Sunday, 25 April 2010

Vero Profumo: Onda

Whilst penning my somewhat indulgent Sorcery of Scent perfume narratives; seldom do I ever find myself at a complete and utter loss for words. Occasionally though - very, very rarely in fact - I am moved monumentally by a perfume so much so, that I cannot even begin to articulate my adulation. At a guess, many thousands of scented molecules have been waved under my nose on paper strips and dewy forearms over the years, but perhaps less than five have managed to stop me dead in my tracks...

So today, I am here to sing the praises of Onda; my voice representing only one in a growing choir that rhapsodize about this extraordinary release.

Swiss perfumer Vero Kern stands firmly at the helm of her company Vero Profumo; a brand whose olfactory proclivity aligns itself with the classic perfume houses of the early 20th century, and one which is rapidly gaining ground in the luxury perfume market. Choosing not to do anything by halves, Vero stepped onto the world stage in 2007, surprisingly with three extraits in hand; Kiki, Rubj and Onda.

Kern's trio of pure parfums are something to be treasured. If not for the stunning flacons and exceptional quality of the raw materials used, then for Vero's sensitivity to the art of blending and consummate craftsmanship. Whilst all three scents deserve lustrous accolades, Onda in particular, serves as a thought-provoking reminder as to what the perfuming arts are really all about. Just one afternoon spent with this incredible extrait is all it took to force me to reconceive what is really important about perfume... to look beyond the physical: (bottles, labels, packaging and oils suspended in alcohol)... and to give in to the invisible and the implied.

is timeless in a hauntingly beautiful way: it speaks of antiquated eras filled with lush Art Deco architecture, art, clothing and style. It puts its olfactory bookmark right between the pages of history where the Jazz Age was in full swing; a time of glamour and defiance where "Flappers" wore brief skirts and bobbed hair, and where black & white silent movies finally found their voices. It was a dynamic period following the horrors of WWI, marking a break with tradition and renewed social and artistic expression.

Onda is a spectacular leather perfume that is composed of warm honey-like amber accords, sharp ginger and dry vetiver - a mixture that inspires rememberance and nostalgia. Whilst it offers a deeply moving sense of familiarity, it also reveals a hollow pang of sadness and despair... much in keeping with the style of Guerlain's Vol de Nuit and L'Heure Bleue - two perfume triumphs of that age. Tender iris lends a soft dryness which works in unison with the vetiver and leather base to furnish Onda with a vintage "airless" closed-over-the-ages feel.

The chypre-style amber/patchouli base is warm and enduring... sitting on my skin for close to 24 hours. As the final whispers of Onda dissipate from my arm, so too do the images of the 'flappers' and the 'sheiks' in my mind's eye. Their smiling sepia faces fade like ghosts from a vintage photograph, leaving only the depiction of a grand Art Deco music hall behind.

Sometimes words simply can't articulate that which the human nose and mind knows. Onda is a perfume whose masterful execution and fathomless beauty sets a benchmark that other perfumers should aspire to achieve.

Onda, Kiki and Rubj are all available as extraits via retailers listed on, and are something to be truly experienced. Campomarzio70 in Rome, Italy are exclusive worldwide distributors of Vero Profumo and besides stocking the extraits, also exclusively carry 50ml eau de parfums of the trio, as introduced at this years Esxence expo in Milan. It is worth noting that the EDP's are not simply diluted versions of the extraits - Vero Kern has made a conscious effort to highlight the EDP's topnotes, without compromising the unique and timeless charm of the extrait. Having sampled both the extrait and the eau de parfum, I can attest first hand to her success.

Onda / Kiki
€199 - 15ml extrait
€135 - 7.5ml extrait
€110 - 50ml EDP

€210 - 15ml extrait
€145 - 7.5ml extrait
€135 - 50ml EDP


Chaya said...

Bravo, Dimi! Thank you for articulating so much of what I love viscerally about Onda. As I said to VK, I am saving up to purchase my own bottle... either for a birthday ending with "O" (2013) or when I win the lottery, whichever comes first. Either way, it'll be worth every penny.

Anonymous said...

I share your passion for Onda Dimi! Lovely review as always. Can you give us an insight on how the EDP differs from the extrait? I love the extrait to death btw!