Category Archives: Mona Di Orio

Eau Absolue – Mona Di Orio

So here I am still desperately trying to fall in love with something in the Mona Di Orio line up. I have to admit, Vetyver has my attention again and I’ll be sampling it more soon, after sniffing it from the bottle last time I was in London recently, I almost bought it on the spot! Maybe next time. I discussed with the shop assistant at Les Senteurs my issues with her base, and he insisted that Eau Absolue is the only fragrance that worked on his skin… so I thought it was worth a shot and grabbed a sample.

Eau Absolue Mona di Orio

I LOVE the muted citrus opening of Eau Absolue. It is a big citrus mashup of bergamot, lime, bitter orange rind, undercut already with a subtle animalic presence of castoreum. The castoreum here has the nutty/smoky quality of Cuir, only greatly toned down… it smells very old school and classical, almost dusty and aged. There’s also a hint of that vetiver from Vetyver underneath, bone dry and earthy – just how I like it! This citrus/vetiver combo thankfully doesn’t go all out fresh and scrubbed up, and is the closest I can imagine to a perfect citrus/vetiver combination to be honest – a structure I have always been put off by and avoided.

There’s some subtle herbal notes going on, I get mainly bay leaf, petit grain and a cooler geranium. The contrast between warm and cool is gorgeous, resulting in a fragrance that embraces you whilst smelling relatively fresh to a more inexperienced nose. There’s a hint of pink pepper, and as I write about it, it sounds totally plain and un-interesting… heck if I’d read this notes list, I’d have thought the same. The thing is, the execution is charming and totally unique – it doesn’t smell particularly complicated, but it’s balance is harmonious. I wish at times during the heart here, it pushed the animalic and now resinous base a little more, maybe even the vetiver, but then I forget that this IS a cologne-esque creation, and what’s underneath is awesome enough as it is.

The whole thing remains close to my skin and as smooth as perfume can be. The most wonderful part of the whole thing? I get absolutely none of that sulphurous, animalic vanilla that knocks me sick in Vanille (and to a lesser extent Vetyver). That stomach churning cream is nowhere in sight and I love it. What is there instead, is that quiet smoke of castoreum, a bitter stain of labdanum (that at times sweetens to a more golden amber) and a soft, masculine, woody base with vetiver. Throughout the heart there are hints of honeyed orange blossom and a touch of rose – sitting in a very light, but dense layer above the thick base. Eau Absolue is not a show stopping fragrance that is going to get you noticed, but if by any chance someone does catch a whiff of it, it doesn’t go through a single bad spell in its development and it’s undoubtedly captivating.

I find the restrained and refined performance of Eau Absolue pretty breathtaking actually, and I surprised myself even when I decided to review this in full – after a couple of quick passing sniffs, I dismissed this also – explored, it is gorgeous. Bizarrely, one of my favourite phases of Eau Absolue is the very end – it leaves on the skin a honeyed pollen stain, and one of the most refined honey notes I’ve ever smelt.
I think this could be the Mona Di Orio fragrance I need a full bottle of in my collection, and soon! <3

Eau Absolue 100ml EDP Mona Di Orio – £135 http://www.lessenteurs.co.uk

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Cuir – Mona Di Orio

Cuir
Cuir opens with a gorgeous bitter absinthe/wormwood smell, a hit of pepper – quickly followed by a rough, smoky leather – so smoky it almost becomes “ashtray”-like, only much more perfume-y than that. The leather is castoreum-heavy, maybe too much so. By that, it’s not particularly animalic, and I definitely don’t find Cuir challenging, it just comes across as a very simplistic and straightforward leather note.

Another hint towards the castoreum is that it pushes forward a peanut note on my skin… I know, that sounds wierd – but Cuir begins to smell as it dries down (which is very quickly as the top notes vanish before you even catch them) – almost like a peanut satay. It’s not spicy or curried, just a subtle peanut butter and smoky leather smell. Now, I’d be completely psyched if I read a fragrance smell like peanut butter and leather, but as it is, it’s extremely subtle and very straightforward – there’s not much else going on here.

Ok, so if I wanted to describe the leather that dominates this fragrance a little further, I’d say it reminds me of numerous things: peat for starts. It’s very similar to the peaty/smoky vetiver of Fumidus by Profumum – only much softer and quieter. I also get an ashy, charcoal smell – like a burnt out fireplace, but yet again – so tame and well-behaved on the skin that it smells more like the residue of smoke on your skin after a bonfire the night before. Specific I know – I’m just trying to expand on this!

The peanut and ash are what makes up Cuir until it finishes (with a hint of vetiver and a resinous note in the drydown) – practically whispering the whole way through its life. It pretty much smells like castoreum diluted in alcohol, with a drop or two of isobutyl quinoline… I don’t find Cuir complex, rich, or particularly interesting – but it’s a minimalistic, straight up leather that does smell good and that’s about all.
Thankfully, the smokiness is strong enough to cover Mona’s base which completely turns my stomach – particularly in her Vanille.

You can tell I’m not a Mona fan boy ey? I’m not – but this is my favourite fragrance of hers in the Les Nombres D’Or line-up. In honesty, I don’t find her fragrances particularly complex, original, or even interesting – the bottles are pretty, and I’m sure they’re nice enough quality – all light on the skin and completely harmless (at least to most people). It’s frustrating becuase, I really really want to like this brand, and I’ve been sniffing these desperately on the hunt to find a Mona I love. Cuir has always been the one that has attracted me the most and I have tried it on numerous occasions and have gone through more than 2 samples of this… I guess it’s not meant to be.
Cuir is the perfect leather scent for those who want a smoky/leather in their collection that is refined, and rounded into something smooth, neat, elegant? without the punch it needs to put it into “daring/challenging” territory. Stick with Lonestar Memories or even Fumidus.

Cuir Les Nombres D’Or 100ml EDP Mona Di Orio – £135 Lessenteurs

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A Wednesday In London

So, on Wednesday I decided to make my way to London and have a sniffathon – and a little shop at the end of it.
I had a few things in mind I originally wanted to buy – and was completely open-minded as to what I wanted to sniff.

My shopping goals for fragrance were something smoky (I was thinking Lonestar Memories/Vierges et Toreros/ the-then-untested Les Nombres D’Or Cuir/ anything else that some sales staff want to throw under my nose), and something for summer.

After arriving in London – the first point of call was Selfridges.

There’s the main beauty department bang in the middle of the bottom floor – filled with all the designer brands, a little to the side in a small room (or two) are a few niche fragrances and generally, the more interesting bits.

Walking past Dior firstly, I was thrown a piece of paper with Oud Ispahan written on it – and this is one of the things I actually came in to try.

Oud Ispahan is the new release in the Dior Prive line, I haven’t got much experience with the line as although I love the bottles, they don’t really appeal to me :( However, I figured if I liked it enough it may be a buy, but it didn’t quite hit the spot.

That’s not to say Oud Ispahan is not nice – it is a really nice, safe rose/oud combination. It is rich, with a slightly soapy edge. The rose is crisp and clear as is the oud, they are both perfectly balanced and the fragrance was MUCH cleaner than I expected. A really good beginner oud scent, long-lasting, but delicate and refined enough to wear regularly (unlike most rose/oud combinations).

I also gave Leather Oud a quick sniff, but yet again, I just find it too perfectly balanced and not quite scary enough for me to really get attracted to it (I considered this in my smoky fragrance list also); it may be a daring composition for them, but it still feels like a Dior fragrance (if that makes sense).

The only other fragrances I gave a quick sniff too were a couple Lutens’ I have already tried, and two of the new Robert Piguet fragrances – Notes and Casbah.

Notes was unlike anything I normally try, very masculine in a “cologne” type of way, I really liked the strange opening clary sage and geranium, but it got very uncomfortable on me very quickly. It is very loud and powerful (a little nauseating) with such a strange combination of notes, I had to ditch my paper blotter pretty quickly.

Casbah I can’t even remember what this smelt like, I hated it straight away. It definitely had the Piguet signature in pretty strong (I don’t know much about the signature but so far I have not got on with his fragrances at all as they all have this weird component tying them together). All I remember was that it was spicy, but cool, and really musty and dated. Horrible.

That was me in done after that – scared away by the Piguets and remembering that Selfridges is actually not a very good fragrance shopping destination…

Next, around the corner to Marble Arch and a much-needed visit to Les Senteurs.

Welcomed as always by the lovely staff, my first sniff was at the central table where they were promoting the new Ruth Mastenbroek fragrance – Amorosa.

I wanted to try Amorosa after reading The Candy Perfume Boy’s write-up of it and hearing about the wonderfully unusual watermelon opening!

Yes the opening was quite unusual, a lovely juicy watermelon – non aquatic and instead sweet and almost fizzy. The white florals underneath were good also – that was pretty much all. A nice, safe summer fragrance with no “umph” to make it unique enough for me, but I like my weird shit :P  It was also one of the very few occasions where I sniffed something feminine and thought “Nah I couldn’t get away with that” which was a shame.

After much snooping round in awkward silence, I made my way over the Frederic Malle counter, and asked for some advice. I have tried a couple of Malle’s – the gorgeous Dans Tes Bras, Musc Ravageur, Carnal Flower, Vetiver Extraordinaire, Bigarade Concentree.

I firstly had another quick sniff of Dans Tes Bras - a beautiful extremely salty combination of clean sweaty skin, seaweed-like salt, and the most unusual violets. I just adore it and was tempted by a bottle – but it wasn’t what I came for!


After asking what I had tried and liked from the line, I was directed to Une Rose. One sniff and I was overcome with “mmmm”‘s and “ahhhhh”‘s. I said “This is one of the best things I’ve tried in ages”.

It is a clean, almost soapy rose, but undercut with earthy mushroom type notes. It has that dirty/clean vibe that balances in perfect harmony, with delicate presence on the skin, but great surrounding throw. Whilst it sounds silly to say I enjoy the “refined” quality of this, and not the Dior’s, the complexity of the rose here is presented in all it’s glory and it’s far more fascinating than the more simple compositions of the Prive line I sampled. Whilst I do think that this is currently too mature for me (another thing I never say), I will own a bottle in time. I was going to add it to my basket in Les Senteurs but when I was told the price, I moved on!!

Sticking with the Malle’s for a minute, I also gave brief sniffs to -

French Lover – bitter greenery, galbanum, green pepper, raw cedar – all that jazz, I felt like I had smelt it before, not for me…

Noir Epices - surprised me and is something I will sample properly in time. I imagined something close to Tauer’s Eau D’Epices but it turned out to be far cleaner with a crisp clear display of spices, an aldehydic orange and floral accord up top brightens the opening and makes Noir Epices feel more classical than other spice-basket fragrances. Maybe not something I would wear, but very nice.

Une Fleur De Cassie - Reminded me instantly of Carillon Pour Une Ange, not sure why as lily of the valley isn’t listed but it’s what I got strongest. It was a pollen rich floral bouquet with a carnation spiciness. I didn’t like it.

Lys Mediteranee - I really like – an aquatic note of salty ocean, warm and beachy, with a gorgeous spicy lily (which I adore) floating throughout. It’s light and lovely – nearly bought this.

En Passant - I also thoroughly loved and didn’t expect to – water and lilacs, so unbelievably delicate with abysmal, poor longevity, but heavenly whilst it lasts.

So is that all I sniffed? Hellllll no, my nose was practically burning but I continue…

I went onto my smoky cravings, where I smelt a lot of stuff not worth writing about. A few caught my eye including Mona Di Orio’s Cuir which I hadn’t tried before. I do not like Mona’s creations as narrow-minded as that sounds, but I just can’t stand her base. However, Cuir was a lovely smoky leather, the kind of smoke that is delicate in its volume, but piercingly uncomfortable in its texture – it had the feel of stale cigarette smoke and it had this rich/trashy clash going on and it was a very near buy!

I went on to sample Lonestar Memories again for the millionth time which constantly makes me collapse in delight. I pretty much knew this is what I wanted to buy, but I had more smokiness to try later in the day in other shops…

At this point, my nose was knackered, so I needed a coffee and a change of scenery, and I promised I’d be back later!!

So after a an hour of chilling, I headed over to Liberty.

I mainly came to Liberty to sniff two fragrances. One was the intensely smoky Patchouli 24.

I hated this when I first tried it, and I didn’t have much luck again. Patchouli 24‘s smoke is extremely dense, loud and uncomfortable. It is literally bonfire smoke, with that hit-the-back-of-your-throat pitch. Underneath is a sickly sweet vanilla, and the whole composition is completely unbalanced and immature, I hate it (but wanted to love it)

I also came to try Pulp by Byredo as I heard of its rotten fruit accords which I was craving for summer. Unfortunately it reminded me a lot of Multiple Rouge by Humiecki and Graef – more the combination of every cheap shower gel scent exploded into one opening. It wasn’t richly fruity and natural smelling as I hoped, and instead was an extremely synthetic combination of overpowering, unappetizing fruit notes. Not at all what I was after.

I was hoping the Blood Concept line was still on sale but they were no where in site (I had my eyes on AB!).

I was in and out of Liberty very quickly, taking a quick sniff of Goutal’s Mon Parfum Cheri Par Camille, which was a huge, stuffy dated patchouli with some high-pitched metallic notes scattered throughout – I liked it! But I don’t need another patchouli.

I quickly stopped by L’Artisan Parfumeur in Covent Garden to pick up a bottle of Dzongkha on sale for my mum (who loves it) – so that was my first purchase of the day, but not for myself!

So, from here it was off to Harrods.

In Harrods I instantly walked to the Perfume Hall, which was buzzing with people and sale signs. I entered the room by Boadicea The Victorious I noticed a sale on – I hoped Complex was on sale but, it wasn’t…

Instead a little bottle of Reviving was on sale for £35 – bargain considering RRP is £90. I sprayed it on my hand (the first skin test of the day), and it was a nice enough masculine composition of vetiver, oakmoss, a light floral opening and a saltiness throughout, I enjoyed it and was going to buy a bottle but, it was only because it was on sale, that £35 could be put to much better use…

I continued around the hall, nothing taking my fancy, so up I went to Roja Dove’s Haute Parfumerie.

Greeted initially by a hugely enthusiastic lady with the most forcefully upper class accent I have ever encountered, I quickly shunned her off and headed over to the Vero Profumo just to glare at the bottles with serious wanting.
I sniffed the glorious Onda and Rubj EDP once more when another sales assistant came over.
He began talking to me about how the Onda EDP is “a wonderful lavender and leather”, I held back my chuckle through watery eyes and just smiled and nodded… I said, “Yeh… and of course the vetiver, ginger, citrus and honey – I mean, they make up the most of it” :’) He smiled, nodded, and then proceeded to say “The perfumer was inspired by Tabac Blond… would you like to smell it?”
So why not. He brought of a paper blotter with Caron’s Tabac Blond extrait on it – it was undoubtably beautiful and I said so.

I heard the posh lady in the background “sharing a larrrff” with some ladies out back and I heard both the words “fabulous darling” and “so drôle!” before I had to make my way out this hell hole! Not my scene!

Back to the sanity of Les Senteurs

I’m back at Marble Arch now after a beer in Knightsbridge, and I’m ready for my spending :)

Greeted again, I say I want to find something for summer – no citrus (I was considering Azemour Les Oranges by Parfum D’Empire but they didn’t have it in stock), no vetiver soliflores and no white florals (although I do love them). So, I asked to try some iris fragrances
(randomly).

I was shown me the new W1X (iris, violet, rose…) by new London based niche line BEX. Infact, I gave a brief sniff to the whole line (4 fragrances) – which I will go into detail about in later.

I also tried Naiviris by Huitieme Art (I really want one of these fragrances – I love the bottles!), which I actually really liked. It is a relatively straightforward iris with a lovely warmth and spice to it. Nothing complicated, but delicate and easy to wear with a nice doughy texture to it. However, after trying these two I figured iris wasn’t my summer craving.

I went to the Parfumerie Generale display – convinced this was my last resort (and I LOVE the line). I sniffed almost everything:

Cedre Sandaraque - is a very unusual resinous, woodsy fragrance, with a warmth and spice to it that reminded me in the heart of Dior’s Fahrenheit, with it’s slightly petrol undertone. I loved the almost cotton candy sweetness up top. It’s nice – but not quite my thing.

Felanilla - another iris that is very very similar to Dior Homme, only warmer, spicier and a little richer, this would be my choice over and above Homme, although I wouldn’t want to wear either.

Psychotrope – was a very unusual dense watery, floral fragrance that Nick described as “the smell of drowning!” which is very true, it reminds me of Skarb, with its watery/chlorine type scent and a Calone/melon thickness. Uncomfortable to wear, but bizarrely intriguing.

Iilang Ivohibe - was a divine ylang ylang, narcotic floral, that somehow came across as the scent of men’s calogne/shaving cream. I loved it, but it wasn’t what I wanted – I’ll probably end up with a bottle in the near future, it’s very unusual.

Louanges Profanes - also really really good – a lily/soapy orange blossom opening becomes a rich, narcotic floral bouquet and rich vanillic benzoin drydown. I haven’t got anything like it and it was a contender for a full bottle as well. Damn I love this line so much!!

L’Oiseau De Nuit - I loved the opening of this, boozy rum and cake! I was instantly craving some more yummy goods after smelling this – and the only thing that put me off was the warm spicy amber dry-down which reminded me of my L’Artisan, I don’t need another amber soliflore…

“More yummy things!” I said…

Musc Maori - MMMMMMMM! YUM! Musc Maori is a chocolate milkshake. Slightly warmed frothy milk, and the scent of creamy milk chocolate. There’s this slightly animalic musk underneath which just turns the fragrance from being too edible into something that almost smells ever-so-slightly off. I loved it. It’s gourmand (I don’t own a gourmand), and is light enough for summer.
“Does it last like this though or is the drydown boring… HONESTLY?”
The gourmand factor of Musc Maori is so strange it had me going from “Mmmmm” to “Ewww :’)” in seconds. It’s almost grossly gourmand, in the same sense as the unedible 100% Love by S-Perfume with its “sweaty foot” note.
I was pretty much sold. But asked for more anyway :)

Une Crime Exotique – holy moly lovely opening! Gingerbread with extra spice. Gorgeously gourmand, I wouldn’t wear it myself but asked for a sample for my mum (who loved the ginger notes in Etat Libre D’Oranges’ Like This). It goes through a lot of stages in its development but somehow gets more and more lovely – but diverting slightly from the spicy, super-gourmand opening into more “perfumey” territory.

I have already tried other wonderful gourmands in the line – Aomassai, Tonkamande, Cadjmere, Praline De Santal, Indochine…
I pondered around the shop for a while, staring at everything I had sniffed that day…
What “smoky” do I want…

“You know what” I said “I’ll get Lonestar Memories. I just love it so much, nothing will beat it I don’t think :)”

And for the summer scent?

“And it’s going to have to be Musc Maori, I think I’ll be able to pull it off in the summer!” I kept sniffing the Musc Maori which I put on my skin straight after trying the carded sample – it was just so so so good. At times it is gorgeously edible, at other’s – sickeningly grotesque, so much so it makes me laugh :’)

So that’s what I walked out with, and a huge bag of samples :) A successful day! (And more thorough reviews of some of these scents to come).

What was your most recent purchase? and because I’m rubbish with summer scents – What will you be wearing regularly this summer?

I do not own the pictures of the shop exteriors :)

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Les Nombres d’Or Vanille – Mona di Orio

Vanille doesn’t smell like a vanilla soliflore on opening. It is semi-sweet, semi-creamy vanilla, with a sharp green twang and a boatload of orange rind. The spicy notes of rum merge with the vanilla and orange to create something familiarly boozy, but thankfully subdued. The boozy kick dies down relatively quickly but the orange rind still present.

The combination actually reminds me of the scent of a Lush body wash – non in particular, but more so the feel. It has this creamy texture to it – heavily scented with almost clashing, loud notes in the typical Lush manner, only here it is slightly more restrained. Ok so this is a little nicer than that… the orange rind begins to soften, and a very very subtle clove note comes in which is completely welcome, but almost predictable with the orange/vanilla opening. It begins to creep into gourmand territory that isn’t quite sweet enough to be delectably edible.

The vanilla after just a couple of minutes shows it’s face more – it has a slight green edge, and is a pretty true to life raw vanilla scent. There is no sweet vanilla extract or ice cream going on here and it feels like quite a new take on fragrant vanilla. Unfortunately though, I don’t find it particularly attractive, almost like the sweet, loveable aspects of vanilla have all been pulled out.

The fragrance continues to feel comfortable, dense yet light on the skin, and has the feel more of a cream or lotion than a fragrance. It is similar to how I feel about L’Instant De Guerlain Pour Homme Extreme – everyone loves the cocoa in the drydown – to me it smelt like a flimsy cocoa butter that was neither sweet enough, or even interesting enough. Vanille after a short while is a desweetened, almost savoury vanilla, with a light green spice of maybe cardamom?… and still the dried orange rind.

Here however is where my main problem with Vanille comes in. Mona’s base always pushes through her fragrances and if I’m completely honest – I find it repulsive. I’m not sure if she uses myrrh in here, but it has a similar kind of “breathy” feel but there is something about it that I find extremely uncomfortable. In Vanille, the base intermingling with the vanilla creates a true to life egg smell. If I pull my hand up to my nose quickly for a sniff, the first thing that hits me is this warm egg note which literally turns my stomach. I don’t think I’ve heard of anyone else picking up this note, so try not to be put off – I can’t get rid of it throughout the drydown though, so after the first 15 minutes, Vanille is a complete failure on me.

Vanille has a very pleasant density on the skin, whilst having such heavy notes of vanilla, booze, a long-lasting citrus note, and some cooking spice – it remains light on the skin with a depth to it that smells like it is coming from afar. Whilst I don’t enjoy it myself, I can understand it being called a brilliant vanilla soliflore – it isn’t the most original pairing of accords, but the notes are cleanly put together, of great quality, and providing you enjoy the Mona-Aid, a long-lasting drydown of mixed creamy woods and amber.

Working my way through the Les Nombres d’Or line, it is a real shame that I’m not enjoying this work due to the perfumers signature… Maybe I’d prefer her older more slated work, what was that description Luca Turin gave? “a powerful sweet air-freshener note overlaid with a loud civet fart” Mmmm… that’s more like it!

Mona Di Orio Les Nombres D’Or Vanille 100ml EDP – £125 Les Senteurs

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Turtle Vetiver Front – Les Nez & Les Nombres d’Or Vetyver – Mona Di Orio

Two more vetivers, slightly higher end I’d say.

The reason I started trying out all these vetivers was after I read somewhere that Les Nez’s Turlte Vetiver Exercise 1 smelt like the marine/tortoise tank at the zoo – raw, salty, a bit dirty, pungent… sounded amazingggg. Of course this isn’t available any more so I went for the new release – Front.

Turtle Vetiver Front opens with vetiver of course. It’s smokier than that I have tried already, and also has some strange green spice to it that I can’t quite identify. It’s definitely earthy, but not like soil or mud or mushrooms – the type of earthy I’m used to and look for.

To me, it feels like it goes on feeling damp and fresh and in a matter of seconds turns around and dries out. What I smell now literally after a minute, is dry earth with withered, spicy greenery sprouting through cracked ground. On first blast there seemed to be a coconut/fig vibe but that vanished pretty quickly, I think that provided the fleshy/dampness.

Sniffing this more, I’m actually really enjoying it!! I applied pretty liberally which I didn’t do the first time I gave this a quick sniff, it’s coming out much stronger this time. I still feel like vetiver has an empty vibe to it which I described in my previous posts as being light or aquatic – I was wrong. It feels sparse, similar to how to the frankincense feels sparse to me in Avignon. With the vetiver however this seems to be consistent unlike the frankincense which in some fragrances is full and luscious – Incense Rose for example.
Anyway, without confusing myself and going off topic – yes, this feels slightly sparse again to me, but I guess that is something I am going to have to get used to. Everything around the empty spaces, I really like, it’s unlike anything I would normally wear and that’s what I’m finding interesting.

So far it is definitely my favourite vetiver soliflore. It is dry, slightly dusty, with a spicy/smoky vetiver and the occasional flash of green coconut. Recommended for vetiver lovers that’s for sure :)

Vetyver doesn’t open with a recognizable vetiver, of course that would be too obvious for a Mona creation!
Instead it’s actually quite hard to dissect! It’s a whole bunch of notes that combined together don’t feel familiar, but are instantly quite comfortable.

The opening burst is that of a tart but bitter citrus (which I’m guessing is grapefruit) and spice which gives in pretty quickly to a semi-mentholated smokiness with the spices still strong up top. They seem quite foody, kitchen spices if you will, and I think it’s a nutmeg almost cinnamon spice I can pick up? It’s kind of a chinese-five spice thing. But don’t let that put you off, everything surrounding it keeps the fragrance from turning foody.

A good few minutes later and the vetiver peeks up it’s head and stays there. It is not as raw as in Turtle Vetiver Front, and is instead very green, a little fresher, and definitely spicier. The five-spice remains layered on top and creates a vetiver soliflore that seems a little bit more complex than everything else I have tried – it sounds ideal, if only I really enjoyed all the surrounding notes! I enjoy the cedar which comes through around the 10/15 minute mark. It helps to dampen the fragrance more so and provide some much-needed woody support.
The base of creamy tonka mixed with the vetiver is unique as it provides a complete contrast to what I expected from the base (a woody/earthy/dirtiness), instead its velvet soft, musky, but with that spicy vetiver floating above it.

The combination of spices and vetiver is rich, semi-oriental and translucent… it’s very unusual and unfortunately for me starts to get uncomfortable to wear yet bizarrely familiar. If you’re after a straight-forward vetiver, this isn’t it – but like all of Mona’s soliflore creations for the Les Nombres d’Or line, the title notes all have clever support, unfortunately the foody notes in this one don’t really seem to work well for me.
I do find this fragrance clever, even though I have crap exposure to vetiver fragrances. It is nothing that I would personally want to wear, and it’s definitely not the vetiver for me, but I would happily recommend it, even if I’m not as wowed by it as I had hoped.

Turtle Vetiver Front – Les Nez 50ml – $120 Luckyscent
Les Nombres d’Or Vetyver – Mona Di Orio 100ml EDP – $190 Luckyscent

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