Goldea is the latest pillar from Bvlgari. Its "jeweled bottle", according the the brand, "incarnates the gold and the sun", and it was also inspired by the "powerful symbol" of Serpenti.1 The juice, developed by perfumer Alberto Morillas, is described as "a bright, golden musk symphony". I was cheered by the news that it was geared towards older women, that is, 30+, which is about as "older" as the fragrance industry is usually willing to go, but perhaps a little dismayed by the name — Goldea? Now taking votes, does anyone like that name? — and the commercial with Isabeli Fontana, which looks like something Guerlain might have done in the 1980s, and is very nearly as corny as the name.
Anyway, the idea of a "golden musk symphony" is reasonably well represented by the floriental fragrance, so long as you like your golden musk symphonies a bit on the sweetish side (the notes: crystal musk, orange blossom, bergamot, raspberry, golden musk, ylang ylang, jasmine, velvet musk, amber accord, patchouli and papyrus). You can tell pretty quickly that it's not geared towards teenagers: the raspberry did annoy me for a few minutes early on, but Goldea is not heavily fruity, and the floral notes are weightier than the average. So are the musk notes, which while hardly what you'd call animalic, do speak in loud tones, pretty much from the opening straight through to the end. The overall effect is of a warm, golden floral musky amber, with a light dusting of sweetish powder at the finish. On some wearings it struck me as far too sweet for my liking, but on other wearings I hardly noticed, smelling instead interesting little touches of hay-like notes, the slightly briny aspect of the amber (or the musk?), and a bit of greenery here and there.
The lasting power is very good.
Verdict: Goldea is well done, but for someone else, not me. I do not generally mind heavier fragrances, and Goldea in any case is hardly even a contender for heaviest floriental — it's too modern for that. But something about the level of the particular musks used here did not work well for me, and even on the days that the sweetness did not bother me, a kind of general claustrophobia settled in after an hour or so. Every time I wore it, it made me happy to shower it off, and I did not risk an evening wearing lest it get on my bedding, since we all know that Perfumista Law #22 declares that any fragrance you don't love is sure to have the half life of plutonium, and be impossible to remove via ordinary means (like the wash cycle).
Bvlgari is hoping, of course, for another Omnia, a pillar to spawn a thousand flankers.2 Given how little the juice of Omnia informed its flankers, perhaps all that matters is that consumers respond to Goldea's packaging? And I'm sure some people love the bottle, but personally I'd rather have the 25 ml "jewel" flacon, shown below, that Bvlgari already had in their stable.
Do comment if you loved it!
Bvlgari Goldea is available in 25, 50 and 90 ml Eau de Parfum. It is widely available but not as of yet in the US, where it is expected to launch soon.
1. All quotes in first paragraph are via the Bvlgari website.
2. I have totally forgotten where I read that Omnia made up a third of Bvlgari's fragrance business, and I have no way of knowing if it's true. But it wouldn't surprise me.