The following post was already written back in September, but I held it back for reasons, I’m not entirely clear about anymore. The tragic event of the perfumer Mona di Orio’s death yesterday, made me revisit it and I thought it might be a fitting tribute to Mona and her incredible talent. Mona’s perfumes are works of art and we will be able to enjoy them, even if we must go on without her. My heart goes out to her family and friends, her business partner Jeroen Oude Songtoen and everybody who grieves for her.
The best perfumes are the ones that move me, that make me hear music, that make me see colors, that make the tears as well as the laughter come easily.
Mona di Orio’s Oiro – golden – is one such perfume. Taking me by surprise, overwhelming me with a beauty I did not know was hiding in that tiny vial from Les Senteurs, making the music start up in my head… Please listen to this while reading on.
Oiro, meaning gold in Portuguese, includes notes of green mandarin, sweet pea, spices, jasmine absolute, olibanum, heliotrope, vetiver, ylang-ylang, immortelle absolute, cedarwood, musk and amber.
Oiro is a jasmine perfume. But that would be an understatement. Mona takes jasmine and makes it shine, until it illuminates everything around it. Tart citrus notes and spices lift it up, sweet ylang-ylang and amber cushion it from below.
Oiro is not a perfume I wear full on, rather I dab just a little bit and can almost watch it rise from my skin in smoky, golden tendrils. I don’t want to dominate a room with it (which you easily could, this is potent stuff!), but I want to enjoy it for myself. I surreptitiously sneak a smell as often as I can and find myself smiling.
Oiro is incredibly sensual, inviting, smiling, all with a deepness, a darkness attached, in the manner of “Where there is light, there must be shadow”.
Oiro is a perfume that induces a longing in me, a desire for something I can not exactly name. A yearning, an enveloping emotion that makes me as happy as it makes me sad at the same time. I long for something I don’t have, and never will have, but of which I got a taste once. Oiro reminds me of the joy of that moment, a golden moment encapsulated in time, like a fly in amber. Frozen forever in my mind and my heart, only sometimes feeling a bit heavy and tugging at my heartstrings then.
But smelling Oiro, I know to be happy, as this golden nugget is more than many ever will have. And therefore I cherish it, and am grateful for a powerful reminder that I found in Oiro.
Sadly Oiro is part of the now discontinued signature line, I hope that now with the Les Nombres d’Or collection looking to be a success, Mona will be able to re-introduce the old collection eventually. Maybe people have not been ready, hopefully they are now.