Mona di Orio

Perfumer Mona di Orio died unexpectedly yesterday.  The perfume blogosphere and the group of Facebook perfumistas where I often chat with friends were full of sadness and consternation.  I noted this, and though I feel sad for her family, it is in that vague, I-didn’t-know-her sort of way.

Because I didn’t know her.

Friends and fellow bloggers praised her creations.  They loved Carnation; I didn’t bother trying it because it’s not about the carnation flower, it’s named after blushing skin.  They loved Jabu; I didn’t wangle a sample because it’s orange blossom and jasmine.  They loved Oiro and Nuit Noire, they loved the Les Nombres d’Or collection from Vanille through Cuir to Musc; the notes didn’t appeal to me and I’ve never smelled any of those. I think those bottles are gorgeous, a true perfume-lover’s kind of bottle: beautiful, solid, a pop-the-champagne-cork joy to open, or so I would assume.  The idea of opening a bottle gives me little thrills, even though I’ve never actually touched one.   The only Mona di Orio creation I’ve smelled is Tubereuse from the Les Nombres d’Or collection, because as a matter of habit I get my hands on every tuberose fragrance I possibly can.  Also, Angela at Now Smell This rather liked it, and I admire Angela’s taste.

I did not like it.  I’m still  not sure why.  Was I having a bad skin day?  Was it interacting badly with whatever I showered with?  Was it me?

I’ll give it a shot again.  But I still feel that I didn’t know Mona di Orio.  For those of who did know her, even if it is in that “Hey, she made something great that gives me joy,” sort of way, my condolences.  May she rest in peace.

Image from Fragrantica.



10 thoughts on “Mona di Orio”

  1. Mals, I’m with you. I just had plans to try her creations (I have two samples with which I haven’t spent enough time yet to form an opinion). But I’m very sad – for her family, for those who loved her and her perfumes.

  2. I think what makes people who didn’t know her sad and shocked about her passing was her age. You don’t expect someone to pass away at age 42. Plus she was having such a great year with her newest collection.

    She sounded like an approachable, entirely likeable person in her interviews, someone one would like to know. I think that’s why her passing has affected me more than M. Jean LaPorte’s recent passing.

    I’m with you, too, Mals, may she rest in peace.

    1. I haven’t even read any of her interviews. It’s funny, it’s like she wasn’t even on my radar screen at all, in terms of my knowing anything about her.

      I know her family is distraught. 42 is young.

    1. It’s hard to know what to say, isn’t it? I would feel, personally, very sad if someone who’s touched my emotional center with a scent they created had died. I’m sure I will feel that at some point. I am sorry for her family, and for the people she did touch with her fragrances.

  3. Such sad news. I really admire her creations, the perfumes she made are original, unique and full of passion – even if all of them aren’t to my taste.

    I’m so glad I got the chance to buy bottles of Carnation and Chamarre before they disappeared, and I love Nuit Noire as well.

    I’m sorry for her family and friends.

  4. I am with you too – awful news for her family and friends, and shocking purely in an abstract way because of her age. My experience of her scents had been limited to the huge civety, spicy floral that is Nuit Noire, also Lux and Carnation, none of which I cared for. Nuit Noire I was forcibly perfumed with by an SA in Paris, and I likened the experience to the fragrance equivalent of “necklacing” it was so awful on me.

    But all that is about to change, for I kept reading favourable reviews of the Nombres d’Or collection, and became curious to dip my toe back in the range, galvanised also by the outpourings in the perfume community when Mona di Orio died. I thought I must be missing something somewhere along the line…. So I have now been given four to try by Olfactoria, and already like Musc very much and the vetiver one is pleasant too, though never a favourite note. So it could be that I will click with her work after all.

    1. I do hope that the Nombres d’Or set suits you better – none of the earlier ones appeal to me in the least (in terms of notes/description), and it does sound that the newer set are perhaps less… baroque?

      I had to google “necklacing.” I’d been insulated from that one – it’s truly, truly shocking.

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