WOW, this truly feels like a kaleidoscope of colors to me. Bogue AG evokes that feeling of something new and something old at the same time. I feel both the past and present simultaneously. I sense that Bogue DNA as I do with Antonio's other works, that somewhat camphorous, mentholated, while also showing a warm and sparkly depth with that heavy base of benzoin. Simply brilliant Mr. Gardoni.
A fragrance of another era.possibly the 18th century,when Mozart and Beethovan composed the most classical works of art.when Marie Antoinette's reputation was ruined by the Diamond Necklace affair and when perfume was worn by female courtiers,amongst others,to demonstrate their social status.
The color of moss and grass kissed by frost-late fall or early spring,when the trees are asleep and the snow is at the doorstep.mist,decay,rustling leaves outside.bergamot tea inside,golden sun pouring through the window,hair spread all over the pillow,human warmth weaved by sheets and the autumn chill... there you have AG.
To me, the most consistent impressions I get from AG, which keeping in mind is probably the most variable perfume I have ever smelled are as follows.
In the opening, I seem to get a minty mentholated and sparkling green citrusy feeling surrounding some white florals. This stage reminds me of parts of Gardelia, 07738 and Eau d'E in that you get the mentholated white florals (partially coming from picea mariana, gardenia and tuberose) from Gardelia, you get the rose (although here spiked with rose oxide that reminds us of where we have seen this note LiTa, Douluer and T-Rex although not particularly smelling like any of them) jasmine (and ylang ylang benzoin combo) from 07738 while also getting those sparkling green citrusy notes from Eau d'E.
The citrus notes here sometimes smell like lemon, grapefruit and orange, and also even more slightly smell like lime or bergamot (occasionally slight fruity notes - peach? strawberry? the start of banana custard?) The sparkling notes come from a flurry of aldehydes - bright waxy c9s and fatty lactonic c14s. It's almost like reading Slavoj Zizek in that so many names are being dropped, that you really have to be in-the-know to catch everything that's going on.
The florals are intense here: osmanthus gives us more of that peach note, magnolia pairs the citric notes from the top to the spicy violet we will smell in the drydown, creamy iris, the aforementioned rose, jasmine, tuberose and gardenia. We also get more fresh green waves coming from a gentle cyclamen note - the rose and lemon combo might actually be a geranium poking through at times, an herbal tea rose, ( more fresh and green notes from muguet?) There is also a somewhat plummy freesia note at this stage, although again this could be the dancing fruity elements mixing with the spicy resins and florals in the base.)
As this stage starts to fade into the next, you get a slightly pine-y, slightly boozy juniper note which bleeds into a lush Cedar note (now pulling citrus elements back out in order to recall O/E in some vague ways.) As we encounter these woods, we start to see the next major transformation as the fragrance gets warm and herbal to me, occasionally recalling sleepy time tea mixes that I've smelled before - you get very smooth and gentle lavender, a slightly camphoric rosemary, slightly lemony thyme, oregano, and a cooling eucalyptus paired with a very strong chamomile note that brings with it a very slight coumarinic quality, while also being its typical musky-herbal feel. There is also a somewhat strong phenolic caraway note here.
You can catch a glimpse of MEM here and there at this stage, especially as the Benzoin Bogue-aide is swirling about from start to finish. There is also a strong peppermint note here that pairs with warming spices like cardamom, cinnamon and a cool herbal (or slightly boozy depending on your associations) anise, but even moreso with a strong myrtle or laurel leaf making it somewhat deep green (you can smell a somewhat spicy or minty exterior, as if this is the underside of the mentholated minty notes from the opening. There is also a little bit of a green apple note at this stage - pulling down this continuous and shapeshifting green that shifts in and out from the front to the back, from the top to the base of the fragrance, without classifying this fragrance as a particularly emblematic 'green fragrance.') It smells vaguely citrusy still and slightly piney (maybe this is a frankincense note which appears much more clearly in the next stage, however the two don't smell as if they evolve from each other, hence the uncertainty.)
Throughout step one all the way down to this stage, there are very many piney, camphorous notes that shift from smelling more herbal, to grassy, to frankincensy. It's one of the most interesting woody notes of all time, and if there was a way to separate it from the rest of the juice (an impossibility no doubt) I would love to have a straight oil of this element that I perceive. There is at this stage a nice gentle musk wafting in - goat hair? costus? hyssop? (as a matter of fact, if this element is the hyssop it would make sense of the transition from the strong herbal affair to a musky and animalic character now showing itself) - paired with a slight earthy, semi-sweet nutmegy note. The earthiness here is paired with a very pretty vetiver note that is quite earthy, dry and somewhat leathery. You also get a nice artemisia or wormwood continuing to add to the slight licoricy booziness to the whole affair. This can, at points, remind one again of Gardelia, whose cognac note, because of the overall slurry of resins and florals becomes a variation of the Bogue-aide that we have all come to know.
There is a beautiful myrrh note here that is somewhat obscured by the muskiness of this element, and the fact that the musk moves in over top of a dense mossy and resin background. This area emphasizes again that chewy tonka note, and no doubt making more clear that ever present benzoin which bleeds into a lush vanilla, dry oppoponax, and an absolutely phenomenal creamy sandalwood which may be there ever since the start of the fragrance, but seems to join with so many other creamy and woody notes that it might very well be hard to notice. We also get here the very beautiful and spicy violet note referenced earlier coming into stark focus against the backdrop of a nice dry cacao note that joins into a really gorgeous styrax note (complete with its spicy, animallic and ambery undertones which pair well with a full yet not overpowering labdanum note.) We also get honey draped overtop of a very rich oakmoss that is resinous as all hell that, along with the strong aldehydes in the beginning this can bring to mind the beautiful MAAI. There's a nice spicy patchouli that has a very faint black pepper character to it. This element pairs with the cedar from earlier now joining a cypress accord that is just so beautiful, it gives one a break from all the pine and fir that one encounters throughout this affair, and draws ones attention to the beautiful sandalwood and juniper which have been present the whole time.
AG is a masterpiece, and yet despite reminding me of all these different Bogue fragrances, it never feels redundant or repetitious. In fact, as said above, it is probably the most shape-shifting, and exciting fragrance I've smelled in some time. My only gripe is that I feel like I can't do much else in a day that I want to wear it, because I want to smell it at every subtly shifting stage!