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Several years ago a very generous friend bought me a bottle of Bulgari BLV Notte perfume for my birthday and I fell in love with it straight away. It was exactly the kind of fragrance I like not too light but not too heavy, woody with a hint of musk and just generally beautiful. My lovely mum knew how much I liked it so bought me a replacement for it from Duty Free when she knew I was running low. Unfortunately, she saw a stand with this Bulgari BLV on, saw the name and didn't realise the Notte was missing from the end and got me the wrong perfume, doh!
I wasn't really bothered initially as I thought I would love this one as much as the other, but oh how wrong I was. I haven't had the heart to tell my mum but this is the least favourite perfume I've EVER tried, and I've tried plenty in my time! In fact I've now had this bottle for a good three years and even though I do try and wear it just so as not to waste it, it seems to be neverending and I just can't get rid of it!
The Bulgari BLV comes in a 40ml bottle (probably why it's lasting so blinking long!) which I really don't like. It's very difficult to describe but the picture above does do it some justice. To look at from the front it's square but the base of it is sort of an elongated egg shape making it wider at the bottom and tapering to a thin top with the "squirt" part sticking out of the top. The shape of it makes it very difficult to hold and spray perfume using only the one hand as the bottle is quite wide (4 inches) and tall (again, 4 inches). Now, I'm 5 foot ten inches tall and have quite large hands for a female but I can only just grip this bottle and it is by now means comfortable to do so and the only way I can reach the nozzle with a finger from the same hand is to hold the to of the bottle which doesn't feel as safe and feels like I'm going to drop it. So, for me to use this perfume I have to hold it in onehand and squirt it with the other hand. I know this doesn't sound like a major issue, but have you ever had a perfume (or aftershave, gents!) where you've had to use two hands?!
Another negative as regards bottle design for me is that face that it is blue. It's not a nice subtle blue, it's a very vivid royal blue. Most other perfume bottles I have are nice neutral, pastelly coloured bottles so I like to have them out on the bookcase in the bedroom as decoration rather than hiding them away, but this one I tend to keep hidden in my makeup drawer as it just stands out way too much. There is no way you would be able to call this a subtle bottle at all.
The absolute worst part of the packaging as a whole, though, is that when you squirt this perfume, it doesn't come out in a nice fine mist, it comes out as a stream of liquid which literally ends up slipping down my wrists. Whether or not this is just a fault with my particular bottle or if it's a common occurence with this perfume I don't know but it took me ages to get the hang of pressing the nozzle just enough so that only a little stream of liquid comes out rather than a river!
Now, if I loved the fragrance of this perfume then all of the above probably wouldn't bother me as much. Unfortunately though it just does absolutely nothing for me. When I first spray it my initial impressions are of quite an old fashioned soapy smell that is quite sharp and just generally too sweet for me. It is a very strong perfume and often, especially if it's early in the morning that I apply it, can give me a bit of a headache. It's only redeeming feature for me is the fact that it does settle down eventually into something a bit more mellow, but it's still way too floral and old-fashioned for me. As far as longevity is concerned, it does last well and I don't reapply during the day, but that is mainly because I prefer the fragrance when it has faded a bit rather than when it's at it's most powerful.
For me, this is definitely a day time perfume. It's too sweet and floral for me to wear on an evening and I've since bought myself another bottle of the Notte to wear on nights out. I would also say it's quite a "mature" fragrance and more suited to older generations rather than the younger ones. My mum has tried it and, to be honest, it does quite suit her but I still prefer her trademark "Beautiful" fragrance which to me will always scream Mum!
Looking on the Bulgari website I see that the top notes of this scent are Wisteria, Ginger and Acacia and the base notes are Flax Flower and Vanilla which would explain all of the things I don't like about it - the sweetness, the florals and the sharpness. Bizarrely though it says it belongs to the "floral woody musk" family which I can't pick up at all. The florals yes, the woody musk, not at all. But, overall, this is not a perfume I like using as the fragrance just isn't me at all and I definitely won't be repurchasing when I run out.
I don't know how much my mum paid for this but it currently sells on cheapsmells.com for £24.95 reduced from £44 and as far as I'm concerned the reduced price is too expensive let alone the full price.
In conclusion then, coming from a well-known luxury brand like Bulgari I expected much better quality with regards to the design of the bottle and have been incredibly disappointed with this. All of that would probably have been bearable, however, had the perfume been one I loved, but unfortunately I don't. For me it's too sweet, too powerful and too sharp and re-reading my review now I'm not quite sure why I insist on using it all up!! I'm sure some people will absolutely love this fragrance and disagree with me completely, but for me this only gets 2 stars...I don't like the fragrance and the bottle design leaves A LOT to be desired, however it does settle down to be more bearable and is longlasting.
Bvlgari: Blv, Eau de Parfum
I have wanted to by this perfume for ages having spied it first at my friends. Her boyfriend used to always bring her a bottle of this home from trips abroad and it is one of those perfumes that smells nice on others. That was a few years ago and it has taken me until this week to decide to buy my own bottle. This is another great product from those crafty design conscious Italians who seem to be very good on the fashion and beauty front.
**The box and bottle**
It comes in a deep blue square box that is quite tall but narrow. The writing on the box is in silver and says BLV in the middle and the brand of BVLGARI is across the top. The bottle I have is 40ml Eau de Parfum. The bottle itself is also blue frosted glass and a deep blue with a middle stem that is deeper in colour. The lid comes out of this which has a bold bolt on top that pulls off to show the nozzle. BVLGARI is written across the bottom on one side and BLV on the other. The bottle actually isn't that feminine like my other pink perfumes and reminds me more of a male's fragrance though it is not.
The perfume sprays out quite rapidly and is a Parfum spray. I normally end up with eau de toilette and did not really notice what the difference was between eau de toilette and eau de Parfum spray. But apparently the eau de Parfum spray lasts that little bit longer at 3-4 hours where as the eau de toilette only lasts 2 hours.
BLV is made of fragrant oil extracts and diluted in water. The top notes are very light and last a few minutes and then the middle notes kick in after 10 or 15 minutes before you get the base notes which last the longest.
In the top notes there is a ginger fizz and there are hints of musk and deep sandalwood with some vanilla and acacia and also bergamont. These different extracts make the scent light and breezy with a nice sweet but not overly so scent. I would say this is an average smelling scent that is not overbearing nor too light.
On the first spray it comes out quickly and feels a little heavy but once the op note settles down and the other scents come to life it changes to a more floral and sweeter smell. It is not overly heavy and quite an alluring aroma that feels very feminine and summery fresh.
**Where to buy**
I strangely purchased mine through amazon of all places. I had cashed in my £20 dooyoo latest offerings and was debating on what to buy this time for myself as no impending birthdays in July. I was looking for books on saving money then figured why buy one and save money not purchasing one on how to save and instead decided to see what beauty products were on offer. I was surprised to see what products were on offer and decided to look at the perfumes on offer. I thought I would treat myself to BLV having not purchased any perfume for a while and getting bored of the ones I got for Christmas and my birthday! This was sold via the perfume counter I think and was around £20 with £2 p&p. It came super quick all safely and nicely packaged. You can buy it from most department stores, perfume shops and beauty shops online and in the real high street. The prices range though and at £20 for the 40ml version I think I got a good deal as it goes up to £35 for this size.
Yes this is a fab perfume and has a sensual appeal to it. Perfume is a hard product to buy as a present as it all depends on personal tastes and I think this is a safe bet for a nice gift. It is quite inexpensive too.
Group: Floral woody musk
I have a mini version of Bvlgari Blv Eau de Parfum spray I bought last year and solely keep for sampling. Blv has been around for eight years and Bvlgari have launched a dozen new fragrances since then, now offering Blv Notte, a similarly themed though an altogether different fragrance to the original Blv.
~ The packaging ~
The bottle of this perfume is made clear glass that has a chunky, squared shape at the bottom, front and back, triangular sides and a flat top. Almost what a prism might look like, only leaner on the sides, and comes with a blue coloured button shaped lid. Blv looks a lot like its counterpart, Blv men's eau de toilette. The bottle doesn't have a shine to it due to the matte blue paint on the glass. The blue shade is very bright, striking, and is actually the 'blue' shade of the blue colour palette. The box is also bright blue with the familiar Blv written across it.
~ The fragrance ~
Top notes: bergamot, ginger
The first notes of the fragrance upon aplication are a cool and quite spicy mixture of a variety of nuances that to me smell like lemon, cardamon, cumin, eucalyptus, rosemary, warm aniseed and ginger and create an overall icy and slightly sweet accord. Think of a Brazilian cocktail. Fresh, spicy and cold.
Middle notes: wisteria, flax flower, acacia
About 20 minutes later the warmer and mellower wisteria note emerges which is light at first, with the spiciness still going strong. Wisteria has a characteristic aroma in some way it reminds me a mixture of lilac and jasmine. Soon after, the wisteria starts giving out its soapiness accompanied by gentle floral notes.
As the floral notes blend together with the other notes in the composition they cannot be described as pure floral. They have a rather gourmand edge, like bittersweet orange mixed with fresh and moderately sweet flowers. The soapiness of the middle notes is quite intense and long-lasting and will stay for at least six hours. Blv has a surprisingly light sillage. It's a fragrance of contrasts again - an intense aroma that manages to stay moderate and balanced.
Base notes: musk, sandalwood, vanilla
The same floral theme is continued here that is now fuller, rounder, drier and spicier. In the last 2.5 - 3 hours of the fragrance, musk mingles with subtle, soapy notes of wisteria. There is a distant note of vanilla as the mellow, woody sandalwood conjures up the slightly salty and dry air of the seaside. The dry down of Bv reminds me of Dior Addict but colder, though this base is rounder and more intense and gives Blv its own one of a kind character - sensuous but cold.
~ Conclusion ~
Blv is a sophisticated fragrance though with an unusual character. It would appeal to all age groups as whether this perfume suits you is rather a question of personality. It may be quite powerful for daytime use, as an evening fragrance a definite winner.
An unconventional fragrance, Blv is definitely feminine and sensual though there is a certain coldness about it that I find hard to place. To like this perfume is certainly a matter of aquired taste as it doesn't fit the any traditional formula many people look for in a fragrance. Blv is based on contrasts and individuality.
Available: Department stores, online
£35 / 40ml Eau de Parfum Spray
£48 / 75ml Eau de Parfum Spray
Fragrance Direct (www.fragrancedirect.co.uk):
14.99 40ml Eau de Parfum Spray Tester
17.50 40ml Eau de Parfum Spray
19.99 75ml Eau de Parfum Spray
Thanks for reading.
©powered by lillybee also posted on Ciao! UK