One of the most interesting aspects of Mona di Orio's perfume is their luminosity. We shouldn't take this for granted because di Orio's creations are not light or easy. These are complex perfumes, rich and full, that do not shy away from heavy animalic accords. None of her seven scents suffers from the modern plague of a flimsy to non-existent base that makes so many fragrances fall apart when you wear them. On the contrary, they take their time and go all the way from sparkling top notes to a full and round base.
Jabu has the same quality. It's a floral-oriental that starts with orange blossom, petit grain and sweet pea. These notes paint an incredibly sunshiny picture, like the first day of summer when the weather is perfect, the sky is so blue you want to touch it and there's a single white puffy cloud floating around. The heart is smooth and voluptuous with rose damask, ylang ylang and santal amyris. The sweet ambery drydown is made of Siamese benzoin, plum and myrrh, but I admit it's so well-blended and cohesive I usually can't pick any single note. I just want to dive head first into Jabu's depths and not come up for air.
Jabu means "joy" in Zulu, and there's an African connection here as Mona di Orio dedicated this perfume (and part of the proceeds) to her chosen charity, Orange Babies. This organization provides hope and support to HIV-infected mothers in Africa and their babies.
Jabu and the rest of Mona di Orio's line is available from two European stores that ship internationally: Skins in Amsterdam (shop.skins.nl) and Les Senteurs in London (lessenteurs.com).
Photo of Veruschka wearing Emilio Pucci by Henry Clarke, 1964