The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens, Via Condotti a street in Rome and precious gem stones are not naturally synonymous, in fact they are so different why would they even sit together in a sentence? If by bringing in the brand name BVLGARI in to the mix, would that give some kind of a clue?
The fact is the originator of the Bugari brand Sotitio Vulgaris was a Greek Silversmith, who went to Rome and after some initial success, opened a store in 1889 in the Via Condotti, called the Old Curiosity Shop (after the novel) in order to entice the British and American travellers in to his store; which by then was selling silverware, jewellery and accessories; so this is how a bunch of unrelated names come together in one sentence.
It’s also the humble beginnings of the world renowned brand Bulgari name which has gone to to grow to great heights by initially being kept it in the family – being passed down from father to sons. When Sotitio’s two sons joined the business the gem side grew under their supervision (learning the secrets of the trade) taking the business to new levels, but it wasn’t until after WW2 that the brands added the Latin V so recognisable (and so often copied) that the heritage of the brand was formed. However even though, the Bulgari name was known for precious jewels, and accessories it went on to add watches, perfumes and even hotels as part of the rich make up we know today.
The perfume collections didn’t actually start until 1992 with their debut scent Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert becoming a roaring success. Created by nose Jean-Claude Ellena, the fragrance took green tea, blending it with citrus notes giving a combination that’s fresh, delicate and sweet. Today, the Bulgari Eau Parfumee collection has expanded to include Thé Blanc, Thé Bleu, Thé Noir and Thé Rouge along side the homage fragrance Thé Vert Extreme.
The perfume part of the business has become a magnificent success with different levels, from entry point to Pillar ranges. For example 1994 bought the Splendida collections; a triumphant entry into the market for classics with a modern twist of women’s floral scents. The collection all created by perfumer Sophie Labbe consists of Iris d’Or, Jasmin Noir and Rose Rose all of which are encased in heavy glass bottles reminiscent of the female decolletage (the part of the body where a lady may hang her row of pearls ..Bulgari of course! )
There is the Mens collection Man in Black, again consisting of a collection of scents all created by Spanish king of perfume Alberto Morillas which include Man in Black, Man in Black Orient and Man in Black Cologne, with the edition this year of Man in Black Essence.
The Goldea Collection directly (like all the fragrances) relates to a Bulgari jewellery collection called Serpenti. From Greek and Roman mythology the serpent represents seduction wisdom and vitality, so no wonder these are intense, sexy, women’s scents. They include Goldea, Rose Goldea and Goldea The Roman Night, which has only be added this year. Yet again perfumer Alberto Morillas add to his Bulgari collaboration with a Chypre (a heady perfume containing sandalwood fusion) with a magical, exotic twist.
The classic Chypre is characterised by an accord (group of scents) composed of citrus top-notes, a middle consisting of Cistus Labdanum, and a mossy-animalic base-note derived from Oak Moss. In Goldea The Roman Night top notes of Black Pepper Bergamot and Mulberry are followed by black Peony Jasmine Rose and heady Tuberose, with a base of black Musk, Patchouli, Vetiver and finally Moss. This fragrance only just joins the Goldea collection as it arrives in store now this September.
The top of the pillar comes with the Le Gemme and Le Gemme for men collections. Both utterly inspired by the house relationship with precious gemstones so much encased in the brand heritage; the bottles are sculptured into a romanesque sculptural black coated flacon dressed with gemstone style detailing for each lid. This is the Haute Couture of the perfume lines from the house with the women’s collection, Le Gemme including Amarena, Lilaia, Maravilla, Ashlemah, Noorah, and Calaluna all created by Perfumer Daniela Andrier, and the mens collection Le Gemme Mens including Malakeos, Ambero, Gyan, Tygar, Garanat and Onekh. The mens scents are all by perfumer Jacques Cavallier.
The house has around eighty perfumes all together with the Omnia line ( with its unique link bottle) the Le Gemme collection made up of Le Gemme Oritentali, Le Gemme Imperiali, the Aqua collections and many more signature fragrances across the mens, womens’ and shared lines.
Lastly for the record with the brand collaborating with some of the greatest perfumers available such as the aforementioned Alberto Morillas, Olivier Polge, and Sophia Grojsman to name but a few!
Bulgari has been upholding excellence of products for years,and this is why they have partnered with MAXXI, the National Museum of 21st Century Arts in Rome to support young talent hence The MAXXI Bulgari Prize. It gives the opportunity for young artists to make a name for themselves on the international contemporary arts scene. It is a carrying on of the tradition of partnering with great contemporary artists such as Anish Kapoor with Bulgari first established a connection with MAXXI in 2014 during the exhibition Belissima.
For 2018, the prize has been enhanced to include the promotion of foreign as well as Italian artists. The three short-listed artists for the 2018 Prize will be chosen by an international jury.