Vetiver perfumes are often clean and crisp, bitter and/or green and either very dry or inky and swampy. I love each and every version-there's something about this wonderful grass that makes me happy in every weather (there's nothing like wearing Frederic Malle's Vetiver Extraordinaire on a hot and humid August day). But Mona di Orio, as is her habit, has pushed some boundaries in creating her Vetyver for Les Nombres d'Or series.
Vetyver is plush and rich. It's a wild tea party with the most intoxicating beverages, spice cakes and spicier guests attending. Mona di Orio's Vetyver takes the main note and weaves around it a colorful oriental fantasy. The idea and style is close to L'artisan's Coeur de Vétiver Sacré. But where perfumer Karine Vinchon employed dried fruit and osmanthus that amplifies the apricot, Mona di Orio seduces us with ginger and some cool green leaves.
And it works. Mona di Orio's perfumes were meant to stir emotions and take our skin for a wild ride. They make you pay attention and listen to the incredible nuances they play for your nose. Mona di Orio is never about using the latest molecule and creating the next trend in perfumery for the masses. She composes art you can take home, wear and get lost in your own little bubble of sillage. Wearing Vetyver is no different. Yes, it works well in the heat, would suit both men and women in its perfectly tailored seams and would even do well in the office, because it's actually discreet unless you're me and spray it until it goes right to my head and all the little animals start singing in the forest. But Vetyver is also incredibly satisfying in its sweet and musky dry-down.
Notes (from Luckyscent): Bourbon vetiver, blue ginger from Madagascar, Virginia cedar, violet, cistus labdanum, clary sage absolute, tonka bean, musk.
All of the above is the good news. The bad? Mona di Orio has discontinued her original classic line (yes, it's official and confirmed through the perfumer's Facebook page). It's not exactly a secret that I'm a big fan of Mona, her work and the wonderful perfumes she created since launching her brand. It breaks my heart to know that Carnation, Lux, Nuit Noire and the others are no more. Mona di Orio's creations have a timeless quality, they're perfumes for those who dearly love depth and intensity in the fragrances they're wearing. Apparently, this was not enough to keep the line in production.
Mona di Orio Vetyver ($190, 100ml) and the rest of the Les Nombres d'Or series is available from Luckyscent/Scent Bar in Los Angeles. They supplied the press sample for this review.
Art: Tea Party by Brandi Milne