Vero Profumo Mito Eau de Parfum: Effortless Italian Style

Villa d'Este via Selectitaly.com

Villa d’Este via Selectitaly.com

A vision of dappled green that is flecked with yellow and slowly turns to gold in a shimmering veil of crispness and sweetness. The most beautiful gardens, as simple as they are ornate, as refined as they are timeless. They are the gift of centuries past, and their beauty has been passed down from Renaissance princes to commoners today. A palatial garden whose essence has been distilled into tiny drops of perfume:

The warm air is pervaded by a pleasant sensation of white flowers, jasmine and newly blooming magnolias, garlands of moist moss, aromatic leaves and proud cypresses. Slowly the fragrance rises.

Source: Wikicommons

Source: Wikicommons

Up, up, higher and higher still, to join, all of a sudden, the crystalline jets gushing in the fountains and resting on the mirrors of water in the garden. Millions of miniscule water particles intertwine to create a shining, perfumed veil that rests on the cold marble shoulders of countless statues: gods, nymphs, fauns, dragons and mermaids. Time has stood still in the garden: yesterday is today is tomorrow.

For a moment the perfume fills our desire, satisfies our need for lightness and our yearning for better times. The myth of a timeless eternity.

Source: Fragrantica

Source: Fragrantica

That is the description of Mito from its creator, Vero Kern, the founder of the Swiss niche perfume house of Vero Profumo (sometimes written with unusual punctuation as “.vero.profumo.“). Mito is an eau de parfum from the chypre category that was released in 2012, and which was inspired by the stunning Renaissance gardens of the Ville d’Este in Tivoli, Italy. In an explanation provided by First in Fragrance, Ms. Kern says:

I was struck by its architecture, the splendour of the park where classical statues and fountains spring up out of the blue. In a sense it takes me back to my childhood, to the garden full of people and little statues where I daydreamed as a child. […] the scent of the water in the basins, of the white flowers, the grass, the moistness. The air is pervaded with elegance, mythology and an almost androgynous beauty that is both masculine and feminine at the same time. This garden smells of the Mediterranean and of Italy, of ancient and modern history, of echoes of a past not necessarily better than the present or the future. It fills me with calm and energy at the same time. That is why I am dedicating a perfume to it.

According to Luckyscent, Mito’s list of notes includes:

Citrus blend, magnolia grandiflora, white magnolia champaca, jasmine, galbanum, hyacinth, cypress blend, moss.

Villa d'Este. Source: loasa.ch

Villa d’Este. Source: loasa.ch

Mito opens on my skin with the darkest essence of green: foresty, bright, spicy, pungent, citrusy, zesty, refreshing, crisp, and crunchy, all at once. It’s a flood of galbanum, cypress, lemon, and even something a little more bitter and tart like lime — some of which feel concentrated to their very core. Mito is profoundly rich and opulent in its intensity, a tidal wave of the darkest types of green across the spectrum. Yet, it’s done in a manner that actually sparkles and which definitely calls to mind the source of the perfume’s inspiration, with diamond-like rivulets of water tossed into the air from ancient fountains and gleaming like crystals in the bright sunlight in front of a panoply of green. For all that galbanum can often (or usually) be pungently abrasive, arid, and sharp, the note here is uplifting, fresh, and infused with the sweet juiciness of sun-ripened lemons. The citrus is too intense to feel like the squirt of fresh juice; it feels more like the concentrated essence of a 1000 lemons, and perhaps three or four limes tossed in as well.  

Photo: Jimpix.co.uk

Photo: Jimpix.co.uk

Within minutes, the bouquet is joined by a beautiful burst of oakmoss that feels so plush, it’s akin to the thickest, downiest Bavarian goose-down duvet. The note is fresh and bright but, to my surprise, it has an unexpected undertone of something minty. The oakmoss is never dusty, fusty, mineralized or grey in feel like some of the mosses in the old vintage chypres. Instead, it’s utterly alive and vibrant, almost springy, and the brightest of emerald-green. Joining it is a note of much darker green-black from the cypress. It’s subtle at first, but carries a slightly piney nuance that makes one think of towering, ancient trees bordering the edges of that lovely garden.

Source: rpgwebgame.com

Source: rpgwebgame.com

The whole thing evokes a dappled landscape of green, highlighted by touches of sweetly warmed yellow. I can’t emphasize enough how enormously bright, refreshing, crisp, brisk, and yet, also rich, heady, deep, and smooth Mito is in these opening minutes. Yet, to be a little honest, the concentrated nature of that lemony freshness also sometimes calls to mind liquid Joy lemon dishwashing liquid in its intensity. The image is fleeting, however, especially around the five-minute mark when a hint of something floral starts to lurk in the base. It’s indistinct at this point and very subtle, a blur of rich, white sweetness that hints at things to come.

Forty minutes into Mito’s development, the fragrance has softened to a cloud of sweet, sun-warmed citrus atop a quiet base of fresh, almost minty moss with dark woods. There is a gauzy, sheer veil of gardenia that wafts all around, as delicate as a small breeze. Down below, tiny flickers of cypress emit subtle hints of piney evergreen. Unfortunately for my personal tastes, the whole thing hovers right on the skin. In fairness, Mito seems intended to be a discreet, elegant, wholly unobtrusive, restrained skin scent that evokes Spring in the most elegant of Italian styles — and it accomplishes that in spades.

Street Chic Milano. Photo: Marina Ciucholo via Fashion Door with ViewonMagazine.

Street Chic Milano. Photo: Marina Ciucholo via Fashion Door with ViewonMagazine.

Wearing Mito, I cannot help but think of something other than those exquisite Villa d’Este gardens. I think of the Italian style in general, and of those ineffably elegant men and women who stride around in beautifully tailored clothes that scream effortless chic in a way that marks them as the direct, modern, fashion descendants of haughty Roman aristocrats in their elegant togas.

Source: vespaclubsevilla.com

Source: vespaclubsevilla.com

If you’ve ever been to Rome or Milan, you’ll known what I’m talking about. The men in their dark suits with crisp white shirts who reflect a classical ease that George Clooney has so successfully adopted. The long-legged women in their simple, sleek, dark dresses with large sunglasses and Audrey Hepburn simplicity who bypass all fashion constrictions to navigate their Vespas with nonchalant ease. Or the ones who stride about in long, flowy, draped clothes with Missoni-like patterns. They all have that intangible, somewhat aloof, restrained, luxurious, high-end minimalism that is elegance taken to a concentrated degree, but always done in the most effortless of ways. To me, that is Mito. Springtime in fashionable Rome, reflected through the greenness of the princely Villa d’Este gardens.

Magnolia. Source: Kathy Clark via FineArtAmerica.com

Magnolia. Source: Kathy Clark via FineArtAmerica.com

As time passes, Mito becomes increasingly floral, warm, and golden. At the end of the first hour, the gardenia note becomes more prominent and, slowly, quiet flickers of jasmine start to stir. By the 90-minute mark, magnolia comes out to play and, soon, takes over completely. Mito is now a lovely bouquet of creamy, velvety, lush magnolia trailed by jasmine and a very muted gardenia note, all atop a base of oakmoss and cypress. There is a subtle undercurrent of smokiness in the wood, a whiff of evergreen, and a lingering trace of something citrusy. The floral sweetness feels like a glowing light in a nestled embrace of green.

My skin always amplifies honeyed notes, and Mito is no exception. The honeyed undertone to magnolia, along with its lemony nuances, becomes increasingly prominent. The jasmine lurks at the edges, but Mito is largely a magnolia fragrance on my skin for most of its long shelf-life. From the end of the second hour, until its final moments, Mito is a gauzy, soft, restrained whisper of infinitely creamy, lush, lemony, honeyed magnolia with green notes. Initially, the latter can be teased apart into the moss and cypress’ piney-evergreen accords, but they blur into an abstract greenness by the start of the fourth hour. The citrus note lingers at the periphery for a while, as does the gardenia, but they fade away about 4.25 hours into Mito’s development. Something else takes their place, and it’s a soft, delicate vanilla tonality that lurks beneath the creamy, sweet magnolia. By the start of the fifth hour, Mito is a discreet, sheer shimmer of magnolia atop a base of green, vaguely mossy plushness with flickers of sweetness and muted vanilla. In its final moments, the fragrance is an abstract, creamy, sweet floral warmth. All in all, Mito lasted just short of 8.75 hours on me, with extremely soft, muted sillage throughout.   

Mito is a beloved fragrance, and I can see why. It’s not to my personal tastes or style, but I think it’s rich, well-crafted, and infinitely elegant. A lot of people call it a deeper, richer, plusher cousin of Chanel‘s Cristalle, and I think that’s quite accurate. On Fragrantica, there is nothing but glowing reviews for Mito, and the blogosphere is equally positive. Everyone finds Mito to be the most wearable, easy, approachable Vero Profumo scent, and a number of people talk about its peachy heart amidst the mossy base. Take, for example, Bois de Jasmin whose four-star review reads, in part, as follows:

Mito feels like a soft breeze, an uplifting and bright perfume. It layers its tart citrus notes over the crunchy green of galbanum, and in the Eau de Parfum, the exhilarating sensation is particularly pronounced. But give it an hour on your skin, and it becomes velvety and warm. The green now fades into the white of jasmine petals and the yellow of ripe peach. Mito reminds me of Chanel Cristalle crossed with the ripe opulence of Rochas Femme, but the total is more than the sum of its parts.

… I find Mito to be the most wearable from the collection. It’s not overly demanding or flamboyant. If Rubj is the sultry Jean Harlow, Mito is the coolly elegant Grace Kelly. It has great tenacity, but its sillage is moderate, a plus or minus depending on how you like to wear your perfume. […][¶] It’s a luminous perfume from top to bottom.

Even though my experience with Mito was largely about the magnolia and had nothing to do with peaches, I think Bois de Jasmin has summed up the core feel of the fragrance. So, too, does The Non-Blonde whose perceptions of the fragrance seem a little closer to my own:

The fragrance opens with a herbal-citrus note, a bit of a green grass and a feeling of a morning breeze passing through wind chimes. The flowers in this garden feel faraway and a bit abstract. I admit that I didn’t get the magnolia until the weather cooled down considerably so that the blooming phase on the skin takes longer. Mito isn’t about the big Magnolia of the south (or even the one in my neighbor’s backyard), so the flower doesn’t distract from the green impression, just softens it and gives it a more abstract feel, all the way to the crisp and quiet wood and moss dry-down.

Vero Kern created a feel-good and beautiful perfume without compromising or coddling the wearer. I think of Mito as wearing an exquisite and very put-together outfit, accessorized to the nines, yet it has enough movement and flow that you don’t feel restricted, pulled or pinched,  neither are the clothes wearing you. It’s that kind of an effortless elegance.

George Clooney. Photographer: Sam Jones for TIME magazine.

George Clooney at his Lake Como house. Photographer: Sam Jones for TIME magazine.

Yes, to borrow from both bloggers, Mito is effortless elegance done in the manner of a soft breeze. I think it’s very pretty, even if it’s not me, and a scent that would be perfect on both men and women alike. I can see George Clooney wearing Mito just as easily as I can see one of his well-dressed, leggy, interchangeable brunette girlfriends. Mito is approachable, versatile, and suited for those who prefer a more discreet, unobtrusive, gauzy, but rich fragrance that is always elegant. It’s not as haughty or cold as some green chypres can be, thanks to the warmth of its floral heart, and it’s not a flamboyant diva scent, but it’s the embodiment of springtime in Italy and a perfect homage to the Villa d’Este.  

 

DETAILS:
Cost & Availability: Mito is an eau de parfum that comes in a 50 ml/1.7 oz bottle that retails for $215, £138 or €145 (often more from different European vendors). In the U.S.: Mito is available at Luckyscent for $200 for a 50 ml/1.7 oz bottle. (The Vero Profumo website does not seem to have an e-shop from which you can buy the perfume directly.) Outside of the U.S.: the Vero Profumo Facebook page offers a whole list of European retailers from Kiev, Russia, to Oslo, Norway, and Italy. It also adds: “Since 2010 distributed worldwide by Campomarzio70 in Rome Italy, in selective boutiques and perfumeries such as ROJA DOVE, Harrods Urban Retreat London, JOVOY Paris, Parfums Rares and many more. Campomarzio70, marketing@campomarzio70.it will inform you where you find the nearest retailer in your country.” In the UK, you can find all Vero Profumo perfumes at Harrod’s Roja Dove Haute Parfumerie, but there is no online website through which you can purchase perfumes. (It is not the same site as the Harrod’s website.) You can also find Mito (and the full Vero Profumo line along with samples) at London’s Bloom Perfumery which sells the fragrance for £138, along with samples. In Paris, you can find Mito at Jovoy Paris, where it retails for €145. In the Netherlands, you can find it at Leanne Tio Haute Parfumerie where it costs €150, but seems to be currently sold out. In Italy, you can find it at Alla Violetta boutique for €145, along with samples. Germany’s First In Fragrance sells Mito for €145, but they are currently sold out. The site also carries the complete Vero Profumo line, offers sample sets, and ship throughout the world. Samples: I obtained Mito from Surrender to Chance which sells the fragrance starting at $5.99 for a 1/2 ml vial.

38 thoughts on “Vero Profumo Mito Eau de Parfum: Effortless Italian Style

  1. This sounds incredibly beautiful! Very much aligned with my taste, minus the sillage issues. The whole Mito line is must-try for me, but this moved it to the forefront!

    • It’s pretty. 🙂 I know you like your green fragrances, so I’d be sure to make Mito the first of the Vero Profumo line to try. Or, perhaps, Onda since that’s one that actually moved me. I’ll be very curious to see what you think of them all. 🙂

      • You have no idea how close I was to blind buying a bottle of Mito on eBay a few weeks ago – due largely to your review! I lost by a few cents and the person who won the auction got an amazing deal on what seems like a fantastic perfume. I’m genuinely curious about all of them – including Rubj, which I believe you thought had a stinky feet smell! 🙂

        • Ah, my dear Kevin, I hope it was Onda that almost tempted you and not Mito? Onda is the Vero Profumo that I love, not Mito. You don’t have trouble with honey notes, I don’t think, so I’m hoping it will work out for you as gloriously as it did for me, but Mito is an infinitely easier scent. As for Rubj, erm….. yes, that was one of the many things that it smelled of on me. Let’s not revisit that one, okay? 😉 😀

          • Oops, I meant to say Onda! I thought Onda in my mind, but wrote Mito! I get all the 4-letter names confused even though I, surprisingly, have them straight in my brain. Unfortunately, my brain and my typing don’t always see eye-to-eye! 😛

          • It sounds like a version of my late, adult-onset Dyslexia where my fingers simply have a mind of their own and type out their own version of words, no matter what is in my brain. LOL! 😀

  2. Mito is a gem. Having been to teh Villa d’Este, it always makes me think of the tiny droplets glistening in the sun, against the dark green background. I can’t wait to sniff the extrait with tuberose….and the voiles d’extrait…and the new rose…

  3. I want to dab a bit of Mito on George Clooney’s wrist, and see how it develops, while sipping Proseco and gazing at the lake view of his estate.

  4. I get a weird whiff at one point during its dry down too – bug repellent. But, and this speaks volumes about the rest, Mito is the one I will likeliest end up buying a FB of. The rest is so original and perfect for warm weather that the brief bug spray note and the presence of peach and honey notes (notes I struggle with normally) don’t matter.

  5. As you know, Vero Kern’s fragrances are at the very top of my wwant to sniff list. Even though Mito doesn’t sound like my style, I would hope that my olfactory journey is a rich and lush as what you describe. Thanks you for another wonderful review, dearest Kafka!

    • You’re very welcome, my dear. I can’t wait to hear what you think once you try them, especially if you try the EDP versions. One day, I hope to try the Extraits, as they seem to be quite a different experience.

  6. I was thrilled to read your take on Mito, especially as I wore the last few drops of my sample to work today. Sounds like you have a more floral experience than I do (in general, my skin does not emphasize florals, I’m more of a spice girl). I get lots of lemony greenery and flinty marble stone all the way to the end. To me, in the “green cyphre” category, Mito is second only to vintage Sous Le Vent 🙂

  7. Dearest Kafka
    Galbanum, oakmoss, greens? Then blooming into florals.
    Even before you named them I had the fountains and water terraces of the Ville d’Este in my mind! Perhaps Mr Clooney could take one of his ‘interchangeable’ brunettes there on a date.
    This sounds rather exquisite, though perhaps without quite enough hauteur to satisfy my own deep green tastes.
    I’ll be certain to keep an eye out for it and a piece of flesh ready.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy
    Post Script
    Are we thinking of the same Ville d’Este, mine’s in Tivoli a little under an hour outside Rome?

    • My dear Beau,
      I used the photos from the Tivoli one, because they captured the mood and feel of the garden better in my mind than the photos I saw for the Lake Como one. I had thought it was the latter one which was the source of Ms. Kern’s inspiration, not the more famous Tivoli gardens, but I double-checked and I turned out to be mistaken. She was inspired by the Tivoli Villa d’Este, so thank you so much for mentioning it. (Having two, elaborate, ornate Italian Renaissance gardens with the same name is not helpful to those of us who are perpetually sleep-deprived. lol). I guess the fragrance felt so like George Clooney, I mentally associated it with the Lake Como one where he has his home.

      As for Mito, if you prefer very chilly, aloof green chypres, then this one may not be your style but I think you may enjoy it for its gracefulness. I’d be very interested to see what you think, if you get the chance to try it. 🙂

      • Dearest Kafka
        As you’ve explained it you were quite right all along… the visuals of Tivoli fit, but the idea of Como (& Clooney) is a better match.
        So really it is an amalgam of both gardens!
        Gracefulness very much appeals, it being an attribute so often missing these days in both perfume and the world at large.
        I’ll shall certainly keeping an eye peeled for this one…
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

  8. Ah Mito…..
    I seem to have had a totally different experience with this than everyone else. I smell filthy in Mito- in a good way! It is lime and sweat encrusted skin on a hot dusty road, rain threatening overhead. I do not experience beautiful gardens and tinkling fountains at all! I love that it smells so contradictory on me, I would love to know if this is just my bizarre interpretation of Mito or if other people have noticed that dirty mojito thing too. And also something very much like hot skin…. It is damn good! I think I need to go and put some on now….

    • You may not be mistaken, Susie. Ms. Kern has said outright — even on the very first page of her website — that she adores the smell of heated skin. Not sweaty skin, but that of gently warmed or hot skin. It was a big part of Onda for me, and it’s one of the many reasons why I like that fragrance so much. Perhaps Mito is somewhat similar on you, though you’re talking about a more sweaty, dirty aroma. The thing is, Ms. Kern used passion fruit and/or musky type of accords in her original trio, but not in Mito. So I’m not sure what turned dirty on you, but so long as you love it, that’s all that counts! 🙂

      • Yes I’ve just read your review of Onda and realised that you mention Vero Kern’s fascination with the scent of hot skin there. I have more Vero.Profumo loveliness winging it’s way to me in the post, so if Onda is even more sexy than Mito then I think I might be overwhelmed with lust! When I say dirty I don’t think I mean it in a literal sense, it isn’t a muddy or sweaty thing at all. I mean that Mito has a sort of unspoken, carnal knowledge that is veiled beneath all that fresh greenery. In Onda I am expecting to find this closer to the surface. I’m looking forward to it 😉

        • Aah, I understand much better now what you meant. Yes, I can see how Mito’s heart may be passionate and warm. It’s the lovely magnolia, I think (or, at least, it was on my skin). As for Onda, mmmm….. lovely Onda. 🙂 The husband of a friend of mine affectionately refers to Onda as “swamp sex” and, in some crazy, wholly nutshell sort of way, that actually fits. LOL. I’ll be curious to see what you experience and think, especially as it’s not the easiest fragrance for some people.

  9. This is my favourite Vero Kern – and your crunchy, zesty review more than does it justice! That very tart herbal opening reminded me vividly of Guerlain Sous Le Vent, and I also saw facets of PD Antonia in the scent’s development. A friend of mine had a perfume epiphany with Mito after she asked me to find her something ‘like Cristalle, but different’. I have two samples on the hall table waiting to go her way, as she has already drained the one I gave her! I think I need some of this for myself now… 😉

    • I can see Mito as being very much your style, dear Vanessa. 🙂 And you’re a very generous friend. I think you should reward yourself with some Mito of your very own. 🙂

  10. I’m with you, Kafka, in that Onda (in extrait) is my favorite Vero Profumo scent, but I would very happily wear all of them (and did enjoy owning Kiki, which is now spent). 🙂 Mito is a beauty and very matched to a grand garden, in my mind, first with the dazzling, sun-bright lemon top, and then the much quieter florals and greens that are well-suited to the tranquility of being in a garden. And the analogy that you make to effortless Italian style works equally well in conveying the character of Mito. Yes, I can see that! (And wish I could borrow me some!) 😉

    • You have style aplenty, my dear! Maybe not the kind that would ride a Vespa in the tightest and shortest of skirts with 6-inch heels, but that’s just crazy in general. 😉 I’m glad you enjoy Mito and even happier that someone shares my Onda love. There don’t seem to be a ton of us around on that last score. lol

  11. You nailed it with the synesthetic colors.
    I’m a big fan of the Vero Profumo line. When I read the description of Mito before it was launched, I honestly didn’t expect to like it. I usually don’t like tart and lemon has never been a note that I enjoyed. Silly me! This is a Vero and it’s not launched until it’s perfect. It’s much more interesting and more pleasurable to wear than the note list lead me to believe.

    • Welcome, Victoria. It’s lovely to see you! (I just barely suppressed the urge to write, “O.M.G, it’s EauMG in the house!” lol) I’m with you on not being the greatest fan of citric scents, but Mito is well-done. It’s not my favorite of the Vero Profumo line (that would be Onda EDP), but I found it much easier and much more approachable than something like Rubj (EDP). Regardless of personal preferences, however, Ms. Kern is an extremely talented, original perfumer across the board, so it’s always interesting to try one of her creations. Again, thank you for stopping by. It was lovely to see you. 🙂

      PS- I just have to tell you, since you’re here, how much I loved your Fille en Aiguilles review. I quoted/linked to it, and thought you conveyed beautifully the feel of one of my favorite Lutens. It was a really lovely review.

  12. I want to try this. I like Cristalle so the similarities make me curious. I’m beginning to really appreciate green scents more than I used to so I think I might like this one.

    • I know you’ve enjoyed a few of the Vero Profumo scents, and given how much more challenging Rubj is, Mito will be a piece of cake for you — green or not green. I’d very much like to know what you think of it when you get the chance to try it, dear Poodle. 🙂

  13. While in Jovoy this past June I had to choose a sample of which two VP’s perfumes that I liked to ask for – Kiki or Mito (as I’ve previously complained, the SA there wasn’t too generous – even though I was buying a bottle of Bombay Bling). I chose Mito and I like it very much. Now I wonder whether they will release it in the extrait version soon.

  14. This one sounds so lovely 😀 , and it really travels me back to my memories of Italy more than a decade ago, I won´t be returning to Italy soon sadly, but I hope to be able to sample this while in Paris. I really like the fact that this fragrance is all about my beloved Europe and that makes me very eager to try it, also it truly sounds elegant and pretty from the descriptions.

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