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.