Sunday, 18 July 2010

Mona di Orio - Les Nombres d'Or

For any perfumer, an 'olfactory fingerprint' is a difficult thing to acquire. One might work for an entire lifetime, and never achieve the elusive red thread that extends across his or her body of work that promptly identifies it as their own. Edmond Roudnitska achieved it with his famed 20th century compositions for Rochas and Dior, as did Jacques Guerlain with his esteemed 'Guerlinade' accord, however it is something that few noses in this day and age manage to attain.

Mona di Orio is a perfumer whose work can be recognised immediately. She approaches her work with an intuitiveness akin to the great masters. Her collection of Parfums stand both individually and collectively as a testament to her efforts and exceptional attention to detail.


Now, a new trio of eaux de toilettes are set to be released under the name Les Nombres d'Or (The Golden Numbers), which is a reference to the golden mathematical ratio by which artists and and architects have proportioned their work for centuries. As the architect of her own perfume, Mona has endeavoured to apply the same precision and concept to her three compositions: Cuir, Ambre and Musc.


Cuir is a deliciously warm and enduring leather fragrance which opens with a hint of forest green with rich, balsamic undertones. It shifts into a smokey, slightly woody facet (much like smoked woodchips) that pulls forward a sultry leather accord; one that is lavish and dark. There are fleeting moments of campfire smoke and I detect something akin to a murmur of tobacco leaf in there too. Cuir is compelling and highly appealing.

Official notes are: Cardamom, Absinthe, Leather, Cade, Opoponax and Castoreum.


Ambre is rather saccharine as it opens, but shifts into something rather multi-dimensional. It is resinous, but with burnt, honeyed qualities. As the perfume evolves, one can detect a dense floral core, which becomes slightly more powdery and vanillic with time. A soft ribbon of cedar lies within, furnishing the perfume with a melancholic aspect that is hard to describe. I liken it to the sweet powdery smell of an old mahogany grand piano, with a thin film of dust that has settled on the keys.

Official notes are: Cedarwood, Ylang Ylang, Tolu resin, Benzoin, and Vanilla Absolute.



Musc is a spirited composition that opens with a semi-diaphanous citrusy green, and a flutter of blonde florals. Whilst there is no musk present per sey, there is a sense of crisp, rounded muskiness... the anatomy of this perfume seems to be thorough, deep and considered. A creamy, mossy base lends a sense of pale woods also. Musc is a beautiful and elegant interpretation which is gentle, summery and restrained.

Official notes are: Neroli, Angelica, Heliotrope, Rose, Tonka Bean and Moss.


This collection of eau de toilettes represents an interesting new tributary in Mona di Orio's range. Each will retail for approximately 110 euros for 100ml at select retailers in Europe and the US.

2 comments:

JAntoinette said...

Thanks for the post, Dimitri. I am always intrigued by Mona's work -even though her scents are a bit hard to track down. Is that the final look of the bottles? I have to say I adore the champagne cage tops on the original line.

Dimitri said...

Thanks for your comments JAntoinette,

The bottles pictured are from a tiny sampler set only. The bottles that will be on the open market will indeed be the beautiful champagne cage topped bottles. :) I agree that they are stunning!