The brand’s newest, Blv II, does not diverge from this tradition, but what is astounding is that this time around they’ve managed to bottle the gourmand-oriental genie in a Bvlgari skinscent vessel. What am I talking about? Think Angel and (especially) Lolita Lempicka and then imagine them in the guise of a soft-as-clouds skinscent. Impossible? Well, perfumer Jacques Cavallier has achieved just that. This marriage of potency and graceful, sheer lightness is anything but accidental: Bvlgari describes this newest fragrance as “Intense accords and glowing lightness, the perfect synthesis of intensity and transparency”, while the perfumer, Jacques Cavallier expands thus on the creation:
“I was thinking of The Little Prince, who always runs after the simplest things, but things that are in fact very real and essential. (…) So this creation is based on essential things, on the foundation stones of perfumery: amber, iris, musks, wood, patchouli flowers, violets. All major elements of perfumery, which, for the occasion, have been processed differently thanks to new forms of technology, and thanks also to the heritage of the past 20 years, in terms of transparency, the lightning inspiration of each new debut and the work done also on naturalness.”- via press release
The first note to become apparent after application is a marvelously soft violet, soon to become dressed and emboldened with the sweet gourmand accents of star anise and liquorice. Soon, the fresh scent of mandarin joins in, at first a green nuance like the scent of its stems and leaves but thereafter ever more full-bodied and fruity. Suddenly its freshness becomes all the more brisk and invigorating, adding a definite sense of masculinity to the mix, which if I’m honest, I could do without. This masculinity is further explored in the heartnotes as it becomes enhanced at first by vetiver but thankfully, it soon subsides. We enter a stage of glorious fullness as the perception of rich iris becomes enhanced and the slightly harsh masculinity of the scent changes to mysterious femininity as the deep scent of patchouli joins the iris in full. Most beguilingly, underneath both I sense a burgeoning, slightly buttery and balsamic woody base, enriched with subtle hints of malt-infused tobacco. The base presents a triumvirate of ruling ambers (ambergris, benzoin & labdanum) on a bed of burning musk. The aniseedic, patchouli-infused violet-iris combo persists however softly to the end, enhancing the impression of the aforementioned skinscent version of a gourmand-oriental in the spirit of Lolita Lempicka. Blv II covers the skin with a soft gourmand-oriental veil that projects lightly, becoming drier and more powdery as time goes on and turning surprisingly transparent, allowing one’s own skin scent to glow beautifully from within. In short this to me seems like the perfect scent for someone looking for a quiet, daytime oriental that will offer sensuality and mystery while remaining subtle enough to leave others wondering whether you are wearing perfume or if indeed, the beautiful warmth perceived is produced by your own skin.