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**Please note, Dooyoo have requested that rather than reviewing the set I have, I enter an individual review for each scent even though the bottles are slightly different in this set. As such, this review contains elements of my full review on Ciao for the Travel Collection, but I will be adding some new stuff also. Hopefully it won't get too repetitive!
===Dooyooing your Duty===
Going on holiday comes with a few more perks than just the sun, sand, sea, sex and sangria. It also comes with the chance to spend. Usually I wander through duty free and try and con as many free "tasters" out of the alcohol section before finding my favourite aftershave at the time and giving myself a makeshift "travel shower" before I get on the plane. This time was slightly different. Instead of abusing their testers I decided I would actually buy some aftershave as my bottle at home was dangerously close to running out. After having a quick look I noticed that they had all my favourite aftershaves but they also had a travel collection that contained five scents from my favourite brand. I was sold!
===Putting the "V" in Bulgari===
You may have heard of Bulgari. You may have seen Bvlgari. They are one and the same. Obviously, since they are stylish, they have decided that a "u" looked chubby and replaced it with a "v" making for some incredibly confusing requests over the years when asked what I want for Christmas. "Bivilgary" was how I first pronounced it. Only after asking in a perfume shop did I realise my complete error. The "v" symbol comes from the latin alphabet and is pronounced as a "u". Oh well.
Bvlgari was founded by Sotirios Voulgaris in 1884 in his hometown of Paramythia in Greece, moving around a few places before ending up in Rome. The company was originally known for jewelry before diversifying into other luxury goods (clothes, handbags, perfumes, aftershaves etc). Currently they are owned by LVMH (Louis Vuitton, Moet Hennessy) half of which (at least in my little world) are a huge name in the fashion world. For all I know they might all be huge names but I don't exactly keep up to date with that sort of thing.
===How I got a hold of this===
For the princely sum of £30, I picked up this set which contains five scents for men from Bvlgari, a couple of them continuing with v-instead-of-u design: Aqva, Aqva Marine, Blv (blue), Man and Man Extreme. Each comes packaged in its own separate little box and is neatly fitted into an outer casing. Currently the box is on display on our bathroom windowsill since the colours go well in our bathroom. Sad eh? You get 5ml of each scent which means you get 25ml of eu de toilet (EDT from now on) all together. Some of Bvlgari's scents are actually cheaper than £30 quid a bottle, others aren't so it's an ok deal, especially if, like me, you tend to love Bvlgari smellies. Another reason I went for it was that there were two scents I hadn't tried before so I thought this would be a great chance to see if I like them before I commit to buy!
Created by Alberto Morillas (who is apparently a big name in perfume and has had a hand in lots of well know fragrances, CK one sticks out in my mind) in 2001, Blv was the very first Bvlgari EDT I tried. I was about 14, my uncle decided he would get me some (as he called it) poof juice for Christmas to wind me up, similar to the year where he bought me The Little Mermaid on VHS when I had asked for an action man. Little did he know that I'd actually end up loving the stuff and that in the years to come "poof juice" would be incredibly appropriate! I had this stuff for a few years until my Dad bought me another item from the range and I well and truly love the stuff. The bottle is very vibrant and cool. Viewed side on its almost triangular, tapering from a thicker bottom to a pinched top, the front of it is square and the glass is blue. The edges are left clear giving it a highlight and blending in with the silver cap that sits on top of the bottle. It's a very sleek, young looking bottle but can also verge on looking like cheap aftershave if you look at it for too long. The one I have currently is the tester pot so it's a dab on bottle which is a pain, but the normal bottles come with a very effective spray dispenser on top that gives good coverage.
Top notes: Ginger, cardamom
Middle/Heart notes: Juniper, tobacco, tobacco blossom
Base notes : Sandalwood, Musk, Cedar
I dabbed a few drops on my wrists and put a little on my neck in the morning and I could still smell it for the most of my shift at work. Not the longest lasting scent I own but definitely a lovely one. It smells fantastic. The first burst of it is quite strong but also quite a fresh and youthful scent. After a few minutes that initial burst the whole thing calms down into a really nice, manly floral smell. It's fun and spicy without being too heavy. My any time I am around my Dad with this stuff on he asks what I am wearing. It's noticeable without being overpowering and generally only if you're getting close to someone.
It doesn't leave a huge trail behind you as you walk but it really gets into your personal space and makes itself known to anyone who enters it. I get the feeling that it's quite a young fragrance and occasionally I wonder if I am maybe getting too old to wear it. That won't stop me though as the fresh burst followed by the manly scent develops brilliantly on my skin.
Currently you can buy 100ml of this for about £25 from reputable retailers, though you may be able to find some cheaper on e-bay occasionally. It's a scent that lasts most of the day without being too overpowering and therefore it lasts fairly long so you won't find yourself having to quickly replenish your bottles unless you really go crazy with the stuff. The bottle I'm currently using was part of the £30 travel collection and has 5ml in it which works out as about £1.25 per ML which is a lot more expensive than just buying a full bottle. I think next time I'd be going for a full bottle rather than a tester size.
I really love this scent. It's fresh, it's vibrant, it's young. It has even attracted more than a few comments on how nice I smell when I've worn it. The bottle is a really good looking thing too as long as you don't look at it for too long. Even the price is great especially considering the fact it lasts throughout the day. I will take a star off because I would quite like it to last a little bit longer, but that's not to say it doesn't last, it just doesn't have the same godly staying power of other scents I own such as Joop and Crave. A respectable four stars out of five from me!
Bvlgari BLV pour Homme - Eau de Toilette
Bvulgari is an Italian jewellery house that exists since 1884. However the company has grown into a true empire with not only fragrances but also watches, accessories, fragrances, skin product and even hotels and resorts. I saw this Bvlgari BLV pour Homme Eau de Toilette in the shop and I liked the look of the bottle.
The appearance of the bottle is elegant and made me curious about the scent. When I tried the fragrance in the shop at first it stroke me that it was a slightly spicy scent. It had something of ginger spice and I didn't expect that really since the bottle is blue and I expected something more fresh. When the scent had settled down a bit I noticed more a slight sweet scent coming trough but also more a wood scent which gives it more a masculine appearance. Also I smelled the scent of musk. I had a look at the fragrance pyramid:
Top: Ginger and Cardamom.
Heart: Juniper, Tobacco Plant and blossoms of the tobacco plant.
Base: Sandalwood, Cedar wood and Musk.
The scent all in all is something I appreciate it especially because of that slight hint of sweetness which makes the smell differs from many other men fragrances who smells a lot of wood tones with a spicy character. The smell remains noticeable about four hours which is a bit disappointing.
I am excited about this fragrance. The wood tones and spicy accents are nice but what the smell makes more unique is the light touch of sweetness in it. That makes it more surprising and somewhat milder without losing the tough masculinity. What I really regret is that the smell is perceptible only for four hours. Even for an Eau de Toilette I find the smell very short to enjoy. Given the price that you pay for the smell (around 30 pounds). For anyone who likes an exciting men's fragrance it's a real winner!
I have always been a big fan of Bvlgari fragrances, starting in my early twenties with the fruity and light Bvlgari Extreme, moving through Bvlgari Black and Bvlgari Poor Homme until eventually Bvlgari BLV, originally a fragrance for women that proved so popular that it was adapted and released onto the market for men. I had to have a bottle and parted with £27.99 for a 50ml bottle when shopping in Rackhams located within the Square Mile.
Prices for Bvlgari products vary wildly, you can pick up a 50ml bottle of the BLV for just £5 on EBay (if you are lucky), from an online perfume retailer for anywhere in the region of £15-£20 but you will pay top whack on the high street with very few stores stocking what is still regarded as a top quality brand.
The picture above shows the bottle in all its glory. There is very little description needed from me. The bottle is near identical to the Pour Femme version, although slightly taller with a bigger pinched effect at the top near the atomiser that dispenses the actual fragrance. As it is glass, rather chunky and not the best shape it isn't the easiest thing to hold onto if you have small hands.
Prior to purchase I had an idea of what the fragrance would be like as I was and continue to be a big fan of BLV Pour Femme, so I expected something very light on the nose, with hints of citrus bearing down over time to something warm yet long-lasting. I was to be proved somewhat correct in the first instance with initial sprays being very light on the nose, with the actual fragrance barely noticeable. What was evident after a few more sprays was a very fruity set of top notes that changed dramatically over a very short period of time as the fragrance notes from the Heart and Base began to blend and stand out. My analysis of the dry down fragrance was completely wrong. Whilst warm, it had a much more masculine aroma than I expected and once I had identified the notes from the accompanying booklet is all became clear.
The actual notes to BLV are:
Top Notes: Ginger, galangal and cardamom
Heart Notes: Tobacco blossom, juniper and gingko
Base Notes: Teak Sandalwood, cedar wood and musk
Having an idea of what something will smell like after first applying a fragrance is all well and good, but knowing how it will rest, blend and eventually smell on your skin over the course of time is essential. I quickly wanted to test this and after showering liberally sprayed the fragrance over my face and neck. 5 small squirts from the atomiser are all that is needed to fill the room with a lovely light fragrance. Initial attempts to identify the notes were pointless, and I was positive I could detect orange and lemon oil similar to that of the Lush I Should Coco soap. Further research on the top notes has cleared up what I thought was my dodgy sense of smell. Galangal has a very soapy and earthy aroma and when mixed with the spicy aroma of ginger can produce a citrus effect.
Before the heart and base notes started to become stronger the top notes changed very quickly and the citrus faded to a light spicy aroma.
After approximately 30 minutes the top notes could no longer be identified as they mixed with the heart and base notes. As the other notes became stronger it was clear that this was going to be a long-lasting fragrance as it became heavier and heavier, in the same way that most men's aftershaves do. Immediately Christian Dior Fahrenheit springs to mind (now that is a heavy, manly fragrance), however the blend of tobacco blossom and juniper managed to give the fragrance warmth and when inhaled still was in no way overpowering, as each note blended together was subtle.
The base notes provide the real long lasting fragrance and the earthy woody smells when balanced with the top notes allow the BLV to retain the subtle, warm masculine fragrance that is still very much noticeable some 10-12 hours after first applying.
This would be an ideal fragrance for daywear at the office, for nights out on the town or for those special romantic occasions.
Personally I love fragrances that are very light, have a certain air of fruitiness whilst at the same time asserting a kind of 'I am man' fragrance. With this in mind I should not really like the BLV as much as I actually do due to the heavy yet warm, spicy and earthy notes. I highly recommend this, as although it can be expensive when purchased on the high street, it lasts for hours when only a tiny amount is applied, the fragrance is lovely and will get you noticed when up close and personal and it is different to any other fragrance I have ever owned. It truly is a unique blend of notes and I have to say Bvlgari have done it again and produced another fine fragrance.
Thanks for taking the time to read and rate.
A scent of unexpected contrasts and harmonies, BLV Pour Homme is a fresh, woody and spicy Eau de toilette built around the scent of ginger and combined with tobacco flower, cardamom, juniper berries, sandalwood, gingko leaves and grey teak /