The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


Mona di Orio Nuit Noire

MdO Nuit NoireWHAT I SMELL:  Nuit Noire opens with a plasticined orange, it’s slightly bitter and sour and rather animalic (to be honest, there’s a skankiness that is quite unexpected).  Given the opening, I would think that the perfume would be heavy and thick.  Instead, the perfume feels light and airy, albeit it incredibly potent.  Now don’t get me wrong, I like it when a perfume has a bit of a funky edge as long as it doesn’t dominate.  And after around 10 minutes or so, the funk, although still present, makes way for a warmed mix of spice and a light creaminess.  The projection is low which makes the perfume feel mysterious and rather forbidden.  The transition of the soured orange to more of a flattened musk brings a more evened edge to the perfume and after around 30 minutes the tuberose melds with the orange blossom which helps to soften the perfume even further. In the end, Nuit Noire is a sultry and sexy exotic creamy floral with just the right amount of naughty edginess.

From the Mona di Orio website:

Nuit Noire elicits the steaming sensuality of a dark, sultry night in North Africa, exotic, spicy, and animalic. A strikingly carnal affair, the raw energy and heat at the start rises from floral notes colliding with woods, spices and leather, but as it is with lovers, this sophisticated floriental dries down richly intimate into a velvety seduction of spices.

The honeyed floral sweetness of orange blossom, intense tuberose, and robust, spicy cardamom seduce each other and tease for dominance. The indolic quality of the orange blossom and tuberose pulses with a ripe lushness. Brighter notes of ginger and oranges arrive on the hot wind of this vibrant souk and bring with it an intense accord of incense, spices and woods from frankincense, cinnamon, cloves and cedar and sandalwood.

Notes of animalistic musk, comforting leather, vanilla-sweet tonka and warm resinous amber develop into a creamy, velvet intoxication. This primal nocturnal journey becomes darker and spicier.

Notes:  Orange flower, cardamom, ginger, orange, frankincense, cinnamon, tuberose, sandalwood, clove, cedarwood, amber, leather, musk, tonka.

jean_shrimptonWHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  A 1960s supermodel Jean Shrimpton.


WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT NUIT NOIRE: CaFleureBon, The Sounds of Scent, The Black Narcissus

BOTTOM LINE:  There’s something about orange blossom that has a 1960s connection to me.  As modern Nuit Noire is, to me, there’s a bit of vintage vibe to the perfume.  Modern or vintage, Nuit Noire’s perfumed ride goes from the wild to the absolute sublime.

  • Bone Rating:  3.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Oriental Floral
  • Nose: Mona di Orio
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $195 for 75 ml Eau de Parfum

Sample courtesy of Twisted Lily Fragrance Boutique and Apothecary.


Les Nombres d’Or Rose Etoile de Hollande by Mona Di Orio

Rose EtoileWHAT I SMELL:  Rose Etoile de Hollande opens with a bright peach layered upon aldehydes, which is then quickly followed a disconcerting clove note.  What opens and pretty, soon becomes strange and sour and somewhat biting.  Thankfully the rose steps out a bit which helps to soften the clove, but there remains a sharpness that I am hoping will dissipate.  After around 15 minutes or so, the rose retreats and the peach once again makes it to front and center.   The peach is tangy and bright.  I wouldn’t say it’s juicy, but it does have a warmth about it which cuts the sharpness experienced from the first 15 minutes.  This is strange.  Where’s the rose?  All I get is peach and more peach.   More strange is that another 15 minutes it seems like I am back to the beginning with the sharpness that I experienced earlier and a bit more rose than all the peach.  After a lengthy dry down, Rose Etoile de Hollande becomes slightly woody and much softer with hints of heliotrope.  And after even a few more hours, you’ll notice a very light smoky incense leather added to the mix.  Rose Etoile de Hollande overall is rather pretty and comforting, but it’s all peach and little to no rose.   Surprisingly, for a Mona di Orio fragrance, Rose Etoile de Hollande sits close to the skin and is rather light in its projection.  Overall, it’s a beautiful fragrance in the end.   I just wish there was a little more rose and a little less peach.

Top notes are aldehydes, white peach and bergamot; middle notes are rose, cloves and geranium; base notes are leather, patchouli, cedar, heliotrope, vanilla, benzoin, amber and peru balsam.

peachWHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  peaches


WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT ROSE ETOILE DE HOLLANDE:  Perfume-Smellin Things, Olfactoria’s Travels, Cafleurebon

BOTTOM LINE:   Rose Etoile de Hollande is perplexing to me.  I really want to like it, but something is holding me back.  I think it’s the peach.  It’s just a bit too dominant for my tastes.  However, if you love a good peach note, I can see how this could be wonderful.  It’s no Mitsouko, but it is nice.

  • Bone Rating: 3.5 out of 5 possible bones
  • Scent:  Floral
  • Nose:   Mona di Orio
  • Classification:  Unisex, but leans feminine
  • Expense:  $230 for 100ml EdP


Les Nombres d’Or Violette Fumee by Mona di Orio Parfums

violettefumeeWHAT I SMELL: Violette Fumee opens with the most beautiful lavender and bergamot combination; it’s herbal and refreshing in a creamy comforting way.  After a few minutes, the fragrance starts to warm and become deeper as a beefy oakmoss emerges from the bottom that envelopes and seems to fold over the lavender.  After about 10 minutes or so, the violet seems to make an appearance from the edge of the fragrance.   I know this is going to sound strange, but it’s appearance is like prairie dogs popping their head out of the ground.  What I mean is that the violet doesn’t come out at once, but seems to pop in and out until eventually you feel like you are surrounded by violets tinged with rose.  Violette Fumee at this point still retains its creaminess but it becomes slightly brighter without becoming sheer.  What I love about this is that the herbal aspects of the fragrance keep this from becoming too floral and pretty which allow Violette Fumee to retain a substantive elegance.  After some time, the myrrh and opoponax emerge from below and a slight suede provides for a beautiful finish to this multi-faceted fragrance.

Violette Fumee Notes:

Top notes:  Mediterranean Lavender, Bergamot from Calabria, Oakmoss from the Balkans

Heart notes:  Violet flowers and leaves from Egypt, Turkish Rose, Veitver from Haiti, Clary Sage

Base notes;  Opoponax and Myrrh from Somalis, Cashmeran

Viola-odorataWHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  A page from a 19th century botanical illustrative leather bound book.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE VIOLETTE FUMEE:  transformative, calming, elegant


BOTTOM LINE:  Violet fragrances have not been my friend in the past as I find that they are typically too feminine for my taste.  Violette Fumee breaks that mold.  The violet doesn’t completely dominate and take over in a sweet and simplistic fashion.  The first time I wore this, I really liked it, but the 2nd time I have to say that I loved it.  Voilette Fumee is an elegant and substantial fragrance, that holds layers upon layers of wonderful surprises.

  • Bone Rating: 4 out of 5 possible bones
  • Scent:  Oriental Fougere
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense:  EdP Intense to be launched in September 2013

Promotional sample provided by Mona Di Orio Parfums.