eau de parfum
75 ml  2.5 fl.oz


An ode to the highest quality of sandalwood and the clay like odour of the terracotta coloured sandstone Petra is carved out of.


Black Pepper, Black Currant Leaf, Dried Apricot, Oleander, Opoponax, Clay, Sandalwood, Tonka Bean, Coffee Absolute


A Sandalwood fragrance inspired by the ancient kingdom of Nabataea and their capital Petra. An olfactory journey depicting the story of the people, their vast relationships in trade, their architectural craftsmanship and the very environment they spent their lives in.

The base is an ode to the highest quality of sandalwood and the clay like odour of the terracotta coloured sandstone Petra is carved out of.The beauty and romanticism of classical antiquity with a modern approach.

2 reviews for SANTAL NABATAEA

  1. Books about mysterious lands, people who lived there & their doings are among my favorites when it comes to reading, especially if some magic is involved in the storyline. While most authors create landscapes of cities, countries or continents with their pure imagination, some of the mythical places & civilizations were once more than real… Thought maybe not seen by many. Like Petra, a city carved in sandstone, that became the cradle of the Kingdom of Nabataea. Trade routes of that place and legacy of its people are now being reflected in new fragrance by Maison Mona di Orio.

    Santal Nabataea

    Calm is the word I would use to describe the opening of Santal Nabataea and it would be the most misleading word I could use. Because once the perfume accommodates on skin, it reveals a prominent accord of black pepper. Warm & quiet for the first couple of seconds it becomes a vibrant ingredient in no time. Realistic spiciness and a twist of freshness that it has in the back smell as if someone crushed a peppercorn right in front of you. It has that slightly metallic pungency that goes right inside your sinuses, fills your nose with its aroma and make you exhale slowly, with content.

    After a few minutes a peppery edge of Santal Nabataea becomes softer and other notes start to emerge. Fruity facet appears at that time but its smell is very unusual. It is apricot, but the juiciness and soft, fuzzy skin of a fresh fruit have been replaced by more dusty, tangy and less lactonic smells – an interpretation of a dried apricot. Less appealing in appearance but richer in flavor. A bit of tartness that is somewhere distant in the background could be associated with black currant leaf mentioned by brand but I’ll cut my speculations here since its role is minor for me.

    Heart of Mona di Orio Santal Nabataea is filled with a floral scent that is quite abstract to my nose, therefore difficult to describe with words. It’s like a combination of something like rose, honeysuckle and waxy leaves. The smell I get is sweet and has powdery nuances. Looking at the composition I’m guessing that this is how oleander smells like. I don’t know many fragrances that would use it, hence my problems in describing it properly. Probably the fact that when I smell it I get sort of an overlay of black pepper and some resinous ingredient over the oleander accord. My perception is disturbed.

    Resinous facet that I just mentioned becomes more defined as time goes by. Opoponax, as that’s what it is, introduces a balmy, gently honeyed vibe to Santal Nabataea. Followed by a smoked woody facet the perfume becomes more mysterious and enigmatic. I really like this charred wood impression as it adds more dimension to the blend opening up the ‘space’ it creates around the wearer with its sillage. When sandalwood joins the composition it instantly makes a statement – it created a ‘stand still’ moment in which anything else stops to matter and santal steals the show.

    Sandalwood of Santal Nabatea isn’t like a varnished furniture piece that has a glossy surface and expensive look. Experience it gives is more raw – more realistic because of that. Imagine a cupboard in which you keep some little chunks of sandalwood. Their scent fills the space inside of a drawer and as soon as you open it the fragrance pours into the room. And there’s also a sack of coffee beans inside. Twist to the drydown of new Mona di Orio perfume that I love is when an impression of clay smell appears. It gives a whole new vibe to the scent. Mineral, incensy and moist. Love it!

  2. Whenever a new artistic collaboration transpires between Maison Mona Di Orio’s creative director Jeroen Oude Sogtoen and in-house perfumer Fredrik Dalman, we at ÇaFleureBon feel very honored to be able to share the experience with you, dear readers. Much like any creative marriage, mutual understanding unfolds over the fullness of time and it’s thrilling to experience. Their latest perfumed inspiration is an historical and archaeologically significant one, which Jeroen refers to lovingly as “a multi-layered work of glowing olfactive archaeology”: an ancient kingdom sought out by many cultures, well-known to adventurer and author T.E.Lawrence (aka Lawrence of Arabia), said to be the place where Moses struck water from stone with his staff, and the burial place of his brother Aaron (Moses’ mouthpiece, as he did not suffer from the halting speech which bedeviled his older brother). This is the legendary Nabataea of Mona Di Orio Santal Nabataea.

    The city of Petra (originally called Raqmu, located in southern current day Jordan) was once a wealthy trading center whose locus was the fortuitous convergence of several essential trade routes – in particular the Incense Route via which aromatics were distributed throughout the Mediterranean. A network of land and sea linking the Mediterranean with the eastern and southern sources of luxury goods (spices, incense) across the Levant and Egypt throughout northeastern Africa and Arabia to India and onward. Petra lay equidistant between the Gulf of Aqaba and the Dead Sea, fatefully poised as the capital city of the Nabataean Kingdom founded by nomadic Bedouins by approximately the 4th century BC.

    Chromatic and olfactory counterpoint: astringent, scintillatingly tonic blackpepper prevents honeyed dry Levantine apricot from cloying without cacaphony; each voice is clear and distinct. Black currant leaf imparts a spicy/fruity/woody profile, tea-like in nature, perhaps a fragrant nod to the bounty of ambrosial rarities which were carried and traded at great risk along the Spice, Silk and Incense Routes. Our journey following the caravanserai would feel incomplete without the marvelous shock value of intense desert-blooming florals. Poisonous beauty abounds in the natural world where plants such as oleander freely reign. Certain oleander plants may mimic the aroma of apricots with their lush, intoxicatingly fruity bouquet (white oleanders are said to be the most fragrant among the species). They contribute an astutely accurate and historically appropriate floralcy to Mona Di Orio Santal Nabataea in that they are native/naturalized to the region.

    “The whole of Mona Di Orio Santal Nabataea rests on my attempt at recreating the texture and colour of the sandstone that makes this ancient city so unique. It was important for me to make something modern you see and getting this effect right was something I believed would bring the fragrance and the Nabataeans into the 21st century”-Fredrik Dalman

    Per our creative duo, the famous sandstone and its myriad earthy hues are evoked via legerdemain of the perfumer, as coffee absolute lends its characteristic depth and sweet myrrh(aka opoponax) amplifies the plenitude of fine quality sandalwoods which were as precious then as they are now – suave and creamy, voluptuous in texture. If they were a comestible, their mouth-feel would be sinful or sacred. Or both.

    Mssrs. Sogtoen and Dalman have given us something contemporary and timeless to contemplate at length, and the odyssey is captivating. Notes: black pepper, black currant leaf, dried apricot, oleander, opoponax, sandstone, sustainable santalum album Australia, santalum album India, coffee absolute

Add a review

Other suggestions