Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Black by Bulgari

Total Reviews: 300
I picture a garage filled with mechanics. There are automobiles and motorcycles in various stages of repair or rebuild. It is mid-autumn. The smell of burning wood wafts inside the open door, from a neighboring dwelling. Someone amongst these rough-looking, grease-covered mechanical gurus is wearing fragrance.

That's my take on this one. Leather is the strange passenger aboard this liquid ride. It is peculiar, at best.
10th May, 2017
A dark and flat expanse of black rubber. This minimalist car tyre and iris combo with a vanilla praline undercurrent is very original; its also not easy to tell that its actually based on tea.

The merit of Black is that its not at all comforting or compliment seeking, quite the opposite; its provocative, and in this way more like a work of modern art than a simple olfactory ornament.

Works like this are a major step forward towards a modernist style of perfumery, but that still leaves us ninety years behind the plastic arts...

27th March, 2017
I overlooked trying this one for quite awhile, and after reading some of the reviews I almost put it on my "only if extremely convenient" list. I'm kind of glad I waited, because last year, I may not have enjoyed this one.
It's a strange one. Definitely on the challenging side, not one I expected from Bvlgari.
To me: Dr. Pepper and Cypriol/Nagarmotha. That's what stuck out to me. I am in love with it. I know it's likely the lapsang souchong that gives the smokiness, and with the strange rubber ball note, plus vanilla... I can't even think of what else to say.
Except, if you can afford it, and it sounds interesting, it's so affordable that you might as well spring for it. I chose to get a large decant, in with an order of some other decants, out of convenience.
But it's going to be my next full bottle.
Here's to the strange!
02nd February, 2017
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Just lovely, but performance generally poor on my skin. Even so, I love this fragrance. Like, really love it - nose to wrist, purring.
Hot rubber and smoked tea opening with moderate projection; at this stage, it's compelling and sexy. As the rubber fades, smoke sits on a medium-dirty leather; the drydown stays close to skin, giving a soft, creamy base of amber, sandalwood and vanilla - it's pretty.
The opening is interesting for those that get close enough to smell it, but it's still really super-easy to wear.
Longevity no better than moderate - good job this is cheap because I have to use lashings and reapply halfway through the day.
29th January, 2017 (last edited: 16th March, 2017)
Bvlgari Black: From the online reviews, I was expecting something like Dior Fahrenheit (one which will make your nose burn and eyes water), but this is actually an original variation on the familiar warm and spicy, oriental category. The opening is a blast of some kind of unfamiliar spice. I don't smell any of the rubber notes that have been discussed. I can kind of discern a "smokey" note, although I wouldn't have called it that without reading the other reviews. All together, I would rate this an "A-": a worthy contender, but I have no plans to buy at this time. The price, however, is quite reasonable.
30th December, 2016
Lapsang souchang exotic drink and a daring fragrance note! Smoky oriental fragrance that is a bold statement (which can result in pleasant or annoyed responses); Bvlgari Black is an acquired taste (love it or hate it). I even had a co-worker say that this scent smells like burning candles, a spot-on description! The dispenser is exotic in itself, and overall I do appreciate this scent more as a personal lift-up versus one to get noticed.
10th December, 2016
Love this one! So different...kind of edgy, definitely not one that everyone can pull off!
14th October, 2016
I'm having a really hard time with this one. The alcohol scent is so strong that I miss any initial scents and once its faded it smells like baby powder. If I really concentrate I can pick out the rubber and leather, but it's buried under a powdery smell that is similar to baby oil. I tried it a couple times on myself and it's all powder.

Than I had the idea to try it on my boyfriend. Mmmmm a bit of cedar and than super-vanilla. Imagine if you were to polish a nice oak cabinet with vanilla. No rubber. No leather. Sadly no delicious smokey tea. Just rich woody vanilla. It's not his taste, but I think it's yummy.
01st September, 2016 (last edited: 12th September, 2016)
I like the spicy sharpness in the air; I cant place the scent, but I think it's a bit like the smell on your hands after handling rubber stoppers, or casters.

I'm not getting the sort of metal I wanted from this; I've smelled galvanized steel in a perfume before. And something like a sinus-clearing ozone smell of clean metal. But neither are here.

I like the scent when it's in the air; but on my skin its just a muddy rubber mess for at least half an hour. After that, the rubber seems to fade, and leaves a pleasant, masculine smell behind. That's when you finally get the leather and musk, and that's when this fragrance is finally worth putting on.
20th July, 2016 (last edited: 21st July, 2016)
Let me start with... I do like most of the Bulgari scents that I have owned or sampled... I find them pleasant and even a few AMAZING... This isn't one of them. The only thing that I smell is a "Rubbery" synthetic note that kills me. Instant headache... I did give it several wears before kicking it to a friend of mine who I believe is on his 4 bottle of this mess...
02nd June, 2016
Simple and low key with loads of sophisticated charisma. A really good bouqet with the right amounts of everything. Not manly and not girly. Just nice, so nice it could be all the cologne you'll ever need.
10th May, 2016
I couldn't understand how something described as smelling like rubber, glass, metal, etc could be a unisex fragrance but now that I'm wearing it today for the first time, I can totally see this being worn by women. I do get a little of the rubber note but it's mostly sweet vanilla, woods and a soft leather note on me. Feels refined, not loud or messy.
15th April, 2016
It is rubber and vanilla. Like going to a biker ice cream stand. And not luxurious leather but cheap rubbery leather. Nothing great about it. Not unpleasant and hence not a thumbs down. For the price it can be a blind bought. Don't expect to be swept off your feet
14th January, 2016
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I bought a sample of this one partly because Turin says it's one of the best fragrances of all time in his book the "A-Z Guide to Perfume", and also partly because it's theme is supposed to be motorcycles and bikers, and biker/rocker guys with lots of long hair and tattoos and black leather are exactly what I usually love!
I'm sorry to say I actually don't like this scent! The amber-woody-musky-vanilla notes in the base remind me too much of "Angel", which I also never liked. And aside from that, the only other thing I can actually smell a lot of is freshly cracked black pepper. Weirdly, pepper isn't even listed as a note for Bvlgari "Black", but I swear, this smells like pepper to me! Sometimes I love that note in perfume, but unfortunately not in this one. :(
Also, I don't think I would even like this scent on a guy either. I just don't care for the way it smells! It's certainly unique and original, but it doesn't work for me.
12th November, 2015
My heart missed a beat when I received the news that this particular fragrance was not going to be available next to where I live. And when one had to know that I had the opportunity to buy it and bought A*Men instead, it is more painful to absorb.

Anyway, I found a way, in a local retailer and bought it blindly. It is magnificent, especially the Vanilla and Leather.

31st October, 2015
Bvlgari Black

BB is a very good masculine oriental whose appeal rests in its simplicity and subtleness.

Simply, it's a predominant vanilla tempered with a leathery powdered rubber note... all in a hockey puck bottle. What more can a guy want? Especially one that doesn't care for the way vanilla is used more often than not. Average strength / longevity and surprisingly not bad in the heat, providing you mind the triggerfinga.

BB, with Patchouli 24 and Jaipur Homme, rounds out my Annick Menardo trifecta.

I'm a 50+ average Joe living in the midwest U.S., for reference. fin 10/19/15

19th October, 2015
There isn't a single scent in the note tree that I don't love. It's like a magic list of things that should smell completely awesome when put together.

Too bad it doesn't work out that way. The fume of burnt rubber was so bad that within 10 minutes, I desperately scrubbed and scrubbed.

I drink lapsang souchong tea all winter long, and I can tell you, I wouldn't, if it stank like Bvlgari Black. I don't smell the slightest similarity.

Must be a chemistry thang.
18th October, 2015
I bought this fragnance immediatly after smelling it for the first time. I love it! I find the scent is more leathery than rubber, though I do detect some rubber
when I first spray it on. A soft masculine fragrance with smokey, leathery notes. Hints of florals and bitter vanilla. Easily worn by women and men. I was most surprised at how modern it smelled for a perfume from the late nineties. My only issue with this beautiful odour is the longevity. I have to really smell my skin at the 6 hour mark to detect it. Could it be because it is an eau de toilette? Regardless, even if it lasts only a short while, the beautiful scent is worth every second.
***Love the bottle too. It reminds me of a hockey puck***
16th September, 2015
hcr Show all reviews
United States
The vanilla drydown on this is lovely. The tea/rubber note is very interesting, but just not quite enough to sell me on this. Price is pretty good, but I think this will stay in the sample pile. Definitely try a sample before you buy a bottle.
24th August, 2015
I wore this for several years and believe it went over well with many people who smelled it on me. It always smelled slightly more masculine to me, but a lot of girls I knew liked it a lot. It had a noticeable lapsang note that encapsulated the smoky, tarry quality Bvlgari wished to convey, accompanied by a vanilla smoothness that lingered for several hours.
02nd August, 2015

BLACK is one of those unforgettable fragrance that both men and women love it.It is a true classic that has a uncompromising level of spicy sexiness never seen by BVLGARI before and after it is release.It is unisex with but a prominent hint of masculine. Leathery, Warm,Animalistic, Sophisticated,Sweet, Fascinating, Passionate and Classy.

The opening is classic floral with a citrusy note by bergamot and also tea while cedar and sandalwood sensually intertwine with jasmine in the heart. luxurious musk,sensual vanilla and especially leather complement this sexy makes an air of sensual and if the opening is nice the dry down is really great for me.

BLACK BVLGARI is a mature scent that for someone who wants to smell sophisticated animalistic not a faint-hearted character.It is suitable for a Night out on the town.definitely for Cold weather. In conclusion if you have never tried this one,you don't know what you're missing.It is great no doubt about it.test it first.


Longevity?Pretty Good on my skin.

13th May, 2015
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.
21st April, 2015
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
12th February, 2015
Elzéard Show all reviews
United Kingdom
I've tried it twice, and I can't remember it at all, other than that I remember it being okay.
16th December, 2014
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
01st November, 2014
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.
27th October, 2014
Very good juice from Bvgari. I searched for this high and low at Ross and was very happy when I purchased it. It's everything I expected from Bvgari with a scent of rubber vanilla, tea, and jasmine. Buy the biggest one you can find. Can definitely be an everyday scent and is unisex but you can tell this is geared towards a man. Very light and very safe with a little bit of driving through a red light.
06th October, 2014
Smells just l like an old band -aid. I am not fond of this scent at all. I gave it away. It was a blind buy.
23rd July, 2014
The rubber and tea top was delightful. But on me it rapidly turned to a very sweet, artificial vanilla. And it was tenacious. Just too sweet for me.
But interesting.
03rd July, 2014
I first encountered this scent in Claiborne's rip-off, entitled Realities. Would that it were so.

Despite the absolute adamance from both Turin and Herman that this reeks of "Hot Rubber," I find no olfactory reference to that note at all.

This is a dark, powdery, tea and tar-laden leather with cedar undertones, supported by a sweet amber. As such it is first and foremost a "leather."

I suppose it does deserve Turin's five stars for originality. The artificial sense of chemicals being predominant never gave me the plastic vibe, just a tiresome dry down after all the whistles and bells.

Turin again is carried away by putting this in a category with such classics as Bandid, Cabochard and Tabac Blond. No, No, a thousand times no.

Clever and original, yes. Desirable, no, not for me - but for other tastes, yes, worthy!
24th June, 2014