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Amyitis – For those who want to know – May 23, 2014 New Fragrance Listing


Image - mimifroufrou - Mona di Orio Amyitis bottle

“I’m in Bertolone Perfumeria, that little gem-of-a-store I was telling you about on Calle Fuseri. They have one bottle of Mona di Orio Amyitis from her original Signature Collection. Do you want it?” says the e-mail from Venice.

Do I want it? Of course I want it. I’ve craved a Mono di Orio fragrance since I first sniffed samples from her line in 2006, since I learned of her sad, untimely death in December 2011, and especially since the late 2013 release of Violette Fumée, the scent she’d created for her friend and business partner, Jeroen Oude Sogtoen, which Gwen bought and wrote about. Of course I want it!!!

“Yes! buy it!” 

And now I have it. Amyitis (Am-yee-tus), launched in 2008, the fifth fragrance from Mona di Orio’s Signature Collection.

Mona Di Orio was a classically trained perfumer who studied under Master Perfumer Edmond Roudnitska for 15 years before she started her own perfume house.  Jereon Oude Sogtoen says in an interview with, that Mona looked… “at perfumes from an art point of view, as you can see very clearly in the Signature Collection. When we created the Signature Collection, we had, from day one, a very dedicated group of followers…who understood that perfume is more than something that is supposed to be instantly likeable. It’s a journey, a story, an emotion captured in scent form….sometimes one has to listen to music several times before falling in love with it, or look at a painting several times before understanding it. Sometimes you need a passionate expert to take you on a journey and explain why something is remarkable. You have to discover it by being curious….I always called this collection a collection “for those who want to know.”

When the Signature Collection was released in 2006 it was misunderstood and dismissed by some critics as little more than very expensive air freshener. Hah! Hardly. Mona was classically trained, and she was an also an artist. Artists tend to disrupt the status quo, and she was incredibly skilled at combining her materials to challenge, prod, surprise, but richly reward those who want more than the run-of-the-mill scent experience. Putting one of her scents on your skin and following the dry-down is like entering a maze in the dark - the journey along the way is filled with dead ends, detours, twists and turns, and you won’t end up where you imagine you will. In other words, it’s an experience that engages your mind as well as your senses.

Amyitis is different from the four opulent fleshy Signature scents which preceded it, all of which seem to possess a startling shock- value at some point in their dry-down, which can be difficult for some noses. Amyitis is green, aromatic and light, and according to the website was…  “Inspired by the Hanging Gardens of Babylon built by Nebuchadnezzar II for his Queen Amyitis, homesick for the greener and more fruitful Media…the feeling of being in balance with yourself and nature, unburdened and peaceful…, inspired Mona to create this fresh green fragrance.

So Amyitis opens fresh and green, with a quiet spicy undertone – the spice in sweet caraway and distinctive pimento with dried herbs mix with sweet-sappy, milky-vegetal grass notes.  The accord takes on an almost watery limpid quality, unusual and exotic, but at the same time soft and inviting. Earthy iris and green violet add to the green natural-garden effect, but as the spice notes deepen into the heart, the feeling begins to shift to a darker weightier landscape. In the base, resinous cedar and sweet amber add balsamic richness, oakmoss adds heft, and when saffron joins the mix, the idyllic green wafty scent transforms into rooty fertile perfume, with powdery opoponax adding warm curves to its slender bones.

The overall effect of Amyitis is one of understatement, with a nuanced complexity that plays for hours on the skin. The sappy green grass note comes back smelling slightly fermented, boozy and reckless in the dry-down; the earthy iris and violet florals unite with saffron and amber for an almost animalic splurge from time to time, woods and moss in the base create a definite vetiver accord, revealing a more austere facet of the green core in Amyitis. The scent is extraordinary and I can feel it stirring my soul, reminding me of my love for the world outside my mind, where I dig and plant and tend living things. At the end of the day, I can still detect the mossy green scent on my wrists, and I can imagine how wonderfully cool it will smell on the hot steamy days that July will bring.

Jereon Oude Sogtoen is committed to keeping the Mona di Orio brand vibrant, making her creations available to a wider audience now that her artistry and talent are more appreciated. She wanted people to appreciate the complexity in her fragrances, to take the time and learn about the beauty of complexity. He has announced that in 2014, Mona di Orio’s Signature Collection of eight fragrances will be re-introduced ‘step-by-step… they are not lost forever!”  

So if you have a curious nature like I do, are a person who wants to know, who wants to think as well as smell, you can go on a journey in any one of her fragrances and discover the remarkable.   Why not start with quiet fresh green spicy earthy woody mossy, and complex, Amyitis?

Today, we’re adding Amyitis to our Decant Store. Decants are $7.00.