Bogue Profumo

Two of their three scents (I still haven't clear whether and which of these are discontinued).

The nose behind both scents is Antonio Gardoni.


MAAI opens as a great, stunningly powerful boozy-animalic-herbal chypre, a sudden jump on the time machine directly among the dirtiest and deepest chypres of the '70s and '80s – so many come to my mind I can't even name one. It's almost basically a prototype of that family of scents: leather, aldehydes, rose, carnation, herbs, castoreum, a slight gourmand undertone comprising earthy nuances of coffee, spices, a powdery-soapy accord with gentle notes of vanilla and chalky aldehydes. Nasty, austere, for virile men and bitchy ladies. Completely unoriginal, though: more than a tribute, or a "revision", or whatever "new version", it smells more like a perfect, impeccable and slightly pedantic copying exercise. It smells unbelievably compelling and "chypre" for real, which shows a great and careful effort in rebuilding notes which today can't be obtained and created "the old way" (like castoreum): still, taking all of this into account and acknowledging the fact that today's niche segment is so depressing it's much better to get this kind of stuff ("copycats of the past") than the rest, I don't get much the point of this scent, also considering the fact it's nice, which shall represent the "high" perfumery, the avant-garde, the élite. Simply because I would get myself an old, "real" skanky chypre, which by the way (aside from the rare and expensive ones) may probably cost quite less than this one, and smell more compelling, rich and "alive". But comparisons or personal choices aside, I admit MAAI smells quite good... for a while, at least. In fact, the other problem of MAAI, especially if compared again to older chypres, is the quality of materials and their duration: on my skin, after less than one hour, practically all the most interesting parts - the animalic, skanky stuff - are gone, and I remain with a generic, soapy-metallic herbal feel, still gloomy but quite toned down and frankly uninteresting. Once the facade collapses, you see it there was no building behind, like in the movies. So... when we'll run out of vintage chypres, I guess this will be the best we will be able to have, and I hope to be dead by then. For the moment, I can't care of MAAI that much.



Cologne Reloaded

The opening of Cologne Reloaded is remarkably powerful and deep, basically a straightforward, "in-your-face" condensed anthology of masculine chypres. Bold notes of lavender, citrus, wood, sandalwood, carnation, musk, leather: a dry and austere blend exuding "manliness" and darkness, with a quite funny aftertaste of smoked ham at many points, but still evocative and majestic. The moldy-sweaty-indolic note of civet is remarkable as well, I doubt there's real civet in here (just a feeling) but nonetheless it's a really appreciable and well-built rendition of this "king of dirt" note with its urinous, fecal, savage nuances. On the very base, a hard, raw and dry woody accord, the antique woody closet protecting this precious whiff of vintage smells (and a piece of rotting bacon - that subtle smell of smoked ham which I guess being due to birch wood, won't go away for quite a while). Finally, the drydown comprises a balsamic-woody accord dirtened with metallic nuances, that I don't enjoy that much but which are part of the game as you largely smell them in vintages too, and a slightly unrelated smell of garlic (I guess due to the drydown of civet). Overall impression: on one side it quite reminds me of some works by O'Driù, mostly for the fougère-animalic notes with a contemporary twist, just far more "conventional" and without that kind of creative/artistic/provocative aim. On the other side, it obviously reminds me of dozens of masculine chypres, which Cologne Reloaded is a well-crafted, yet a bit derivative "rebuilding" of. Technically, the materials and the composition are outstanding, you can smell Gardoni put a lot of care and work in this scent: the notes are deep and faceted, and the composition is cleverly balanced and highly enjoyable. And I appreciate the idea of taking back the concept of "daring" (with bold animalic stuff) in the niche world, which has completely forgot what "to dare" means (devoting religiously instead on the concepts of "boredom", "repetition", "marketing"). So, in short, an undoubtedly well-made tribute to an era. But... still, the same I wrote for MAAI applies here too: as long as I'll have access to vintages, I'll prefer them to these well-crafted yet slightly pedantic "reconstructions".

(some press I read elsewhere about this: "vintage materials from the 40’s that were found in an old pharmaceutical laboratory"? Oh come on...)


1 comment:

  1. It's about MAAI
    Like you I remained in shock! I couldn't believe when Antonio said he has not background in perfumery cause this perfume is not a result of coincidence nor experience. Looks like old class early 20th century bespoke perfume for a millionaire like The Great Gatsby!
    Among so many moderate or silly perfume that surround us, such masterpieces are cold water in desert!