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Bulgari Omnia - Don't judge a perfume by its bottle! (Friday, May 13, 2011 New Fragrance Listing)

Photo Wikipedia - Bulgari store in Milan Italy - Sergio Calleja

We’re used to buying perfume in bottles, made from either glass or metal. Personally, I don’t spend too much time fixating on how it’s packaged – just let me at the juice. If a fragrance I want happens to arrive in a unique or special container, then I consider that a bonus - which is the case with Omnia by Bulgari.

The Omnia bottle is definitely one of a kind – and kind of a surprise coming from a traditional jeweller like Bulgari. It resembles two interlocking jewelled rings  – a small, round, dark-amber glass bottle, faced with silver metal on the flat face and back, and topped with the same shape at right angles to the bottom, which you press to spritz the scent. It reminds me of one of those little metal infinity puzzles, and despite the fact that it feels good in your hand - it’s very sculptural and has some heft -  it’s a little confusing when you try to spray it.

For some people, the unconventional bottle is a definite negative – it’s just too weird – and the result, I think, has been that the beautiful fragrance inside it hasn’t received the recognition it should.

Bulgari describes Omnia as “a tribute to the tradition of the great oriental perfumes, re-interpreted for the world of today”. The fragrance was launched in 2003, the work of Alberto Morillas, the great modern nose, who produced three more scents in the Omnia “jewel” series for Bulgari – Green Jade, Amethyste and Crystalline, all in the weird bottle.

The Omnia notes are: black pepper, mandarin, masala tea, saffron, ginger, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, almond, chocolate, lotus blossom, and sandalwood. Hmmm. Must be a heavy gourmand from reading those notes, but no – it’s a soft spicy woody scent with a tantalizing opening, that settles into your skin in the most quiet and seductive way.

I love the bright opening accord of peppery orange tea – remember Constant Comment tea? – layered on top of the spices. The spice blend is aromatic perfection, lightly tea-scented, with the saffron perceptible underneath. I pick up just a hint of dry chocolate with almond before the dusty sandalwood intensifies and the dry-down starts to develop. Rich spice, warm woods, and only the slightest suggestion of sweetness from the lotus blossom, which disappears quickly, then Omnia settles on your skin like a light warm blanket.

I can’t think of another Oriental that smells like Omnia. It’s got spice in abundance, and aromatic sandalwood, but no amber, no vanilla, and no musk, so therefore none of the heavy opulence that typifies the Orientals category. If anything, it has a kind of transparent or watery feel to it that later in the dry-down leads you think it’s faded away, until all of a sudden you catch a whiff and think, “Ahhh – still there and still beautiful.”

Because of its spicy warmth, some describe Omnia as a comfort scent, but on me it’s more a rich-but-close skin scent, (which I’m beginning to reach for more often than the big sillage monsters), which has good duration - 12 hours on my wrists. No hard edges, no heavy notes, I wear Omnia all year round, especially for situations where I want to wear spicy perfume, but also keep it within my personal space.

Omnia - a truly unique Oriental scent, in a unique bottle. Don’t judge a perfume by its bottle!


Bulgari Omnia is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.