First, it was Clive Owen for Bulgari Man. Now, Eric Bana [see sidebar] is the Bulgari Man Extreme. Clearly, the tack of using more mature leading Hollywood men — both non-Americans, coincidentally (Owen is English and Bana is Australian) — to front its latest male fragrances works for the storied Italian marque. Why mess with a winning formula anyway?
There is a load of similarities between the new jus and the 2010 original. Bulgari Man Extreme is housed in a flaçon of the same design, though the word “Extreme” is now inscribed over it. The advertising campaign is still monochromatic except that Italian director Matteo Garrone has given it a more cinematic approach. For the stills, famed photographer Peter Lindbergh shot Bana in his signature black-and-white. Even the nose behind this scent is the same: Señor Alberto Morillas.
So, is this yet another typical flanker with many similarities to the original? Yes, it is a flanker but it’s atypical — because Morillas managed to reinvent Bulgari Man, giving it new life but retaining its signatures. Bergamot is still used in the top notes. This time, however, Calabrian bergamot — a stronger and more potent form of the citrus — is employed together with pink grapefruit and cactus zest to give it a burst of freshness.
That is exactly what the Spanish perfumer, who is behind many olfactory icons like Calvin Klein’s ck one, Carolina Herrera 212 and several of Bulgari’s best sellers, wants to achieve. “I want to bring out the contrast between the freshness and the wood,” he says during a press conference in Singapore recently.
The woody base is enhanced with Haitian vetiver, benzoin and Balsa wood, that Morillas says, is “pushing to the extremes”.
White freesia blooms soften the top- and bottom-heavy composition and give it character, a touch that distinguishes it from the many intense male flankers out there. “Men have a romantic sensibility in them, and freesia flowers bring that out,” says Morillas. The result is an elegant, sexy scent that is easy to wear and sits well with the discerning public. Which in turn will — and should — translate to sales. Oh, did we mention that commerciality is yet another parallel with its predecessor?