Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Mona di Orio Lux

The good news, I guess, is that this review isn't part of my Lost Perfumes series. The bad news is that at the moment the only place you can buy the Mona di Orio line is Les Senteurs in London. At least they sell online and ship worldwide, which is a big comfort since I'm kicking myself for not buying a backup bottle of Lux.

There's nothing in the list of notes that prepares you for this scent. We've all been through a citrus opening or two and experienced an amber-wood-vanilla drydown before. Sniffing the bottle or spraying a paper strip will not teach you much, either. Like all of Mona di Orio's creations, Lux must be experienced on skin, where it comes alive within seconds. From the luminous lemon top to the rich and dirty vanilla-benzoin, this perfume has a full, sensual body. It's beautiful and feels perfectly put together with just a hint of dirty touch underneath it all.

While Mona di Orio has dedicated Lux to the memory of her mentor, the great Edmond Roundnitska, my own perception links it to very vintage Guerlain: think of an older, more animalic Jicky without the lavender. Last weekend I had a chance to sniff a bottle of Shalimar circa 1940. The juice was in great condition, and even some of the top could be detected. While Lux is a very modern scent, I feel it shares the aesthetics and the "what is perfume" sensibility of yore.

Mona di Orio perfumes (£85.00 for 50 ml) can be purchased from Les Senteurs in the UK, online and in store. I bought my bottle when it was still available at Bergdorf Goodman.

photo of actress Romy Schneider, 1960, from myvintagevogue.com


  1. where did you get to smell a fragrance from so long ago?!

  2. Well, I love the whole "Mad Men" vibe of this (if that isn't damning it with faint praise..)

    But to cut to the chase, could I get away with this?

  3. J., I found the Shalimar bottle at an antique store.

  4. Tom: Yes, most definitely. The base isn't too sweet or girly, just rich.
    And, now that you mention it, I guess I liked the photo for the very same reason. I'm a bit Mad-Obsessed these days.


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