Among niche perfumers, Swiss creator Vero Kern stands out for her unique fingerprint that reminds me of classical Guerlain elegance. But there is more. Under that well-behaved, well-coiffed elegance you notice something smoldering and dark. At first, it may feel disconcerting–and for some, it remains so, making Rubj, Onda, and even the brighter and fresher Kiki love or hate perfumes. For me, it’s the former, because I enjoy exploring Vero Kern’s world through the prism of her perfumes.
The newest addition to the collection, Mito, follows her sisters in their steps, but the perfume feels different from the baroque, Guerlain-inspired themes. It’s a chypre so green, it sparkles. Is its effervescence an allusion to the glittering fountains in the garden of Italy’s Villa d’Este that inspired Swiss perfumer Vero Kern to create Mito?
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.
One would imagine that such a bombshell of a perfume would be hard to pull off, but surprisingly 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.
In order to enjoy Mito, you have to have a taste for retro glamour and an appreciation for fragrances like Rochas Femme, Guerlain Mitsouko and other classical chypres. If you’re in this group of perfume lovers, you will sigh happily as Mito tempts you with her mossy peaches. On the other hand, if you’re new to this genre, Mito (along with Cristalle) would be a great introduction. It’s a luminous perfume from top to bottom. Expect to give it a long courtship, but it will be a worthwhile challenge.
Sample: my own acquisition
Photography by Bois de Jasmin (top image)