We speak with Jeroen Oude Sogtoen of Mona di Orio Parfums [News from Pitti]

15th September, 2012

Basenotes talked to Mona di Orio Parfums co-founder, Jeroen Oude Sogtoen about their latest release – Rose Etoile de Hollande – and future of the company.

How did the release of Etoile de Hollande come about?

It was one of Mona’s first studies with Edmond Roudnitska, he picked that particular rose that was planted outside of his office and said ‘study this’. He told her 'you can never reproduce nature, if you could, you would be God, but you can try'.

She worked on it for years, but we never had an immediate need to use it. We weren’t thinking of introducing a rose because we were working on Patchouli and also on Tonka and lots of other things before she died.

To be honest we were so afraid of the rose – it’s so easy to get it wrong, to make it old fashioned or boring almost, but last year she said ‘I’m ready’. It’s interesting because now I find that Rose is everywhere now, lots of people are bring out rose perfumes, it’s as if there’s a romanticism everywhere.

Of course lots of men are also wearing Etoile de Hollande. There’s nothing wrong with that. In the Middle East men put rose oil on their skins.

What plans do you have for the future?

I was travelling in the Mediterranean on a beautifully made yatch one summer, when Mona was still alive, and I was so inspired by capturing the feeling of the wind and the water, that sensation. I called her and said that I wanted to capture that. But how do you do it?

We have a new perfume coming out but I don’t know how to describe it. I hate the term ‘aquatic’ – it’s very airy, open and refreshing though. It’s got juniper berries, pepper. It’s really a cologne because Mona very much wanted to add a cologne to the collection. It should be available early next year, perhaps in spring.

What about the old line? Are there any plans to reintroduce these perfumes?

We are going to, but we want to get it right. As an artist you grow and learn, so when you look back at something you can make small changes. She ‘polished’ three of them already, only very small changes, just like polishing something. In others, like Jabu the concentration was quite high, it’s better to do it a little bit lower. So we are only tweaking a little bit.

For these I am going to use different bottles. It will be more expensive but it’s for those who want it and really appreciate it.

Mona made a special perfume just for you, do you have any plans to release that?

It’s called ‘Passion’ and I’m thinking about releasing it. She made it about five or six years ago, it’s got violet in it and also tobacco and leather – we went to a very old tobacco shop in Amsterdam that I go to, where they store the tobacco in old wooden pots. We took the different tobaccos away with us and made a blend actually. There are no plans yet though.

Other than Etoile de Hollande and your new discovery set, do you have any new products?

Yes, we have just introduced a new travel set: you get 3x10ml bottles. They start at €85 and go up to €195 for the Oud - it’s a much more expensive material to work with.

You can see a brief video of Jeroen on Rose Etoile de Hollande below. (Apologies for the sound quality)

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    • bonsai | 20th September 2012 14:47

      I really hope that Mona has finished her Tonka before her untimely death. I would love to smell her take on it.