Perfume Reviews

Positive Reviews of Black by Bulgari

Total Reviews: 209
Spin true, fake wheel's tea!
Rubber lies of leather's lie,
True enough for me.
02nd July, 2017
I remember buying my first bottle of Bulgari Black, back in about 2000. I read about it in a magazine shortly after its launch; the big hype in the press centered on the tea note, which got my attention immediately, seeing as I was a tea drinker, and a lover of Lapsong souchang. This was right at the time that Sephora first opened in the US, so I headed to the brand-new store in the Houston Galleria, seeing as I could sniff and think in relative peace there, with no sales assistant staring at me while I tried to decide if I liked it or not. I figured I'd need a few visits before I made up my mind.

I don't remember what I expected, but it wasn't . . . this. It came out of the little rubber-coated bottle hitting on all four cylinders, all big, meaty, smoky, and floral in the way that tea smells floral, with an expansive quality that reminded me of redwood forests in the Pacific northwest. The rubber note felt almost like sap (which is where rubber comes from, after all). But what Black really brought to mind was the machine shop at the family business; Dad was a pipeline contractor, and the shop comprised a warehouse of lathe operators and arc welders--hot metal, cool lubricants, and the smell of shavings piling up on concrete. So there it was, a machine shop forest, or a forest in a machine shop, or vice versa. And it was--daringly--marketed primarily to women, although even the early blurbs mentioned that anyone could wear it. I fell in love with it instantly.

The best thing about Black was its aura of mystery. It smelled a little perfumey (from the jasmine on the top, which gets lost once the smoke gets going) and a lot dangerous. Plus, it cost a very reasonable 50 bucks, even at full retail. It took me about 10 seconds before I stuck one of the square black boxes in my little Sephora basket and headed for the counter. I took it home and wore it nearly every day for at least a year; it put me in a sort of friendly ass-kicking mood, which was perfect for surviving the daily insanity of living in Houston, with its batshit traffic and noxious weather.

Now, almost two decades later, I still have one vintage bottle of Black. It's on its last legs, and it breaks my heart a little every time I spray it. Reformulation removed the chewy complexity of the tea notes, exaggerated the rubber, and also brought out the vanilla/tonka accord in the base; the whole perfume went out of whack and lost the balancing act that made it so interesting. Also, unlike many reformed perfumes, the drydown of the original smells quite different: when the smoke dies down (literally), my vintage settles back into a true tea scent instead of the rubber marshmallows of the current version.

I could elegize for several more paragraphs, but it's depressing, and boring, to read reviews that moan on about the ruination of great perfumes. So I'll just say that the latest (and the last, as I believe it's discontinued) edition of Black still smells pretty good, albeit much cruder--a better masculine, perhaps, but a less compelling perfume to my nose. It's still better than 99 percent of the stuff out there, and my heart still skips a beat when I smell it on a stranger. Passionate love has faded to wistful affection. I'll miss it when it's gone.
25th June, 2017
What more can be said on this one?

I ordered it blind ages ago having read countless reviews. It wasn't what I was expecting.

I don't get the Lapsang references - yes, it's smoky, but Lapsang tea has a sort of meaty smokiness, and this is more of a citric, vanilla, amber smokiness. I get something of the same zingy citrus vetiver bitter sweet top I get from Fat Electrician although vetiver is not listed as a note in Black. Again, I wish I actually knew how to identify notes - I might reward myself with a course when this odyssey is over!

I was a Lapsang drinker in my day and I might have some later to actually run some data against my opinions! I'm not a huge fan of tea scents as I don't like the tang of tannin they seem to engender in me. This has none of that.

I love it, especially as the first thing I noticed on smelling was its resemblance to the Je Reviens Memories of Times Past that haunt my dreams. It's got that same oddly sharp chemical bite that I love - which seems to be floral, vetiver, spice, and vanilla all at once. I think the 'rubbery' aspect is what I consider the shared Je Reviens DNA. The sharpness keeps the whole confection light and not too sweet.

It is lovely in autumn and winter, but I'm running out of summery stuff, and it is perfect today - the weather has cooled down a bit and it's cloudy. It has a tiny hint of plasters or bandages - the old very sticky type that came on a roll and smelled 'clinical'. It lasts as a lovely skin scent and is linear enough to stand repeated sprayings throughout the day.

It also makes me long for skyscrapers and modernity - it has an urban feeling about it - perfect for walking city streets and soaking up the energy.
22nd June, 2017
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alexmate Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Big on leather and Lapsang souchang tea. A bit of sandalwood as well. This very smoky, almost like a burnt tyre, but in a good way; definitely an evening scent and a sexy one at that.

Bottle Design: 3/5 Looks like a tyre with a silver top.
Scent: 4/5.
Complexity: 3/5 Not overly complex. The smoky tea and leather dominate.
Value for Money: 2/5 Possibly discontinued. Prices have gone up over the years. I paid the equivalent of around £30 in France for 100ml when it was launched which is a bargain; for £70 now not good value.
Overall: 3.5/5.
20th May, 2017
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
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 tea....an 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 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)
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
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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
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.

Thanks.
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
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
Salutation.

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 scent.it 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.

Sillage?Ok.

Longevity?Pretty Good on my skin.

7.5/10
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
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
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
Burned rubber with sweet and sensual vanilla in the bottle! :d
Start with dark and smoky scent of leather and black tea and some sweetness from vanilla.
The leather in this fragrance smells like a burned rubber! I think the smoky leather and black tea combo giving us this burned rubber vibe.
In the dry down and base, the burned rubber vibe is still there with very sensual and delicious scent of vanilla and musk.
Great balance between smoky and sweet notes.
Good longevity but it doesn't project well.
It's a unique and great fragrance with amazing look bottle.
10th May, 2014
Smoked tea

In the Bulgari line-up are quite some tea scents, one of them is BLACK, evoking the smell of Lapsang Souchong, a Chinese black tea dried over pine wood smoke, a note which is very dominant in this perfume.

This smoky note, also identified as rubber or tire, stays on strong for a long while until the vanilla note shows in the dry down and and adds a slight sweetness and powdery touch. I do not get any floral notes.

It is very suitable for summer and humid climate as it does not fade so easily as other perfumes and I wonder if the humidity amplifies the smoked tea note.

Pros: Smoky tea note, great longvity
Cons:

12th October, 2013
The bottled energy of a global city

Overall rating: * * * * * (masterpiece)

Bvlgari Black is New York (or any other global metropolis, really) in a bottle. Hot pavement, steam rising from the subway, ambient sweet food smells, and...noise. Yes, a fragrance can have a sound, and the sound of Bvlgari Black is the din of the city at lunchtime.

It took me a couple of wearings to fall in love with Bvlgari; my first reaction was negative: "Hot Rubber? In a fragrance? Is this some kind of joke?" The sensation was not unlike listening to Achtung Baby for the first time many years ago. I thought my stereo was broken! At any rate, BIack has become one of my top 10 fragrances of all time. Totally energizing, stimulating, sexy--a scent that, like a big city, is all about possibilities and self-transformation/self-invention.

A brief word about the nose behind Black, Annick Menardo. This fragrance is the crowing achievement of her remarkable career. It has her signature drydown (familiar to wearers of Jaipur) of spiced vanilla and musk. I can only imagine how magnificent this must have been back before IFRA began treating oakmoss as a schedule 1 controlled substance.

If you love your nose and believe that anything is possible in life, you need to try Bvlgari Black. It is a masterpiece

Pros: The perfect Annick Mendardo drydown
Cons: none"

26th August, 2013
Hot sweet rubber

I own 2 bottles now what a masterpiece.

Direct hit in my top 10 of all time designers scents!
This one keeps up the hype imo. Remember its made in 1998 or (1997) !! And i think this one has no flankers (besides the recent mip from vcanda)
It fascinates me for its rubber vanilla and tea mixture which blends perfect on my skin
The most urban street car called desire scent i ever smelled
As other reviews state its like a cartrack in hot summer with the smell of burned tires, asphalt and ladies walking around with a vanilla swirl , its just like how Tombraiders Lara Croft would smell like! Very masculine in the opening with a slightly feminine twist but you sure need to be a woman with balls ( not for Mary Poppins types ;-)
This scent sprayed on your body will swirl around your chest all day long heated up on skin oozing a sultry delight of deep class with balls .
Longevity is good and sillage is average to good
A masterpiece and timeless!

Pros: Unique and mindblowing
Cons:

25th August, 2013
unique

Fantastic scent, as stated by many here. Wish the drydown was stronger, though. A little too subtle for this powerhouse aficionado.

02nd August, 2013
A serious journey

The journey of this fragrance is amazing. There really is not much more I can say that has not been said about the initial blast of rubber; very industrial, yet satisfying. It totally changes in the dry down and finally becomes a vanilla sweet fragrance with an lingering woody note. In fact, the wood note smells a good deal like the wood in Givenchy Play; heresy I know, as that is seen as a very generic fragrance by many. I actually find them very similar at about an hour or so in, with the Play being lighter and perhaps better for hot weather.

21st July, 2013
Like it or not, a Must-Smell Classic

At around 250 reviews and counting, it's hard to say much that's new about what had to have been one of the more astonishing introductions of it's time. Although the novelty may have worn off for some, it's still modern, and quality juice, and something anyone who hopes to claim a knowledge of fragrance...or the history of fragrance...really owes it to themselves to smell.

Inexpensive as well, and comes in a bottle that may yet to be matched in it's originality.

Personally I like it a lot, and wear it with some frequency, if only for the amazement of the thing.

Pros: Historic, and nothing else quite like it.
Cons: You may not like it.

18th June, 2013