Don Draper’s Secret Weapon – Review: Mona Di Orio Les Nombres d’Or Vétyver

Since I had such success with the other perfumes in the line, I wanted to smell Vétyver as, albeit I must say it was – along with Cuir – my lowest priority, as I am not really drawn to vetiver perfumes. Ines’s glowing review, and the excellent Oud, Tubéreuse and Vanille, made me curious though.

Notes of Vétyver include Bourbon vetiver, blue ginger from Madagascar, Virginia cedar, violet, cistus labdanum, clary sage absolute, tonka bean and musk.

Vétyver is beautiful. Simple as that.

Very cooling on top, it unites a very fresh and green aspect with Mona’s signature warm, musky base. Vétyver opens with an unusual top note of blue ginger that introduces a bracing breath of air to the perfume that stays for a long time. Underneath this grassy, smile-inducing facet, warmer sides of vetiver are coming to the fore. A dry woodiness of cedar and a soft sweetness of labdanum and tonka bean, bring out the nutty side of vetiver.

The base has this musky note I have come to associate with Mona di Orio perfumes by now, and it makes Vétyver into a lot more than a fresh, green scent.

The richness of the composition reminds me of L’Artisan Parfumeur Coeur de Vétiver Sacré, but there the fruity side is played up, whereas with Vétyver it is more the green and fresh aspect of vetiver, as well as the warm and furry underbelly that are emphasized.

Some time ago Another Perfume Blog posed the question what perfume Don Draper of Mad Men would wear. I did not find an answer that was completely satisfying then, but as soon as I sprayed Vétyver for the first time, I had my answer. That is what Don Draper, this elegant, complicated, brooding, devastatingly attractive and intelligent man would wear.

Vétyver stands for well-tailored elegance hiding a deep, dark secret. I could loose myself in that smell.

Image source:,

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39 Responses to Don Draper’s Secret Weapon – Review: Mona Di Orio Les Nombres d’Or Vétyver

  1. That picture of Don Draper is there just for ‘informative purposes’ right? *stares*

    Like you, I’m not really drawn to vetiver fragrances but this is a good one. It’s one I can appreciate but probably wouldn’t wear.


  2. Ines says:

    Well, I don’t watch Mad Men but I trust your opinion and I like the way he looks, and he obviously has great taste in perfume. 😉
    I guess I wouldn’t mind sharing my bottle with him (once I actually have it)… 🙂

  3. masha7 says:

    I love vetiver and I’ll have to try this one. I have to admit, Mona’s previous perfumes did not play nice with me, but I’m really impressed by this new set.

  4. Tara says:

    Always good to hear of a vetiver that appeals to you B, as I’m also not normally a lover of the note and don’t own any vetiver-centre fragrances. I would like to the right one for me though and Mona di Orio seems able to make the notes that you wouldn’t normally be attracted to, draw you in all the same.

    Don Draper is a great fit – he is so wrong but so right 🙂

    • Olfactoria says:

      Lately I’ve been lucky with vetiver (Onda and this one), there is really no note one should avoid totally, there is always room for surprises.

      A perfect way to describe a man like Don Draper. 🙂

  5. lady jane grey says:

    Birgit !!!!!!!!!! What are you doing to me ???????????
    I love vetiver. I always did. L’artisan’s V Sacre was my scent last winter (and was looking forward to wear it this winter up until your today’s review…). I’m head over heals in love with Mona’s new Oud and Vanilla. AND I LOVE DON DRAPER !!!!!!!!!!!! The conclusion is…

    (Now I’m soooo looking forward to the Orio sample pack I ordered)

  6. Georgy says:

    ………That is what Don Draper, this elegant, complicated, brooding, devastatingly attractive and intelligent man would wear……..ok then it should be perfect for me:-)

  7. vanessa says:

    Another lukewarm vetiver person here, but a huge Mad Men fan, and a scent that not only features a whimsical note like blue ginger but also “stands for well-tailored elegance hiding a deep, dark secret” simply has to be tried. Old Don gives great smoulder, even when he hasn’t got a cigarette on the go.

  8. iodine says:

    Don Draper’s perfume, how funny! I just quickly smelled Mona Di Orio’s vetiver on a mouillette and thought it must be wonderful to discover it on a skin warmed by a rough wollen olive green jumper…
    (PS: I haven’t received my Filles sample, shall I consider it lost forever?)

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hi, nice image, I believe it would smell nice like tht indeed. 🙂

      It makes me sad to hear that you didn’t receive your sample! All the others have arrived (in Europe and the US).
      I’ll email you.

  9. deeHowe says:

    The L’Artisan vetiver was waaaaay underrated, in my opinion— I thought it was stunning, and comforting, and I think I’ll wear it today, since I’m still sans scent! 🙂

    I’ve always liked vetiver to some degree; my mom wore a vetiver oil through my childhood, so I think it’s comforting for that reason. Between Artisan, the Hermes (another lemming you inspired, that ended on eBay), and now this one, my vetiver radar is ON. 😉

  10. Oh, good! Another vetiver recommendation 🙂 The Draper association is an interesting one, indeed, Birgit. I remember reading a thread on basenotes imagining what Draper might wear. In case you’re interested here is the thread.

  11. This is the only one I have tried from Les Nombres d’Or and although it is a nice fragrance, it has left me a bit cold. It uses an accord that I have known and Loved In Parfum d’ Empire Eau de Gloire. There is a little bit of M7 Fresh there too. Good but not memorable.

  12. anotherperfumeblog says:

    This sounds very good. It is *possible* I am being influenced by the photo of a certain someone, but I don’t think so. 🙂 I’m glad you went ahead and reviewed this; it has been interesting to read all the takes on the Nombres line, and I always look for your opinion because I think we generally agree.

    And now, just because: I love this completely different photo of Jon Hamm being himself, not Don Draper. But isn’t it a little weird to see him out of character?!
    Jennifer Westfeldt, Jon Hamm and Jimmy Fallon

  13. Suzanne says:

    I really need to get on board with Mad Men, since everyone in perfumista-ville seems to be a die-hard fan. Thank goodness Ines hasn’t seen it yet … I need her gentle company in being one of the few odd ducks who hasn’t (though I do plan to watch it eventually via Netflix).

    Vetiver is either deep, mad love for me or it is squarely awful. Since this is MdO’s take on vetiver, I have a feeling this one will be love. (And with both you and Ines oohing and awwing over it, I’m sure it will be.) Thanks for another swoon-worthy review, Birgit!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Oh, you are going to love Mad Men!

      For me, this is definitely a good vetiver rendition, but Mona does everything in a way I end up loving! (Except Cuir, that is.)

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