, you’re paying for the quality here. Although newer batches of Creed have pretty bad performance, which Explorer leaves in the dust.

Instead of bergamot, leather, vetiver, and ambroxan, you’ve got more natural smelling and fruity notes like blackcurrant, pineapple, and real ambergris.

Club De Nuit Intense Man

The original Creed Aventus clone, CDNIM has an incredibly similar vibe at a fraction of the cost. Some people absolutely hate the opening of this, but it dries down incredibly similar to the original. This is missing the lovely ambroxan and akigalawood dry-down of Explorer.

Again, there’s no leather in this, it goes straight for the Creed Aventus feel with almost the same ingredients except synthetic.

Our Verdict

If you’re looking for an affordable scent that has universal appeal and smells similar to Creed Aventus but goes in its own direction, then this could be the one for you. The versatility is almost unmatched and this is one of the easiest dumb reaches you’ll ever buy.

You probably won’t need to sample this one as it’s that loved, but it can never hurt to get a sniff before you go out and purchase.

0/10 Bottle
0/10 Sillage
0/10 Longevity
0/10 Projection
0/10 Price

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