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Onda - It speaks niche - November 15, 2013

Photo - Vero Profumo Onda - parfum extrait

Only a few fragrances leave me at a loss for words. Onda by Vero Profumo is one. As soon as I spray Onda eau de parfum on my arm, and breathe in the opening accord, I enter an alternate reality where my mind swirls with sensations and images, and words just float away….gone.

Onda is an untamed beauty, a wild and strange, original, complex, demanding, dark, brooding chypre based on the vetiver and leather notes, one of the best that niche perfumery has to offer. How do I tell you about it if I can't find the words? I’ll let others speak.

Let’s start with the creator of Onda, Vero Kern, the Swiss aromatherapist who eventually studied to become a perfumer. She says in a perfumeshrine.com interview:   “ …for me, composing perfumes is complete passion! Scents are my drug! You could call me a perfume composer Junkie… ”. And from an interview on persolaise.blogspot.ca...“In 2007, whilst launching my perfumes, I felt I became a perfumer. And at this time, I was 67 years old.”

Wow! gutsy woman! A career change in her 60’s…and she is now 73 and recently released her fourth fragrance!

About the name of her company…“Vero Profumo is a play on my name, and the Italian word "vero" which means "real / authentic / pure". I was originally inspired by a movie  "Profumo di Donna" or "Scent of a Woman"….the idea that every woman with her individual skin, her sensuality and eroticism, has her own smell fascinated me, and so it all started…”

“I try to go my own way 100% and do not follow any trends. I'm looking for originality, opulence and eroticism in scents. They have to surprise and touch me. I'm not interested in 'clean' scents - I need scents with character both in my creations, and on the wearer. Besides this, I love everything that reminds me of the smell of skin.” sorceryof scent.com

Like the tanned skin of animals. As a child…“I loved the special scent of new leather shoes. Every time I got a new pair of shoes - and this did not happen very often - I was not only totally delighted to get them but I also loved their particular smell of new leather. I used to put the new shoes beside my bed and I fell asleep with this heavenly, weird fragrance... and many, many years later, I created Onda.”  persolaise.blogspot.ca

Onda is one of the three scents launched by Vero Kern in 2007 as extraits, which she re-launched in 2010 in Eau de Parfum versions…

“If you swooned at her soulful extraits but thought their intensity was too much of a commitment in the morning, now’s the time to give in. Vero Kern has re-orchestrated her blends into eaux de parfum: the different concentration called, she explains, for a slightly different formula....And if a fragrance ever needed taming, it is Vero’s wild, dusky, brooding Onda, as close to an alchemical potion as a modern perfume is ever likely to get. In the eau de parfum, the ginger, vetiver, honey and patchouli still simmer with earthy sensuality, but the composition gains an airiness, a sense of space that make the notes an easier fit for daytime wear. The overtly animalic notes have been replaced by the equally animalic, but brighter passion fruit. Don’t be fooled: the leather-clad femme fatale hasn’t come over from the dark side of the forest. But she’s just cracked a smile." from luckyscent.com

"Onda... The finest vetiver roots seasoned with sizzling, fiery notes of ginger, mace and coriander. Ambrosial whisperings, sweet nothings, tender and potent – and deeply moving."veroprofumo website

 

Photo - cafleurebon.com - Vero Kern

From cafleurebon - "Ms. Kern is one of my personal role models for style, and her perfumes are just as stylish and timeless as she is. Every one, even if it is based on a commonly used heart note, has a unique edge. Wearing one of her creations is akin to wearing evocative, beautiful art on your body......Perfumes that can scoop memories out of my mind and let me live them again are coveted and rare, and one of the best is Onda. People describe this as a vetiver fragrance, and it is, but it is more complex, dark, peaty, and earthy than any mere vetiver could ever hope to be. The sillage is quite potent, and longevity is terrific."

Onda…..finally, through the images in my head my own words return in a rush. The name means “wave” and the scent comes at you in waves, waves of single notes, waves of powerful accords, waves that come for hours, fading in strength eventually, softening, and mesmerizing….green vetiver grass and roots coated with black moist dank earth, mixed and ground with fresh ginger coriander and peppery spices, slathered on top of a fine English saddle coated with sweet wild honey, stored inside a cedar-log cabin where nude lovers lie on an herbal-scented featherbed in front of a stone fireplace sharing a snifter of Courvoisier, reliving their passion in slow intimate conversation while they watch the red embers turn to soft ash. All those smells, separate, blended, definitely sensual, definitely erotic, in the moment, timeless. And beautiful.

Onda is a powerhouse, a paradox, vegetal and animalic, repellant and magnetic, brutal and elegant, and it requires a certain confidence to claim as one’s own. It’s not for everyone, this scent, but it sure speaks to me.

“Perfumes are a love story.There is nothing more intimate in all of life than the connection between perfume and skin. An imaginary embrace, a folie à deux – or maybe even a liaison dangereuse?” – Vero Kern, May 2007 cafleurebon.com

Onda EdP is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $9.00 for 1 ml.