Bvlgari Black (1998)

Bvlgari Black by Bvlgari
Bottle Design: Thierry de Baschmakoff
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7.3 / 10     337 RatingsRatingsRatings
Bvlgari Black is a perfume by Bvlgari for women and men and was released in 1998. The scent is leathery-sweet. The production was apparently discontinued.

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Annick Ménardo

Fragrance Notes

Top Notes Top NotesBergamot, Green tea
Heart Notes Heart NotesJasmine, Sandalwood, Cedar
Base Notes Base NotesAmber, Leather, Musk, Vanilla



7.3 (337 Ratings)


6.8 (244 Ratings)


6.2 (227 Ratings)


7.4 (239 Ratings)
Submitted by DonVanVliet, last update on 28.09.2018
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Bottle 10.0/10 Sillage 5.0/10 Longevity 7.0/10 Scent 10.0/10
Very helpful Review    3
Back to Black
This one from Bulgari and Annick Menardo has a special place in my heart and in this video I review the current formulation of Black. Please enjoy......

Bottle 9.0/10 Sillage 7.0/10 Longevity 7.0/10 Scent 8.5/10
Helpful Review    2
My favorite blind purchase
I had watched a review on this one years ago and was always intrigued. Finally picked up a bottle a few months back and I'm very glad I did (just wish I had gotten a bigger one). At first I get black licorice, leather, and a bit of rubber, like new tires. Once it dries down the vanilla comes through and seems to stick around for a good while.
From Different Planets
Outside of the very unique bottle, this stuff is horrific. Of all the scents I've ever smelled and reviews I've ever read, this particular polarizing "fragrance" (misnomer) leads me to believe people are full on delusion participating in group think. Honestly, I get a terrible headache whenever I'm anywhere near this stuff. It's like being at a gas station and pumping gas all over yourself. You really want to smell like gas mixed with burnt tires? Perhaps, okay if you're spending a day at the drag races, but I can't think of one legitimate occasion, outside of that, to ever don this stuff on your person. I'm baffled every time I see a positive review of this... Any other fragrance I can see how personal bias comes into play but there is no mistaking this is just awful, awful, awful stuff. It makes me believe that if Bvlgari scraped up dog poop from the sidewalk and liquified and bottled it that it would have legions of fans raving about how fantastic it is. Dollar store cologne is better! Everyone who has ever written a positive review of this stuff PLEASE tell me you did it for grins. PLEASE! I hate this stuff so much I've returned from a multi year hiatus after seeing an email to a link to another review extolling the virtues of this bottled garbage. Thank you, Bvlgari Black for bringing me back, if only for this.
3 Replies
Scent 8.0/10
Helpful Review    3
Smoke. Leather. Rubber. Love
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
Bottle 10.0/10 Sillage 5.0/10 Longevity 7.5/10 Scent 10.0/10
Greatly helpful Review    5
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.
Bottle 7.5/10 Sillage 5.0/10 Longevity 7.5/10 Scent 10.0/10
Helpful Review    6
Bvlgari Black
The opening of this fragrance is an aromatic crystalline citrus note. This interesting note disappears almost immediately, and on my skin remains a smoky tea note with a touch of leather as its base. The dry down is very soft and creamy, the main note being vanilla. I feel this is a very well done tea fragrance, very elegant and understated.
Bottle 10.0/10 Sillage 5.0/10 Longevity 5.0/10 Scent 8.0/10
Greatly helpful Review    8
Days of war, nights of love: Sultry vanillic leather
Black is one of the few fragrances I would call outright sexy, and one of the few in which a prominent vanilla accord doesn't get cloyingly sweet. I get only a whiff, if that, of the various woods and florals listed: to me, this is almost entirely rubbery leather tinted with vanilla, and grounded by a warm musk that doesn't steal the show or invoke sweat or laundry detergent. I find it perfect for the cold season, and have no idea yet how this behaves during warm weather, but I'm really curious to find out! My only complaint is that the leather isn't quite as intense as I would have hoped, but at EdT concentration this is only a minor concern.

The bottle and packaging complement the juice perfectly, which is a rare enough occurrence that it warrants a separate mention. It is black, stylish and self-assured from box to drydown, and it is absolutely GORGEOUS. Black is an outstanding example of genius in simplicity. Sex and style often seem irreconcileable in perfume, but with Black Annick Ménardo has achieved that, and more. On top of everything else, Black is widely available through online discounters for very reasonable prices at least in Scandinavia and Finland, so keep an eye (or nostril) out for it.

Addendum: In light of Omni's review, there is a sci-fi feel to this, definitely. I don't know about Terminator, but maybe Pacific Rim.
1 Replies
Staggerinly discombobulated
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
1 Replies
Sillage 7.5/10 Longevity 7.5/10 Scent 9.0/10
Greatly helpful Review    8
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 the monsoon period as it does not fades so easily as other perfumes, but I wonder if the humidity (around 60%) amplifies the smoked tea note.
Bottle 7.5/10 Sillage 2.5/10 Longevity 5.0/10 Scent 6.0/10
Very helpful Review    6
Classic rubber!
Sexy and sweet leather that sometimes smells like burnt rubber with vanilla, which is great.

Classic and innovative when was released. This is probably the main inspiration of VCA Midnight In Paris.

I only wish it had more lasting power. Unisex. Worth it.

Updated January 2014
Bottle 7.5/10 Sillage 2.5/10 Longevity 5.0/10 Scent 7.0/10
Very helpful Review    6
Bulgari's Best, But That Isn't Saying Much...
Definitely the best from Bulgari, IMO. It is unique and well made. I can really appreciate the rubber accord here, as it blends pleasantly with the scent. I am not going to go as far as to claim Black is a masterpiece like many critics (professional and amateur alike), but I like it and recommend it. This 3 to 3.5 star out of 5 "good" smelling release is quite different from most designer fragrances currently on the market and it comes in a great tire shaped bottle too.
Sillage 7.5/10 Longevity 10.0/10 Scent 6.0/10
Very helpful Review    5
A bit like sniffing glue...
I have been wanting to test Bvlgari BLACK for quite some time now, but have put it off because of a negative experience with Kenneth Cole BLACK, which has a rubber tire facet as well. PBullFriend sent me a generous decant of the Bvlgari classic, and I finally have mustered up the courage to give it a sniff.

My first impression was that this perfume absolutely bears the signature of Annick Ménardo. It seems like a sort of cross between a few of her perfumes familiar to me. But then there is the notable rubber note, which is what really makes this unique and is also the reason why this perfume is now famous. Vanilla rubber: who knew that this combination could create a coherent perfume?

More and more it's coming to seem that weird combinations such as rubber and vanilla and tea and leather (all present here) are taken to be masterpieces because there are no other perfumes like them when they are launched. I do own that BLACK is unique. It does not really smell like Kenneth Cole BLACK, though the tire notes connect them somewhat. In contrast to the Kenneth Cole composition, the Bvlgari does not have any detectable florality according to my nose. I primarily smell rubber, vanilla, and leather which is tea-infused and rubbery. So, yes, there's a lot of rubber going on here. Do people find the smell of rubber sexy because they think of condoms? I wonder...

There is definitely something appealing about this perfume, but it has that eerie appeal of all of the toxic materials listed by Njdeb below: rubber cement, gas fumes off the nozzle, paint fumes, glue, burning rubber, magic markers and related solvents. Toxic fumes one and all, yet somehow enticing in an odd way. I wonder whether if one wore BLACK regularly one might actually suffer brain damage. I say this because I feel on the cusp of a headache after only a small application of this perfume.

I think that rubber notes and plastic notes work better for car interiors than on my skin. But I enjoyed this test ride. Thank you PBullFriend! (-;
1 Replies
Helpful Review    3
Vanilla Leather & Woods
This is a smoky vanilla woody and leather perfume.
It's powdery and woody ...the opening is very prominent with vanilla and leather.
It's dark and sweet.When heart notes unfold this gets more woodier .
It's complex and not as simple as it seems at the opening.Cedar,sandalwood and musk contribute to the complexity of the aroma.
It's unisex ,more suitable for cool weather.
Lasts more than eight hours.Casual wear for a typical night out with friends.
Bottle 10.0/10 Sillage 7.5/10 Longevity 5.0/10 Scent 7.0/10
Very helpful Review    6
Don't let the rubber scare you off
At first spray you do indeed get the unmistakable smell of rubber tires. This will surely not appeal to everyone. Me, I like it. Perhaps this is because one of my favorite memories from my rural mid-American childhood is rolling myself up inside the cavity of a discarded tractor tire (these always seemed to be just randomly lying around), and having my friends roll me around in it, or, better yet, send me flying down a hill.

(Come to think of it, lots of probably toxic smells make me nostalgic for my late sixies/early seventies youth: hot tar, leaded gasoline, mimeograph fluid and rubber cement, to name a few. Surely sniffing these things was not good for me, but, hey, that stuff smelled good.)
But I digress....

Back to Black. Along with the rubber, I get a slightly powdery woody note (the tea?) and a bit of leather. Nothing floral here to my nose, and I can't really pick out the bergamot, but maybe that is what makes this scent lighter than you would expect from the notes. This is not industrial strength rubber, but actually quite tame and well behaved.

The vanilla starts to emerge rather quickly to lend some sweetness and smoothness, and the rubber note becomes a tad more leather-like. The smell that you get about ten minutes after spray remains pretty stable for the duration of the scent.

All in all, this is a unique fragrance that I feel is appropriate for both sexes. Rest assured, though, this is not a "weird" scent, but one that actually settles into a very wearable, light leather/vanilla. Oh, and the hockey puck bottle makes a great paper weight
1 Replies
When I first tried you I was hopeful every sniff. You were extremely linear on my skin.
You smelled of new tires and vanilla.
I wish I could write more about you, but frankly your quite boring!

It's like hearing about this nice looking and charming man who works at Mr. Tire.
You go to see him amidst all the hype. He takes you on a date to which you both wear leather and ride his motorcycle. He smells slightly of vanilla, but the vanilla can not hide the new tire smell that is ingrained in his pores.

He was a boring date despite his flashyness and good looks
1 Replies
Bottle 5.0/10 Sillage 7.5/10 Longevity 7.5/10 Scent 6.0/10
Very helpful Review    7
Black rubber
Every time I see this fragrance in the stores, it is almost always placed in the male fragrance department. For people that don't follow fragrance like a religion, one would assume that it is a male fragrance rather than unisex.

I was compelled to try Bvlgari Black after reading that it was a popular and unique fragrance which women seemed to enjoy wearing. As a fan of everything unique, I tried this in a store yesterday. I was not game enough to spray on my skin, so I tried it on a tester card.

There was an immediate blast of sharp rubber and leather, which left me surprised but not repulsed. However, in only a few minutes the scent changed to a sweet honey and car tyre rubber scent. I was horrified by this combination. Before this fragrance had become repulsive, I would have suggested that Bvlgari Black was a unique and masculine perfume, but the sweetness of the honey made it, in my opinion, far too sweet for a man and too disgusting for a woman to wear.

I've never had such a bad reaction to fragrance in my life. With every sniff I would shudder, gag and almost pass out. Perhaps this is one of those love it or hate it type of fragrances. There is no doubt that I absolutely hated this.

I have re-visited Black, and I must say it isn't as bad as how I had perceived it two years ago. It's still rubbery and sweet, however the scent is much more pleasing to my now trained nose. I have removed this fragrance from my dislike list.


Lillibet 8 months ago
A slightly off-beat take on leather & vanilla. The leather is smokey-rubbery & the vanilla is a sophisticated blend. Unusual & fun to wear.+3
Bottle 9.0
Sillage 7.0
Longevity 7.0
Scent 8.0

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