Bulgari Black

...a perfume for sexy astronauts.

It does my fragrant heart good to walk into a Sephora and see weird shit like Bulgari Black on the perfume shelves. Nestled there among the anodyne pretties and freshies and whatevs, I like seeing the freaks that make you wake up and smell the surprise.

Sephora’s kind of like a fragrance version of the classic 80s teen flick "The Breakfast Club". You’ve got the jocky sports sprays, the popular girl fruity-florals, the tough guy spicy fougères, the timid line-toeing aquatics. And those are all fine for folks who like their perfumes to come with seat belts. But if you enjoy scents that instill wonder and confound expectations, then bring on those beautiful basket cases: jolie-laides like Lolita Lempicka, Dior Hypnotic Poison and Bulgari Black.

All three were created by perfumer Annick Ménardo, which makes me want to spend a Saturday detention with her to hear her say enigmatic Ally Sheedy things like "When you grow up, your heart dies."

Inscrutable things that make you squint up your face and lean in closer to try and figure them out. Things like Bulgari Black.

Bulgari Black is available from Amazon.com, FragranceNet.com, Sephora.com, and Perfume.com, starting at $29 for 2.5oz


  1. contains my most favorite Katie Puckrik moment..."What the hell is it!?"

  2. I bought Black after seeing this review and I'm not disappointed at all. That hot rubber/leather with vanilla is so good. I felt genuinely daring getting on the tube at Baker Street wondering if my fellow passengers would be intrigued. When a fragrance excites you like that then you know you have a winner. It really is truly unisex. There is absolutely no problem for a confident man to wear. Many men seem scared by vanilla in fragrances but this one is wrapped up in a rubber accord that is straight out of the garage. Somehow Black is metropolitan, urbane and sexy, yet also a little wild and 'hotrod'.
    Its unfortunate though that it is very hard to find in the UK. Harrods, Selfridges and all other dept stores say its been discontinued which would be tragic if thats the case. I haven't checked the Bulgari boutique on New Bond Street yet but otherwise it is only available online at a pretty reasonable price.
    I hope this stays around for a while as I would hate to think that this might be my only bottle ever.

  3. So glad to hear of your success with Bulgari Black, RogueMax! I agree that this vanilla is not a gourmand one, rather one that serves to soften the edges of the rubber. Love your "urbane/hotrod" descriptors.

    In the US, this one is sold at men's fragrance counters, and is readily available at Sephora and the like. I do hope this one isn't for the chop!

  4. AFter much impatience I finally received BB in the mail today. I ordered it scent unsniffed after viewing your review on YT (where I am unknown as Junichild).
    At the very start I get a whiff of sweaty, but not unwashed, male arm pit. Nice. I might get really attracted....to me. Weird, but not uninteresting. After this I get an intriquing combination of vanilla and some kind of auto repair petro-thing - I totally get RogueMax's garage-comment. But petros are also a part of Mother Nature, so that's fine with me. The vanilla is a disciplined one - much to my liking. It's austere (I wanted to write "erect"....) and blends very well with the arm pit and the petro. I do see why this is marketed towards a male audience but the mature vanilla makes it wearable for me as well - I was always more the Katherine of the Hepburns than they Audrey, anyway. If either. And I'm sure KH didn't flinch when she wore trousers in stead of skirts.
    Katie, I'm so glad I saw your review of BB! I might have found a fragrance that satifies me sniff-adventure-wise as well as being a womanly (if not feminine) fragrance that signals "I have a body as well as a brain - so there". It is - as you wrote on YT - an ungirly vanilla in comparison to Kenzo Amour and that's what I like.

    So, first impressions are good. Looking forward to a more detailed acquaintance with BB :-)

  5. Lapsang souchong! Of course - there's lapsang souchong tea in thsi wonderful fragrance. I love 25 % of that smokey earthy wonderfulness in my earl grey tea. Naturally, I love it when used in a fragrance. Brilliant on the part of Bulgari.

  6. Hurrah, Junelady! I'm so pleased my long distance matchmaking of you with BB worked out. Whether it's erect or austere, the vanilla is very much in check and there to smooth out the rubber/smoke/lapsang/whatever-the-hell. The mailmen will be relieved you're off their backs. For now.

  7. The matchmaking is definitely a succes. And I did have a good feeling about it when I ordered it. BB doesn't smell like Hypnotic Poison, a favorite of mine, but I still had BB and HP pictured in the same mental category of scents.

    I've been sniffing my arm all eveing to follow the development of BB and it dries down so lovely and elegantly - staying true to its character while it recedes into the background with dignified discretion - like one would imagine a true gentleman making his way out of a woman's boudoir.

    It's late - what can I say - and imagery gets the better of me. This lady will retire to her own quarters now.

    Peace is indeed short-lived in all walks of life, be they postal or global :-)

  8. Love your rich inner life, Junelady. Thanks for giving us a peek into it.