Bvlgari Goldea – a golden scent for Cleopatra. Behind-the-scenes with Alberto Morillas on his creation of a ‘re-modelled’ musk that simply glows…

Having caught up with genius (and we do not use the word lightly) perfumer Alberto Morillas for our recent Nose interview, we couldn’t just leave it there. Actually, we could conceivably spend years listening to his tales of perfumes past and present – the intricacies of his methods, the creative process from brand’s brief through creative inspirations and onwards to the final scents we all know and treasure so dearly.

Specifically, we wanted to know all about how Alberto worked on the recently launched Goldea by Bvlgari (available to try at home in our Exquisite Essences Discovery Box), and graciously were granted an exclusive interview to find out more…

Alberto Morillas-1008 2
What were your inspirations for the fragrance?
‘Goldea is a tribute to gold and femininity. It really hypnotizes you and makes you travel through the most mythical places of our History. It is a multifaceted interpretation of the Golden Age, from the antique goddess to the modern diva. The fragrance reflects the richness and timelessness of gold, just like a jeweler, I wanted to sculpt the radiance of gold. And create a deep and sensual fragrance that literally radiates on women’s naked skin.’

How did the use of musk help you to conjure up ‘a golden symphony’: what does it bring to this fragrance?
Among all the gems of my perfumer’s palette, musks are the talismans of Bulgari and create a mythical and sacred signature. Goldea plays with their sensual and bright royal aura which echoes gold. A waterfall of musks that I worked for Goldea with a lot of texture and richness. As a step back in the origins of musks, an ultra-precious ingredient of the perfume History which is today bathed with light and modernity. I wanted to push the radiance, beyond limits, to reach the full power, the supreme alchemy and express this “golden symphony”.’

How do you put ‘the sun’ into a fragrance, as a perfumer?
‘To create solar strength in Goldea, I wanted to add noble raw materials such as papyrus and patchouli wood. In the floral accord, we begin to sense the palpitation of flowers and the rare ylang-ylang from the Comoros Islands. An intensity golden yellow ylang-ylang is the perfect embodiment of a flower fusing with gold. I have always used bergamot as a citrus note; this fruit is round and luminous, intensely yellow and instantly suggestive of the sun. In Goldea, you feel at the same time the morning sun with its sense of renewal and unique freshness, the burning midday heat and the nostalgia of the evening sunset.’

 Did you have an image in your mind, when creating?
‘Cleopatra was my muse for this unique fragrance. She is an absolute icon of femininity, power and seduction. And so the fragrance is. If it were a piece of art, it would be a golden sculpture of Brancusi. Brancusi was a visionary, a pioneer of modernism and one of the most influential sculptors of the 20th century. This craftsman of gold inspired me a lot to create a sculpted floral ambrée, in which each ingredient is facetted and polished like a gold nugget.’

Unusually in a fragrance construction, this note is actually present in the head, heart and base notes, awakening the sensual amber and floral elements in the fragrance. Musk highlights the airy naturalness of orange blossom, alongside the voluptuous qualities of ylang ylang and a cascade of jasmine pearls. In the base, a soft and rounded velvet musk is ‘fanned’ by the carnal sensuality of that amber accord, with an intoxicating trail of golden patchouli and Egyptian papyrus…


Bulgari Goldea £37 for 25ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Harvey Nichols

Written by Suzy Nightingale

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