The first time I've smelled Mona di Orio's Oudh Osmanthus back in 2011 when it was still called simply "Oud", my reaction was "well, it's not oud". The renaming (as well as the repackaging and rebranding that dropped the Arabic word "Oud" from the bottle) makes perfect sense to me. As far as I can tell from various old and new samples from different sources, the perfume is exactly the same, but Oudh Osmanthus doesn't pretend to be a fragrance in the Arab tradition of oud perfumes, but instead an interesting imagining of East meets Far East. To me, Oudh Osmanthus is very much an osmanthus perfume, pretty blossoms slightly wilting in the heat, vaguely covering a darker truth that lurks beneath.
|The original bottle of Mona di Orio's Oud|
|The current bottle|
I get it, but even five years later I still don't find this Mona di Orio perfume very wearable. The osmanthus note is broadcasted and amplified to a degree that it reminds me of the rippling air over burning hot asphalt on a summer day. I don't like being outside on such days, and the high pitch of the osmanthus doesn't like my skin, either. What about the oud, then? It's deceiving at first, with an almost crisp windswept wood, then turns oddly oily and dark. I like parts of it, sometimes. But there's not enough of that rich oud to fully emerge from under the floral blanket of the osmanthus wit its occasional sharp spike that keeps poking me when least expected.
Notes: Elemi, Green Mandarine, Petitgrain, Patchouli, Osmanthus absolute, Nagarmotha, Cedarwood, Oud essential oil, Musc, Amber Gris.
Mona di Orio- Oudh Osmanthus ($395, 75ml eau de parfum) is available at Luckyscent and Twisted Lily.
My other Mona di Orio perfume reviews: Ambre, Carnation, Chamarre, Cuir, Eau Absolue, Jabu, Lux, Musc, Nuit Noire, Oiro, Tubereuse, Vanille, Vetyver, Violette Fumee.
Art: Zhao Kailin, Osmanthus Bloom, 2015