Perfume Directory

Black (1998)
by Bulgari

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Black information

Year of Launch1998
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 1597 votes)

People and companies

HouseBulgari
PerfumerAnnick Menardo
PackagingThierry de Baschmakoff
Parent CompanyBulgari
Parent Company at launchFerragamo Group

About Black

A Woody Smoked fragrance. The bottle is rounded and designed to fit the hand. A combination of metal, glass and rubber. Like most of the Bulgari fragrances, it contains a tea note.

Black fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes
  2. Heart Notes
  3. Base notes

Reviews of Black

Back in black... ACDC
Unless itís bulgari
Smoking vanilla pods...

Nice for the price

15th November, 2018 (last edited: 05th February, 2019)
An extraordinary machine among clones

I believe that anyone who becomes obsessed with perfume, particularly those who maintain a strict budget like myself, eventually starts making a list of white whales. Difficult to find or discontinued Moby Dick-ian perfumes you build up in your mind and chase, fragrant phantoms in your imagination, haunting you when you least expect it.

For me, one such fragrance has been Bvlgari Black. I first read about it years ago in Tania Sanchez/Luca Turinís Perfume Guide in which Turin waxed rhapsodic and anointed the scent with a coveted 5-star rating. Its pyramid hit all the notes for I love smoke, woods, rubber, jasmine. And then there were the descriptions. Innovative and modern yet wearable. Complex and perfectly balanced. Scintillating, smoldering, daring, original. More CdG than CdG, more LíArtisan than LíArtisan. Black has been described as all of these things and so much more.

In my mind, Black began to take on mythical proportions. I read reviews as if they were travelogues from Atlantis. I imagined the burning asphalt of Nasomattoís Black Afgano, but with subtlety and grace. The effortless cool of CdGís Black, but something more innovative and daring. The patent-leather insouciance of Etat Libre díOrangeís Rien, but without its brattiness. You get the idea. Black was the Alpha and the Omega. Holy Grail status before I'd even smelled the thing.

Of course I've had Black sightings in online stores and flash sales over the years. Iíve always known samples and decants were readily available. But I never bought it. I told myself this was because of prohibitive shipping costs but the truth was, I was avoiding the crushing disappointment of getting what you want and finding you donít really want it afterall. Whatís more valuable? A wonderous fantasy of the most perfect fragrance, THE Platonic Angelus Novus ur-fragrance, or 40 bucks plus shipping for the real thing?

Well, I came across a tester of Black today. I hesitated. They say you should never meet your idols. But it was time to kill a god. I sprayed my wrist, and inhaled.

Black is good. It starts off innocuously, but give it time to breathe and that smoky, rubbery, synthetic accord starts to come alive. Itís nothing like the acrid smoke monsters I often flirt with, burning a black swath through the air with cade and birch tar. In fact, thereís a transparency to Black that contrasts well with the smoke. Itís also a lot less cerebral and more approachable than one might expect. It's the vanilla, which manages here to impart a soothing quality to the composition. The jasmine seems gentle, the leather becomes friendly. There is an attractive warmth to Black that reminds me that synthetic arts can in fact be very human, kindly even. This is a fragrance for urban types who do not find cities intimidating or overly exciting, but rather, welcoming and familiar.

After 4.5 hours, Black dries down to a warm vanillaic wood skin scent. My chief complaint is that Black seems weak overall and does not last very long to the point where I was tempted to knock my rating down to neutral. And if I am to be honest, I personally prefer something more aggressive. I'm afraid this was not FB worthy for me.

So there we have it. What was once limitless potential has been met with finitude. Although it was not a hollow disappointment, itís strange to think that the chase for Black is now over. How shall I comfort myself, murderer of all murderers? Why, I shall steep a pot of tea, curl up with a book of poetry with my nose to my wrist, send in an order for another round of perfume samples and call it a day. Because I'm just a lady who enjoys smelly water. And it's one white whale down with countless others to go.

If you have read up to this sentence, thank you for indulging me with this unnecessarily long and tangential review. Le parfum est mort. Vive le parfum!
09th November, 2018 (last edited: 15th November, 2018)
When I bought this for my husband, I wondered if he too would like the warm, musky and leathery, rubber scent as much as I did - he did. Now our son is older, he has taken to wearing it regularly also. It's unusually attractive, and even now I wonder how the scent of new car tyres could be so highly intoxicating, but it is. It's very masculine, and so far every man that I know, that has been introduced to it, likes it too.
30th October, 2018
Ifti Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Drats.
Wanted this to be amazing, from the strong positive reviews.Rubber, leather and smoky tea over a vanilla Amber and musky bases sounded like it'd be a hit.
I don't get much of the notorious tea or rubber notes at all.
Again like a generic modern frag, sweetish gourmand and or Oriental, feels like an easy inoffensive metro crowd pleaser.
I get a quite nice vanilla and sandal, but that's it's. Possibly had set it up and a mind blower from the note pyramid.
As it stands ( for me and my chemistry I guess) an ok sweet vanilla sandal , I feel something tart and peppery would really lift it.
Generally pleasing but it won't be on my wish list.
5/10
26th May, 2018
Smells like plastic/rubber and baby powder. Feminine leaning of the unisex range.
17th May, 2018
A kaleidoscopic modern vanillic oriental, Bvlgari Black is elusive and intriguing. Crafted carefully and cleverly, Black is a wonderful interplay of leather, smoky tea, florals, a rubber like accord and vanilla. Yet, rather than being loud or cacophonous, Black is gentle, persistent, wearing like a translucent veil of grey. Black opens with a hint of jasmine, but is soon accompanied by a wonderful note of black tea, a little smoky. As these persist, the development leads to a famed accord of 'rubber', to which the jasmine contributes notably. This is the phase where a leathery aspect comes to the fore, that I associate more with new car tires than anything else. The final development brings a dry, non-sweet vanilla laced with musk.

Bvlgari Black is a unique and interesting fragrance, and perhaps best showcases the talent and ingenuity of Annick Menardo. It is beautifully androgynous, futuristic and very memorable. While I admire Black more than I love it, it is one of my personal favourites to wear on a cool rainy day. I find sillage to be close and persistent, and duration to be excellent at over several hours. However, perhaps the greatest achievement here is how all these innovative and seemingly discordant elements come together to create a whole more than the sum of its parts, and an end product that is a complete personal fragrance. It's like a L'Artisan, perhaps before L'Artisan became widely respected for being innovative. Those in disagreement with Black usually come around to the fact that it is a venerable perfume. Just that it's not stereotypical, but perhaps a trifle quirky.

4/5
01st February, 2018

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