O/E by Bogue Profumo

Year: 2015

Notes: camphor, bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, rosemary, thyme, black pepper, juniper berry, cypress, clove, neroli, rose, jasmine, benzoin, resins, tobacco, vetiver, pine, Lebanese cedar, sandalwood
O/E is Antonio Gardoni's re-imagining of Bogue Profumo's limited edition debut release, Eau d'E.

Bursting onto the scene with a shimmering cascade of citruses, camphor and culinary herbs, this Italian niche house's unmistakeable olfactory style is present in spades – smelling like an invigorating citrus-aromatic from a by-gone era. The camphor-infused citruses are vivacious in their razor sharp delivery, while the herbaceous accords provide a rustic green charm.

Unfortunately, when the juniper berry and spices join the fray, around the mid notes, not only does it lower its volume considerably but it quickly becomes unsure of itself. With a diverse array of complementary chords, the composition can't decide if it wants to head down the floral route, continue along the aromatic path, or make a beeline towards the resins and woods.

As it evolves, one senses a temporary tug-of-war between these sets of notes, resulting in a lack of clarity and unity. And while the overall aroma is relatively pleasant, one is left perceiving the whole affair as somewhat of a missed opportunity. But this doesn't mean it's a complete failure – one just wishes that it was more structurally sound, with a clearer sense of direction.

With a drydown that reveals some tobacco, resins and woods, it continues to quietly purr close to the skin for under four hours, emitting warm and sensual murmurs. As one has already hinted, in previous reviews, sketchy tenacity has been this house's Achilles' heel, and it's a shame this issue still hasn't been addressed.

Smoothly slotting in-between Cologne Reloaded (citrus and herbs) and MAAI (spices, florals and woods), O/E is still a welcome addition – with a nostalgic aroma that almost makes one want to overlook its shortcomings. Hopefully, much of the momentum generated by Bogue Profumo, over the last couple of years, won't be lost as a result of this disappointing offering.