Mona di Orio Violette Fumee ~ fragrance review

Mona di Orio Violette FuméeMona di Orio Violette Fumée

It’s easy to mistakenly pigeonhole violet. When I think of violet, my thoughts first go to retro rose-violet concoctions like Frédéric Malle Lipstick Rose or violet as sweet as the candied flowers on Viennese pastries. Really, though, violet can be dark and moody, especially when paired with its leaves (think of the knowing earthiness of Jean Patou 1000) or even elegantly futuristic (like Comme des Garçons + Stephen Jones‘s waft of a flying saucer crashed into a bed of violets).

Then, of course, there’s the classic gentleman’s violet as found in British shaving creams and old-fashioned colognes. Mona di Orio Violette Fumée Eau de Parfum Intense is a gentleman’s violet, but for the modern gentleman (or lady) whose desk is topped not by fountain pens but a MacBook Pro, and whose evening tipple is more likely to be small batch bourbon from Brooklyn than a Scotch whisky and soda…

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Mona di Orio Eau Absolue ~ fragrance review

Mona di Orio Eau Absolue

When Mona di Orio died in December 2011, she left behind formulae for a few more fragrances, among them Eau Absolue. I had to wonder, how does that work? I’m always suspicious of novels published after authors have died. The writers aren’t around to nix an editor’s suggestions or revise scenes that might have not have yet met their standards. How about with a perfumer?

I asked Jeroen Oude Sogtoen, Mona di Orio’s business partner, who continues to manage the perfume line. Of their business relationship, they referred to Mona as the business’s “nose” and Jeroen Oude Sogtoen as the “eye” since he’s responsible for the line’s simple-but-luxurious visual appeal.

He said the concentrates for the Mona di Orio line continue to be made at Accords et Parfums on Edmond Roudnitska’s property, and he doesn’t have another perfumer fine-tune her compositions before they’re produced…

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Top 10 Winter Fragrances 2013

Suisse Hiver postersports-mont-blanc

Over the years I’ve built a stable of favorite cold-weather fragrances and have only added and dropped off a few each year. To spare you a recap of perfumes I mention all the time, I’m grouping ten perfumes I like into ten winter-activity categories. I hope you’ll chime in with your own favorites, and be sure to check out more winter favorites at Bois de Jasmin :: Grain de Musc :: Perfume Posse :: Perfume Smellin’ Things.


This category is kind of a joke since I don’t know how to ski, and, frankly, the whole deal sounds like a good excuse for a broken collar bone. But après ski? Sign me up. When I picture après ski, I think of an early 1960s lodge in Gstaad — like the one in the Pink Panther movie — with women in sweaters and bulbous mink hats and men in turtlenecks and dark glasses. Everyone drinks from brandy snifters and speaks several languages. It’s glamorously ridiculous. Serge Lutens Santal de Mysore is my après-ski perfume choice. It’s boozy, woody, and warm, and would be a terrific accompaniment to a shoulder-high fireplace and a copy of Valley of the Dolls

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