Bogue Profumo Cologne Reloaded: Lavender & Leather

Source: Bogueprofumo.com

Source: Bogueprofumo.com

Lost olfactory treasure from the 1940s, vintage essences, and an ancient recipe lie at the heart of a modern fragrance centered around a duet of lavender and leather. Cologne Reloaded takes the cornerstones of a very traditional barbershop fougère, and juxtaposes its cleanness with darkness, blackened leather, smoky resins, and a touch of musky dirtiness. The result is classicism with a twist and an elegant fragrance with a rather sensual drydown.

Antonio Gardoni. Photo: Bogue Profumo via Delicatessen at moreinside.blogspot.com

Antonio Gardoni. Photo: Bogue Profumo via Delicatessen at moreinside.blogspot.com

Cologne Reloaded is a 2013 eau de parfum from Bogue Profumo (hereinafter just “Bogue“), an Italian artisanal perfume house founded by Antonio Gardoni. On his website, Mr. Gardoni describes the fascinating story behind its creation. In a nutshell, an antique dealer told him about 40 bottles of raw essences and perfume preparations from an old pharmaceutical laboratory. The vintage materials dated back to the 1940s! The dusty bottles had been hidden away and forgotten in a dark cupboard of an underground warehouse, but they were still sealed, somehow unaffected by heat, and very well-preserved. You can see them below in the photo. (Isn’t it the coolest thing?!) Accompanying them was a fragrance mixture for something called “Cologne of Esperis,” complete with the original recipe and the dosage amounts for preparing an eau de cologne.

The vintage bottles. Source: bogueprofumo.com

The vintage bottles. Source: bogueprofumo.com

Mr. Gardoni started experimenting. As he explains on his website, he “mixed the ingredients following the instructions glued to the bottle for all the 5 different cologne variations with some very interesting results, full of granddad memories and old barbershop’s flavor.” He fell in love with the results in such a way that he decided to “exploit this treasure in order to create a completely new contemporary perfume.” He used the vintage materials, but increased the concentration from 4% to 15%, making the fragrance an eau de parfum instead of cologne, and added to this base “a mix of contemporary new materials”: Continue reading

Santa Maria Novella Patchouli: Holy Grail?

One of the best patchouli fragrances I’ve ever tried comes from Santa Maria Novella, an old Italian company with an 800-year history. They make simple, unpretentious, refined colognes that often highlight one key ingredient. In the case of Patchouli, the result is a rich, beautifully elegant fragrance that every die-hard patch head should try. As one commentator admiringly stated, “SMN weren’t f*$%ing around when they made this one.” No, they most certainly weren’t.

Source: auction listing on njuskalo.hr

Source: auction listing on njuskalo.hr

Many of us tend to think of patchouli as a 1970s thing, something worn by dirty hippies at Woodstock, but the plant has a history that goes back to the 1800s. Ship captains would use fresh patchouli leaves to cover their valuable cargo (usually silk), because the camphorous aroma would protect it from infestation during the long journey to Europe from the East. It seems that Santa Maria Novella‘s Patchouli was made at precisely such a time, well over a hundred years ago, judging by the cologne’s description on the company’s American website:

This perfume met a great success in the late 1800s and early 1900s and has now become a classic. The plant from which the fragrance is made grows in India and Malaysia and creates a warm exotic, oriental and musky scent. Perfect for men and women.

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Tom Ford Patchouli Absolu

Source: ebay.uk.

Source: ebay.uk.

The latest Tom Ford fragrance is a personal love note to patchouli that seeks to reinvent the genre. In Patchouli Absolu, Tom Ford says he’s used a “breakthrough new material” and untraditional construction, in addition to piling on layers upon layers of patchouli, in order to create the ultimate soliflore that amplifies his “beloved” ingredient’s inherent characteristics in the most refined way possible.

Source: Brownthomas.com

Source: Brownthomas.com

To an extent, he succeeds quite well, which means that Patchouli Absolu is a scent that only a true “patch head” would love. I’m one of those people, and, yet, I’m not in love with the fragrance. I expected to be, because there are few ingredients that appeal to me more than true, brown, spicy patchouli. Unfortunately, I found the latest Private Blend to fall a little short. It’s a nice fragrance with some truly lovely parts, but it’s not a patchouli that I would wear myself. Continue reading

Aftelier Perfumes Palimpsest: Walking on Sunshine

Source: upliftconsulting.com

Source: upliftconsulting.com

Some perfumes immediately transport me to a place in time. For Palimpsest, it is a summer’s walk in an orchard on the brightest of days. Sun-ripened fruits drizzled with honey hang heavy and low on trees, irresistible in their sweetness. There are lush peaches for as far as the eye can see, but a small portion of the orchard is devoted to yuzu grapefruits, while bright, banana-yellow ylang-ylang flowers grow further in the distance. One peach beckons to you, and you take a bite, its juices running down your chin, as a smear of animalic honey coats your lips. There is a subtle suggestion of golden flowers swirling in the warm air around you, along with tendrils of smoky woods, vanilla, and amber, but the overall feeling is that you’re walking in sunshine. That is the essence of Palimpsest, a fragrance released last week by the acclaimed doyenne of natural perfumery, Mandy Aftel of Aftelier Perfumes
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