Topaz yellow tipped ebony vial–representing a jeweler’s dop stick for polishing gems, a nice bit of Bvlgari branding–in a tall shot glass because it also looks a lot like a bartender’s swizzle stick.

A queen bee perfume, and heaven help the poor drones.

First flight is spice and sweetness, then she melts into syrupy amber–soft at social distance, but full of invitation into personal space where the cinnamon is buzzy and warm.

An hour in the ylang-ylang softens, and fruit notes begin to slide in and out of the benzoin, wildflower honey with alluring facets of lemon and apple and apricot for the rest of the day.

Zahira is perfect for autumn, with spicy warmth that’s too delicate for the summer sun. A bit expensive, but a lovely indulgence when one needs some royal treatment.


Another beckoning Jem.

Thé Bleu

Pale blue frosted purse spray balanced on rim of teacup filled with Lipton and 3 springs of lavender.

Freshwater mer-folk bath salts.

The first whiff is a slippery murky green note that reminds me of okra. Thankfully, that soon slides away, washed off by fancy French laundry powder–the lavender and violets dried out by iris.

Then comes a round of decongestants in the form of minted tea, an odd sinus clearing smoke under the florals, giving everything a cool blue vibe that I sort of like, for about three hours in intimate space.

Weirdly swampy yet clean.


Another cool blue.

Fiori d’Amore

Bvlgari promo card embossed with Allegra glass candy motif, and pink rose taffy and red hard candy.

“A magnificent floral expressing the loving exaltation of receiving a giant bouquet of roses” is some of the silliest ad copy ever written.

So… Yay, roses!
Woody tea hybrids with what is supposed to be a fancy new raspberry accord but actually smells of salted lemons, in a fun tequila shots vibe.
The fruity notes sweeten up as it drifts down to the skin over an hour or two. Not a cheap date for the performance, but good on hot summer nights spent eating spicy food with the fingers.


Here’s a smooth take on a St. Germain classic.

Rock ‘N’ Rome

Allegra collection card, sample spray and apricot and plum candies wrapped in cellophane.

Described as a “floriental expressing the fulfillment of being together on a Roman terrace.”
Does partying out on an Italian balcony smell like apricot hard candy?

I like it.
Delicious fruity sour-balls out of the wrapper, clear and sweet, with a hint of summery yellow florals on top; a creamy center and a bit of spice that lasts an hour; and a sugary woodsy resin finish on the skin.

The benzoin at the base is absolutely luscious but I wish it lasted longer.


A groovy laid back cover.

Riva Solare

White card with Allegra collection icon of a glass Murano candy, sample spray and blue and yellow hard candy rods.

Bvlgari’s ad copy talks about sparkling citrus and the excitement of boat ride on the Mediterranean.

The bergamot on top has some nice sunny herbal lime sweetness–but it quickly ebbs to orange flower and watery musk on the skin, and completely sails away in half an hour.

For that price I was expecting a bottle of Asti and a day trip on a yacht, and instead I got a lemon lolly and a Sea-Doo run around the nearest buoy.


This recent hit from Italy is a lot of fun.

Omnia Golden Citrine

Mini Omnia chain link bottle in chrome and bright yellow.

Citrine starts with the transparent juice from canned peaches and mandarin slices, in a nice morning cocktail way, but then fades to powdery yellow flower pollen.

Benzoin at the bottom gets sticky and brings back some of the opening citrus, with the clear syrup from candied peel that bakers use–and I so wish this moment was longer and louder, there’s almost a Shalimar vibe for a second–but everything soon dries down to the Omnia sheer woods base.

Cotton holds the jasmine well, but on skin it’s all gone by noon.
I’ll try it again in the summer. Maybe I’ll like it more.


Splendida Tubereuse Mystique

Cobalt blue Bvlgari mini, and tea-leaf reading cup that sadly has no perfume bottle symbol.

Opens with an elegant brew of smoky tea, black currant and the same lemon creme I get from Teazzurra, but with an herbal bite, like it’s laced with wormwood.

The tuberose drifts in slowly, as if the sugar wasn’t stirred in and gets stronger and sweeter and prettier with each sip.
Lasts for hours, held just above the wrist with vanilla and enigmatic resin.

Perfect for modern mages and fashionable fortune tellers.


I love this French cover of INXS’s Mystify–

Omnia Amethyste

omnia Amethyste
Purple edged Bvlgari chrome link, distorted through an amethyst glass vase.

Purple flowers made of glass.

Opens with a breath of citrus and wet green, but then gets cool and clear the way that all the Omnias do, this time with powdery iris that blooms for a hour, and heliotrope at the bottom that lasts all morning.
Some faint woods close to the skin give it a pretty solidity, like a crystal vase with a heavy base.

There’s an interesting fragile-but-strong vibe to it.


This caught my morning mood.

Omnia Indian Garnet

omnia indian garnet
Orange and chrome mini Omnia chain link bottle, casting cool shadows.

Remember those transparent glycerine soaps from the ’70s?
(Yes, I’m that old.)
Omnia Indian Garnet is the orange one.

Opens with sharp mandarin peel and some spicy flower dust, and slowly washes down to glittery amber and comfy clean woods on the skin.

It’s sheer and nice, and lingers on cotton, but I wish more of the tuberose came through.


Ellery songs linger nicely, too.

Omnia Pink Sapphire

omnia pink sapphire
Fuchsia edged Bvlgari mini link bottle casting cool shadows.

A wincing blast of Ruby Red pink grapefruit out of the bottle that dries down to really lovely peaches sweetened with frangipani.
The musk on the bottom has some heat, a peppery note with the sandalwood, but with hard edges.

It’s got nice facets, but kind of jumbled–and the middle notes that I love last less than 20 minutes on me.

From Under the Pink.