Onda Parfum Extrait (2008)
    by Vero Profumo

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    Mimi Gardenia's avatar
    Mimi Gardenia
    United States United States

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    Dry Vetiver Earth

    Years ago I tried Onda extrait at The Scent Bar and recoiled - recoiled . I was frightened by it. It smelt like TCP ( a british antiseptic - very potent smelling ) to me . Hence I stayed far away from Onda for years.

    I retrieved a sample of the extrait from my sample box, graciously given to me by dear Larimar and behold ! My nose has matured ....or something magical has happened for I finally 'get' Onda in all its dry vetiver and earthy ,dusty beauty. How I got TCP to begin with amazes me now. I should hang my head in shame.

    Opens with that gingery mace making it a spicey leather and then the rooty vetiver emerges wrapped in with some grounding earth . The whole thing is very truthful and an old world scent. A very thoughtful scent. It gorunds the same way Serge Noire by Serge Lutens does. It's somber, elegant and bold. Not for the faint of heart but for the brave hearted.

    I think Onda is brilliant. Unisex and mysterious. A wonder.

    Pros: Grounding and Compelling
    Cons: Price"

    20th August, 2013

    deadidol's avatar

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    Jaw-droppingly original, astounding brilliant; a prismatic citrus/vetiver scent for those who find contemporary citrus/vetiver too dull.

    This review is for the Eau de Parfum version of Onda, not the extrait. Apologies for sticking it in the wrong spot (I've requested it be moved here: http://www.basenotes.net/products/onda-eau-de-parfum)

    From its playful opening notes to its long, honeyed drydown, Swiss perfumer Vero Kern bitch-slaps contemporary perfumery by singlehandedly producing one of the most profound takes on vetiver and citrus in years.

    Onda EdP starts bright, with an immense passionfruit and ginger burst rendered through subtle animalics to create a textured and attention-grabbing opening. This is citrus for those who are bored with the safety and predictability of modern citrus fragrances, but there's also a distinct floral aspect from the ylang-ylang that functions as a bridge to the honey that will see the scent through to its end. These notes dance into the picture like a systematic, choreographed procession, blaring color and life into the mix. Yet there's an unavoidable dirtiness, suggesting that the opening is a front for something more ominous yet to arrive.

    And arrive it does. What's so provocative about the main framework of this scent is that it's vetiver -- but it's like no other vetiver you've smelled before. It's not that it's low in the mix, per se, but rather that in being married to the mace and the coriander, the note is spun off into a wild new territory marking an ideal counterpart to the sweet and diffusive top. It doesn't feel as astringent or dark as vetiver can; here it's candied by the honey that ties it seamlessly to the fruity mids. And that's one of the most striking aspects of Onda: the seamlessness in which the notes don't simply interconnect and compliment one another, but showcase one anothers' best features. Yet through it all, there are some indolic animalics present, structured upon a sweaty musk and a soft, supple leather. Their purpose, it seems, is to raise and dirty up the main features of the scent by lurking in the shadows, playing structuring roles -- but they also double as the darker side of vetiver that's mysteriously attenuated in the mix.

    There's a ton of character to this perfume; so much that I see this less as a fragrance that will compliment the wearer, but more as one to which the wearer walks alongside trying to keep up the pace, potentially falling behind as Onda charges on ahead. This is the smell of sketchy carnival/circus rolling into town; the promise of a kind of excitement that's undercut by something majorly troubling. While Kern 's compositions are notoriously grounded in the classical style, contemporary connections might be drawn to Tauer's Lonestar Memories (Kern and Tauer are friends, it seems); but frankly, I find the Tauer to be a train wreck that smells more like detergent than anything (he redeems himself with others). Onda has a little bit of this detergent vibe going on in that it cites industrial products very subtly (cleaning products, mainly), but also very smartly. And while I did expected this to be more animalic and challenging than it actually is (I'm drawn to "difficult"), there's no denying the faint sulphurous urine note that works its way through with brilliant nuance.

    This is a gorgeous and wildly prismatic perfume that's highly wearable to those who don't mind a little dirt with their beauty. For those that care about such thing, the longevity and projection are colossal.

    Pros: Beautifully rendered and composed; full of life and character. It's as if the circus has come to town!
    Cons: Not quite as raunchy as I hoped."

    16 July, 2013

    iivanita's avatar
    Croatia Croatia

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    Veroprofumo are among the most natural perfumes in production now days, 60- 70 % of naturals are used.

    Onda smells as high natural perfume, opens up as bitter herbal digestive, that develops into almost raw vetiver scent, but not overpowering, it is bitter, brown coloured masculine scent, after 3 hours it starts to mellow out into beautiful gentle rounded musky vetiver base with some sweetness showing up......the composition opens up, brightens and stays like this, i find some similarities to Habanita, but this is bitter version....masculine version, bitter notes posses some animalic character as well and makes this hard core leather vetiver masculine scent.

    23 March, 2013

    drseid's avatar
    United States United States

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    Onda Extrait opens with an almost fiery, spicy mace and ginger tandem before quickly transitioning to its animalic leather focused heart accord supported by coriander spice and effervescent vetiver rising from the base that grows in intensity as time passes. During the late dry-down, the animallic leather and shimmering vetiver remain while the spicy aspects recede somewhat though never completely dissipate. Projection is average and longevity is exceptional at over 12 hours on skin with just a couple small dabs.

    Onda Extrait is an absolutely amazing composition by Vero Kern. Even though musk is not listed as an official note, there is definitely something animalic underlying the leathery composition from top to bottom and my guess is it is a very deep potent musk. The components of the fragrance all blend together so well that picking out individual notes is difficult and at the end of the day I would argue pointless. Onda Extrait is just one of those fragrances that you just marvel at the amazing skill of a master perfumer and stop worrying about how they accomplished it. The overall accord is very challenging (in a very good way), but it just has that "je ne sais quois" aspect that keeps one coming back for more. Onda Extrait is most likely not a "crowd-pleaser" kind of scent, but rather is composed for someone who can truly appreciate a work of art and wears fragrances for themselves above all else. At the end of the day, while Onda Extrait is unbelievably expensive in relative terms at $300 for 15ml (though a little goes a very long way), this 4.5 star out of 5 masterpiece deserves its lofty price tag and is highly recommended to those who can afford and appreciate it. This reviewer will definitely be saving up for sure!

    06 March, 2013

    Larimar's avatar
    Austria Austria

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    Onda Extrait:
    I admit the opening is great, the treatment of vetiver most likely splendid and nearly unrivalled, but still, I have a few reservations to make. The mentholated character is getting slightly annoying for my own taste as it does not go away, neither does the smokiness (yes, log fire in a cabin is a very apt association) and neither does the composition 'mellow out' in the drydown. Surprisingly, I find Onda more related to Guerlain's Cuir de Russie (than Djedi), when I had a chance to experience this from a sample that seems fantastically preserved given the jus' age. Cuir de Russie however made immediately clear to me that Onda lacks some counter-balance in its composition... basenotes that gradually introduce themselves and mellow the fragrance for instance. Overall, I am lukewarm. I can see its qualities and achievements, but feel the compositions lacks balance and 'charm'. Maybe too much of a study instead of a perfume to enjoy and allure?

    22 November, 2011

    alfarom's avatar
    Italy Italy

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    Saying that Onda EDP is a challenging composition would be like considering Marcel Proust and easy read. Onda is far beyond being just challenging, is weird, destabilizing and unusual but at the same time "cultured". It is built around a solid structure that shows many characteristic of classic perfumery and adds a bizarre, sort of futuristic, accord of passion fruit and vetiver that together with floral pattenrs and ginger gives birth to a strange blend that sits somewhere between a disinfectant, a mass destruction weapon and pure luxury. Overall Onda smells salty/sweet with fresh nuances, flowery with acidic/unripe fruits and definitely sulfurous (urine?). While all of this may sound disencouraging, I still believe that Onda deserves our respect as one of the most intriguing, complex and original compositions around. Onda, more than like a proper fragrance, sounds like a declaration of intent that says "I'm here, and I'm here to stay!".

    On the other hand the extrait de parfum is, paradoxically, more familiar. Don't get me wrong, it's still far from being easy to wear or "pretty" but, its chypre-y animalic leather structure brings, somehow, to mind of the beloved Djedi. A loud vetiver-leather concoction that moves on the thin line between glory and precipice, between a luxurious smell and a revolting stink. Earthy, animalic and almost disturbing yet extremely compelling. Onda was definitely an ambitious and risky project just like doing tightrope walking between two skyscrapers. It took some skills and a guts but Vero Kern has successfully managed to walk to the other side. Chapeau.

    Two of the most challenging and compelling compositions that I've ever experienced. By all means niche stuff.

    24 September, 2011 (Last Edited: 23 October, 2011)

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