It was two years ago that Swiss perfumer Vero Kern added the EDP versions of her three original masterpieces to the Vero Profumo line; and it was three or four years earlier that Kiki, Onda, and Rubj first appeared on the scene. When a perfumer is so mindful about adding new fragrances to his or her line, the anticipation and the stakes are almost unbearably high. Add to that the promise of a green floral chypre, a perfume genre that is both highly revered as it is nearly extinct, and you get hands shaking as they hold the first sample of Mito.
I usually remember the very first thought I have when I try a new fragrance. In this case was the instant recognition of of the green galbanum and high cheekbones of Chanel No.19. Upon consequent wearing the image of the grand dame vanished and Vero's Mito took its own form: green and streamlined, but also layered and full of life.
The inspiration for Mito was the magnificent Renaissance garden of Villa d'Este in Tivoli, just outside Rome. The structured style that holds the lush green marvels echos in Mito. I'd say that a well-constructed chypre is a perfect homage to such a place. The fragrance opens with a herbal-citrus note, a bit of a green grass and a feeling of a morning breeze passing through wind chimes. The flowers in this garden feel faraway and a bit abstract. I admit that I didn't get the magnolia until the weather cooled down considerably so that the blooming phase on the skin takes longer. Mito isn't about the big Magnolia of the south (or even the one in my neighbor's backyard), so the flower doesn't distract from the green impression, just softens it and gives it a more abstract feel, all the way to the crisp and quiet wood and moss dry-down.
Vero Kern created a feel-good and beautiful perfume without compromising or coddling the wearer. I think of Mito as wearing an exquisite and very put-together outfit, accessorized to the nines, yet it has enough movement and flow that you don't feel restricted, pulled or pinched, neither are the clothes wearing you. It's that kind of an effortless elegance.
Notes: Citrus, magnolia grandiflora, white magnolia, champaca, jasmine, galbanum, hyacinth, cypress, moss.
Mito EDP by Vero Profumo ($200, 50ml) is available from Luckyscent. A press sample for this review was supplied by the perfumer.
Photo: Fontana di Diana Efesina, Tivoli,Villa d'Este