Tag Archives: Mona di Orio

Escape to Tropicana, Mona di Orio Jabu

I’ve been interested in perfume since my teen years but I’ve been really devoting my time to this passion for the last 10-12 years which doesn’t seem like a lot considering the long history of perfumery. I just can’t think of the number of how many great fragrances turned into white crows before I was born or before I jumped down the proverbial rabbit hole. In current day there are many brands that I didn’t know when they were in full glory, when they were in the center of attention. I didn’t know Maison Mona di Orio with Mona as the captain of her brand. But I’m glad that Jeroen Oude Sogtoen keeps her legacy alive, letting people to get aknowledged with her style.

Subtle breeze scented with orange soothes the senses and lets your mind wind down. Jabu begins in a very tranquil & peaceful manner. The fruity smell of orange, despite being present, feels distant and kind of muted. It’s not an impression of holding orange half in your hand and squeezing it, but more like catching a whiff of it that was carried by the wind from the nearby grove. Intrigued by this smell you follow the trail and few minutes later you find yourself surrounded by lush green trees. Rustle of their leaves is almost like the bees buzz. Their verdant, slightly succulent & dusty scent fills your nose and tops the orange note which gradually fades away in the background.

Jabu is a complex perfume and just a little bit later it made me start wondering if I actually smelled petitgrain & orange earlier or if I was tricked by own imagination. When ylang ylang joins the composition I almost forget about what happened earlier. The perfume becomes more dense, overflowing with richly creamy scent of ylang. Its floral aspects are blended with a lot of milkiness. I also seem to recognize a luminous & sweet, honeyed facet, although it’s not mentioned officially in the notes. Honey note has a hint of something dirty in the back. Ylang ylang accord is very realistic and transports you to some tropical place where you could have summer holidays of a lifetime.

As hours pass the perfume continues to evolve, making Mona di Orio Jabu even more intricate. Exotic character of ylang ylang carries on for hours on my skin but in the meantime the fragrance gains more assets. Tropical flowery tones gradually transform into oriental woody concoction. The lead is taken by amyris – its smooth woodiness is a bit like sandalwood due to some creamy facets. Additionally amyris has a fine, powdery finish which often may create an impression of the orris root. On the other hand gaiac wood makes this part of Jabu more substantive and even slightly dark, almost resinous. Vetiver introduces a bit of dried, grassy freshness to this wooden melange.

For a great part of the day Jabu is a play between ylang ylang and these woody notes. But at some point amyris and gaiac wood become more blurry as if they were trying to form an alloy. Then the perfume seamlessly transitions towards the base notes. Bright and resinous ambergris adds density to the scent, and while it smells balsamic it also has a faint feel of something salted & marine to it. It makes Jabu feel sultry and sensual. In case of this perfume the plum is smoked so it adds almost an incense-like vibe. Aromatic tonka bean that smells creamy, balmy, sweet & spicy at the same time, completes the dreamy, imagery painted by this unusual fragrance. Would you escape to Tropicana?

Jabu by Mona di Orio is a very original fragrance with an intricate structure – the essences are woven together in a special way that probably cannot be encountered in other fragrances that came after it. When I first smelled this fragrance I immediately though that it’s a great alternative to a typical summer choice of a perfume. I usually reach for citrus and there’s nothing wrong about it. Should you be in a different mood to wear something summery yet interesting, Jabu might be of your interest. The perfume was first released in 2009, then discontinued after Mona’s sudden passing. Since last year Jabu and 3 other scents are back, in 10 ml format as part of the Discovery Set.

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Garden Fantasies, Mona di Orio Amyitis

Perfume world on the outside might seem quite small but only when you’re inside of it you realize how big it actually is. The history of perfumery spans through centuries, every era having their perfumers, connoiseurs and their own needs & purpose. We can only experience a ‘slice’ of this cake, slightly bigger one thanks to places like Osmotheque. Probably each of us has this one fragrance in the back of our heads that we always wanted to smell, but when we realized that, it was already too late. That’s why I’m happy to get a chance to wear something I missed in the past.

Opening of Amyitis offers an abundance of green leaves. This smell of verdancy brings to mind mysterious lands from old times fairytales. It takes you someplace where the fragrance of thick, fleshy leaves of succulents entwine with smell that sparkles the idea of the green fans of palm tree leaves. Part of the foliage is still fresh and vibrantly-colored but some start to have dried edges. All of these smells weave an intricate pattern that is so special that you wouln’t mistake it for anything else. It’s a late summer fantasy. After a couple of minutes I notice some herbaceous accords.

For a moment or two the impression is almost like mint but it’s slightly more metallic. Afterwards it evolves into a smell reminding me of oregano. None of them are actually included in Amyitis oficially but brand advises to pay attention to notes such as savory and capsicum (paprica) which makes me think that perhaps they interact with each other and with my skin creating this herbal, mint-like aroma. Hint of caraway introduces first feeling of sensuality – it will develop significantly in a later stage of development. In this perfume caraway is like the smell of warm body, warm skin.


The longer I have Mona di Orio Amyitis on my skin the more mellow it becomes. After a leafy & warm herbal part the perfume becomes more substantial and smooth. However what first attracts my attention is a gorgeous iris note that emerges. Usually silky or velvety, creamy or buttery at times. Here it is none of those. In Amyitis iris is like the plushiest, softest suede you could find and after a bit more time it becomes more rugged, gradually fading into dry-ish, aromatic woodiness of cedar. There’s also a pretty touch of sophisticated violet – its slightly candied and a tad ozonic too.

Cedarwood & iris are like an inseparable couple that I love since Prada Infusion d’Iris debut in 2007. Woody character of Amyitis deepens and darkens a little bit with the scent of guaiac wood. It helps to build a solid frame for the scent and it also allows for a development of a greater depth and dimension in the composition. Oakmoss with its shrub smell creates a feeling of something dried, parched. Something a little dusty. But I find a thrill here and I’m drawn to this pseudo-chypre smell. Saffron in the drydown creates an embracing feeling of warmth that intensifies thanks to amber and balsamic & sweet opoponax. It’s those smells that linger on my skin until evening comes.

Amyitis was one of the earliest compositions created by Mona di Orio for her own brand. In a result of post-surgery complications she passed away only at the age of 42, leaving behind a number of finished and unfinished perfume formulas. After this sudden loss co-founder Jeroen Oude Sogtoen decided about remodelling of the maison and many fragrances were discontinued. This year, to celebrate what would be Mona’s 50th birthday a Signature Collection was released – bringing back Oiro, Amyitis, Carnation and Jabu in their original, unaltered forms. These eau de parfums are only available in discovery set, allowing you to make a selection of three 10 ml spray bottles.

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