This fragrance was difficult to key in on. It shifted several times and I had to let this happen before knowing whether I liked it or not. But no matter how it shifted I can't say it worked for me. My issue really is with the mix of spices that were supposed to give it an edgy, naughty note. They didn't on my skin. I really love a nice sexy fragrance, but for me the spice mixes that are said to make fragrances naughty seldom equate to sexy. 'Dirty' or 'smelly' might have edgy daring in an antiseptic society, but sexy...? Not necessarily. For a while now, I've wanted to smell the 'dirty' ones on someone who considers them sexy, to see if it really is about chemistry, or is more about concept. I hope it's chemistry and that I would find this one smashing on them. Because if they smelled like I do in them, oh dear. I'm not sure I'd know how to tell them to go back to the bathroom and rewipe.
I hoped the tuberose would be a bigger player than it was, but on me the spices dominated. The opening on Nuit Noire has a cardamom-ginger-cinnamon note and I seldom care for ginger in a fragrance - I usually find it somewhat grating, a little too sparky, especially if used wrong (i.e. allowed to assert itself), so it didn't sit well with the deeper notes, sort of over-rode them on my skin. Unfortunately, the dissonance of the spices were a factor until almost the end. The skankier aspects became stronger in the mid note, and like I said earlier it didn't equate to sexy. The spices sitting on top of any sensuality in this fragrance were a dissonant combination because they didn't quite meld, but were instead a vaguely fecal blanket. Everytime I smell that note, the fairy tale 'The Emperor's New Clothes' pops into my head.
The dry down was best, becoming smoother and a little leatherier, but the distinctive tone of this fragrance never really left and I got tired wearing it. It has to work for me, not the other way round. In this genre, Jicky is skanky and sexier on me.
02nd March, 2015 (last edited: 13th March, 2015)
Yes, this is definitely a polarizing fragrance but, given how some perfumers and brands have pushed the boundaries of old-fashioned skanky stuff since Nuit Noire was originally released, this is much less *challenging* than it used to be perceived.
The opening is a white floral (mainly orange blossoms to me) with some sparkling citrusy notes. Very nostalgic in feel and aimed to tribute french feminine chypre classics. It suddenly turns into a kind of sharp and too dangerously soapy middle phase where the animalics show their presence with a slightly fecal musky presence. The juxtaposition between soap and the animalic elements still feels somewhat classic but there's something wrong about it. It's like smelling a beloved fragrance which has turned. It doesn't settle with the skin comfortably. It feels somewhat out of place.
The base is a warm and very old-fashioned ambery-leather with sweetish facets. All in all not the monster they made us believe it was but, in year 2014, nowhere close the charming power of somewhat similarly themed fragrances such as, say, Bogue's MAAI or even Chypre Palatin.
Mona di Orio Nuit Noire is effectively a tribute to the classic chypre standing out there in a glorious left back era of the olfactory french/italian tradition as I detect by soon a leather/floral/chypre classic accord between spicy tuberose, orange, leather and oakmoss. I detect by soon a sort of typically stuffy-vintage (a la Gabriela Sabatini Magnetic or Roccobarocco), sinister, barely mouldy, ripe floral and dirty (slightly incensey and powerfully spicy) atmosphere conjuring me more than vaguely Eclair de Tubereuse by il Profumo as ideally combined with several Histoires de Parfums' leather/tuberoses, Absolu Rochas, Parfum d'Empire Musc Tonkin and with Lutens Muscs Koublai Khan (since I feel a profound dirty and almost camphoraceous muskiness which appears anyway in this case overcharged by tons of cloves, cinnamon, pepper and ylang-ylang). The spiciness is strong a la Cinnabar but it smells not properly harmonized. The aroma in the central stage appears dissonant, almost fecal ( I suppose the effect is aroused by the association between civet, musks and indolic tuberose, a killer combo often eliciting that typical dirty/acid flowerpot water effect). The dry down is smoother, cleaner, more vanillic, softly leathery and still musky, I would say far better than the previous phases for sure. The leather is minimal and finally velvety but for a too much long time submissed by spicy/orangy tuberose, tonka, animalic patterns and musk. The final leather on the contrary is almost delicious, subtle and with and ostensibly berrish undertone. Not bad on the complex but clearly unbalanced (along all the initial and central stage) and frankly unoriginal.
Bold, straightforward, classic opening of tuberose on a vanilla-amber spicy and powdery base. Nostalgic and feminine, a tribute to classic chypres, vaguely gloomy and carnal, but at the same time quite natural and dry. As for some other scents by Orio, however, this all "stands" there for just a while, before collapsing and going wrong – here, luckily, not "that" wrong... just a bit. I won't agree with Luca Turin, as he was clearly too and unnecessarily cruel in reviewing this: it does not smell that bad, just a bit cloying for a while, then sweetish, eventually developing a persistent, unpleasant stale note on the drydown. And overall, terribly dull. Not a disaster, just barely decent and totally unworth the price tag.
Contrary to popular belief, there is no civit in this perfume. There is a sweetened leather with orange up top. Very creamy and dark. You can definitely get tuberose along with amber here. I find it comforting and luxurious. Too bad Turin only tested on paper strips. This one needs to warm up and meld with the human skin. Glad I bought a back-up.
Unfortunately this reminds me of a specific cleaning product (rather pleasant I must say it was, and likely cheap), only 10 times stronger and with a powdery sweet and dirty twist.
I would probably not like it anyway, even if it did not bring such bland memories to mind.
One powerful scent. And I thought I could tolerate just about anything.... Apparently not. I do like the "sweaty butt-cheeks"-note in Une Fleur de Cassie combined and tempered by its rather astringent notes, but that thing has at least a grain of modesty and balance. This stuff is purely to give me headaches if I even touch it.
Try before you buy, as with most things