Friendship is an extraordinary bond between people. When this feeling is sealed with a fragrance then it’s a whole new level of being a friend. The connection becomes somehow immortal, eternal and boundless. Mona di Orio created a special fragrance for her friend and co-founder of the Maison Mona di Orio, Jeroenu Oude Sougoteu, before she passed away in late 2011.
It was a token of their friendship. This year Mister Sougoteu decided to share this fragrant memory of his friend by giving Violette Fumee to the wide distribution. There’s something symbolic in this move, like he wanted everyone to become friends with Mona di Orio even after her death, simply by having a flacon of this special perfume in their perfume cabinets. It’s touching…
This perfume opens on my skin with a lovely and ozonic freshness of violet leaf. It’s green and crunchy with an aromatic twist. There’s also some watery dewiness that marks the ozonic feeling of a garden after the rain. Just a few minutes later I can notice the actual smell of a violet, the flower. It has a clear, floral vibe combined with a velvet feeling of the petals. There’s also something sweet about this accord, like the flowers were coated with sugar, ready to be eaten as a part of some pretty dessert. This feeling lasts on me for around 20 minutes and then another phase of Violette Fumee is ready to get started and effuses other, different aromas.
What I smell next is the opoponax. It smells kind of creamy and balsamic, also with a transparent sweet twist to it. After another 15 minutes a lovely powdery feeling reaches my nose. I suppose it’s lavender with its dusty and powder like facets. In this perfume lavender isn’t very floral neither is it herbal. There’s only this powdery feeling about it – I wonder how did they achieve this effect.
As the time flies Violette Fumee becomes more floral but at the same time the feeling it has as a composition is quite manly, masculine. At the 1 hour mark I could smell a sheer rose note. Nothing very rich or seductive. It’s not a bloody-red rose but a flower with very light petals and gentle aroma. Clary sage that appears shortly after the rose brings a little bit more herbal and sweaty aroma which makes the perfume even more masculine. Now is the moment when I begin to smell tobacco as I catch another wafts of the perfume. It has this rich, smoky and incensy aroma of a pipe tobacco. Warm, balsamic and kind of spicy with something that reminds a honey chord to me.
The addition of myrrh in this phase introduces a brand new quality that blends really well with tobacco. Myrrh adds salty and resinous character, as well as it brings this light burning sensation. Cashmeran, though being a synthetic perfume ingredient, stands here for a nice and mellow, smooth woody finish. For another few hours I could smell violet, tobacco and rose.
Upon one application even lavender got much stronger and I liked it. 7 hours later we get closer to the drydown which is quite classical in terms of a perfume style. There’s a zesty bergamot combined with a rough smell of oakmoss. The entire composition ends with a guaiac wood which I couldn’t detect. I’m sure it wasn’t used in high quantities and it probably is supposed to prolong the lasting power of Violette Fumee. This perfume lasts for long 12 hours and it doesn’t effuse intensively. It prefers to stay closer to your body.
Mona di Orio Violette Fumee is the latest fragrance from this Maison. I don’t know when Mona di Orio composed it for her friend, but the perfume was introduced in 2013. It’s a part of Les Nombres d’Or collection and it’s available in 100ml bottles for 230€! Concentration is eau de parfum intense.
Beautifully described, Lucas, and you have made me really want this! It seems to whisper with all the notes I love, and I would think it is a very fitting tribute to the memory of Mona de Orio. Such a sad loss.
Thank you Jillie! Violette Fumee is a lovely perfume. It’s subtle and soft but has an amazing staying power.
She created a beautiful perfume to commemorate her friendship.
I’m so glad that you like this. It’s such a beauty. Wonderful write up Lucas.
Thank you Houndie!
You liked it too, I remember.
By the way – congrats on the ceremony!
Thank you for this touching and accurate review, which encouraged me to write my first
A very generous saleslady gave me a decant of this gem and I would love to have a full
bottle but the price keeps me away…I hope there will eventually be 30 or 50 ml bottles
(these high quality ingredients might be worth it?) available.
I get the sage smell right from the beginning on with only a tiny bit of lavender and I
totally get the “watery dewiness” you mentioned in your reveiw. I only start smelling violet after about half an hour, I guess this is one of these challenging scents where one can detect new facets again and again, what I appreciate. A very, very nice fragrance!
It’s lovely you decided to shop up thanks to this review.
What a lovely SA to give you a decant of Violette Fumee. It’s hard to say if smaller sizes will be available. Other Mona di Orio scents are either 50 or 100ml, maybe Violette Fumee will follow.
Glad you agree on the “watery dewiness”, yes, this is definitely perfume that can bring some new aspects with each time you wear it.
Absolutely lovely, sweetie. I mentioned on NST that I ordered a decant unsniffed :-). The split just filled and I should get this in a few weeks. I will report back once I give this a try. Between you and Houndie, you’ve done damage to my wallet!
Thanks sweetie! I think I didn’t see that NST comment, did I? Glad that the split worked out. How much did you claim? 10ml? I will eagerly wait for your thoughts.
Sweetie, it’s the highest time my writing did some damage to your wallet 😉 Just kidding!
20 mLs that I am so looking forward to getting!
Woow, sweetie! That’s great. 20 mls is going to settle you with Violette Fumee for a while.
BTW. Did you get my email with Silver Iris photo?
Yes…totally jealous of your set! Replying now 🙂
Great. How about you? A decant?
Thanks for writing this review, it reminded me on the Mona di Orio line. I’ve tried it at Pitti, but I forgot how it smelled like. You wrote that after one hour you can smell the rose… I get it too but it’s not so opulent. I do not like rose scents on me except Byredo Rose Noir. The dry down is the same as yours… tobacco. It was smokey on me 😉 I love this fragrance..it’s my type…
That’s my pleasure that I could remind you of the line and the perfume. Yes, after an hour or a little while later I could smell some too. On me it wasn’t opulent either. Just a pale and dewy rose.
I haven’t tried Byredo Rose Noir, I haven’t tried almost everything from Byredo.
Isn’t that drydown great?
So cool you find Violette Fumee to be your type.
Mona di Orio is one of the brands that doesn’t work for me: so far the only perfume I enjoyed was Vanilla. But since this is the last one (I think) from the perfumer and, mostly, because of your “stamp of approval” I’ll try it when I get a chance. You wrote a kind and warm review, Lucas.
It generally doesn’t work for me either but I was curious to try Violette Fumee and it turned out to be very nice. I think it IS the last one by Mona di Orio herself.
I’m happy you liked the review
Hi dear Lucas
Very nice review!
I’ve been preparing myself for writing my experience with Violette Fumée. When I finally decided to make it Caro told me that you had recently published yours. So I’ve avoided to read it and now, surprise surprise! It is so amazing noting that we both have almost opposite points of view about it. I perceive a feminine and shy (but persistent) Violette Fumée. That is one of the reasons why I love perfume: interpretations are connected but can be pretty different and rich.
Thank you Virginia! Sounds really interesting that you see and smell Violette Fumee in a totally different way. Will have a look at your review later today. I’m in the lab at the moment, just checking online stuff with my phone
Sweetie. I fell in love with Violette Fumee….a FB has just joined the family 🙂
I also meant to mention that it smells perfectly unisex to me and such a wonderful blend of violet, tobacco, rose, bergamot. I bet a little bit of vanilla will make this even more delicious (I haven’t tried it yet).
Yes, VF is unisex but to me it fits a man best. You mean you didn’t try it with vanilla? Maybe Guerlain SDV or AC Vanille Insensee will make it even better for you
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