Bogue Gardelia: Vintage Luxury Reborn

Photo: Jerry Uelsmann," Untitled, [Reclining nude Woman, River waterfall and Yosemite Landscape], 1992," Telluride Gallery. (Direct link to his website embedded within.)

Photo: Jerry Uelsmann,” Untitled, [Reclining nude Woman, River waterfall and Yosemite Landscape], 1992,” Telluride Gallery. (Direct link to his website embedded within.)

Gardelia by Antonio Gardoni of Bogue Perfumes is a remarkable fragrance. An opulent, baroque, and complex symphony of notes that deluge the senses, evoking the very best of the vintage chypre style, and so much more as well. Animalic, lush, tropical, floral, vegetal, mossy, resinous, furry, musky, and indolic elements shine in pitch-perfect balance within a prismatic kaleidoscope that clearly nods to Gardoni’s famous MAAI, but also to vintage Mitsouko parfum, albeit a Mitsouko that is given a tuberose and gardenia twist. It’s like stumbling upon an unexpected nook of hot-house flowers growing deep within the recesses of a mossy, dark forest, unfolding like a furry and autumnal twist on the Rite of Spring. Roja Dove’s Mitsouko-inspired Diaghilev sought to do something similar, but that fragrance never impacted me the way Gardelia has. I think it’s superb.

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Bruno Fazzolari & Antonio Gardoni Cadavre Exquis (Limited Edition)

Cadavre Exquis. Source: press release.

Cadavre Exquis. Source: press release.

Two masters of the indie genre got together to play a transatlantic olfactory game whose only rule was to put their individual spin on the gourmand genre, combining ideas and formulas for over a year until they came up with Cadavre Exquis. They call it their “Frankenstein” twist on the genre but, to me, it feels much more like an oriental fragrance that gives only an occasional or passing nod to gourmand tropes until its drydown. It’s a rich, smoky, earthy, sometimes leathery, and always heavily spiced immortelle-driven fragrance that I think will appeal enormously to some fans of classic Serge Lutens, Andy Tauer, and the much-loved Histoires de Parfum, 1740/Marquis de Sade, though there are a few caveats involved, as you will see.

Cadavre Exquis is a new, limited-edition eau de parfum that was created by Fazzolari‘s Bruno Fazzolari and Bogue‘s Antonio Gardoni, and released just two days ago. The press release that I was sent explains their goal for the fragrance, how its name refers to an old 1920s Surrealists’ game that the two perfumers used to collaborate on the scent, and some of its notes. The explanation reads, in part, as follows:

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Bogue Profumo O/E

O/E via Luckyscent.

O/E via Luckyscent.

The news of O/E‘s release late last week had me drop everything in sight. O/E is the newest scent from Bogue Profumo, an Italian artisanal house that not only makes some of the most interesting, bold fragrances around but also the brand that put out MAAI. I chose the animalic chypre masterpiece as my #1 best new release of 2014 as well as my favorite scent on my personal list of fragrances (irrespective of debut date) that I’d tried that year. I even admired Bogue’s aromatic leather and lavender Cologne Reloaded despite being rather a lavender-phobe. Bogue is simply one of those houses that I find really intriguing and high quality, thanks to the talent of its founder and nose, the charming, intellectual Antonio Gardoni. So when Luckyscent announced it had received his newest creation, O/E, I was practically fell over myself to order a sample. The fragrance bears the Bogue DNA, but it is not what I had hoped for.

O/E is an eau de parfum that is a reworking and reinterpretation of Mr. Gardoni’s first fragrance, the now discontinued Eau d’E. I never tried it, so I can’t tell you if some people’s accounts of O/E as “reformulated Eau d’E” are accurate. Bogue’s website has no description for its latest release, nor any notes, so I can’t tell you that either. All I can share with you is Luckyscent’s note list which is:

Bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, neroli, clove, black pepper, rosemary, thyme, camphor, Lebanon cedar, juniper, pine, cypress, rose, jasmine, vetiver, benzoin, tobacco, resins, sandalwood.

Ricola herb garden, Switzerland. Source: myswitzerland.com

Ricola herb garden, Switzerland. Source: myswitzerland.com

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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