I owned Bvlgari Black when it first came out and used up my bottle over the course of a couple of years. I don't know why, but Black was my go to fragrance for any nice dinner for several years. The tea and leather just suit fine dining in my mind. I never replaced it when it ran out, probably because I now own other tea scents, but Black is in a class of it's own, IMO. I noticed Black for sale at a discount store the other day for less than $30. I'll probably pick it up next time I'm there and will definitely look forward to wearing it again.
One of my all-time favourites. Bulgari Black certainly suits either men or women and I can think of many niche or mainstream scents with far more challenging notes.
It opens with a green-toned citric/smoky vanilla which is mostly reminiscent of Lapsang Souchong tea (which in itself reminds me slightly of scorched tyres) so this is the tea aspect of Black. Some people have compared this citric/smoky vanilla with Shalimar and there is a sort of similarity but Black's top notes are much lighter, more diffuse and contemporary.
It feels slightly synthetic at first, and has what my male friend described as an 'urban night out' scent. Hang in there though, because into drydown you'll find hints of powder, like lightly scented talc, then into dry down it's a smoky/salty vanilla with a nice rose absolute underlying.
Just imagine a pot of Earl Grey Tea with a touch of smoky Lapsang Souchong, dark velvet rose petals floating on the surface and a nearby vanillic cupcake and you're close. Black actually has something in common with classic rose/chypres (almost like a high quality Elizabethan pou pourri) what makes it contemporary is the rubber smoke, tea and vanilla. All combine to create a unique and abstract effect
It's rightly regarded as a modern classic and I've never been without it since 2001! I sometimes wear it layered with rose otto, which lends a prettier edge. I think it's more typically masculine on opening, or on clothes, on skin and into drydown it's pretty in a kitten claws and fur way. Also, this has attracted more compliments form men than any of my other perfumes. If you're female and like perfume with an intriguing slightly darker edge it's great
I've tried it twice, and I can't remember it at all, other than that I remember it being okay.
It's o.k., maybe too sweet for me and I don't get the rubber smell. To me it's VERY similar to Versace's Dreamer
Smoky Tea & Leather... an Ultra-Modern classic!
Annick Menardo is a perfumer who is known for taking risks... she takes unusual combinations (like Liquorice in Lolita Lempicka Au Masculin and Eucalyptus in YSL's Body Kouros) and makes them somehow work... and smell good! Here Bvlgari has released an ultra-modern, "urban" style fragrance, with notes of Lapsang Souchong (a Chinese Black Tea smoked over pine wood), and Leather... to create a "rubber" smell. This is followed by sandalwood, jasmine, and a lot of Vanilla.
I would describe this as a challenging fragrance for some people, but it's very clever. In the same way that people get a "gasoline" or "petrol" vibe from Dior Fahrenheit (of course no such note exists, it's actually a combination between violet leaf and leather). In much the same way, a similar "trick" has been achieved here. There is no "rubber" in the notes, because if you have ever had Lapsang Souchong Tea, you will recognise the smell immediately. The smell of this black tea, combined with the leather, is what gives the impression of "rubber". This theme extends to the bottle, which is partly covered by rubber around the edges, to give the impression of car tires. The bottle itself is a work of art, like most of Bvlgari's bottles, which can only come from a company that is primarily a jewellery designer.
The smell... Upon initial application, you get tea and leather, with some bitter bergamot, this is what gives a feeling of "rubber" in the opening. But then after a few minutes the sandalwood, rose and jasmine appear, before being joined by a wonderful sweet vanilla note which stays until the end. It's both leathery and woody, with the sandalwood and cedarwood giving it longevity in the base. I would describe the projection as "soft" and although it lasts a long time... it mostly stays close to the skin, so people will smell you by getting closer (perfect for intimate occasions).
It's taken me a while to appreciate this fragrance, and different wearings with an open mind. Now I notice the tea note (a note which is very popular in many fragrances by Bvlgari). I think this can be worn by men or women, as it's very unisex. But I think it needs confidence to wear if worn by a lady, as the leather note is quite strong in the beginning.
Overall, it's quite a unique fragrance... and I'm sad to learn that it's now discontinued. But I would suggest anyone to try it as to me it's a very "clever" fragrance which is able to be unusual, modern and sexy all at the same time! I love trying unique fragrances... and Bvlgari Black is one of the best examples offered in the "designer" market.