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Black (1998)
by Bulgari


Black information

Year of Launch1998
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 1644 votes)

People and companies

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

About Black

A woody, smoky 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

Bulgari Black's always throw's me back in time to the early 00's, New York, the hip art crowd I was sattelite to, parties in stylish lofts, deconstructed fashion etc.
How much did I actually encounter it back then? Avant guarde a clue. Most likely just a scent of it's time. People say it's lost its edge drowned in today's myriad of niche excentricities, but to someone like me who doesn't dabble much in niche it remains very unique. I don't know if it was intended that way but it feels very much like Shalimar for the nascent 21st century, concentrating on the smoky vanilla, amping it up and taking it out of parisian hausmannian boulevard boudoir powder and stepping into rubber and asphalt minimalist Chelsea art gallery.
It's been talked as having been discontinued for years, but I still see it available for cheap. It's an easy blind buy in my opinion for Shalimar lovers or for who wants a somewhat "historical" landmarks collection.
And yes it smells great!

Some say it's been somewhat stripped of its originality in reformulations, how much that is true or its place in the scent world of now I don't know.
04th July, 2021
It's amusing that this was ever seen as radical, but early reviews treat Bvlgari Black as downright edgy.

What it is is a sophisticated but modest rubbery, smoky, floral vanilla (with more artful blending in older bottles, but it never became unrecognizable). I find it comforting.
06th May, 2021
Generally I'm loath to read reviews bemoaning the fall from greatness of a certain scent or other. I'm all for Jeanne Moreau when she says the life you had is nothing, it's the life you have that matters. The life Bvlgari Black currently has is stripped of some interest. It retains a kind of weirdness, a daring and arresting originality of character. But it fades. Sooner and sooner it seems, to leave us with a fairly linear, sheer-y vanilla. It's not bad by any means, but it's hard to get into it in its current state, specially if you knew it before. Time rolls on, and there are better things out there. I still sniff it in department stores every now and then, and sometimes spray it on myself for that famous (and now fleeting) kick of burnt rubber.
06th April, 2021
It smells like vanilla laced tires, but also of asphalt a bit. Maybe that's why I love it so much - it smells just like my childhood on the block in the 90s/early 00s.
05th November, 2020
As another reviewer noted, this seems to have been reformulated into irrelevance. I get nothing of the rubber tire accord I’ve heard about, just a bland vanilla in the genre of Le Mâle.

[Purchased Nov 2019 from FragranceBuy, batch no. 00H15K17B]
20th December, 2019
Fragrances are a "subjective" thing in that we all can smell the same odor and interpret it in different ways. I never wore Black when it came out, and the only version I'm familiar with is this more recent iteration. This must have undergone a significant reformulation, because the famous "idiosyncrasies" of Black seem to be absent in the bottle that I'm smelling.
I purchased this on Fragrancenet a while back, so I know that this isn't a Canal Street knockoff shipped in from Shandong Province.

Upon first spray, and for a while, the intro to this is dominated by sandalwood, cedar, vanilla, and amber. Two of the three mid notes are cedar and sandalwood, two of the three base notes are vanilla and amber. Minus tonka bean, those four notes make up the base of Jean Paul Gaultier's Le Male (1995), and I have to tell you that the similarities between Le Male and Black are pretty darned apparent. Instead of the smoky Lapsang tea, I'm getting only a hint of the smokiness -- not so much tea -- and I'm only picking up a tiny bit of the leather. Since the leather and the tea notes are responsible for Black's infamous "rubber" note, and they seem to be basically neutered in this formulation, the rubber note is almost undetectable, and what's left is a semi-darker version of Le Male after it dries down a bit.

They must have really mucked around with the reformulation because this scent is not bad, but at the same time it's not interesting at all, save for coming across as a more restrained, smokier Le Male. I'd like to get my hands on some vintage Black, as I'm assuming this version underwent the same kind of castration that Dior's Fahrenheit (1988) did, except that Fahrenheit still retains it's diesel-soaked leather vibe, but just not as well as it used to.

All in all, this is a fair scent. I hope that the original iteration is better than this one, because for all intents and purposes this is a relative snoozer.

I give it a neutral, as I am truly indifferent to this scent.
11th September, 2019

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