Lacking words – Mona di Orio: Chamarre and Nuit Noire

I’m not even sure I should be writing about these two as I don’t feel I can describe them appropriately but then again, I would like to put my thoughts into words.
The two perfumes I want to talk about today evoke feelings of strangeness and therefore I feel I lack words when I want to describe them.
Notes: Lavender, clary sage, aldehyde, Turkish rose absolute, iris from Florence, violet, opoponax, cashmeran, ambergris

To me, it starts as a leathery scent with some vioelt in the mix. That was the  best I could come up with after several tries. πŸ™‚

You get some floral hints and some soapiness (my guess the aldehydes) and it gets more leathery by the minute with some smokiness peaking through. The best word for me is still strange. I’m not sure if I like it or not, I can certainly say at this moment I find it strange but I’m still not sure this strangeness is going to be something I’ll like or not.
With time, it gets more floraly sweet and the leather feel subsides, until the perfume reveals its happy side and leaves you wondering if what you smelled in the beginning was real or not. That also seems to be a recurring theme for me with Mona di Orio’s perfumes.
In the end, I’m left with the most things I can identify, the drydown smells of rose, musk, amber, something green as well and I’m completely at ease. And then I can’t help myself and I start all over to check if the beginning was really as strange as I remember it. And yes, it was. πŸ™‚

Nuit Noire

Notes: orange flower, cardamom, ginger, orange guinee, Olibanum, cinnamon, tuberose, sandalwood, clove, cedarwood, Amber, leather, musk, tonka

Luckyscent describes it as dirty, dark and delicious and I can’t help but wonder if we are smelling the same thing. I can agree with delicious part after a while but dark and dirty escape me. Which also makes me wonder if I’m way down on the dirty road…
I find the opening strange again. And when I say strange, I actually mean strange enough that I cannot say exactly what I’m smelling – a leathery variant of some white flower? I’m not really sure, there are some similiraties with Chamarre but only so far as I think I smell leather. And then, there are some almondy aspects to it, which could be wrong, but was the best I could come up with. After a while it gets more florally sweet but I still cannot tease out cinnamon. And I usually get cinnamon as I love it very much and have no problem smelling it.
But in these two perfumes, the notes are so well blended that I would be lying when I said I smell this and that. The best I can do is say that after the initial strangeness, I get some piquancy (which I’m guessing is cardamom) and then it takes the road toward more of the white flowers and starts getting lusher (in a tropical way) and that is pretty much it for me.

With both of these, I’m not really sure in the beginning where the road will take me, but boy, do I get a reward for being bold and patient!

Notes and pic by:

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6 thoughts on “Lacking words – Mona di Orio: Chamarre and Nuit Noire

  1. Carrie Meredith December 20, 2010 at 02:56 Reply

    I completely understand how some scents can be confusing, and even mess with your head. Or sometimes, maybe trigger strong emotions that make it difficult to eek the words out when trying to write about them. That was my experience with Anya's Garden Light and Amberess recently. I was like, what is going on, and how do I even write about this?


  2. Ines December 20, 2010 at 13:34 Reply

    Exactly. Although they still make me feel like I'm a failure in trying to wrap my mind around them.I still haven't tried anything by Anya, but I am wondering once I do, what will I get from her creations…


  3. Vintage Lady December 20, 2010 at 14:02 Reply

    I have visited Mona di Orio Perfumes website, after having read this article. The names for these two perfumes you mention seem to me like the old names that were given to old perfumes and this made me very curious. Then I saw her creations and the ones that appeal me most are Nuit Noire and then Jabu. Jabu, because it looks like a scent I would really want to discover from the notes that are described. And because of what Africa means to me with all its natural wildness. Now I must say that I understand when you feel that you don't know exactly what you are smelling. It happened to me in the beginning when I smelled Reglisse Noire by 1000 Flowers. Because all the ingredients made a whole one, although the liquorice was always present. O with Eau d' Epices, where all the notes mixed and faded and came back again, with a a new scent, all mixed in a way it was difficult for me to describe. Perhaps such moments indicate us that what we smell is an emotion more than an only essence, or resin… And maybe this is why the olfactory experience has lots of mixed emotions, as the notes are all mixed, then alone, then mixed again…I see I could find these fragrances in my country but not in the same area as I live. So I will have to contact these perfume houses.Thanks for your review. Its mystery and lacking words conjure up a great desire to experience it myself too.


  4. Marina December 20, 2010 at 15:34 Reply

    I think you are way down the dirty road πŸ™‚ I know I am. Nothing is dirty enough anymore πŸ™‚


  5. Ines December 20, 2010 at 17:50 Reply

    Vintage Lady, I talked about Jabu the other day. πŸ™‚ I think it's my favourite of the line, although it has quite good competition.It doesn't happen often that I cannot figure out what I'm smelling and I take that as a sign that the perfumer really did a good job to so seamlessly incorporate all the notes into a wonderful tapestry.I am very happy to get suggestions of other perfumes that did the same for other people – it feels to me that smelling such creations make one grow both spiritually (emotions get strong) and intelectually (you are forced to learn something new).Thank you for stopping by.


  6. Ines December 20, 2010 at 17:55 Reply

    Marina, I started to think that as well when I found myself spraying Courtesan, going out feeling sexy and wondering what in the world stopped me before and why I didn't like it before.


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