Maai by Bogue Profumo
I got my hands on a sample of “Maai” by Bogue Profumo in the middle of last summer’s heatwave, so although I felt the urge to satisfy my curiosity right away, I concluded I needed to wait for the colder months in order to do this perfume justice.
“Maai” is a thoroughbred animalic chypre, no doubt about that. It begins with an aldehydic blast of massive proportions. I can well imagine some people wrinkling their noses or gasping for a lungful of fresh air following the perfume’s rough opening. Fear not, my dear perfumistas, for this pungent aldehydic overture only lasts for a tick and soon a tuberose note emerges. Now I’ve tested several tuberose-centred fragrances (e.g. Histoires de Parfums’ “Tuberose 3: Animale“, Masque Milano’s “Luci ed Ombre” or Anatole Lebreton’s “L’Eau Scandaleuse”), but Antonio Gardoni’s rendition of the flower resembles nothing I’ve experienced before. Forget your typical seductive, playfully naughty, creamy tuberose; what you get in “Maai” is an odour of a green and white, freshly crushed tuberose flower. The two notes complement each other perfectly and create a lovely blend of the synthetic and the natural. Finally, the animalic notes of musk and civet enter the scene. There is no need to panic, however, as they are treated light-handedly, with the effect of enveloping the wearer in the most sensual aroma.
A few reviewers have already noted that “Maai” can hardly be described as earthshattering. Perhaps that was not the purpose of its creation. Perhaps the perfumer’s intention was to demonstrate that today’s perfumery is far from dead, and that beautiful fragrances, be it those resolutely modern ones or those paying tribute to the classics, are still produced. From this point of view, I consider “Maai” to be quite an achievement.