I think every perfumer knows the feeling of having a fragrance in front of him or her that you can really identify with. Most of the time you still have the test sprayer on your hand; you get a "whiff" every now and then, lead your wrist or back to the olfactory bulb and think, man - that's him. I must have that. It suits me. It expresses me. The nice thing about it is that it usually happens by chance. A bit of perfume research here, a bottling there, a free test there, and sometimes it just works
Bvlgari Black is one of those for me. A state of mind expression, an emotional statement, a familiar aura. We like scents especially when they are more than just the sum of their (pyramid) parts, because they stimulate the different regions of our brain that construct our world view. Memories, images, wishes, situations, colours, physical sensations, but never the isolated scent impression, which is the only one we can neither remember nor, for example, dream about. There is always a need for a "wherefore around", and the more of it a fragrance brings, the more intense it is anchored in us
Bvlgari Black has it particularly easy here, as he unfolds a very concrete connotation right after spraying it on, namely that of rubber (tea?), something like a workshop with brand-new tyres. But other associations are quickly added. I perceive a dirty, petroly note (leather?), which is surrounded by vanilla sweetness. This dirty, almost animalistic, warm sweetness, which dominates the further drydown, is what Black is for me. But at no time do I find him obtrusive, bold or unpleasant - no, Black is rather reserved and harmoniously composed. That's how I had always imagined Fahrenheit Absolute, until I was bitterly disappointed by the uniqueness of the latter. As far as the fragrance intention is concerned, Fahrenheit, although fresher, more spherical, more floral and above all - more dominant, plays in the same team of creative garage-smutters. Bvlgari is then, if you like, whose autumn version, the Fahrenheit absolute is not, in my opinion.
It's probably the plasticity of Black that makes the fragrance so attractive to me. Similar to Terre d'Hermes hot orange road, Black is less abstract and easy to understand compared to other fragrances. But that shouldn't diminish his artistic aspirations, because you have to get that right first, without letting the fragrance drift off into the trivial. The real art is to depict more than just smell, to build a bridge, to play with all these sensory impressions, but still to create something that you want to smell, that you can smell well. A garage with car tires alone, or a street in summer heat with a few oranges bumming around in front of you can't do that.
That's why yes: Bvlgari Black is great perfumery, great cinema, synthesis of smell and scent, of olfactory everyday perception and luxury cosmetics, of urban anonymity and cosy warmth.
Bvlgari Black is certainly not for everyone. If you can't stand one of these notes, or the combined effect, you'll find it disgusting. But for me there is a lot in it
All the more I find it a pity that he does not have much to offer in terms of performance. One hour, let's say, he shines with a suitably dosed dose of Sillage. One arm's length, that's all it takes, because otherwise his scent concept could quickly become overpowering or even repulsive. After that, however, it quickly becomes skin-tight, and after 6 hours I can practically no longer perceive it.
I haven't come across a suitable alternative yet; Prada's Luna Rossa Black also has this sweet rubber accord, instead of leathery-warm, but it continues to develop a slightly soapy, cool and distant tone. Midnight in Paris I couldn't test it yet, but it's hard to get anyway. Gucci's current release Memoir d'un Odeur is designed very similarly, although brighter and fresher with chamomile.
Black was not reformulated for this. Here I have a vintage residual bottle, as well as current bottling - practically identical in fragrance and shelf life. Speaking of the bottle: it looks chic, definitely an eye-catcher, the rubber coating feels great. So Bvlgari also skilfully communicates its unique fragrance concept via the feel. But the spray head, which in the Vintage version still has a screw cap, is a catastrophe: rickety plastic, which, if not handled carefully, simply falls off when turned on, and if you press too timidly, you will only get a weak jet out of the tyre's surface instead of a spray mist
And who's the best person to buy it now? Although discontinued, Bvlgari Black is still available online at a discount. I still can't recommend a blind buy, it's definitely too special for that. I also think that - although not outdated at all - this is more of an U30. The best way to test the effect is by bottling. Even if you don't like it, Black is a fragrance experience that you should have done once.