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.