Onda The Matriarch – Strength, femininity, warmth and fragility.
Vero Kern’s perfume line ‘Vero Profumo’ consists of three Extraits and (three Eau de Parfums) called Kiki, Rubj and Onda. Each Extrait is a bold statement of character and displays Vero’s talent for creating olfactive stories that are as compelling as they are beautiful.
Onda is the most compelling of Vero Profumo’s three Extraits, she is the matriarch, strong, soft, caring and vulnerable. There is a distinctly ‘old-school’ vibe to Onda, she is rich and classy and harks back to the beautiful leather chypres of days gone by. Onda has a stoic beauty, she can be fierce and cold and she keeps her emotions to herself, but she loves and cares for those around her.
When I wear Onda I think of Tilda Swinton’s character Emma in the film ‘I Am Love’. She is the central pillar of her family and sacrifices her pleasures for those around her. Emma is strong, but at the same time she is broken and fragile. She gives up her virtuous nature to follow her desires and whilst her actions end in tragedy she displays tremendous strength of character along the way. It’s this strength of character that reminds me of Onda.
“The finest vetiver roots seasoned with sizzling, fiery notes of ginger, mace and coriander. Ambrosial whisperings, sweet nothings, tender and potent – and deeply moving. A flying carpet that takes us to the secret places of our deepest longings.” Vero Kern 
Vetiver, Mace, Ginger and Coriander 
How Does it Smell?
Onda showcases the deepest, darkest vetiver roots I have ever smelled. At first there is something disturbing about her strength, she feels slightly harsh and sour at first but the vetiver soon softens and becomes gloriously smoky. The smoke, like an air of mystery, shrouds the fragility within Onda’s heart.
I love the vetiver here, it is like no other and it doesn’t scream ‘vetiver!’. It’s also everything vetiver should be; smoky, rooty, dark, bitter, spicy and gloriously herbal. Vero Kern amps up the spicy nature of the noble root with a scattering of herbs and spices, each one finding a facet of the vetiver to play on and amplify.
All of the weight of the vetiver, herbs and spices is lifted within the heart by a plush, sweet leather. I don’t normally go mad for leather, most of the time I can take or leave it, but in Onda the leather adds an old-fashioned, classic feel, it makes her feel timeless, like Sophia Loren or Catherine Deneuve. As we delve deeper into Onda’s heart, the leather is joined by a very light, but cosy amber that adds warmth and texture without adding a great deal of sweetness.
Onda showcases a classic chypre base chock full of patchouli, oak moss and labdanum. The base is warm, rich, sour and mossy, just like a true chypre should be. The aforementioned vetiver and leather are still present right until the far dry down. Onda feels like she was created for those who reminisce about the classic chypres of yesteryear and say “they don’t make them like that anymore”, but they’re wrong, an aromatoligist turned perfumer from Switzerland does make them ‘like that’, and thank God she does.
Bravo to Vero Kern for such a wonderful and compelling composition that is overflowing with emotion. When I wear Onda I feel as if I’m shrouded in a veil of warmth, she’s like a hug from my Mother or Grandmother, warm, tender and full of love.
Onda is available in 7.5ml and 15ml Extrait. Prices range from approximately £120-£200.
This review is based on a sample of Onda Extrait purchased myself
Image 1 thetamarind.eu
Image 2 luckyscent.com