MEM by Bogue
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8.3 / 10     33 RatingsRatingsRatings
MEM is a popular perfume by Bogue for women and men and was released in 2017. The scent is floral-spicy. The longevity is above-average. It is still in production.

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Perfumer

Antonio Gardoni

Fragrance Notes

Petitgrain, Mandarin, Grapefruit, Lavender, Ylang-ylang, Lily-of-the-valley, White champaca, Jasminum grandiflorum, Damask rose, Bourbon geranium, Vanilla, Peppermint, Laurel, Benzoin siam, Rosewood, Indian sandalwood, Himalaya cedarwood, Labdanum, Aldehydes, Ethyl maltol, Ambergris, Musk, Castoreum, Civet, Amber

Ratings

Scent

8.3 (33 Ratings)

Longevity

8.5 (31 Ratings)

Sillage

8.0 (31 Ratings)

Bottle

7.6 (29 Ratings)
Submitted by OPomone, last update on 18.11.2018
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Reviews

Scent 5.5/10
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Very helpful Review    10
Of Grails and Greys
Ma'ai by Antonio Gardoni's Bogue brand, together with Annette Neuffer's works, is the fragrance that brought me back to the contemporary perfume from which I had cynically resigned myself towards vintage. No coincidence, as Neuffer makes neo-classical natural perfumes in a complex Guerlainesque style and Gardoni has presented Ma'ai, an "animalistic chypre in a space suite", in which great perfume radtion is ingeniously combined with new approaches. My expectations of MEM were accordingly high, especially since Luca Turin gave it 5 stars and defined it as the previous creative highlight in the Bogue portfolio and the Claire Vuckevic with MEM who I hold in high esteem had the same experience as me with Ma'ai.

What am I supposed to say? First of all - it is unacceptable for me, because I neither contract it well nor bear it. Besides nasal itching and coughing, he leaves me aesthetically perplexed: maybe it's scent art, but does anyone want to smell it? I for no price.

It starts off well [what follows is based on notes without knowing the fragrance pyramid]: Lavender, soft, powdery, sweet and pleasant skin odor - creamed female body, a sweet skin area like the neck. This is reminiscent of Ma'ai, as are the white-flowering floral elements that are now coming - full-blooming, flowery, the ylang-jasmine with a minimal faecal note increasingly complemented by "colourful", fruity - I can sense both rose and gammalactone (peach scent). A female body made of lavender and flower blossoms like an arcimboldo or one of the crazy mutations from Alex Garland's bizarre sci-fi drama Annihilation. In any case beautiful and interesting.

Then, after about 10 minutes, it begins to tip over. On the one hand, MEM becomes irritating and slightly prickly, more than just from a charge of aldehydes, and soapy - strongly perfumed liquid cream soap from the drugstore is the association - and in addition there are sweet-maltolige notes. That Turin feels super natural here is confirmed by his statement in a Neuffer review that his nose is no longer accustomed to the fine textures of pure natural substances after years of synthetic smelling. Indeed, Luca. The scent impression of MEM's synthetically inflated science fiction florality is light years away from a Neuffer scent like Sonnett 18 or Stardust. Gardoni loses me here because of the increasingly unpleasant irritation of the respiratory tract and the plastic-sweet thunderstorm of flowers strengthened by maltol, which reminds of the cheapest synthetic neroli-ylang lily of the valley rose etc. from household products and together with the persistent urinary note evokes scent pictures of a freshly cleaned, but due to a long biography of puddles no longer olfactorily sanitizable restaurant toilet. Unlike the erotic animalism of Ma'ai, this is totally repulsive to me.

Another less unappetizing but also not very pleasant odour association is the association with our organic mild detergent which, like many organic products, is "naturally" perfumed - i.e. with highly fractionated isolates of natural fragrances (predominantly floral and citric), which for me do not smell natural at all due to the absence of most secondary and tertiary molecules, but also not like typical fully synthetic monomolecules. I had noticed these substances when testing various Mandy Aftelier perfumes - unpleasantly -; for me they correspond more to the fragrance profile of normal than natural perfumery and therefore have no place in the latter. In MEM, they reinforce the association with functional perfumery, i.e. household products, and this is my sore point at which the aesthetic flap, or guillotine, mercilessly goes down, which is why I can do little with most of Ellena's works for Hermès (Jardin de Drogerie) or Duchaufour's assembly line fruit incense. With Bogue, I didn't expect it like this.

In fact, after some time a clearer jasmine rose profile emerges and I can now better understand the idea of a tripartite perfume - lavender scent - floral bomb - animal stinker - but unfortunately the train has already left and the down thumb of sensual experience here clearly triumphs over intellectual constructs (reference to Jicky etc.). pp.) especially since I actually find nature animalics more interesting in Dominique Dubrana's works, for example, and everything in perfume history to which MEM refers simply smells much better than this postmodern re f/v erenz. MEM is a fragrance experiment, which is praised by experts as a grand perfume and/or grandiose study. According to my nose it fails - but this possibility is in the nature of an experiment, so there is nothing bad about it, apart from the smell.
4 Replies
jtd
Greatly helpful Review    6
bogue mem
MEM covers a lot of ground and it covers it quickly. When first sprayed it moves too fast for precise description and feels more like slam poetry than anything olfactory. It’s a 'Tomato-Jasmine Waxed-Sultry-Jam Malted Milk-Tuned Rubber Gasoline-Flame, Drop-The-Mic-And-Howl' sort of perfume. It’s a rush.

MEM is Antonio Gardoni’s discourse on lavender and it is packed with lavender. Lavender is never hidden, but you might give a double-take on recognizing it. MEM combines identifiable clues and completely new shapes and never settles for one definition of lavender. It knocks lavender from its comfortable perch in the pantheon of perfume materials and makes it sing for its supper. Working with a material like lavender has two specific risks. The first is that it is one of the most well-known material in fragrance and is consequently predictable. Trying to make it say anything new is difficult. The second is that changing the rules will always threaten a percentage of people. Dismantling an olfactory ‘baseline’ is like pulling out the rug. MEM might very well find a good portion of its audience in a state of distress or disorientation.

MEM is also something new for Gardoni. His previous perfumes for Bogue were an out-and-out interrogation of 20th century perfumery. (*) MEM doesn’t look to the past as these other perfumes did. It does however share their sense of provocation. These perfumes were conceptual and they were daring. Their success was made more meaningful in large part because they risked failure so unwaveringly. MEM’s risk of failure is just as great. The challenge is not just how to make a novel lavender perfume, it’s how to win people over to ‘The New Lavender.’ Anyone remember New Coke?

As an olfactory object, lavender is weighted down by associations. It’s floral, herbal, medicinal, antiseptic. It’s grand-dad’s aftershave, it’s the grocery store wipes, it’s the pastry from the bakery. It’s everywhere. Gardoni confronts lavender’s dual tragic flaw: familiarity and predictability. Rather than try to ‘reinvent’ lavender per se, Gardoni’s trick is to make it unexpected.

A set of almost tropical floral tones steers clear of typical depictions and frees lavender from associations with aromatherapy, cleaning products and the barbershop. The perfume sidesteps the top-heart-base pyramid without settling for a linear model and the progression of the perfume has a deceptively wandering feel. An expressive collection of woods braces the perfume and a pack of animalic notes come and go as if prowling through the perfume. MEM meticulously avoids lavender’s clichés and none of the old chestnuts (leafy greens, sudsy soap, chilly mothballs, shaving cream) find their way into the mix. By peeling away lavender’s expected characteristics and altering its momentum, Gardoni renders it abstract and bends it to his purposes.

At times the perfume seems to create a broad olfactory milieu and has a striding, environmental scale. But even when it’s impressionistic (sap, soil, metal and sunlight—-oh, an afternoon working in a garden) it’s remarkably specific. The accords pass by steadily, giving the feeling of being taken on a guided tour of the objects in an imagined olfactory Cornell Box. A waxed grapefruit. Carmelized tomatoes. Flowers, champagne, cats and brackish water. A bizarre collection of images? Sure, but also elegant and logical. 

The success of the perfume hangs on building new chains of association—-constructing a new lavender. I don’t get the impression that Gardoni is making an emotional appeal or trying to woo you. Rather, what he gives the audience is a richness, and more important, a clarity of ideas to play with as they care to. Whether or not the odd olfactory images—- coconut woods, grape-soda white flowers, doggedness, clay-rich soil, rubber citrus bark, dappled markings, orange jam, flat beer, leather-soled shoes—-speak to you or not, they have a precision that lets you string together the pieces to suit your own inclinations. I feel like I’ve been handed an extraordinary coloring-book and some crayons in gorgeous hues that I’ve never seen before. There’s no need to worry too much about creating an image—-the lines are drawn. I’m just having a blast discovering these new colors.

The coloring-book analogy might sound ridiculous, but I’ve found a playful mindset is an effective line of approach to MEM. For all the specificity of the perfume, I’m reminded how scrupulously Gardoni avoided getting caught in a single definition of lavender. Lavender enters this discussion as possibly the most overdetermined note in perfumery and Gardoni’s role was to free it. There is an appealing modesty to the way Gardoni helps you find your own lavender rather than convince you of his.

from scenthurdle.com
1 Replies
Bottle 8.0/10 Sillage 8.0/10 Longevity 10.0/10 Scent 9.5/10
Helpful Review    4
Complex progression for Bogue
MEM is a bold, positive and necessary progression for Bogue. the billowing layers of lavender manage to sidestep fougere associations, which is no mean feat. MEM plunges into uncharted gourmand oriental while retaining a lurking civet card that only reveals itself in the long drydown, showing crucial restraint. this is an extremely complex and ever-shifting frag that will retain its interest for a long time. another home run but with a different bat from Signor Gardoni!
1 Replies
Scent 9.0/10
Very helpful Review    7
Before the Rolls
Before the Rolls comes to take you to a charity luncheon at the museum, before the maid takes out your clothes, scan the few elegant fragrances in your personal collection and your eye may fall on the Bogues. You own Gardelia, Maai and the unexpected captivation that is MEM. A Duchess might wear it, or a female heir to the family billions. It says: admire me, but keep your distance.

During my sniff fest of orientals a while back, I noticed the most memorable vintage perfumes had lots of notes--usually a minimum of 20 or 21. If it takes complexity to create a great perfume, Antonio Gardoni has managed it once more. He's used at least 7 florals to create a scent that isn't flowery, four animalics without introducing the zoo, 4 woods without mimicking a forest, citruses, vanilla, peppermint, a sugary note and aldehydes, all of which manage to blend subtly with the rest. Take my word for it. This peppermint is subtlety on the wind. The result is both substantial and intriguing and, IMO, ought to win an award.

To me, this fragrance is for those who don't want to be easily pegged. They have too much money, or too much prestige, or too much decorum, and no time for the obvious. We'd probably best think first before we speak to them. Me, I'm not that gal, except perhaps on special occasions. So I'll just save MEM for my next soirée.
1 Replies

Statements

Lillibet 11 months ago
Not your grandmother's lavender soliflore. Layers of gorgeous aromatic lavender, rich with spices, pipe tobacco, tea and more.+2
Bottle 8.0
Sillage 6.0
Longevity 7.0
Scent 8.0
MrFumejunkie 16 months ago
Lavender jam overdose. Topped up with lavender marmalade. Civet shows up but too late. By that time, I've already injected for diabetes.+4

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