It was in 1992 that a new-found chapter in Bulgari’s dazzling portfolio began. The most loyal of Bulgari customers were treated with the ultimate luxurious gift – a fragrance coined by Jean-Claude Ellena. Its unprecedented success meant that Bulgari Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, set forth the walls of Bulgari and cemented itself amongst the most iconic of perfumes, the first of its kind to use notes of green tea.
The story of Bulgari was something of a phenomenon, beginning in the north of Greece, in a small village in the Pindus Mountains. Known for its generations of exceptional silversmithing skills, Sotirio Voulgaris, relocated to Rome. There Bulgari, a name synonymous with its unprecedented bold and vividly coloured jewels, began to define its own aesthetic principles. Every piece is designed to the highest grandeur and its perfumes to follow were no exception. It’s no surprise Bulgari chose to align its fragrance reminiscent of Japanese tea ceremonies, once a luxury pastime afforded to only the rulers, elite warriors and wealthy merchants. Every note is formulated to replicate the luxurious feel of Bulgari’s glimmering jewels and architectural treasures, a feel of indulgence and tranquillity to accompany the luxury your Bulgari experience.
The olfactory signature at the time was unparalleled in its kind. Its neither feminine nor masculine but induces an ambience of freshness, one un-associated with gender but rather with the affluence of ‘tea’. Every note revolves around green tea – the focal point this fragrance is built on. With notes of bergamot, pepper, orange blossom, coriander and jasmine, Jean-Claude, sought after a fragrance that “expressed the scent of the world I belong to”.
Conceivably the yesteryears of green tea are what parallels the exceptionality delicate and fresh qualities of fragrances with notes of tea. Chanoyu (the way of tea), a ritual of preparing and serving powdered green tea, an endeavour grants the luxury of intellectuals and physical enjoyment bringing a peace of mind to guests by focusing on all senses and not transpiring in mundane thoughts. More than a drink, it is a ritual intertwined in the fabric of Japanese lifestyle. Hailed as an elixir of eternal youth, green tea has been valued for its medicinal properties and a key to a healthy way of life. Conveyed in an old proverb, “Morning tea brings good fortune,” the idea that a cup of tea in the morning staves off misfortune, tea was at one time revered almost as an object of veneration”.
A precedent for a striking olfactory journey has been set and for Bulgari Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert 25th anniversary, and this is just the beginning. To see their journey as a brand, you can find our piece on Bvlgari here.