Melting plastic and rose
I'm searching for a wearable masculine rose, and my research suggested that Creed's Fleurs de Bulgarie would at least be worth a sample. I imagined it would be a crisp, light, air-puffed rose with underlying hints of green wood.
Instead, I found it to be harshly synthetic, similar to pine-sol or melting plastic. The rose note is there, and it is certainly powerful, but it is competing against something sharp and rather nauseating. Over-ripe gardenia, perhaps?
As with Tom Ford's Black Orchid, I couldn't get this off my skin fast enough. When a water and soap scrub in the men's room didn't work, I resorted to coffee. That only managed to make it angry, as the rose cleaning chemical smell fought through the French roast.
While Creed advertises this as a unisex fragrance, I'm hard pressed to imagine what sort of man would want to wear it. Not recommended.
Pros: powerful projection
Cons: synthetic, cloying, and harsh"
I first sampled Fleurs de Bulgarie some years ago, and enjoyed its rose-dominant, yet spicy, overtones. It reminded me of other rose bouquets, so I didn't buy an FB. But, wanting to refresh my memory, I bought a small decant of the current reformulation. And it is horrid, truly awful.
Maybe something's gone wrong at the online sample service. Maybe they sent me a tiny bottle of some heavy, industrial frag destined for a toilet cleaner or room spray. Because otherwise, I don't understand how Creed could put their name to such a nasty, screechy scent, or how IFRA could allow it.
It exactly duplicates the smell of 1980's Pink Camay soap, for those who remember that far back. The original Camay gave me a very nasty case of eczema, plus respiratory problems, and we banned it from the house.
Now it's back, and worse, this dreadful smell just won't go away. I've scrubbed, rescrubbed, baby-wiped and alcohol-rubbed my wrist, and I just can't get rid of it. My sinuses are stuffed up, my eyes are streaming, and a huge headache looms.
Please, somebody, tell me this isn't really Fleurs de Bulgarie. Or if it is, tell Creed they need to do something about it, quickly. How can this allergy-inducing frag be legal, when so many harmless, beautiful ingredients have been banned?
There’s an off, sharp green note in the opening that almost pushes the fragrance too much. At that point the fragrance borders on cloying, but these excesses have completely disappeared in a few minutes. Fleurs de Bulgarie’s initial heaviness is necessary in order to build up the energy necessary to release such a beautiful and lasting rose accord. This is one of the most flawless rose fragrances I’ve encountered. The rose note is clear and natural, beguiling and emotive. It is backed up by a light—very light—touch of ambergris and musk, but, for all practical purposes, it is a pure rose scent. Fluers de Bulgarie is quite elegantly feminine, has excellent longevity, is linear, and is incredibly refined. No seeker of the perfect rose scent should miss this one—it is definitely a contender.
Originally submitted 2007/05/24
I don't think I care for this -my nose (prior to reading any notes ) is getting ----Bubblegum and rose soap.Maaaybe a hint of cinnamon.Weird.
The drydown seems to be getting more rosey-but still "bubblegum".
Oh well.Nice try.
I decided to test Fleurs de Bulgarie primarily out of historical curiosity. Even though this isn't the original formulation, I wondered what a fragrance from the Victorian age--indeed, one created for Victoria herself--would smell like. I had some preconceived notions, but it was not as I had expected. So much the better.
My first impression was that of a deep rose, not the usual over-cultivated hybrid tea rose so common in gardens today but rather one of its somewhat more robust ancestors. I say "robust," and surely this isn't a delicate rose, yet it isn't bombastic or in-your-face like any of the modern rose fragrances most of us love to hate. There is something slightly dirty though not exactly skanky in the opening, but it quickly settles down into a rich and pleasant soliflore.
I very rarely wear rose fragrances, although I occasionally use Stella McCartney Rose Absolute as I rather like its spicy quality. Perhaps my rose avoidance stems from the first thing that comes into my mind whenever I smell a lovely (not cheap) rose fragrance; namely, the woman for whom I was named and from whom I spent so many years attempting to differentiate myself--in other words, my mother. (It is not from lack of love; rather, it is necessary that a woman become her own person rather than her mother's clone.) And she was the first thought in my mind upon smelling FdB, as I was transported back to a memory of a box she kept in her dresser that once contained some exquisite rose soaps and retained the fragrance long after they were gone.
Like the aroma from that old box, Fleurs de Bulgarie lingers long, retaining its dry-down scent for as long as twelve hours or more. Although strong, it stays close to the skin and shouldn't disturb anyone in one's immediate environment; indeed, it is not a disturbing scent.
Now, given all this, I am sure that some would immediately slap the hateful "old lady" stigma to Fleurs de Bulgarie, just as they do to anything more mature than the celeb frag du jour. And indeed, the image most people in the 21st century have of Queen Victoria--if they think of her at all or even know who she was--is that of a repressed and repressive octogenarian. But Victoria wasn't always an unpleasant elderly woman; in 1845, when James Creed created FdB for her, she was a rather pretty twenty-six year old monarch, the "people's princess" of her day turned queen.
While FdB isn't exactly what I'd call sexy, it does have an attractive appeal to it, such that I imagine I could find it alluring on the right woman. Still, in the back of my mind, there is that other woman. In the words of Kate Bush, "Mother Stands for Comfort." (Well, sometimes.) FdB has become my favorite scent for applying to my wrists at bedtime. I find it comforting.
It's not an "old lady" scent. It's just old. And that, in and of itself, is not necessarily a bad thing.