Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bulgari Omnia Green Jade: fragrance review

Much as I haven't been personally impressed by the Omnia franchise at the respected Bulgari brand ~despite liking many of their other perfumes~ I am forced to assume that it has been quite successful commercially in its Vulcan-knot bottle, since not only I constantly see it prominently featured at my local Sephora, but it seems to produce a descendant almost each subsequent year since its initial birth in 2005!

Omnia Green Jade is thus the third flanker to follow the original Omnia by Bulgari in its ambery flacon, the one which created questions as to how to spray it among first-time users due to its unusual design. The progeny had been Omnia Crystalline (in frosted glass) and Omnia Améthyste (in a violet flacon), both echoing other gemstones of different colours. Perhaps at the stem of my antipathy, or -to put it more accurately- indifference, is the -to me- ackward and hard to handle bottle design despite its poetic evocation of unbreakable bonds of love. On the contrary, I love the house's design in any other area and often shop there for trinkets, jewels, gifts and accessories at their luxurious boutiques. For those wondering, Bulgari is pronounced BOOL-ga-ree and is alternatively spelled Bvlgari, as if written in classical Latin characters since the founder Sotirios Vulgaris (VOOL-ga-rees) was a Greek goldsmith who took residence in Rome a couple of generations ago where he founded the eponymous house. The rest if history, as they say.

Omnia Green Jade (the green moniker surely a little redundant as jade is a specific shade of green gem anyway) was introduced as
"a new, precious, joyful fragrance inspired by the enchanting and sophisticated aura of the Jade gemstone. This crisp, floral green scent arouses a spirit of fresh floral emotions and embodies the natural, distinctive young woman seeking a sensual signature essence as pure and enticing as the first spring blossoms".
The demographic aimed at is "a little younger" which also seems a little redundant as the franchise is aimed at young women anyway. The new fragrance was officially presented at the TFWA World Exhibition in Cannes, France, last October and launched worldwide last February.

Despite the description of greeness as well as the corrreponding packaging and advertising (featuring a delicious pair of Bulgari earrings in fat drops of jade), Omnia Green Jade is traitorous to its name, being rather a subdued floral musky-woody in the style that has been well established for some years now. Perfumer Alberto Morillas, responsible for the original Omnia as well, has been playing these releases like sharply tense violin strings at the twist of his experienced graceful fingers, much like he recently did with Essence for Narciso Rodriguez, but with somewhat predictable results.
For this one “I thought of its colours, green with white shadows, of the energy of this millenary gemstone, symbol of the good, the beautiful and the precious,” explained Alberto Morillas. “I have built the scent around a white petal cascade and a vivid freshness, combined with the rare and mystic texture of white wood and exotic musks.” The promise of spring-time in this transitory phase in which the first buds are tentatively raising their heads beneath the still cold air is enough to have us on pins and needles for the full blown effect of spring's arrival and usually a little spring-like fragrance is very much desired, nay craved, at this particular time of year. Imagining green fragrances I often revert to sharper impressions of tangy, crushed lemon leaves like in Ô de Lancôme, of galbanum sharpness of the vintage Vent Vert ; I crave warmer weather vetiver offerings, little spring bells of white as the lily-of-the-valley of Diorissimo and the elegant insouciance of Chanel No.19. Omnia Green Jade is light and ethereal, but not particularly reminiscent of spring's blossoms nor its green grasses. Its feel is abstract and subtly musky-woody, meant to correspond to modern urbane environments rather than rolling on the knolls of some Tuscan countryside. The pistachio note (which sometimes alludes to lentisque, commonly known as mastic) is not quite as discernable in its oleaginous, fluffy vibrance as I would have wished. If anything, there is a subdued floral note of transparent peonies, coy unsweetened violets and "clean" lily of the valley in its hidden core, quite toned-down, soft and timid and foiled in blonde, pale woods, tea-like and subtle clean-skin-musks. The overall impression is of a competently-made office-appropriate scent that does not create ripples on the pond, jade-hued or otherwise.

Notes for Bulgari Omnia Green Jade
Spring Water, Green Mandarin, White Peony, Nasturtium, Pear Tree Flower, Jasmine Petals, Fresh Pistachio, White Woods, Musk

Bulgari Omnia Green Jade is currently available at major department stores in Eau de Toilette concentration in sizes 0.84oz/25ml, 1.32oz/40ml and 2.2oz/65ml and in two ancilary products: 200ml shower bath and 200ml body lotion.

Ad pic via bluebellgroup.com. Pic of jade earrings via morethanscentsable.com


  1. Anonymous12:44

    (I love the ear drops! :) Have not been attracted to the scents although, and mainly by an irrelevant reason: the bottles.
    wish you a nice spring, you are so lucky experiencing the first buds, and greenness - here snow and ice rules, but mentally I am spring-tuned & begin longing for everything green)

  2. I tried this the other day and it was just meh for me. It gave the impression of interesting ideas squashed with sherberty floral. I think this for people who want to say they are wearing an unusual perfume but don't actually want to smell of one.

    I love love love Mer Elena's tea scent for them though- and the story that it wasn't really to be a big money maker but people loved the scent so much they were asking for it. That's the way to make a real scent.

  3. I'm a little disappointed with this Bvlgari release.

    Something tells me they are garnering their inspiration for Omnia Amethyst and Omnia Jade from the lesser known niche jeweller/perfumer Olivier Durbano and his Amethyste & Jade scents. I was more than a little horrified to test Jade the other day and see it shares distinct similarities with the Durbano release of 2008.
    Tut-tut, Mr. Morillas.

  4. The idea of a scent inspired by jade is very alluring, but this one sounds quite underwhelming. And I really dislike the bottles, too. Still, I won't be able to resist a sniff when I come across it. Thanks for the review!

  5. I love the original Omnia, but I absolutely detest the bottle. As for the Jade edition; I smelled it and thought they were trying to rip off Infusion d'Iris.

  6. Anonymous15:44

    Hi E!

    I sampled this one the other day and I found it really similar to the Prada's Infusion d'Iris! I think that is why I found the Jade kind of "meh". I liked it but it's kind of like been there done that already. Even the light shades of green are similar to the Infusion color palette for packaging, etc. I guess imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. :)

    Wishing you a wonderful day ahead!


  7. Anonymous15:46

    Looks like Jenavira and I had the exact same thought on the Jade.


  8. S,

    thanks for the wishes, it's been glorious, I should really post pics to show you. (OK, perhaps I will)I am wishing you a quick spring coming too!

    It seems I am not alone in hating those bottles: the design works in earrings and pendants, but on functional items? Not so much...

  9. K,

    I think my feelings towards Ellena's work are well known by now... :-)

    I agree with you, however this new one is eerily reminiscent of the green tea fragrance of the Brand, which is somewhat confusing. I mean, since they already have an excellent green fragrance there (and in two versions, regular and extreme), what's the use for another one? It's not on a par either.

  10. Hi Dimitri!

    We share the feeling. Although I am not blaming Morillas, I assume the brief given was to create something very inoffensive with no distinct personality, a bit of a wall-flower :-(

    The gem-names idea is indeed sweeping the market like a plague. Apart from Dubrano, there is also the Oriflame series (Amerthyste Fatale, Diamond Musk, Pink Quartz) and the old El.Taylor scents (Diamonds, Emeralds and Diamonds, Rubies and Diamonds, Black Pearls, etc). It becomes repetitive and unexciting after a while, no?

  11. Hi M!

    Yeah, not very complimentary to the gemstone I' afraid.
    The bottles just look ackward. In theory the design should be very poetic, but it's not.

  12. J,

    the bottles sure don't help.
    I think there is some truth in concept in what you're saying judging by the broad success of Id'I! Can't say that I find them too similar in actual smell, as I smell a faint tea-like greeness that was in the original green tea scent of theirs (see my comment above), but they're not quite different either (both clean woodies). Only this one is more "diluted" than the Prada :-(

  13. Hi my dear Dawn!

    Hope you're having a good day :-)
    Yeah, it's kinda boring really...Déjà vu instances are very common in a market saturated with products, alas.
    And cute comment on the packaging: Indeed!! (hadn't thought of it in that way).
    I seem also to detect an olfactory tie with their older original green-tea fragrance which tells me they're aiming at the little sisters of those who use the green-tea one (and want something for themselves!)

  14. Those earrings are beautiful, but the fragrance is not quite so.

    I smelled it on someone else and loved it. Rushed over to my local department store and spritzed away. At first it was gloriously fresh and breezy. And then, it just went flat, E!

    Well, at least I saved some money.


  15. R,

    so nice to hear from you! Hope you're very well :-)

    I was underwhelmed. Nice, but nothing earth-shattering...

    Love the jewels, I always try to find opportunities to post pics ;-)

  16. So far I don't love any of the Bvlgari range - despite having used pour Femme for a year! They have great jewellery though - will definitely pop into their Sydney store when I'm there in June :)

  17. I think some of their frags are elegant, if not immediate loves: the green tea one and the Eau Parfumee are very discreet summer splashes, the Black is a good one, very unique, the Pour Femme is an elegant floral. That said their jewels are unsurpassable. Pure class....

  18. lovely scent! little bit expensive but there are always sites like http://www.ezwingame.com/ were you can get it for free!

  19. Anonymous10:23

    Actually, "green jade" is entirely NOT redundant. Jade stone is not only green. :) In fact, I prefer the white jade over the green jade. :)


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