Suzanne's Perfume Journal

Vero Profumo Onda parfum extrait can be purchased from Vero Kerns’ website, or from, where a 7.5 ml bottle is currently $185. Amouage Tribute attar can be purchased from a number of online boutiques, including LuckyScent and, where a 12-ml bottle is currently $350.

Photo of Amouage Tribut Attar stolen from the perfume blog, Per Fumus; photo of Vero Profumo Onda stolen from

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Amouage Tribute vs. Vero Profumo Onda

Hello, Santa?  It’s me, Suzanne.
I’ve been thinking about our relationship over the past few years, and the routine that has become our own running joke—you know, the one in which you eat up all my Christmas cookies, drain the rest of my eggnog, and then leave me with a stocking full of citrus fruits in their place. And you laugh “Ho, ho, ho!” as you point out how much money you’ve saved me over the years on gym memberships, and I say “ha, ha, ha” as you wipe the crumbs off your face and take your leave again. 

Well, I think even you would have to admit that the joke is stale, the relationship strained, and if you want to keep coming over to my place Christmas Eve, then let me offer you some advice on how you can save a little money while making me happy. Remember my last letter? The one in which I said you could right things with me by sending me a bottle of the spendy new attar by Amouage—Tribute—remember? And you wrote back and said things like, “fiscal responsibility” and “troubled economy” and “maybe you shouldn’t get your knickers in a knot until you’ve smelled it first.”

Believe it or not, I took your advice to heart: I got a sample of Tribute, managed to dole it out in three tiny drops over a period of three days, and realized that, though it is gorgeous, it’s very similar to another fragrance that I have to say I like even better. Vero Profumo Onda. Onda's opening notes aren’t quite the same as Tribute’s—there is a rose note that opens Tribute, while Onda assails you with her witchy greenness—but within fifteen minutes they arrive at roughly the same place. The smell of tar, smoke, leather and wildly moor-ish greenery. It’s a place where you half expect Heathcliff to show up, two centuries later and on a motorcycle, wandering the backcountry in search of Cathy. Sultry, steamy vetiver scents they are—with the same amazing potency in terms of their sillage. Both cut the air like a knife with only the smallest drop; both last forever on the skin. Both have a floralcy at their deep bottoms that is, though not identical, very similar to my nose: it is more pronounced in Onda, the notes of which are perfumer Vero Kern’s secret but which smell like a flickery bit of jasmine and powdery heliotrope; whereas in Tribute, it's an even more spectral bit of jasmine touched by rose.

Have you noticed, Santa baby, that there is a sorry lack of smoldering vetiver scents in my perfume collection?  You could repair our relationship by gifting me with either one of these beauties—and yes, I know they both seem excessively splurge-y to you, but guess what? It’s Christmas. So get me the Vero Profumo Onda already—then take the difference between that and what it would cost you to buy me the Tribute, and buy a little something for yourself. Or better yet, put the difference in the bank and you can share my bottle of Onda. Christmas is about sharing, isn’t it?  I knew you’d see it my way, Santa. I’ll be waiting up for you, Christmas Eve.

December 20, 2009: