Mona di Orio Violette Fumé

MonaI’m Baaaaaccckkk!

Well it’s not a secret that I am a fan of Mona di Orio’s scents. Imagine my surprise when a sample of this showed up unannounced in my doorstep. According to the copy that came with it, it was a scent that the lady was working on for her partner at the time of her death, and he is kindly sharing it with the rest of us. Nice man; I’d have kept it selfishly guarded..

It starts off chilly with lavender and citrus, a joyous burst of coldness that I can just imagine would be heaven on a hot day. Like the first sip of an icy gin and tonic in the heat. As it wears it also warms, with roses, suede notes and sage coming in. Then we get the violets of the title, and were they ever worth the wait. I don’t know about you but a lot of the time I don’t care for violets in perfumes. They seem to come off to me as rather plasticky. Not here.

The final stage gets into musk (yay!) and resins but never really loses the smoky flower notes. I love this one and would wear the hell out of it. At $330 for 3.4 ounces (and worth it) I’m afraid that I’ll be paying car insurance first, however, Christmas is coming up..

Notes (from luckyscent): Lavender, Bergamot, Oakmoss, Violet flowers and leaves, Turkish Rose, Vetiver, Clary Sage, Opoponax, Myrrh, Cashmeran

$330 for 3.4 ounces, at luckyscent, Penny Lane and other boutiques. My sample came from the US distributor. Image from

  • Tara says:

    Waiting to get my bottle, should have it in a week… I bought it unsniffed, I love violets and MdO! Thanks for the nice review and nice to see you back!

  • I splurged and bought myself a full bottle of Violette Fume”. I love it and can’t get enough of it. I also have the Eau which her partners made in her honor and I wore it most of the summer. Violette Fume is a real winner in my opinion. I haven’t felt this enthusiastic about a perfume for quite a while.

  • Mary Beth says:

    Hi, Tom! Good to see you again. This sounds wonderful – I’ve sort of become a violet whore this summer. Alas, I must inform you the Penny Lane Perfumes in Rehobeth, DE has ceased operation. I don’t think ‘our beloved Delaware’ was quite ready for niche.

    • Tom says:

      Thanks Mary Beth!

      Too bad about Penny Lane! I saw them on the MdeO website and stuck them in there.

  • tammy says:

    Welcome back! I hope this means that things are going well and we’ll see more of you!

    I love this one and am trying to decide if I want it or ( forgive me) or a Vitamix for my 50th. I’m just afraid to jump the gun on something that expensive without trying it a good long time…I got a large sample, and so far it is LOVE but the sprayer is wonky and I’m dabbing it more than actually spraying it. I am typically very disappointed when I get a FB of a juice I have only dabbed. (I think it’s because I much prefer basenotes.)

    I wish this came in 50ml! It isn’t actually too bad of a price when you consider it’s 100mls of juice. 50 would be within my budget, though.

    • Tom says:

      Thanks tammy- I’ll be sticking around!

      I wish they’d do smaller bottles as well, but some never do. Bummer.

  • Sherri says:

    So glad to see you back, Tom! I’m not a huge violet fan, but I always make exceptions for MdO! Glad to hear you think this is great! Can’t wait to try!

  • Ann says:

    Welcome back, Tom! We’ve missed you on Fridays. Hope all is going well for you. I just got a sample of this, so can’t wait to try it when I get home from work today.

  • Martha says:

    This perfume is getting a lot of blog and forum buzz lately. Thanks for the review – I now have a better idea of how it smells. I’ve tried only one violet fragrance and was not impressed so I’m looking forward to sniffing Violette Fume.

    • Tom says:

      I’m usually pretty underwhelmed by violet ones as well. They’re usually too dainty for me. This one isn’t.

  • Dina C. says:

    Welcome back! I enjoyed your description of this one. I haven’t tried any of the Mona di Orio scents, and this violet one sounds very good. I like violet notes in scents, and this one sounds more complex and sophisticated than the usual.

  • jilliecat says:

    I want to join Portia to say how great it is to see you again! I tried to say the same thing on Perfume Smellin’ Things, but I am so technically dim, I can’t work out how to log in any more!

    Love what I have been reading about this, but the price will mean it stays out of reach of my nose.

  • Portia says:

    YAY!! Welcome back Tom. we’ve missed you. How lucky you are to get your hands on a Violet Fumé sample. I was in store recently and went straight past the violet to the Oud! Next time I’ll stop and spritz, promise.
    Portia xx