Mojo Lost – Sweet Morphine Ex Nihilo (2015) and Bohea Bohème Mona di Orio (2016)

The weather outside is gorgeous, the perfumes… Well, let’s just blame it on me, I was a tad uninspired. Bloggers and forums raved about stuff I found disappeared after a few hours of uninventiveness. I’m not quite here but I can absolutely relate to all Victoria’s sentiments.

I got the mojo back after sniffing some excellent stuff at our local ‘drug’-store, the wonderfully curated and hip Crime Passionnel; the boozy range from Les Liquide Imaginaires consisting of Dom Rosa (Champagne and strawberry), Blood Wine (cherry, red wine and oak barrels), Bello Rabello (port and immortelle). Also, finding fougeres not the easiest of genres, I found I had skipped ever testing Fougere Bengale, a staple in the Parfum d’Empire line up. Apart from the lavender note up top, this one (as the enthusiastic Aivaras of CP pointed out) actually has a smokey, honeyed vetiver in common with the spellbinding Djedi.

Anyway, since I don’t have any of them, today is not going to be about these perfumes, that will have to wait for another time, it is going to be about a few of those I tried which stood out to me.

Always a lover of iris perfumes, and interested in lilac perfumes. I was attracted to the sound of Ex Nihilo’s Sweet Morphine by perfumer Nathalie Gracia-Cetto. Top notes are lilac and bergamot; middle notes are iris, mimosa absolute and rose; base notes are vetiver, patchouli, bourbon vanilla, heliotrope and orris. image

You see double whammy of iris/orris, mimosa, rose and lilac, you need not know a lot about perfume to know that this will probably be powdery.

Sweet Morphine starts on a fluffy sweet lilac note, real pretty. Nothing heady or even soapy, just a downy puff of lilac powder dispersing itself into a purple cloud. I was reminded slightly of a more present version of Opardu, which to me is more nostalgic and softly soapy. Sweet Morphine is velvety and iris-sweet until the latter stage where the vanilla takes over and it becomes adult-gourmand. It’s quite delightful, even if personally I could have done with less of a sugar fairy ending and instead something just a little bit more edgy. Anyone who loved Opardu but found it too quiet should most definitely give Sweet Morphine a try.

Composed by Fredrik Dalman ‘Mona di Orio’ the house, has released Bohea Bohème, the second fragrance after the last of the late di Orio’s compositions had been released. The fragrance features bergamot, cardamom, iris, chamomile, balsam fir, boxwood, geranium, black tea, juniper, smoke, oak, sandalwood, beeswax, bay leaf, benzoin,vanilla absolute and poplar buds.


Smokey black tea is the sense of that first intake of air, there’s even a shortly a fresh sharpness, juniper I suppose, although my first thought was of a mix of spruce and eucalyptus. There’s the underlying spicy scent of fir trees, and the discreet mix of resins, benzoin and vanilla/ sandalwood softens the smoke and fir into an obedient and sheer unisex perfume, rather than a becoming a German sauna oil.

I like its easy wearable, even friendly, smoke and black tea, and I should dearly like to test this one sprayed lavishly, rather than from a sample, to feel if that would change the effect into something feistier. Even if deep, it’s more nice than naughty, and probably how most people prefer to take their tea perfume. I’m not most people, I like double espressos, and I should have like double up of BB too. However, if like me you were disappointed by the Jo Malone exclusive tea perfumes, and you were looking for black tea, not Chai latte, definitely give Bohea Bohème a try.

How do you feel about recent releases? Did you find beauty or boredom, or have you perhaps tried the two I mention above?

14 thoughts on “Mojo Lost – Sweet Morphine Ex Nihilo (2015) and Bohea Bohème Mona di Orio (2016)

  1. I tried Sweet Morphine late last year and thought it was well done, but not really my cup of tea. 3 releases i have really liked this year are Dilettante by Hiram Green, Fates Persanes by MDCI & Oud Infini by Dusita. These i have purchased, but it is getting increasingly hard to find even half decent releases. I also recently tried Muguet Porcelaine and found it to have a Cucumber-like note. Not one of my favourite releases from Hermes.

    • Dear Chris, I’m somewhat relieved to hear it isn’t just me being fussy 🙂 And ah, anything MDCI is bound to be at least of exceptional quality, I must try Fetes Persanes, I will make note of the others too. Sweet Morphine is too sweet for me, but as you say it’s well done and that top was enchanting, and not as so many other things a ‘been there, done that’, it seemed like there was a purpose behind it.

  2. Hi Asali – i too have tried Sweet Morphine and liked it, though i don’t think i shall be purchasing a full bottle. (I’d rather have a full bottle of Opardu). Tried Bapteme du Feu by Serge Lutens as well; whilst it is wonderfully spicy and gingery, it does not blow me away. I shall retreat to my old favourites but keep an eye on the new releases. It’s all fun. 🙂

    • I absolutely agree that it’s all fun, Patsi and thanks for reminding me 🙂 For me it’s those ‘barely there’ perfumes which are so disappointing, a list of gorgeous notes but unfortunately you can only smell a few of them before the perfume turns into the great vanishing act. I have yet to try the new Serge as well as his uber-exclusive releases, at least you can count on Uncle Serge for not following the Houdini trend 🙂

  3. Asali! I love Sweet Morphine although it has poor longevity. A perfumksta friend gifted me a travel spray so I’m set until I find a somewhat discounted bottle I can split. As to Bohea Boheme, this is the second time I heard kf it and so it will go to my to try list!

    • Hi Hajusuuri 🙂 ah, of course, I can see you really enjoying SW, I suppose you still get more longevity out of it than Opardu? I do wonder how you’ll like Bohea Bohème, as I said, I should really like to spray this one for more sillage, although I believe part of its charm is its airiness rather than being chunky.

  4. Asali, I am, by choice, very much out-of-the-loop in terms of new releases, but I will admit that your review of Bohea Bohème has me intrigued. I really love the scent of black tea. (Although I wish someone would do a fabulous black-tea perfume without the smoke, because smoke and tea are rather well-covered for me in L’Artisan Tea for Two.) The airiness of this one actually sounds rather charming … which probably sounds strange, coming from me, but there you have it. 🙂

    • Suzanne, me too, out of the loop. And I know why. I have to order the samples to test (save the quite few perfumes we do get around here) and everytime I seem more disappointed than not. However now and again I also feel that I need to know what all the rage is about, and so I succumb to my curiousity and order way too expensive samples 🙂
      What I liked about Bohea Bohème, was that it wasn’t sweet the way Tea for Two is, and personally I wanted a tea which wasn’t a chai, so I really liked the sentiment I BB. I think I’d have preferred it stronger, but as I wrote it remains to be seen how it works on me once sprayed.
      On another note, your new site looks amazing, looking forward to new posts there.

  5. I’m usually uninterested if not underwhelmed by new releases these days but it’s just as well. I am trying to cut down my collection and focus on smaller brands.
    Sweet Morphine does sound great, if not for me, while Bohea Boheme sounds just my kind of thing. Love both black tea and fir so really need to seek this one out. I think the cinnamon is going to grate on me in T42 this autumn so a new smoky tea scent would be good. Thanks for reminding me about it and for your lovely, even-handed review.

    • I think BB might just be your kind of perfume, Tara. Tea for two was a little too gourmand for me, so I had it but swapped it.
      The thing is, that even some smaller brands I find a bit underwhelming. They might be less predictable, but it’s like some are releasing fragrances before they are properly ready, like they are still only half finished. I tried one recently, again loads of praise from around and certainly not bargainous, people talked of a beautiful orris, but to my nose, it was a pretty rude mix of orris and a lot of indolic jasmine.
      But as you say all the better for our perfume collections 🙂

  6. I love the sound of the Sweet Morphine one and the name is also great! I did find Opardu too quiet and soapy and would have liked a bit more lilac welly. Or any note welly.

    The Mona di Orio one I will pass on, I think. Generally, I feel much like Victoria in her world weary post, but with occasional sudden bursts of wonder – as over Geisha Noire most recently. And I agree that now andn then the mainstream has still the power to surprise.

    I really like the illustrations with this post, btw!

    • Welly it has got more oompf, which is great. So you should check it out 🙂
      Sudden bursts are better than no bursts I suppose, but still, I wish there were more bursts and less meh! Especially those flimsy ones at outrageous prices upset me.
      Thank you 🙂

  7. While I like most of your illustrations, I must say that the second one in this post (with the lilac) is just magical!

    I haven’t tried any of these two yet. I will probably get to try Sweet Morphine (though I strongly dislike any connections to drugs: I’m against trivializing the topic). With Mona di Orio I’m not sure. If I ever come across it somewhere, I will give it a try but so far only MdO’s Vanille worked for me (and I kind of liked Amber though I didn’t get a chance to try it on my skin), so I’m not in a hurry to test their new perfume.

    In general I’m completely out of the loop on new releases but mostly it’s because I was extremely busy in the last 2 years to travel and visit stores where I can try something for free and I refuse to pay for samples for the same reason you’ve described in the comment above: I don’t like most of what I try.

    • Ah, I know why. I forgot to write it, just out of ditzyness, but the background of the picture you like so much is a collage of Monet and Vuillard paintings in those watery colours I know you love 🙂
      I understand about the drug theme, and trivialising it, and I’m not sure if Sweet Morphine is exactly you.
      And how did it happen that so many perfumes became so bland?

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