Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Blv II Eau de Parfum by Bvlgari : Perfume Review

Bvlgari’s lineup follows (with only few exceptions) a very specific, discernible house style that clearly defines the perfume division of this great brand. Namely, the house satisfies a specific niche in the prestige department store sector, producing one skinscent after the other. There are two ways to define the term skinscent: A scent that has a low projection, staying close to the skin, or alternatively, a scent which mimics or enhances the skin’s own scent, blurring the lines between where the scent of one’s skin ends and where the perfume begins, resulting in a beautiful, “your skin but better” effect. Bvlgari clearly specializes in the latter form of skinscents, producing perfumes that each play with different accents (green, powdery, floral, fruity, musky etc.) but all end up producing a more beautiful, velvety version of skin that seems to be emitting a light, perfumed veil.

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.


Ines said...

Oh, you wrote a review of Blv II! I tried it some time ago and for me it falls into the category of a wonderful creation I cannot imagine wearing. That happens with most Bulgaris in my case.
The only one I long to wear now is Black. That one came as a total surprise to me, I would have never guessed I'd come to love it. :)

Divina said...

You have great taste - Black is (imo) the most exquisitely made Bulgari perfume. It really is stellar and worthy of any esoteric, exorbitantly priced niche line. :) But as for not feeling able to wear the rest, maybe you're not really a skinscent type of person? Black is the only outspoken frag from the line off the top of my head. Personally I am enamored with their tea frags (green & red) and love Bulgari pour Femme for its old fashioned, super-powdery violet appeal.

I am glad you thought BLV II was well made though, even though you feel it's not for you :) Hugs!

PinstripedZebra said...

So that is what a skinscent is! I have to admit, this is a lovely perfume, soft and if you don't know it is there you would think it is 'all natural'.

I also like the bottle, simple but refined and well designed, with a lot of grace.


Linda said...

Dearest Divina,
I think that this sounds lovely, but having read Ines' comment - guess what? I totally agree with you both! I LOVE Black, I think it's a masterpiece, and it always provokes appreciative comments! And I'm so pleased that you like the Bvlgari Pour Femme... Now this one, Blu II, I think I'd wear it directly after my bath, before going to bed.
Hope all is going well for you,

Mila Grandes said...

Hi Divina!

Well, I was looking for a fragrance that would best fit me and when I stumbled across Bvlgari Blv it smelled just like me...

In other words I finally understand what a skinscent is! And I find that if you complain that Bvulgari Blv II is soft, well I love it because it doesn't differ with my own smell it just enhances it.

Thank you so much for such a wonderful read!