I’m not often conflicted and I always try to realize the lines between my personal tastes and what is objectively well-done, but LiTA, by Antonio Gardoni for Bogue, a more temperate, restrained, femininized version of the pretty bowlderizing, over-the-top, wildly in-your-face T-Rex for Zoologist, made that difficult.
At the heart of my response to LiTA is the issue of olfactory editing and of accommodating a pretty intense product to make it more accessible, appealing, approachable, and open to others. I think that’s a phenomenal goal!
I just don’t think the T-Rex to LITA translation of this worthy goal is actually so great.
I hope my review can explain a bit of it.
(REVIEW THREAD): 1. Bogue & Antonio Gardoni's LiTA, created in collaboration with the punk band The Kooks & a cousin to his T-Rex for Zoologist.
First, let me say that I'm a huge Gardoni fan; I think he's brilliant — and I've said that even when I don't like something.
— Kafkaesque (@Kafkaesque_Blog) December 2, 2021
At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter that I’m a Gardoni fan, that I have aromachemical issues that ruined much of the first half of T-Rex for me, or that LiTa was really more of the same but with way less interesting, bold, or statement pieces. What matters is, as always, what YOU feel.
I imagine that a number of women might very well enjoy a feminized, more edited version of T-Rex. Maybe this floral-tweaked flanker is exactly what they were hoping for and a more accessible, accommodating version that brings a greater number of people into Antonio Gardoni’s vision.
The goal is to make perfumery appealing to everyone, isn’t it?
It is. But this is where I get all screwed up and torn.
Do any of you watch Project Runway or Top Chef? Sometimes, what wins is when someone goes balls to walls, really commits, and has POW or KERPLUIE cinematic moment for their creation.
LiTA is a feminized, modulated, supposedly “refined” and more approachable version of T-Rex but I resent it for being so modulated, refined, edited, and unexciting version of a true statement piece, a true olfactory comment, something that isn’t like others. Yes, T-Rex had so many aromachemicals that it’s first half deeply impacted me physically, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t recognize a brilliant composition nonetheless. (And don’t get me started on that drydown in T-Rex!!)
In the debate between raw, difficult, sometimes physically painful, or awkward art and its more muted, approachable (but still challenging) edited version for consumer approachability, I guess I prefer the artist’s vision, unfiltered, no matter how wild or difficult it may be.
Totally off-topic, Gardoni reminds me a lot of the Fauves. He’s an Artist, with a capital A, in a way that many other artisanal perfumers aren’t. There’s just something about him that I can’t put into words. And you know, truth be told, I couldn’t wear all his creations on my skin (MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAI for the win, though!). But observing Gardoni from a distance as he creates or gets inspired…I truly think it’s like watching a Gauguin or Chagall of old. You may not like the occasionally cacophonic, intemperate blast, but it certainly is a statement and you’re always awed by the genius behind it.
Be that as it way, LiTa did little for me and I preferred the full-throttled original. It’s a pass for me.
Disclosure: My sample was provided courtesy of the company. That did not impact this review. I do not do paid reviews, and my opinions are my own.
Samples of LiTa: Luckyscent. Other reviews: Fragrantica.
I don’t have nor tried Lita bit I still enjoy T-Rex. Although I no longer wear it that much, I still always want to smell it. One sniff or spritz always gives me a boost.