Breezy, wafting cool top notes. Petitgrain and bergamot intertwine. A light green, lightly sweet, gentle sourness arises.
Muted geranium, some bitterness with the vetiver and bay leaf appear in the heart. For some reason, I'm not enjoying the vetiver here. Perhaps it is the geranium placing its finger on the pulse of the vetiver, tamping it. The middle here is a tad too green for me.
Later my lovely vetiver friend appears. The other notes died off, so to speak, letting it be its beautiful self. The base is light. A whisper of cedar, pale musk, barely there labdanum. The vetiver remains for hours.
Its been over seven years since Ive reviewed a Mona di Orio fragrance, and today, the first sniff I took of Eau Absolue completely erased those seven years: Oh yeah, now I remember her signature style: Clean, elegant notes, strong rich accords, traditional construction, perfect transitions between accords, nothing out of place nothing challenging what you smell is what you get.
Eau Absolue opens with a near perfect citrus accord rich, clean, precise, balanced, and so sniffable. Quite soon a perfect geranium note hovers over the citrus to round out the opening to ...perfection, I guess. After the appropriate time, the citrus / geranium gives way to a precisely smooth soft-spicy heart accord dominated by that heart-breakingly lovely geranium note.
I love an excellent geranium note so I am really enjoying the geraniums being carried into the base, which, of course is smooth, rich, and balanced with its geranium, wood, musk, and labdanum composition. It is elegant and lush. Possibly it should cast a better sillage, and it seems to evaporate too soon off my dry skin, but it provides a fitting swansong to this fragrance.
Except for its lack of perfection in sillage and longevity, this is a technically satisfying and fulfilling fragrance a quality that I tend to undervalue. I prefer more creativity, surprise, and even a bit of rawness in my fragrances; however, I cant deny that Eau Absolue is a fragrance of quality and beauty.
Nice spring/summer scent The opening of this one is quite good. A perfect spring or summer scent, very fresh. Very quickly a base honey sweetness arrives and hangs around for the remainder of the composition. Not bad, but a little contrasting to the fresh and lightness of what you're initially led to expect. For me, that is where this one ends. After a few hours it is almost completely gone, and definitely not as long lasting as other Mona scents on me.Pros: The scent has a nice freshness, perfect for a sunny dayCons: Staying power is minimal on me"
Not What I Expected... Eau Absolue opens with just the faintest traces of bergamot citrus before a huge honeyed rose-like green geranium floral and petitgrain tandem takes the fore with the geranium the dominant note early. As the progression leads to the early heart the honeyed floral geranium remains the star with underlying dull orange, just detectable woody cedar and relatively transparent vetiver support. During the late dry-down the composition turns much more fresh and light with an almost weightless clean musk dominating the final stage of development as the geranium finally dissipates. Projection is slightly above average and longevity is very good at 10-11 hours on skin. When I first heard of this release I was of two minds... On the one hand besides the list of official notes being absolutely right up my alley, I am one of the late, great Mona di Orio's biggest fans and many of her releases are among my all-time favorites. On the other, the last posthumous release from the house was an enormous disappointment and made me wonder if this one would follow suit... Unfortunately, I regret to report that it is the latter. Eau Absolue sounds like it should be a fresh, clean but relatively distinctive woody-citrus composition but instead it is a cloyingly sweet near indolic geranium floral one. The cedar I looked forward to that Mona so deftly utilized in her brilliant masterpiece Vetyver is all but absent here. Quite frankly, even the orange that I expected to play the starring role is used much differently than I anticipated with it coming off as dull and lifeless, relegated to supporting the overly potent geranium. I certainly can't fault the composition for being different, but it fails the more important test of smelling good and at $230 a 100ml EdP bottle I expect much more (indeed I would expect more at a quarter the price). The bottom line is while I remain a big fan of Mona and hate to write a critical review of anything she composed, Eau Absolue while distinctive does not smell very good, earning a very average 2.5 star rating out of 5 and an avoid recommendation at its relatively lofty price point.Pros: An innovative composition with very good longevity.Cons: Somewhat lifeless and off-putting with a honey-like sweetness that gets quite cloying at times.