Mona do Orio’s take on rose is eagerly anticipated by everyone who knows and loves her work. Rose Etoile de Hollande was created by Mona herself, before her untimely and tragic death last December. Her business partner Jeroen Oude Songtoen thankfully decided to keep Maison Mona di Orio going in the manner he and Mona had envisioned.
Rose Etoile de Hollande will be available from the end of July, I was fortunate enough to be provided with a sample by the company.
Created by Mona di Orio, Rose Etoile de Hollande includes notes of bergamot, white peach, heliotrope, Bulgarian Rose, Turkish rose, geranium, clove, patchouli, cedar, vanilla, benzoin, amber and Peru balsam.
Apply Rose Etoile de Hollande and you immediately recognize it as a Mona di Orio creation. It has Musc’s show of strength through softness, Ambre’s tenderly powdery demeanor, the beautiful way of displaying a floral note of Oud and a spicy and resinous drydown reminiscent of Vanille.
Rose Etoile de Hollande opens with an accord like a tinkling laugh of a young girl. A sweet peach note, sparkly and effervescent leads to a slightly spiced, fresh rose garnished with bergamot. I imagine only the most jaded souls would refrain from smiling at the beauty and lightheartedness expressed in the first minutes of Rose Etoile’s development.
As time passes, the easy laughter subsides and a richer, deeper emotion surfaces. The face of the heart of Rose Etoile is a smiling one, the face of a happy woman. A wealth of roses, red, big, fully opened, in concert with powdery heliotrope, fill an olfactory garden that flashes hints of earthiness, woody depth and leathery strength and finally fades into a drydown rich in resinous and ambery softness. The smile slowly fades as time passes, the woman grows older and wiser, but her smile never leaves the eyes.
Rose Etoile de Hollande takes me on a highly emotional journey. It is a beautiful perfume and wearing it makes me laugh as well as cry. I laugh at the sheer happiness it exudes, the rich nuances, the fully realized potential of the rose, orchestrated to shine, integrated in a harmonious whole, far more complex than any mention of a soliflore would suggest. I wear it easily and I feel good in it. It suits me and it makes me feel beautiful, alive and happy.
Rose Etoile de Hollande also makes me cry for mostly the same reasons. Sometimes beauty is hard to stand. Also, of course, smelling Rose Etoile is bringing home the fact that the amazing talent of Mona di Orio is no more. Her life, at her peak, has been interrupted, the rose that was Mona will never experience the contentedness of old age, her journey had to be over before it could take its natural course.
Mona left us with a piece of herself. A gorgeous portrait of a beautiful person done in olfactory notes singing an ode to a rose.
A rose that smiles, even through the tears.