Perfume Review: Mona di Orio Lux
Lux is one of the three scents in Mona di Orio’s debut fragrance collection. The name is the Latin word for light, and this is indeed a luminous, sun-drenched scent, summer in a bottle. Having said that, beautiful and pleasant as it is, Lux is not exactly unique. In fact I have a feeling I have smelled this juicy, sweet citrus many times in the past. Were it not for the unexpected drydown, I would have dismissed this fragrance as entirely unremarkable.
Lux is quite a sweet scent. It is not exactly in the lemon-flavored-candy category, but leans perilously close in that direction. It starts with a bright and sweet citrus accord that, to me, smells mostly of lemons and lemongrass. The top notes also contain Litsea Cubeba, the note I am unfamiliar with, but the quick web search reveals that the scent of the oil distilled from this tropical plant is in fact comparable to lemongrass and lemon verbena. As Lux develops on my skin, subtle vetiver and a hint of cedarwood become pronounced, adding a little bit of earthiness and dryness to the blend; however, they are not powerful enough to tone down the intense and sweet citrus accord. And, finally, just as I am ready to pronounce Lux quite ordinary if well blended, the cistus note comes into play and adds depth, another dimension, an unforeseen twist to the composition. Cistus, also known as Cistus Ladanifer or rock rose, is a source of labdanum, which is a complex, multifaceted note that I adore. If I had to describe it up in a couple of words I would call it “subtly churchy and faintly floral”. This note compliments and enhances the citrus wonderfully in Lux. Add to that amber and some musk, and, in the drydown of Lux, we have a very different scent, sophisticated, much less sweet, with the darker notes starkly opposing and yet balancing and complimenting the dazzling citrus.
To sum up my impressions of the Mona di Orio collection, of the three scents, only the spicy, striking, dark Nuit Noire was full bottle worthy for me. I found it to be consistently interesting from the top notes to the drydown. Carnation had a wonderful, arresting beginning but soon lost much of its intensity and allure. In reverse to that, Lux started unremarkably and developed into a beautiful, deep blend. Still, at this kind of price, to justify a purchase, I have to be really impressed by all the stages of the scent.
Lux can now be found at Aedes, $120.00 for 1.7oz, $200.00 for 3.4oz.
*The image of the bottle is from Aedes.com