Flirting with both J'Adore Voile de Parfum and No. 5 Eau Premiere recently, I thought to myself, "I wish one of these wore as well on me as Bulgari used to, as it was always so versatile and pretty in the same kind of well-bred way these are."
So I just sought out a replenishment bottle of Bulgari instead. Not having smelled it in a very long time, I was floored at how much raspberry is in the opening! And also by how much the opening gave me a little snapshot of pre-reformulation YSL Paris, also by Grojsman. Paris was a favorite of mine when it launched; I hadn't realized that on some level I was pre-disposed to like Bulgari the first time around because I had only pleasing associations with Paris.
Bulgari really is an interesting one. It's a tasteful feminine with conventional, demure floral notes, yet the musk...on skin, it gives the fragrance so much radiant warmth. While I'd never call it rude, if this musk likes you, it interacts with your chemistry in such a way that it goes really intimate. You can wear Bulgari in a polite setting and no one will accuse you of impropriety, yet the effect CAN be alluring, because the musk creates the sense that you're smelling the skin of the woman who's wearing the perfume, not simply smelling the perfume.
Overspray and it won't be good! It's sweet and has the potential to go cloying. While I've read reviews that say it has no lasting power, I find it to be very tenacious, just one modest spray and it's quietly there 10 hours later. In that way it really does seem powerful like a Grojsman! For reasons similar to what Way Off Scenter has said, I find that most of her work isn't my thing, though Bulgari really is. Again.
Bvlgari Femme is a (classically appointed) quite moody and assertive greenish/aldehydic floral composition with a bitter/lymphatic structure and a mossy powdery foundation. In the first stage jasmine and rose are heady (vaguely soapy and aldehydic) as surrounded by a more realistic and sparkling herbal-hesperidic atmosphere. I see the reference to Chanel N. 19 (sharing with Femme a bitter/green dump first floral stage), anyway while N. 19 preserves till the end an articulated humid sharp plain earthiness (more properly realistic and botanic) Bvlgari Femme finally slides towards a warmer (more soapy-synthetic) eliotropic ambery muskiness (with a bitter/floral counteracting undertone mostly provided by orange, lemon, orris root, herbs and violet). Violets are a central element which determines a green and finally talky aura as flanked by amber, musk and powdery iris. The green/floral/lemony bitterness smells finally (as encompassed by talky warmth) really sensual, "sweated-like" and "intimate" (but finally textured and elegant, with a touch of vintage).
18th January, 2015 (last edited: 23rd February, 2015)
What’s this? A Sophia Grojsman scent that I can live with – finally! Perhaps taking her cue from the previous year’s Eau Parfumée au Thé Verte, in composing Bulgari pour Femme she detours from the flamboyantly fruity, powdery, sweet rose chypre path of Calyx, Trésor, Kashâya, 100% Love, and Yvresse . While hardly innovative in style, Bulgari pour Femme exhibits a delightful sense of understated poise and refinement I find lacking in some of this perfumer’s other popular work. Compared to something like Trésor or 100% Love, Bulgari pour Femme is quietly elegant, refined, and exquisitely balanced between green jasmine, crisp violet leaf, powdery heliotrope, and soapy aldehydes. In contrast with her earlier essay on aldehydes, White Linen, Bulgari pour Femme smells clean, but not sterile, bright, but not glaring.
The more I smell Bulgari pour Femme, the more it reminds me of an earlier generation of aldehydic green floral fragrances, including Chanel No. 19, Silences, Y, and Yendi. Like these predecessors, Bulgari pour Femme softens its bitter green accord with iris. Unlike them, it opts for clean musk foundation in lieu of a mossy green chypre accord. The hard surfaces are also more exposed in the Bulgari, so that the overall impression is more chiseled, transparent, and “modern.” The result is a thoroughly contemporary take on an established theme, and a versatile, attractive scent for everyday wear.
Soft, feminine fragrance
The EDP is a really lovely choice for day or night wear. It reminds me a bit of another fine fragrance, Arpege, but not due to similarities in notes; simply for its innate wearability suitable for so many different occasions. It's discrete, elegant, and very feminine. Both Arpege and Bulgari pour Femme have that soft mallability that make both so easy to wear, anytime and anywhere.
Violet and rose are predominant, with a hint of jasmine coming to the forefront now and then. A soft, clean, musky base and a touch of sandalwood creates a very refined finish. B. pour femme makes me think of a classic white silk blouse, infinitely adaptable and a great staple for your wardrobe.
Sillage is moderate, longevity less than stellar, fading gently away after about 5-6 hours. Still a very worthy addition to my fragrance wardrobe; it's low sillage is an asset in many situations. A great choice for those "oh, what should I wear" occasions when you want to shine but not overwhelm with your fragrance. A charming, romantic choice that will not disappoint.
Pros: Well balanced, refined
Cons: Longevity could be better"
As I sprayed this the first time, I swear I smelled Lolita Lempicka. I guess it must be the violets shouting out to me. This faded gradually over time leaving me with what I expect to smell from a Bulgari feminine scent.