Sunday, May 04, 2008

Bulgari Black

Although Bulgari (with a stylized "u" often spelled Bvlgari) Black is a spicier scent than I usually like to wear, it's a good scent for a change of pace from my light and lovely, clean and natural citrus scents. You could say this one is on the other side of the spectrum--a jagged-edged industrial scent, as a deodorant commercial used to go: "strong enough for a man (but made for a woman)". Actually, this is a cross-gender fragrance, as a truly modern-minimalist scent ought to be. At first, Bulgari Black is a familiar spicy creamy-musky scent, like a cross between Kenzo Amour and Christina Aguilera, a sandalwood-musk-jasmine blend that's also not far away from Donna Karan Cashmere Mist (1994). The black tea notes give it a dry spiciness as I find in Burberry The Beat but stronger, in higher concentration. A leather-amber-woods base lends a bold, heavy depth but in a flat, linear way, like a sine wave with not much overtone, that gives it that modern smell, like a rubber or tire shop effect saved by sweet vanilla to make it palatable.

With shades of Molinard Habanita in the mix, I find it interesting if not all-out exciting. Something about it reminds me of a ton of other mainstream scents that I can't place in my mind: Cacharel Gloria, for instance, which I don't understand because rose isn't a listed note in Bulgari Black. I find it sharp and perfumey, getting thinner as it dries down to a tart and sour lemon rind. In the end, I find myself craving more jasmine, less sour lemons, and less smoky base notes which, in an instance, can smell to me like hickory-smoked meat. As much as I appreciate foody scents, I can't abide by smelling like beef jerky, no matter how savory. Is it a sexy scent? I guess so, in that extremely low-pitched female voice-over for a sports car commercial-way, the one slithering raspily over Techno BGM that makes you feel like you don't need a visual aid anymore because you can work your imagination with a voice like that. However, maybe the voice-over talent is younger than she sounds--the jasmine in this scent doesn't reek of pure, unadulterated animalic jasmine--the real stuff--just yet.

Notes on Now Smell This:
Bulgari Black (1998): black tea, rosewood, bergamot, cedar, oakmoss, vanilla, amber, sandalwood, and musk.