My signature fragrance up till 6 years ago was (vintage) Boss Number One Eau de Toilette
. Halston Man Amber
along with Bvlgari Man In Black
succeeded up till 4 years ago. Then, 3 years ago, I jumped to the fragrance Bvlgari Man In Black Essence
as my signature. At the time, the reasons seemed obvious to me:
- It is the type of scent that pleases me the most, but some other fragrances do it also.
- I am really in love with the bottle, but some other fragrances do it also.
- It's quite versatile and wearable for my taste, but some other fragrances do it also.
- It has an above-average performance but some other fragrances do it also.
- It's a magnificent scent to use at leisure, but some other fragrances do it also.
- It has attractive pricing for the "package", but some other fragrances do it also.
- It was easy to order then, but some other fragrances did it also.
- It is quite unique, but some other fragrances are pretty singular also.
- It's an obvious choice when I don't know what perfume to use, but some other fragrances do it also.
- It was a perfume that fulfilled all the conditions above, and no other fragrance I owned did that.
- If I would be Robinson Crusoe, as a priority I would have chosen this fragrance to salvage from the wreckages.
When I first bought it, I confronted it head-to-head with the original Man In Black. They are somewhat similar in the opening, but Essence has more "muscle" and the dry-down goes in a different direction. The spices and the woods of Essence have been turned up significantly and there is a cocoa heart note that remembers me of Valentino Uomo (2014) Eau de Toilette
. Essence is drier, less sweet and with a less strong and more elegant booziness. The Man In Black musk note seems to be almost absent in the Essence version and I don't miss it. It has some very much appreciated common vibes with A*Men Pure Havane
, XJ 1861 Naxos
, Spicebomb Extreme
, Valentino Uomo (2014) Eau de Toilette
and CH Men Privé
. I would appreciate also an oud soft vibe, but I rely on other specific perfumes to get the non-versatile oud note when I feel in the mood for it. I can always layer it as well.
This is a perfume that I usually use for my own personal pleasure, not caring much for "ladies' olfactory pleasure" although that allure happens in a reasonable quantity. It's a very mature fragrance - I am in my 50's - and does not seem intended for the juvenile market. As appropriate seasons, late Fall, Winter and early Spring are obvious choices, although I wear it at night independently from the season we are in.
It projects intensely for the first two to three hours. Overall I get a longevity of more than 9 hours with three sprays on my skin and two sprays on my clothes. The maximum sillage is around six to eight feet.
It's quite unique and so far, I never met anybody using it at the same time as I did.
THE SCENT JOURNEY
Upon the first spray, the fragrance reminds me of Pure Havane due to the cherry tobacco's dirty and loud scent. As Man in Black Essence does not have a tobacco-listed note, I imagine that my nose is fooled by the boozy rum note blended with oriental spices and bitter orange (this one resembling a dusty floral note), resulting in an intense dirty seductive tobacco vibe. I cannot identify individual spices and it may be just a mix of cinnamon, clove, vanilla, pepper, mace, nutmeg... I do enjoy the opening a lot.
This booze and oriental spices accord leave a stunning scent trail and a statement of "I am here!".
The heart development makes the boozy rum note fade slowly, while the bitter orange & dusty florals keep escalating, toning down the spices. Sensual cocoa & soft leathery vibe is quite present at this stage, while the woods (orris for sure but maybe guaiac also) start to reveal its alluring character.
After one hour or so the scent opens up with balsamic, dark and tonka-sweet woody notes. The oriental spices are equally matched and balanced with the sweet dark woods.
As I am a dark woods scent lover, I can only state that the beginning of the dry down It’s really a very pleasant one. The calm finally arrives with the dry-down full development. The scent ambience is one of a creamy, sweet & dark woody body with a soft leather undertone. A skin scent is still detectable still by the 9th~10th hour.
The fragrance journey offered us an impressive boozy beginning, a glorious oriental & cocoa heart, and a sexy dark woody dry down. Compliments and admiration are guaranteed from both sexes.
The journey is now complete with ample satisfaction. Bvlgari Man In Black Essence is an olfactory happiness switch.
Scoring my former signature scent:
___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
Opening: 10.0 (Fantastic: Spicy and boozy)
Drydown: 10.0 (Fantastic: Sweet, woody and smoky)
Longevity: 9.0 (up to 9~10 hours with 3 sprays on the skin)
Sillage: 9.0 (6~7 ft with 2.5 h of good projection)
Versatility: 8.0 (Above average pending for colder temperatures)
Usability: 8.5 (High; Not suitable for any hot temperature event)
Compliments: 7.5 (Agreeable, elegant, alluring, but not a compliment champion)
Uniqueness: 9.0 (almost unique, but is a flanker of MIB)
Quality: 9.0 (above average quality, good cap & lock on sprayer)
Presentation: 10.0 (a matter of opinion)
Price: 8.0 (€ 40 for a 100 ml tester + taxes)
___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
between 7 and 8 => above average;
between 8 and 9 => recommended;
equal or bigger than 9 => don't miss it;
Opinion on this admirable Essence:
Very good presentation and was very pleasant and elegant overall, making it an easy choice. You will feel different and with a lot of class! Above-average performance. The price is competitive (in 2018) for its quality and looks.
Is blind purchase worthy? Yes.
Note: currently I have a different signature fragrance, but that is another story.
Music: Emerson, Lake & Palmer - "Lucky Man"