Sunday, 27 September 2015

Maai Review

To judge by the deep amber colour of the juice, Maai contains a good deal of natural extracts and this suspicion is borne out by its complex, if slightly muddy scent. 
An animalic white floral, Maai explores the clean/dirty paradigm beginning with an aldehydic tuberose/ white flower/ rose accord. Among tuberose’s principal odiferous constituents is methyl salicylate (wintergreen), whose phenolic/camphorous smell is here emphasised, though ultimately pulls up short compared to C. Sheldrake’s Tubéreuse Criminelle (Serge Lutens, 1999). As the fragrance develops, the sharp soapiness is overcome by a honied sweetness that serves as a bridge to a base chock full of leathery resins and animalics. This represents Maai’s Unique Selling Point and many have hailed the fragrance as a return to the classical aesthetic. Civet, castoreum and the like however, constituted only one part of the animalic equation in vintage perfumes and most obviously missing here is a complementary nitro-musk style complex to soften the feel. Maai has a wild, barely tamed quality to it that betokens a certain amateurishness. Its fetishisation of the fecal also comes at the expense of balance. 

Nose: Antonio Gardoni
House: Bogue Profumo
Release date: 2014
Notes (per Fragrantica): aldehydes, tuberose, rose, jasmine, resins, musk, civet. 


  1. Insightful review. I agree with most of it. I take your word for it about the older perfumes having a nitro-musk complement to soften the feel, it sounds reasonable to me. A vintage perfume connected in my mind with Maai is Monsieur Lanvin.

  2. Thanks for the tip, Jeff. That's one I'll have to track down.