Positive Reviews of Bulgari Black by Bulgari

    Find out more about Bulgari Black by Bulgari in the Basenotes Fragrance Directory

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    citypark's avatar

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    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

    12 October, 2013

    lairdangus's avatar

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    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"

    26 August, 2013

    MrMookie's avatar

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    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

    25 August, 2013

    knightowl's avatar
    United States United States

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

    02 August, 2013

    RichNTacoma's avatar
    United States United States

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    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

    Birdboy48's avatar
    United States United States

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    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.

    18 June, 2013

    And-Or's avatar

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    A.I. Sex Robot, 2072

    I'm totally new to fragrance, and I'm hunting for a signature as well as 2-3 occasionals. This has signature potential but for now all I know for sure is it's on the buy list. The moment I whiffed this it was instantly on the politely-ask-for-more-samples-than-you're-allowed list. It was the weirdest thing I had sprayed. It was warm, broody and a little confusing.

    Then I read up about it here. "Arson at the Local Auto-Parts" That can't be… I'm a tea drinker who never uses sweetener, so surely I'd see this rubber for the natural earthy tea that it really is? Nah. No fondness for roasty oxidized teas can deny that this smells like rubber. But I can gladly assert that this is not burnt rubber. I don't get an acrid cancer causing fume. Just clean delicious rubber. The sex-bots of 2072 will be modeled after the bio-human specimens from earlier that century who wore Bvlgari Black.

    It dries down sweetly and sensually (without spices) but keeps a strange mechanical edge. That's not to say the notes themselves seem synthetic. Think of the current trend in furniture where clean modern techno-shapes are made of reclaimed wood and oiled bronze. The components are natural and tactile even though the overall form points forward. I went into this venture expecting to hate anything that didn't seem earthy and natural. I really like Bvlgari Black despite the fact that it makes me feel like a robot. But this isn't for programed robots (they wear sport fragrances — oh! just kidding!), this is for robots that generate new ideas and were constructed at the molecular level using bio-mimic algorithms on organic compounds. They have as much free will as natural-humans.

    : ::edit:: :

    After wearing my generous sample a few times I now I feel like it dries down a little too powdery and feminine. It's still a very nice powdery-feminine and definitely something I don't mind wearing and enjoy smelling on myself — the problem is the sweetie-pie mood of the dry-down is such a contrast to the weird edgy opening and middle that it's a bit schizophrenic. The chance that it'll synch up with your mood on both ends of the wear might be rare. Just something to be aware of. If you spray it at night to go out the angelic dry-down might be good for waking up in a semi-stranger's bed and having a morning cuddle. But if you're in a broody mood and you spray this in the morning, there's a chance that by late afternoon you'll feel a little misrepresented unless you undergo a mood swing.

    Pros: futuristic sexy warm gender-balanced
    Cons: schizophrenic

    12 June, 2013

    ojaddicte's avatar
    Canada Canada

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    This scent on my skin opens with a scent of burnt rubber which quickly subsides into a warm, cozy vanilla with tea accents. I love it. My husband adores it on me. Definitely a love or hate fragrance.

    14 May, 2013

    UKisGR8's avatar
    United States United States

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    Being a fan of Midnight in Paris, I was pointed in the direction of Bulgari Black. I blind bought this at a safe price of $22 for the 1.3 ounce puck. Let me just say, after 2 wears that I am glad I bought it and the rubber note is what I like most about the fragrance. Some people will tell you to apply the fragrance and then wait 30 or 40 minutes to let the rubber note settle but the opening may be my favorite stage. I like Bulgari Black all the way through and my only complaint is that I have only gotten 6 hours out of it both times I've worn it... but that's ok because I can reapply and get the opening I like so much.

    You won't get a big projection out of this fragrance but I guarantee that if someone comes in contact with you that you will receive a compliment. I don't see how Bulgari Black could be offensive to anyone past the opening considering the Vanilla is what shines most, even with the rubber note taking a big back seat in the dry down.

    Big Thumbs up.

    11th May, 2013

    Bal a Versailles's avatar
    Bal a Versailles

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    My partner doesn't like it on me. That's a statement of fact, not anything to be swayed by. Is this the ultimate Terminator perfume? Is there an inner Sarah Connor to me?... don't think so. But, my friends, there it is, the machine and the human, all rolled into one staggeringly discombobulated scent. Fight or flight? There's the lumbering backdrop of CRC, the constant feeling of pursuit, the roar of the engine, all leavened by the vanillac loss of innocence. Bvlgari Black, the Terminator. It's pure Science Fiction. Total Recall. Heinlein, Niven, Pournelle, McCaffery, Le Quin, Feist, Tolkien, C.S. Lewis. I get the vibe.
    There will be days like these, we are told. I will wear Bvlgari Black

    02 May, 2013 (Last Edited: 11th May, 2013)

    IthinkInailedit's avatar

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    An often overlooked gem. A lot of people disagree with the whole unisex tag, but I COMPLETELY agree with it. I mean powdery vanilla? C'mon. When I first tried Bulgari Black a few years ago, I immediately noticed the infamous rubber note in the opening. Like many assessments, I agreed that it smelled like brand new fresh tires. Over the years my nose no longer picks that up, but either way the harsh opening notes fade VERY quickly, like 10 minutes quickly. It's strange, even some who love this fragrance still prefer to let the opening simmer down before they leave the house. I don't mind, but I think its mid is the strongest when the vanilla really starts to pick up and contrasts with the deeper tea notes, just beautiful. It's all ghostly powder and vanilla in the ending, just kind of waving goodbye to you.

    Unfortunately strength and projection are super poor. This definitely isn't the type of fragrance that you want blasting out like a monster, but it almost sits too close to the skin. I rarely receive any compliments at all, though many claim to so it's possibly just extra weak on my skin. The good news is that you can find it for extremely cheap if you look in the right places.

    10th February, 2013

    Smelly Beast's avatar
    Smelly Beast
    Brazil Brazil

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    Since there's nothing new to say about this masterpiece, I decided just to pay an homage.

    I got my first bottle of this elixir from my mother, she bought it and hate it! but for me it was love at first sniff, that glorious dark sweetness, the rubbery leather note and the ambery dry down. That was so intriguing to me, I had never smelled a fragrance like that before! And it became my signature to go out at night. I was a bit shy to rock it because I was a kid and didn't know there was such thing as a unisex fragrance but I wore it anyway regardless of what people might think. Lucky me!

    I still have this old bottle (whit the on and off turning cap) the juice became thick and dark just like an extrait and I wear it some times at night to feel cozy and remember of old times...

    15 January, 2013 (Last Edited: 12 February, 2013)

    Mandrake's avatar
    Venezuela Venezuela

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    For me, Bulgari Black is a tremendous work of conceptual art. The essence of the great cities in a jar. If you let that note dissipate burning rubber, you will enjoy an exquisite drying. Yes, not a perfume of great projection, sticks to the skin but leaving notice.

    22 December, 2012

    's avatar

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    Sexy and sweet leather that sometimes smells like burnt rubber. Classic and innovative. I only wish it had more lasting power. Unisex. Worth it.

    02 November, 2012

    sjg3839's avatar
    United States United States

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    I recently submitted a review giving this one a negative review. Wearing this for a few days, I see that this is a good frag. The rubber note is not bad at all. It hangs around for about a half an hour or so. After that the vanilla and amber take over leaving a slightly sweet scent. The longevity is not all that good (About 4 hours). WARNING: This one is for the confident only.

    16 October, 2012 (Last Edited: 24 October, 2012)

    Preston H's avatar
    Preston H
    United States United States

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    I been wearing this off and on for 10 years and its just as good now as it was then. It's so sexy and modern an initial herbal/floral mix that gives way to a woody, ambery vanilla dry down. This stuff is electric its one of the only designers that smells like it can easily be niche. The only knock on this is the bottle, I absolutely hate the bottle, when you spray it half gets on the bottle, the other half on ur skin unless you hold it at a perfect angle. They've made improvements over the years but the bottle still sucks

    12 October, 2012

    elmalo's avatar

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    I have had this scent for years and it is by far one of my absolute favorites. A beautiful fragrance.
    I do not get "rubber" out of it at all. That smell to me smells exactly like the incense they burn at church.

    16 September, 2012

    only_me!'s avatar
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    With reference to the late, great, J.G. Ballard, I can imagine that if this masterpiece had been created in 1996 then the wonderfully erotic and ambiguous James Spader could have worn ‘Black’ whilst playing ‘James Ballard’ in David Cronenberg’s adaptation of the author’s controversial, Crash (1996): the concrete Ballardian landscape redolent with heavy traces of various automobile derivatives and fumes as we witness the prowling actions of the central protagonist fuelling his addiction within this urban dystopia.

    Annick Menardo has created one of the all-time iconic love/hate perfumes in which we discover robust leather/rubber/tar notes functioning as top notes veering only slightly from their initial trajectory as they continue towards base notes. This is a hermaphrodite scent of stunning originality and sexiness, although some may wish to consider Van Cleef & Arpels’, ‘Midnight in Paris’ if a less solid version of ‘Black’ is desired, or the superb, delicate, nuanced, and sophisticated ‘Chergui’ by Serge Lutens: a divine creation that offers the wearer a more subtle and complex perfume whilst arguably satisfying the appetite of those for whom the ‘smoky/leathery’ chords defined by ‘Black’ remain appealing and alluring.

    For further descriptive accounts, please read the wonderful reviews below.

    02 September, 2012

    Francolino's avatar
    Italy Italy

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    even though smells of new tires!

    30th August, 2012

    andys's avatar

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    Yes, leather, yes maybe rubber, yes understated.
    After a few wears you kind of grow to love it.
    A little hard to 'pin down' somehow, but definitely worth persevering with a bit.

    26 August, 2012

    kvn's avatar

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    Vanilla and rubber. A warm, dark smell. Great if you're looking for a modern masculine scent. My wife loves this because "it doesn't smell like a perfume". It's not "chemically". It is kind of muted, though. That would be my one complaint. It may be a little too subtle.

    20th August, 2012

    Oh_Hedgehog's avatar
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Warm rubber and baby powder vanilla in a hockey-puck bottle, simultaneously weird- and cosy-smelling without being remotely grungy or cloying. Bulgari Black contains notes of tea, jasmine and musk, with an intimation of leather throughout, but when push comes to shove it's about the rubber and vanilla.

    I don't know whether Black is a masterpiece, but some of its qualities point in that direction: its elegant simplicity; a perfect linearity as if entering the world fully-formed; its creator Annick Ménardo's track record; its ideal diffusion, quiet yet enduring; and a brilliant gender indeterminacy. While developments since its appearance in 1998 – Comme des Garçons' ‘Synthetics’ series comes to mind – might have chipped away at its novelty, Black will always be (the) original.

    Many have remarked on the scent's 'private life', that 'I-wonder-what-it-will-do-today?' quality. As with Beckett's remark of his 'Endgame', Black depends on the power of the scent to claw, in its ability to bewitch and provoke.

    20th July, 2012

    OregonAutumn's avatar
    Hungary Hungary

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    Few years ago, I've found a decant of Black in one of my drawers. Not sure where did I get it or who gave it to me, but I applied it few times, and it definitely pleased my nose. It was wonderful.
    Funny or weird thing is, I discovered that it was likely a counterfeit/watered down version, because even the bottle itself was different from the ones I've seen on google (I'm not sure if it is actually can be considered as a bottle). But I liked it, so I "blindbought" an authentic one and hoped that it has better longevity and a more refined smell than the fake one.

    I've just received it. I'm not sure if I hate it or love it.

    I love it because....
    Just look at the bottle itself. Awesome details....and really unique, has the shape of a steering wheel or a tyre. Well, Bulgari is a jewellery company so this doesn't really surprise me. Just great quality that I've expected. If you are a collector, you have to buy it.
    The overall smell of the juice is perfect. It reminds me of Fahrenheit - you have the gasoline note and the tangerine/orange together, and in this case you have the rubber note and vanilla.
    I don't get anything else, maybe the leather and the tea note, but that is all for me.

    And I hate it because....
    This could be my signature scent. It's not really popular. But it has POOR projection, stays close to the skin. Longevity is average, sometimes I have to reapply it, sometimes I don't.

    Spraying it more than 3-4 times is pointless, you will not get more longevity.

    Still a thumbs up.

    Sillage,Projection : 6/10
    Longevity : 7/10
    Versatility: I think it is actually versatile, doesn't project much, so haters of the infamous tyre note will not get offended. 8/10
    Smell: 10/10, excellent !!!

    Overall: 8/10, great buy.

    Make an EDP version or fix the projection/longevity issues please, Bvlgari.

    13 July, 2012

    rbaker's avatar

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    Bulgari Black opens with that rubbery petrol-station feeling that previous basenotes - reviewers described so aptly.  On me it is less harsh than the opening blasts of Knize 10 or TF Tuscan Leather, with a Lapsang Souchong-like smoky tea note being discernible.  The drydown is indeed vanilla based and sweetly musky with a bit of wood but without much leather on me.  It is still quite balanced and not cloying.  The two phases are clearly delineated, with the first rubbery one lasting about half an hour or so.  Interestingly, towards the end the vanilla becomes a bit less sweet and more interesting albeit faint.  The projection is good initially, but later on it is closer to my skin, which makes it wearable for work.   A great and creative urban cool-weather fragrance of the old Bulgari school with an excellent longevity of over eight hours on my skin.  I can see why is has the status of a classic.  My current bottle design is of the new style and hence not as prone to malfunction.  Its design is aesthetically sensational, although offering little protection from the light.  

    10th July, 2012

    gmstrack's avatar
    United States United States

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    This is naughtiness in a bottle. The vanilla is sweet and bossy at first and then dries down to a slightly powdery “skin, but better” routine. The leather cracks the whip early on, but calms down after rubber shows up. And then, there is something else. At first, it is difficult to place, but suddenly the answer appears…oh no they didn’t. Animalic. Salty. Metallic? Maybe buckles and chains? Is someone smoking in the corner?
    During my next trip to New Orleans, I plan on drenching myself in this stuff. Well, maybe more than four sprays.

    18 June, 2012

    Shifty Bat's avatar
    Shifty Bat
    United States United States

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    Don't know if I could personally wear this for hours on end but the smoky sweetness is an interesting balancing act. A super pleasant construction. I particularly enjoy the 'is there licorice in this?' accord.

    17 June, 2012

    My_pep_pep's avatar
    United States United States

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    I'm really fond of Black. It's pretty sweet but balanced by the darker, stranger notes of rubber and/or lapsang souchang. There is powdery vanilla and amber. I can't always wear vanilla but again, the balance here is what makes this scent something special. Love it.

    16 June, 2012

    lupin's avatar
    United States United States

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    Smelling this is like playing a theremin with your nose.

    It contains an incredible range of notes that are discovered merely by moving your nose towards and away from your skin.

    This is what space-heroes wear. No doubt about it.

    08 May, 2012

    hreple's avatar

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    My first fragrance from Bvlgari - black is truly something special.

    Most people think rubber when they try this fragrance, but you should really just have a soothing cup of Lapsang Souchang-tea before you discard this fragrance as just endless rubber.

    The smokey, tare-infused smell and taste of the tea will dictate what Black is all about. Dark, sensual and slightly ... let's be honest here - both naughty and kinky due to the darkness of the fragrance, mixed with the vanilla.

    You're met bya prominent "rubberized" smell, which is the Lapsang Souchang tea. After a little while, the leather and wood mid pokes forward - and is joined by a prominent (at least on me) vanilla-note in the base. Still, it's not overtly sweet like a lot of vanilla scents.

    It's easy to see, and understand all the comments about rubber, and to many people that's what you get initially, but if you know your teas, you'll recognize this as "something else", but still very influenced by the lingering and somewhat naughty "rubberized" feel.

    A wonderful but very special fragrance to be worn with confidence and a slight desire to express your kinky inner person. One of the few designer-fragrances I really like.

    06 April, 2012

    killerloop's avatar
    United States United States

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    I get the (in)famous rubber note in the initial 15 minutes after spraying on my skin, then this turns in to a full-on sexy and sensual vanilla with woody elements and some leather, but not an overly sweet vanilla. There's also a little touch of smokiness I pick up during this point of wear that seems to fit along nicely with the woody/vanilla/leather, similar to the smokiness picked up in Aventus.

    This is a superb fragrance, especially for the price per bottle and very unique. It's definitely, in my opinion, Bvlgari's best male offering and one I would imagine any collector would own, and one I will always have in my wardrobe.

    25 March, 2012

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