Bulgari Omnia, Parts 1 – 4

Quick show of hands – how many of you have never smelled the Bulgari Omnia fragrances because you can´t figure out how to spray the damn bottle?  How many of you have skipped them because you think they´re too ugly to touch?  Finally, how many of you think they´re a really cool design and I can take my Betsey-Johnson-bottle-loving butt and go stand in a corner, since I clearly have no design sense, or taste for that matter?

The original Omnia (the reddish brown one at left), created by Alberto Morillas in 2003, is an unsweet woody oriental, and I wish you menfolk lurking on here would give that a whirl.  Notes are mandarin, saffron, ginger, cardamom, Masala tea, lotus, clove, cinnamon, white chocolate, sandalwood, tonka, guaiac wood.  It sounds gourmand, but it´s not — I would describe it as a spicy-woody fragrance with surprising tenacity, and think it doesn´t get as much love or attention as it deserves on the blogs and boards.


Morillas did the next one, Omnia Crystalline, in 2005, and as you´d expect from the name it´s the lightweight, frosted summer flanker, with notes of bamboo, Asian pear, lotus blossom, and woody notes.   Some people can´t smell it at all, and some people who can smell it think it´s awfully dull, but I really enjoy it.  It´s something like Bulgari´s Green Tea layered with a light musky citrus.  I can´t make any argument at all for dazzling brilliance on its part, but it’s lighthearted and fizzy and fun, and there are days in summer when nothing else will do.


Omnia Amethyste came in 2006, and it´s not clear to me whether Morillas was on the job for that one.   I was excited by the purple bottle and the notes, which include pink grapefruit, iris, rose, heliotrope and woody notes.  I was most excited because the iris in the fragrance was supposed to capture the smell of the iris flower rather than the roots, i.e., orris, which is generally what’s in there when a fragrance lists iris, and which is in fact quite a different smell.

I adore the smell of iris blossoms.  I assume most non-gardeners don’t even realize iris have scent, but many of them do, and they are grown and prized for their perfume, which is as delightful and as varied as the smell of roses.  An olfactory highlight of my life was standing in the middle of acres of blooming iris in the high desert of New Mexico one August, surrounded by that intoxicating smell.  Instead, I found Amethyste a powdery heliotrope mess, and while I suppose it wasn´t execrable, the less said the better.

The newest Omnia, Green Jade, has just arrived in stores here, and Morillas is listed as the perfumer.  Apparently aimed at “younger women,” which in perfume-speak must, at this point, mean women aged 12 – 18, Green Jade has notes of green mandarin, spring water (!), white peony, pear blossom, jasmine, pistachio, soft woods and musk.  If you care, the green on the bottle is somewhat brighter than in this image; I think it’s quite pretty.

 The tricky bit for me these days is I never know upfront whether a new mass market fragrance is going to be toothache-sweet or massively “fresh.”   Green Jade is neither.  It´s a perfectly pleasant, light musk with not overly sweet fruits or floral notes, with something that struck me as very tea-like, although I don´t see tea listed.  If there are woods in there, they are very muted.

The original Omnia, as I already noted, is fairly long lasting on the skin, if not a sillage monster.  Omnia Crystalline, assuming you can smell it (and some people can´t) is also quite tenacious – you could learn to hate it the way you hate D&G Light Blue (and you Light-Blue haters know what I´m talking about.)  Amethyste I scrubbed before I had a change to form an opinion about lasting power.  Green Jade is, even by light floral-musk standards, quite short lived.  For the first five minutes I pondered buying it if/when it too came out in one of those $20 purse sprays, but by ten minutes the ride was already winding down.   I´m sure I´ll try it again, but I can´t help but compare it to Crystalline, or even the Bulgari teas (which have the same initial weight) and feel like it comes up woefully short.  I´d love some feedback if anyone else has tried it.  Available from Sephora for $60 for a 1.3 oz.

How do you feel about those bottles, anyway?  Are there any bottles out there you loathe so much they’ve impeded you from buying the fragrance?

all images: Sephora




judith February 8, 2009

With all the comments about the container -- I still need help in OPENING the darn thing! Please.....

rachaelg January 8, 2009

'surprising tenacity' ? On me, Omnia lasts at the faintest possible level for about 30 minutes. I'm glad though, because it was reading about Omnia that made me interested in perfume beyond the bath and body works sprays. It didn't work for me, but I kept looking, and I never stopped.

Shelley January 8, 2009

Um, I'm anosmic to these. So, for me, the summary is "Bottle Double Big; Scent Very Little." I actually made a Sephora sales associate spray it on himself. He smelled cursorily, looked at me, and said, "yeah, perfume," and we each looked at each other and thought "yeah, crazy." /:)

annie January 7, 2009

:dGuys;despite the fact that I absolutely HATE this line,anyway....(can we all say BORING????)...if I came across these bottles,I would give it up...I mean, do I need this agravation?...I'm still loving the Bond #9 Brooklyn bottle,but,wondering why in the world didn't they make it a tad slutty.....the word probably does not exist in their world...huh...carry on perfumistas!!:-w

pyramus January 7, 2009

I'm another guy who wears Omnia (the original), and it is MAGIC on me. Magic, I tell you! Warm but not heavy, creamy but not cloying, woody but not splintery. Light enough for summer, cozy enough for winter. An absolutely perfect thing. I also have the miniature (I had the same problem as you, Rosarita, except I didn't actually dismantle the thing before getting it open--I quickly discovered that it slides apart like one of those trick boxes, though that's not obvious at first) and a big bottle of body lotion. I'm set for a while, I figure. What I love most about it is that there is not one single fragrance out there that smells anything like it. It doesn't remind me of anything; it doesn't smell like a copy or something that hopped on the bandwagon: it's completely original. (I smelled Luctor et Emergo for the first time today, and the first thought that popped into my head was, "Oh. Louve." I also tried Putain des Palaces for the first time--I just got a BIG shipment from The Perfumed Court--and it's lovely, but after getting past the face-powder note, I realized it was basically L'Interdit.) I don't love the bottle, but I don't hate it, either. I've had dribbly sprayers on bottles before, so they don't bother me, as long as I remember to hold them accordingly.

rosarita January 7, 2009

Ok, first of all, the bottle. I like it very much to look at, but the plastic feels really cheap. I can spray it just fine, but the first taste I had of Omnia was a mini, which I darn near smashed with a hammer just to smell it. My husband had to figure out how to open that one out for me; I had removed a plastic piece that's not supposed to come off. Oy. I am very fond of both the original Omnia and Crystalline, own and wear both often as they are both ideal go-to-work scents imo. Crystalline is a summer staple and I'm on my second bottle which is saying something. Amethyst smelled wonderful for the first 30 seconds, very sappy and green. If it stayed that way I'd buy a big bottle, but it quickly turned to soap and was gone completely in under 20 minutes. Haven't had the opportunity to try Jade yet, but I like the green bottle a lot. My favorite of the lot is the original, though, which to me smells like chai w/cream, and lasts all day.

Robin January 7, 2009

So far have only tried the Green Jade one on paper, but it's awfully fresh. Will give it a proper try later in the week but don't think it's going to be a favorite. What color will they do next? I'm surprised Omnia Black isn't out yet.

KJanicki January 7, 2009

I love the original Omnia, it's one of my favourite fall/comfort scents. To me it smells like ginger snaps on fresh sawed hardwood plank. I don't care much what bottles look like, i keep everyhtin in the box anyway, but the spray is really terrible. It shoots out with too much pressure, and dribbles with not enough. I also like the Amethyst but the Crystalline I tried smelled of watery citrus, then watery musk, then nothing at all.

lunarose January 7, 2009

i love the bottles, the look (kinda layered films) and the way they feel in your hand. and since i like to 'puddle' my fragrances, the 'spribble' works fine for me. i can't smell the original omnia, and seem to smell a lot more of what there is in the crystalline than most people. it has a creaminess and the 'dry crunchy' aspect of the apple pear that i just love. plus it lasts forever on me, also rare. i appreciate femme as the only rose scent i've been able to wear so far. i've tried several of the rosines and they get kind of itchy in the nose and this kind of sweet/sour note on the skin :-< so i'm considering buying some femme as it is so nice to smell rosy. i agree it is nothing 'outre' but it is nicely put together and smells good..............(i hope that's not wrong of me! maybe just a little boring):-b

karin January 7, 2009

About 5 or 6 (?) years ago, I moonlighted as a men's fragrance sales associate at Filene's (awful hours and zero pay, but fun while it lasted...do I have stories...ha ha). Unlike many men's fragrance counters that are usually located in the men's clothing sections, this counter was next to the women's fragrance counters. Omnia was one of the new releases at the time, and the spray woman was there for at least a week, spraying and spraying. It struck me as a strange woody scent, and I didn't care for it. After a few days of constant bombardment in the air around us, I actually couldn't smell it any longer. I haven't tried it since. Neither have I tried any of its flankers, and really have no desire to. I wore Bulgari Femme and Thé Vert in the 90's and loved them both. I tried Black for the first time a few months ago, and it wasn't for me (so sad!). I'd love to find another Bulgari fragrance to love, but really get annoyed with flankers. I wonder if they have plans to come out with another unique fragrance - not "based" on their others? I'd definitely want to try it. BTW, I love Pour Homme on men - it was a big seller in the high end men's fragrances when I was there, along with Dolce & Gabbana, Issey Miyake, Jean-Paul Gaultier, and the men's Chanel scents. The biggest commercial sellers were Acqua di Gio (which was huge), Chrome, and Obsession for Men (mostly the older guys).

MarkDavid January 7, 2009

I am a huge fan of the original Omnia. I find it deliciously unique. And the body cream is just as amazing. It does last for a long time. I have not paid any attention to the other Omnias because I don't pay any attention to flankers, period. Waste of my time, usually so I've just stopped altogether. The bottles are horrid little devices sent from Satan himself, I'm sure of it. People seem to be at a loss for words to describe the spray itself but let me clarify - It sprays, or squirts exactly how I imagine a spitting cobra would. So, basically it spits perfume at you and if you're not careful, even with precision aiming, there's no guarantee you won't lose an eye. Happy squirting.

Amy H January 7, 2009

I don't think the bottles are ugly, they're just not entirely functional. The minis are even worse -- I couldn't figure out how to open it. When I finally did, I managed to spill some of it, since I'm sure it wasn't "upright" at the time. I was traumatized and put it away and haven't tried again even to decant it into an atomizer for use. What were they thinking?

benvenuta January 7, 2009

When Omnia was first released, I couldn`t smell it at all. Year or so later I smelled it on a friend and she let me test it from her bottle. It was lovely. For me, it is sort of summer version of Parfum Sacre, which would kill me in hot weather. It is not really similar in notes, but in "feel". I can`t really explain it. I got one of those flat 25 ml bottles, which can be used as a mirror if you really need one. I prefer that bottle to the official one. I agree that it deserves more attention. It is an oriental, but still so light. I actuallz cannot think of anything like it. With Crystalline it was the same story, I couldn`t smell it, then I tried a friend`s bottle (different friend) and liked it. It is pleasant enough but I didn`t feel I need it. It is sort of "crystalline", but it does share a creamy facet with the original. It is quite nice for a flanker.

mj January 7, 2009

Oh, I love iris blossoms too! Totally different from any other flower. And I don't like the Omnia bottles.

Louise January 7, 2009

I can't comment on the bottles, because I just don't remember ever spraying them. Which reflects my general disinterest in the Bulgaris, though I like a bit o'Blu at times. However, I somehow stumbled on testers of the original and the crysal-thing just now, and gave them a whirl. The original has a very unpleasant sour note on me-I imagine it's the sandalwood gone wrong. I occasionally have this problem with sandalwood, and others have kindly described the effect as "baby diapers" on me /:) It does have good tenacity, unfortunately. The Crystalline disappeared quickly, at least to my nose. While it hung around, it was pleasant enough, with no sourness about it. Also, virtually no scent about it. I have just sniffed the Jade once, and it was pleasant, but very "just OK", and am uninspired to see out #3-call me cranky and meh today, too :-w It's a good day for something sweet and rich-either rugelach, or maybe Musc Ravageur :)

Melissa January 7, 2009

I do need to give the original another try. It must not have been memorable. I don't remember either liking or disliking it. I do recall a nose wrinkle in response to Amethyst. As for the others? I haven't tried Jade and I generally avoid summer flankers with names like Crystalline. And no, I don't think I have ever avoided a fragrance because I didn't like the bottle. A quick glance around my collection just revealed that most of them are elegant, simple/tasteful, or at worst boring. One or two of them are kitschy. Boudoir and Cher would take the prize in that category, but hey, I like kitschy! My only complaint about a couple of the bottles would be the spray mechanisms-imprecise, too strong, too weak, leaky etc. And that's no fun at all!

monkeytoe January 7, 2009

I (a guy) wear the original pretty often. I don't like the bottle, which is annoying in shape and spray mechanism, falling over and delivering a half-dribble-half spray. It lasts forever on me and is good in all weather and situations. I also like and wear Crystalline (I got one of the very nice travel bottles), though less often. It is great for the dog days here in Miami, when you want something just more than an eau. It sits on my shelf next to Mugler Cologne and M7 Fresh. Amethyste did nothing for me and I haven't tried Jade.

Delfina January 7, 2009

I've recently had a chance to sniff the original Omnia on a blotter and I thought it seemed really nice, though not earthshaking. I'll have to try it on skin one of these days. As for ugly bottles, I've worn Christian Lacroix (the shell-shaped one) for about six years before becoming a hardcore perfumista, though I always found the bottle really ugly with its plasticky cap and its...ehm... organic shape. So, I guess I'm ready for an Omnia bottle...

Divalano January 7, 2009

Spring water? As a perfume note?? Oh come ON! Don't we think that's someone's marketing idea pushed past the limits of credibility? Never been a Bulgari fan myself ... they all smell sorta like the Beauty level at any big dept store to me. But, you have inspired me to at least give the original Omnia a sniff (at least on cardboard) the next time I'm at Sephora or somesuch.

GalileosDaughter January 7, 2009

The original one was the best, but lasted only for a few minutes before dissolving into a thin sharpness on my skin. The rest were just variations on "blah." Boy that sounded cranky. Truly, I'm not a cranky person. I'm just tired of "blah," I suppose.

Flora January 7, 2009

Heh - Light Blue Hater here, making note to self to steer clear of Omnia Crystalline... those bottles are just plain annoying. I thought the original Omnia was okay but I have not tried the last two - probably won't bother now. I find most of Bulgari's 'fumes to be too limp-wristed and wan for my taste anyway. They just don't have any oomph to them at all.:-?

Masha January 7, 2009

For perfumes released in the last couple years, 20 minutes' longevity seems par for the course. Is this because today's EdP is yesterday's EdC? Or is it the company lawyers attempting to deflect possible "sillage lawsuits"? Specifically, if no perfume can be detected after 20 minutes, how can anyone sue the wearer, or ban perfumes from public or workplaces? Clever, those lawyers....:-w

Eric January 7, 2009

First comment here but I've been lurking for awhile. I have to say, the press pictures of the Omnia bottles impress me. They're just so damned plasticky up close. And the spray mechanism is rather... I dunno... the only way I can think to describe it is somewhat lewd.... It's disappointingly weak. I've only sniffed Amethyst and Green Jade and both rather upset me. I liked Amethyst at first but it's so synthetic--and not in an interesting way. Green Jade had a weird green apple smell to me that was unfortunately married to Amethyst's synthetic accord. And I agree, there is a faint tea smell.

Calypso January 7, 2009

I've tried these and when I first was figuring out how to spray I think I pushed various parts and suddenly sprayed myself in the face! I just was pushed into trying Green Jade at Neiman's by an SA who responded to my question about "Where are the L'Artisans" by saying "Here's a new fragrance from Bulgari, try it" and I wasn't about to buy anything from that line then!! I don't have any recollection of smelling the original one though and it sounds the best, so I'll be looking for it next week when I go off to Europe--Frankfurt airport and the duty free shops, here I come!

ggs January 7, 2009

"Spring water" as a perfume note?! Ha!