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Ava Luxe Café NoirCarner Barcelona D600
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Vero Profumo Mito Viktoria Minya Hedonist
Viktor & Rolfe Flowerbomb
Vero Profumo Mito: The Gift of Glorious Dreamscape
I have been blogging long enough that I remember when Vero Kern launched her first fragrances—Onda, Kiki and Rubj—and the moment, too, when it was announced that her perfumes would be coming to the United States to be sold at Scent Bar in Los Angeles (and its online boutique, LuckyScent). Vero arrived on the niche perfume scene seemingly by catapult: her fragrances were so incredibly unusual and endowed with personality—as a group they had drama, eroticism, wit and charm—that even though quite costly, most of us who were part of the online perfume community at the time were frothing at the mouth to purchase them. (I purchased Kiki before the Vero Profumo line landed in the US and still enjoy thinking of her winging her way to me from Vero’s home in Switzerland.)
Having three very dramatic perfumes to launch a perfume career with was essential, I think, to Vero making a mark and gaining an almost immediate following for her work. My guess is that she did not plan it that way—Vero strikes me as someone who works from the soul rather than from a plan—but that perhaps it was an instinctual choice for her, and if so, a very good one. Now, several years later, she has come out with her fourth fragrance (it officially launches in September), and this one—named Mito—is quite a departure from the previous three. Gone is the drama and delicious quirkiness; enter instead tranquility. Mito is a dreamy green floral, full of light and soft sparkle and dappled shade. Inspired by Vero’s love of the Villa d’Este, a villa in Tivoli, Rome, famous for its Renaissance garden and architecture, Mito is further proof for me that this perfumer’s instincts are very good indeed. Of her new scent, Vero writes that “for a moment the perfume fills our desire, satisfies our need for lightness and our yearning for better times”—and in these rather heavy economic times, she couldn’t be more right. But Vero is more than right: she is a lady of graciousness (I know this from a couple emails I once received from her), and in the same way that the making of a beautiful garden has always struck me as an exercise in gratitude, Mito smells like a gift … a soft and exquisite present; a tender offering.
Perhaps I read too much into things (well, scratch the word “perhaps” because I most definitely do), but I can’t help thinking that Mito might be Vero’s way of thanking the perfume community. It is this tenderness—Mito’s quietly joyous sensibility—that leads me to wonder along those lines. There is nothing assertive or demanding about Mito, and because there isn’t, it seems to be a perfume that is at some remove from ego. Not that ego is a bad thing (not at all)—and not that the lack of these elements should give you the impression that Mito is boring, for it is anything but. This perfume manages to be both contemplative and radiant, in the same way that the Flower Duet (the famous aria from Léo Delibes’ opera Lakmé) is both of these things.
The fragrance notes of Mito include citrus, magnolia, jasmine, galbanum, hyacinth, cypress and moss. It is very much a perfume that unfolds on the skin (that has a pyramidal structure rather than smelling linear), and it starts off with a simultaneously green and lemony citrus blend that is soprano-like: a high, uplifting smell that makes one think of afternoon sunlight bouncing off a freshly manicured lawn. (It also makes one think of magnolias, the accord that it soon connects with, as magnolia possesses a complex scent-profile that includes a lemony facet.) This opening stage of the perfume manages to stay suspended for an impressive amount of time—about fifteen minutes—while smelling very natural. Before the floral component of the perfume fully develops there is a stage in which a whiff of something mineral-like comes through; I don’t know how it’s achieved—it smells almost as if there’s a touch of orris lending its cool nature to the scent, as orris can sometimes smell a bit root-like and mineral before becoming powdery, but as I don’t see orris listed among the notes, all I can say is that this effect comes through, and while subtle, it does make one imagine the coolness of stone sculptures in a garden.
At the scent dries down, it becomes progressively petal-like and creamy. The floral aspect of Mito is calm and gentle rather than sweet and intoxicating; the magnolia and jasmine combination is lilting, like flowers experienced in the outdoors, versus heady hot-house blooms, and though they project their feminine energy onto this garden scent, their flower-petals-floating-on-a-breeze (and on a larger, greener canvas) is not something one would label as girly. Velvety is the word that best describes Mito as the fragrance enters the last stages of its very long drydown (this perfume has amazing longevity), and a touch of something very lightly vanillic makes the wearer feel as if she has entered a different part of Mito’s perfume garden, one where you could almost picture Titania, queen of the fairies, tucked into a mossy alcove and about to enter her midsummer’s dream-state.
In Italian, mito means “myth,” and just as the ancient myths provided our human forebears with a welcome escape from the mundane, Vero Kern’s Mito gives the perfume lover a place of glorious respite. As the real world continues to turn hard and non-stop on its axis, in Mito we are invited to slip into off into that magical place where we can refresh ourselves and, captivated by the beauty of the natural world, let life’s worries disappear for awhile.
Is there a greater gift than that? All I can say is grazie, Vero!
Vero Profumo Mito eau de parfum will be available in September 2012, distributed by Campomarzio70 Distribuzione, with a retail price of 145 euros. My review is based on a sample provided to me by the perfumer.
Photo of Villa d'Este is from italylimousine.com.
Posted by Suzanne Keller, 6/20/2012.
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