Friday, October 6, 2006
Bvlgari Black: Eating Asphalt ~fragrance review
The car analogy on my previous post and today’s pic had been lurking in my mind allied to a particular scent and what with mr.Duirez doing a commercial for Lexus (Duriez is nose in Patou house), brought to my attention by Karol, one of my readers, and everything, this is as good a time as any to bring it up. I had referred to this perfume as a Mercedes S-class its rubber tires eating asphalt in a metropolis setting in my Scent of a Man list a few days ago and the comparison now seems anachronistic somehow, but scripta manent, therefore I am to remain blameless.
Bvlgari (or Bulgari, whichever way you want to spell it) Black is the weird oriental for men (and women; it’s one of those euphemistically called “shared” frags) who want something modern, sleek, original, definitely not the spawn of any other department store fragrance. Yet it is easily accessible, which adds an intrinsic value to people who live in places far away from hip Barneys, Les Senteurs or Body&Soul stores, so the poor chaps might actually test the stuff before commiting the monthly allotment reserved for perfume.
In Black’s case sniffing might be in order if you are unfamiliar with the modern perfume niche market. However under no circumstances is it strange or unappealing to wear. Polarising as it might be, due to the perceived hot rubber tires accord, I find it soft and vanillic, which is perhaps sounding like an oxymoron next to the "supreme exponent of the metropolitan concept", as Bvlgari wants to call it.
Created by Annick Menardo, the talented Cannes-born nose behind Lolita Lempicka, Lolita au masculine, Kouros Body, Hypnotic Poison, Boss and a co-perpetrator for Hypnôse (well, I am no fan, sorry), it was a 1998 sensation even if it never reached the upper echelons sales-wise. Although Dzing! by L’artisan created by nez extraordinaire Olivia Giacobetti launched in 1999 and is quite close to Black, it segues into other avenues of weirdness and wondrousness, enough to make it stand apart.
The bottle is a very fetish-y matte rubbery surface like the rubber watchband from their supreme collection, encasing a glass bottle within that is crowned by a steel top with the Bvlgari Bvlgari logo of their eponymous collection that twists and sprays. There are ON and OFF positions on it, in an attempt to make it look like a gadget or a driving equipment. The idea is brilliant, however people have been reporting that the mechanism has been found a bit wanting, since it can have a tendency to jam or leak if you try too hard. They’d better ameliorate this aspect. The current version exists in 40 and 75ml bottles.
Upon spraying this on skin a warm citrus/bergamot note greets you, soon to be rounded and smoked by the black veil of lapsang souchong tea leaves notes. Tea scents have been something of a trademark for Bvlgari, because it was them that introduced the accord with their Bvlgari Femme perfume and the tradition persisted along in Eau parfumée au thé vert (green tea), then thé blanc (white tea) and finally thé rouge (red tea). Seems tea is coming out in all colours of the rainbow, after all, and pity me who had underestimated it through my teenager years as the drink to consume while sick. Little did I know then.
Along with tea a strange and wonderful resiny aroma rises up from heated skin like smoke signs by stressed executives in their offices to the object of their affection along the hall. Has life become so hectic that we communicate in new ways and with new signals after all? Does perfume hold a special place in this new language? I think it does.
Proof positive that pretty soon the warm hug of rich vanilla envelops the cool smokiness and the whole nests in a woody embrace created by the combination of sandalwood, cedar and amber. No single wood is discernible for what it is, because the mingling is seamless and vanilla and some musk seem to overpower the rest.
Although Bvlgari insist to list oakmoss as one of the ingredients I have never smelled it in this and I doubt that now with the new IFRA regulations it will be included anymore.
Anyway, the fact remains; do you have an object of affection across the hall? Are her or his antennae tuned in to perfume? Black might help you deliver that message you have been wanting to across.
Pic by HelmutNewton.edu