Thursday, March 18, 2010

On Bulgari Black

During the summer after my first year of college I took a somewhat life changing trip to Italy. The goal of the trip was to participate in an opera program in the town of Casalmaggiore , which I did, but that experience doesn't stand out quite as strong in my memory as the general travel I did before and after the program with my dear friend Lydia. Lydia was so much more worldly than I was at this point in life. I was green and Midwestern and had never been outside the country. She had traveled extensively and was knowledgeable about culture outside of her own.For anyone who has traveled internationally, you know how transformational that first trip can be. You realize that the world is not simply where you are, but so vast and different from your narrow experience. It opens you up to thinking differently, or at least it did for me.

I also remember that while I was in Italy, my mother told me she had breast cancer. I can remember standing at pay phone talking to her and knowing something was wrong, but having to push her to let me know what it was. The cancer was subsequently removed, but this is one of the things that stands out to me from that trip.

Fast forward to 2010. I was at Scott's house and saw a bar of soap, that possibly had been swiped from a hotel (I won't accuse!) in a box that read "Bulgari." I immediately picked it up and took a quick sniff. I was transported back to Milan, where Lydia introduced me to her favorite scent Bulgari Black. A unisex scent that was oddly familiar. I remembered at that time being in the Twin Cities in high school and smelling that scent then...

After remembering that smell, I was on a quest to get myself some of that cologne. It was especially nostalgic for me (what is with me and nostalgia lately?) and a scent that I felt I could wear without it being overwhelming. See, in general, I'm not a cologne person. I'm a big fan of natural odors as I think God gave them to us for a reason, but this seemed right.

On a quick side note, why would anyone buy cologne or underwear at a department store that you can buy at TJMaxx or Marshall's or Loehmanns? I was able to find Bulgari Black at Loehmann's for a reasonable price and have been wearing it ever since. I'm kind of in love with it actually.

I have no experience describing scents, so here is what I found that someone else had written about how it smells.

"here is a short lived citrus top note; after that, the focus is on black tea, in this case lapsang souchong, which lends a smoky, almost earthy edge to the dry woods. It is mildly spicy, with hints of burning rubber and leather, and a whisper of something like tobacco leaf. The far dry down is smoother and softer, with an almost comfort-scent blend of vanilla, musk and woods. A tinge of powder lends a velvety finish, but just enough of the smoke and rubber remains to keep it from being dull and pedestrian."

Nice, right?

Amazing what a little smell can do to remind of time and place and feeling.

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