Perfume Directory

O/E (2015)
by Bogue Profumo

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O/E information

Year of Launch2015
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 17 votes)

People and companies

HouseBogue Profumo
PerfumerAntonio Gardoni

About O/E

O/E is a shared / unisex perfume by Bogue Profumo. The scent was launched in 2015 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Antonio Gardoni

Reviews of O/E

Genre: Citrus/Fougère

O/E does not seem to have been received quite so rapturously as Cologne Reloaded and MAAI were before it, and I must admit there’s something challenging going on here - a kind of deliberate dissonance that’s not going to suit every taste.

Antonio Gardoni seems quite fond of a very distinctive and peculiar accord that paradoxically weds a medicinal, antique apothecary element to a furry animalic note. The idea may have first emerged with Cologne Reloaded, and was expanded upon in MAAI, Gardelia, and MEM. In O/E, Gardoni accompanies the animal/apothecary accord with a bright citrus and a weird, bitter, metallic note that I can’t begin to identify. The effect is decidedly raspy – to some perhaps even nails-on-a-blackboard disturbing – especially for the first ten minutes or so on the skin.

However, I find that with patience, O/E seems to find its footing, and what started out as grating discord settles into an intriguing olfactory chiaroscuro effect, the likes of which I’ve experienced in certain more traditionally composed fougères and citrus chypres. Certainly not for every taste, but interesting enough to hold my attention.
03rd July, 2018
I’m very puzzled by the distance between the hype which has graced this brand from the very beginning of its journey into niche, and the actual quality of their fragrances I’ve tried so far. Both MAAI and Cologne Reloaded seemed to me some very dull and pedantic exercises around very classic structures, something I guess pretty much any nose working for any company anywhere between the 1950’s and the 1990’s would have been able to compose blindfolded; and now this, “O/E”. If on one hand it’s at least a bit more modern and more creative than the other two, on the other hand it kind of reinforces my conclusion that toying around classic structures seems really the main and only skill of Gardoni, or whoever is the nose behind Bogue fragrances. Because O/E smells horrid. A trainwreck. Pardon my French but it really is. Theoretically it would be a “citrus-green leather chypre”, so to speak, so imagine – on paper – a very bold citrus-green top accord built on a dark, herbal, even skanky and slightly powdery-vanillic foundation of woods, oakmoss, and some rusty tan leather.

The problem is that it seems the brief was then handed to a clueless janitor with the specific request of cutting costs and sourcing materials in his storage closet. The citrus-green top accord smells astonishingly cheap, acrid, artificial, flat and harsh, something way more suitable for cleaning tiles than scenting skin. And it’s just clumsily sticked as-is on a more than mediocre leathery chypre foundation, which smells no better than any robust pre-world war II drugstore aftershave did. Mennen quality, to get you an idea. The notes smell from bad to dull per se, and they’re significantly poorly blended, thrown one against the other like a toddler would do with his toy cars. All topped with spices, with the same grace (and purpose, ultimately) of someone rapidly throwing a handful of sand in your face to rob you and run away. I’ve nothing against modernity and “clashy” compositions, as long as there’s some talent behind them. Here I don’t really see any. It’s just noise, cheapness, itch. A decent idea completely gone wrong. Persistence is remarkable though, which is good if you’re into scrubbers; evolution is close to zero, just some lemon and herbs fading away and (surprise, surprise) synthetic cloves growing in presence together with some vanillin and cheap leather aromachemicals. Probably the nicest part, if compared the early abysmal stages. Nothing different from the drydown of any 1 dollar aftershave, but at least it’s wearable (at 180 times more the price). I wish the best to Bogue but seriously... not with this, really.

3/10
23rd December, 2015
I give this a thumbs-up because I feel that it is a stylish and beautiful scent. It is not my style although it has some very attractive elements, particularly in the beginning.
Unlike some, I get ZERO citrus here. But this is an issue I often encounter. On my skin, top notes tend to vanish.
What I do get is an immediate woody blast, followed by herbal notes. This is a resinous and dry combination. At times, it takes on a rich and slightly soapy aspect.
I consider this to be an aromatic-leathery fougere, definitely in the style of old-school scents such as Dior's Jules.
The dry-down starts off bright, as the terpene and camphor notes reach their peak. Peppery spice also peaks at this point.
The final dry-down is rich, luxurious, animalic, earthy and leathery. This last phase is where the scent and I walk separate paths. I no longer care for this sort of scent, though I wore it in the 80's.
Still, many will appreciate it, and I consider it to be well crafted.
18th September, 2015
Composing an original AND top-notch citrus-centred fragrance is a tough nut to crack. There are two major problems with this category of scents: first of all, many of them have very little or nothing new to add to the genre idea-wise (the infamous “been there/done that” effect). Secondly, even if they present a novel idea, the initial excitement is often swiftly subdued by their miserable longevity. “O/E”, Antonio Gardoni´s follow-up fragrance after the highly-praised “Maai” is a take on the citrus theme. Even though I suspected (or wished?) his treatment of the genre would successfully avoid the typical pitfalls, I approached his perfume with a fair amount of trepidation.

In no way does “O/E” hide the fact that it´s a thoroughbred citrus fragrance. The initial blast of a plethora of citric notes (according to Pierre de Nishapur´s blog there´s bergamot, lemon, lime, lemongrass, neroli – you name it!) is both powerful and complex. They are so well-blended that although the head is unmistakeably citrus-based, it´s quite hard to dissect it into individual notes. The magic, fortunately, does not stop at this point. After the citric extravaganza settles down, spices (cloves, eucalyptus and pine in particular) and woods (cedar) come to the forefront. Coupled with oakmoss, they give “O/E” a very classical feel, not too dissimilar from 70s/80s masculine colognes, such as Saint Laurent´s “Pour Homme”. This is not to say that I see “O/E” as a masculine fragrance; it just possesses this funky retro air. Reportedly, Gardoni also added Iso E Super to his composition in order to contrast natural and artificial ingredients. I must admit my nose does pick up a slight (artificial?) haze in the heart which, during some wearings, turned a little harsh, but it´s not something that would disrupt the overall structure of the composition. When you think you´ve reached the end of the road, “O/E” pulls one last rabbit out of its hat: an animalic note (it smells like civet to me). Since it pops up in the extreme drydown, instead of roaring it purrs. Nevertheless, it provides the fragrance with a pleasantly tongue-in-cheek signoff.

I´m not sure “O/E” will be embraced as warmly as its elder sibling “Maai” by the perfume community, but in my opinion, despite not being perfect, “O/E” is an impressive attempt at creating a solid and versatile citrus fragrance. It´s an effective fusion of the modern and the classical, using high-quality raw materials. Finally, its longevity and projection are way above average for this sort of scent, which must cheer the heart of every citrus perfume lover.
21st August, 2015
The opening here is a harsh mix of citruses and pine/juniper berry. The rest of the time, O/E is dominated by a clever dirty animalic rendering made possible by combining benzoin with lavender and resins to create a strong leather illusion that stays throughout the life of the scent. Longevity and projection are great. However, O/E has an old powdery predilection that makes it very reminiscent of "old man" fragrances. If you're like me and you have an aversion to older scents, beware.
16th May, 2015
drseid Show all reviews
United States
O/E opens with a highly aromatic mixture of slightly sharp lemon and bergamot driven citrus, camphorous lavender and an assortment of culinary herbs. As the composition moves to its early heart the aromatic herbal lavender and citrus remains but slightly lower in intensity as the overall accord is joined by deep clove and an odd ammonia-like undertone. During the late dry-down the aromatic elements recede to reveal hints of slightly sweet tobacco, gentle syrupy vanilla and relatively transparent vetiver in the base. Projection is minimal, as is longevity at about 4 hours on skin.

O/E is supposedly the reinvention of my favorite Bogue composition, Eau d'E (covered in a separate review). I was a bit skeptical when I heard of changes being made to the original, but Gardoni has proven he can do a proper reformulation as the reformulation of Cologne Reloaded actually smells better than the original. Unfortunately, I am sorry to say that in the case of O/E history has not repeated itself, as this reformulation is far to the worse. The original Eau d'E was a tremendous old world style Eau de Cologne-like composition that had hints of modern aspects to keep it fresh. It was relatively minimalist, used top quality vintage raw materials and featured super-smooth transitions. O/E in contrast tries to bulk up the original with odd additions like ramping up the O'driu-like culinary herbal aromatics while adding an off-putting ammonia undertone found in the mid-section and additional base notes like tobacco that don't really mesh with the rest. In effect, the brilliant Eau d'E formula is ruined by the unsuccessful attempt to modernize and expand the composition with disastrous results. By "disastrous" I don't mean O/E smells bad, but as an owner of Eau d'E who knows what the composition used to smell like in all its greatness, O/E just does not come close to getting the job done and easily pales in comparison; sometimes less is more. Those that smell O/E without knowing what the original smelled like may find this outing impressive, but once you have smelled the good stuff there is no going back, and paying double the cost of the original for an inferior composition with dismal performance metrics (something the original additionally didn't suffer from) can't help but leave a bad taste in one's mouth. I love Gardoni and think he is extremely talented, but O/E is not my beloved Eau d'E, not even close. The bottom line is the $180 per 30ml bottle O/E is a disappointing re-imagining of Gardoni's best original work (Eau d'E), earning an "above average" 2.5 to 3 stars out of 5 and a neutral recommendation (but a strong avoid if you own the far superior original Eau d'E already).
31st March, 2015

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