Eau Absolue is said to be a fragrance Mona created for herself and embodies her love of the Mediterranean. It was launched in 2013 and is described as a Citrus Aromatic. Mona composed the formula before her untimely passing in 2011 and it has been produced by Accords et Parfums, the lab in Grasse she worked with so closely.
Top notes are bergamot, clementine and petitgrain; middle notes are geranium, vetiver, bay leaf and pink pepper; base notes are cedar, musk and labdanum.
Eau Absolue follows the arc of the sun as it travels across the sky, reflecting the development of a summer’s day in the Med. The fragrance starts bright at first-light and becomes warmer and fuller until sundown, when it gets cosy for the twilight hours.
As you’d expect from the notes, Eau Absolue opens full of orange-hued goodness. It’s resinous rather than zingy, including the twigs and leaves as well as the fruit. The juice oozes slowly, feeling warm and sticky.
The citrus is nicely rounded out with a blend of green and slightly earthy notes (including vetiver and geranium). There’s a feeling of overflowing abundance. The soil is mineral rich, leafy plants are flourishing and tree branches are dripping with ripe fruit.
The heart is dominated by a fantastic beeswax accord and for me, it raises the fragrance to the status of serious lemming. Its delicate honeyed sweetness is blissful and a perfect counter-balance to the citrus and green notes. It’s so present and adds such a malleable texture, I feel as if I can almost rub it between my fingers.
In the base, the beeswax remains while the fruit and greenery take a step back to make room for a gentle, soothing amber and a soft, cuddly musk.
Unsurprisingly considering it’s a fragrance by Mona di Orio, this is not a light eau de cologne. Eau Absolue is classed as an eau de parfum and its lasting power is outstanding. It has great depth, with a quiet potency and reasonable projection.
It’s an encapsulation of the warmth and fecundity of the Mediterranean, rather than an antidote to the heat. Therefore I’d stop short of recommending it as a cooling fragrance to spray liberally on a super hot day. I think the sweet beeswax could be at risk of feeling stifling in very hot or humid weather, if applied with a heavy hand.
The upside of this is that Eau Absolue has more than enough heft for wear outside of the summer months. It could be the perfect reminder of those long, languid days as autumn draws in.
Eau Absolue has a different feel to the rest of the line and is well worth a try if you have yet to find a fragrance in Les Nombres D’Or that works for you. Unlike the others, the mood is very outdoorsy and incredibly relaxed. You can almost hear the bees buzzing, see the fruit-laden trees and sense the sun’s warmth on your skin.
It really does feel as if Mona managed to capture her Mediterranean happy place in a perfume. Glorious.