Feral Beauty – Mona di Orio Nuit Noire & Lux Perfume Review

Feral Beauty - Madonna by Steven Klein

Feral Beauty – Madonna by Steven Klein

A few weeks back I cast my inquisitive nose over Myrrh Casati, the latest fragrance from niche brand, Mona di Orio, and the first launch that has been created by the house in conjunction with an external perfumer. Myrrh Casati represents a distinct shift in style for the Mona di Orio name, and whilst I found it to be competently composed, it doesn’t quite portray the unique sense of magic one usually finds in one of Mona’s creations.

The brand may be looking directly forward to the future, but at the same time they are not shying away from celebrating Mona’s legacy, and have started to re-dress a number of her fragrances in beautiful new flacons. They’ve also relaunched Nuit Noire and Lux (originally launched in 2006) – two cult fragrances from the Mona di Orio archives as part of the new Signature Collection. It’s an exciting and interesting time for the brand, and this relaunch of the original formulas serves as a firm nod to the extreme talent of a wonderful perfumer.

“A good perfume will surprise before touching the heart deeply, slowly it will give you its soul as it evolves and reveals its final notes. Perfume, like poetry, must stimulate and create passion instantly”

- Mona di Orio

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New Escentual Post: Zombies! Ghouls! Ghosts!

Happy Fragrant Halloween!

Happy Fragrant Halloween!

T’was the night before Halloween, when all thro’ the house, nothing was stirring, not even a maniacal serial killer with a insatiable thirst for blood. That’s how the song goes, right?! Halloween seems to be getting bigger every year and whilst the shops may be stocking up for Christmas already, they’re also struggling for space with all of the Halloween schtuff that’s occupying the shelves.

In celebration of All Hallows’ Eve, I’ve put together a guide of ghoulish, witchy and zombie-riffic fragrances that will make perfect fragrant companions to any costume this Halloween. In the guide you’ll find scents that are evocative of evil clowns and convey the smells of wet dog. It’s an interesting guide for sure… Click here to head on over to Escentual for a nosey.

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The Candy Perfume Boy, MANFACE & Masculine Fragrance

The Candy Perfume Boy & Manface

The Candy Perfume Boy & Manface

When Thom Watson, the man behind the frankly awesome male grooming and beauty blog, MANFACE, asked me to write a piece on masculine fragrances for him, I didn’t hesitate for a moment before saying yes. MANFACE is an incredibly handsome website that acts as an essential guide for all gents that like to take care of themselves, whether that be with grooming products or fragrance, or both. So yes, I was very honoured to have been asked and I of course obliged with gusto.

In conjunction with Thom, I’ve put together an essential guide to masculine fragrance that takes a look at some of the most popular male fragrance families, such as; fougère, leather, woody and oriental etc. In the piece you’ll find some of my favourite masculine scents, as well as some of Thom’s too. If that all sounds good to you and your interest is suitably piqued, then click here to head over to MANFACE and check out the essential masculine fragrance guide.

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Scent a Celebrity Series: Wuthering Sniffs – Scenting Kate Bush

Wuthering Sniffs

Wuthering Sniffs

“The Scent a Celebrity Series is my vain attempt at picking perfumes for those who don’t know any better, yes I mean celebrities. Let’s face it, most celebrities are incapable of choosing decent clothing, boyfriends, girlfriends, movies, (insert-celebrity-mistake-here) let alone having the ability to make decisions about something as important as their scent – that’s where I come in. Never fear my dear schlebs, I will ensure that you are appropriately scented, all you need to do is listen.”

I always enjoy writing entries for the Scent a Celebrity Series. It’s seriously fun and challenging to try and delve into a character and pick out fragrances that I think can match their personalities. This process gives me a greater understanding of not only the celebrity in question, but also the fragrances I have matched with them, and I always coming away feeling as if I’ve seen things from a slightly different angle.

Speaking of different perspectives, I thought I’d take the liberty of approaching this episode of the series in a slightly different manner. Our subject for today is the inimitable Kate Bush, a musical enigma and theatrical performer who cannot be rivalled by any other starlet, dead or alive. She is simply unique – simply ‘Kate’. Instead of picking a number of fragrances that suit La Bush’s personality, as I would normally do, I’ve opted to scent four of my favourite Kate Bush albums – after all, there is nothing on this planet more filled with personality than a Kate Bush LP…

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Escentual Post Round-Up: Calvin Klein Reveal and YSL Opium Perfume Reviews

Reveal - The Latest from Calvin Klein

Reveal – The Latest from Calvin Klein

My last two Escentual posts have been a contrasting look at the old and the new, in the world of perfume. Firstly, I took a look at Calvin Klein’s Reveal a few weeks back. This is the most surprising and unexpected feminine from CK, that channels Thierry Mugler’s wonderful Womanity, of all things. Just when you think there are no surprises left to be had in the perfume industry, one jumps up and taps you on the nose! Click here to read my review.

Now we move on to the ‘old’. Following the disaster that is Black Opium, I wanted to revisit the flanker’s mother fragrance, Opium. Granted, the new formulation of Opium is reportedly a pale shadow of its former self, but the fragrance should still be celebrated for being a trailblazer that created the trend for big and bold oriental-themed fragrances that permeated the ’80s. Check out my thoughts on Opium here.

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Monochromatic – Mona di Orio Myrrh Casati Perfume Review

Photo: Herb Ritts

Photo: Herb Ritts

It’s a simple fact that the late perfumer, Mona di Orio made beautiful perfumes. Having studied under the great Edmond Roudnitska (Dior’s Eau Sauvage & Diorissimo, and Rochas’ Femme), di Orio had a knack for creating romantic and surprising compositions that often turned a familiar signature on its head. Since her death, Mona’s co-founder, Jeroen Oude Sogtoen has remained faithful to her legacy and has released a number of fragrances from the archives – fragrances created by Mona di Orio before her untimely death. These have included the stunning Eau Absolue and the masterpiece that is Violette Fumée.

It seems that the brand is now turning a corner. There was always going to come a point where di Orio’s back catalogue of unreleased material would run out and an external perfumer would need to be invited in to compose something new. Now is that time and the brand is launching their first fragrance under their new Monogram collection, as well as re-releasing older perfumes (e.g. Nuit Noire and Lux) into the Signature collection. They’re also slowly re-packing the Les Nombres d’Or collection, starting with Oud, which is now called Oudh Osmanthus.

Myrrh Casati is Mona di Orio’s first fragrance composed by an external perfumer. Penned by Melanie Leroux, Myrrh Casati makes a statement as something quite different from the other perfumes within Mona di Orio’s extensive collection. The brand describe this ode to myrrh as being “extravagant, dark, [and] mysterious”, and I’d definitely agree with the latter two descriptors in that sentence – I’m just not entirely convinced that it is extravagant in the same way many of the Mona di Orio fragrances are. Myrrh Casati serves as an interesting diversification for the brand, for sure.

“Inspired by Marchesa Casati, the legendary patron of the arts and muse of eccentricity, known for her extravagant dark fashion and lavish fetes replete with exotic animals, gilded servants, and an infectious waft of incense and mystery that surrounded her.”

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The Candy Perfume Boy’s Guide to Vanilla

The Candy Perfume Boy's Guide to Vanilla

The Candy Perfume Boy’s Guide to Vanilla

The Candy Perfume Boy’s ‘Guide to…‘ series is an award winning fragrant exploration of the individual notes that make up the vast and multi-dimensional spectrum that is the world of perfume. In each episode, we take a detailed look at a particular ingredient, analysing its odour profile and the ‘must sniff’ perfumes that serve as reference examples within the genre.

So far in the series, we’ve taken a gander at the lusciousness of lily, variety of violet and the tenacity of tuberose. We’ve also ogled at oud, chomped on chocolate and orbited the world of orange blossom. All-in-all, it’s been a fun and fragrant exploration of some of perfumery’s most beloved ingredients, but our journey is far from over and we have many more smells to sniff. So buckle up as we take off for our next fragrant expedition – a mission to Planet Vanilla.

In this latest instalment of The Candy Perfume Boy’s Guide to, we’re going to explore all that is vanilla – a note that is as well-known as it is delicious. The use of vanilla in perfume is most certainly plentiful and to serve you, dear reader, I have separated the wheat from the chaff to present you with eight vanilla perfumes that are absolute must sniffs on your fragrant journey. I promise you that they all smell absolutely fabulous!

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