Il Dieci X by Bogue had a very short run of 50 bottles produced in 2019, so perhaps it doesn’t even make sense for me to write about it. But I have to say, if you’re like me and curious about what a sandalwood from Antonio Gardoni might smell like, then this review might surprise you. First, because the scent’s linearity and simplicity are not properties normally associated with Bogue’s Italian apothecary style. Second, because if you assumed, like me, that the extreme limits placed on production pointed to the use of a very vintage Mysore santalum album oil, then you’d be, like me, dead wrong.
Instead, Gardoni seems to have made the decision to produce a turbo-charged version of the citrusy, sour-yoghurty, and pine-like facets of Australian sandalwood (santalum spiccatum), when he then drapes over a traditional barbershop fougere structure. I respect this decision, even if this means that I would have to morph into a 60-year-old wet shaver for Il Dieci to be to my personal taste.
Objectively speaking, though, this is one heck of a handsome masculine. The topnotes smell like a silvery shard of wood stripped from a young tree, rubbed with citrus peel and mint for extra sting, while the basenotes smell gently powdery and clean, like the scent of your hands after washing vigorously with sandalwood soap. And in between, there is that astringent, but not unpleasant aroma of a freshly shaved male cheek, complete with hot towels, shaving cream, and the hiss of steam.
I think my father would have loved this. Oh, don’t worry – he’s still with us. But given that this doesn’t feature – to my nose anyway – anything particularly rare or exclusive, I don’t understand why Il Dieci is not.
Source of sample: Very kindly sent to me by Antonio Gardoni for review.