There is only a small subset of independent perfumers who have the ability to go their own way. That never happens with mainstream perfumers. Because it is so rare, I cherish them because they always show me something different. One of the members of this group is perfumer Antonio Gardoni. His latest Bogue LiTA is another bold statement.
One of the things which draws me to Sig. Gardoni’s creations is I am never quite sure where we are going. Over the past year or so he has been collaborating rather extensively with outside creative directors. It has given his perfumes an interesting slant. For LiTA he works with husband-and-wife singers Luke Pritchard and Ellie Rose. Mr. Pritchard is the lead singer of The Kooks, but he and Ms. Rose are making music as DUO. They are where Sig. Gardoni turned for inspiration.
Luke Pritchard (l.) and Ellie Rose aka DUO
LiTA stands for “Love in The Afternoon” which is one of the tracks off the debut album by DUO. After listening to the album it has a catchy melody. What I found interesting was they described the singing as the product of “tired lyrics” which does not mean trite. The words are delivered in vocals which feel exhausted. It provides a lyrical contrast to the melody behind them.
I was wondering if Sig. Gardoni would latch on to that. He does seemingly take up half of it, the concept of exhaustion. LiTA is a perfume without a recognizable top accord. There are things which appear first, but they are the kind of things more traditionally found in the base accords of other perfumes. It is as if he has no interest in the lighter brighter facets of perfumery. Just take your tired nose right to the bottom line.
It begins with sandalwood, gardenia, and coriander. This feels like one of the lighter sandalwood synthetics which combines with a deep gardenia. The coriander finds the green at the heart of any good gardenia and amplifies it. As it moves on champaca is engulfed in a haze of tobacco. It is almost as if it is an odd blend from the tobacconist’s back room. It is here where there is a duet of accords. I wouldn’t hazard to identify one or another as one of the creative directors. It is what is great about a harmony of disparate pieces. It ends with Sig. Gardoni joining as he uses his signature dry herbal base with vetiver. It is this flourish which has had me facetiously calling this his Gardoni-ade. It fits especially well in this case. As it all comes together Sig. Gardoni wraps it in a swirl of smoky incense.
LiTA has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.
If there is anything I am walking away from after listening to DUO and wearing LiTA it is that exhaustion is an enhancer of creativity.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample I purchased.