I don't know why I always feel so uncomfortable every time I wear the 1994 Bulgari Pour Femme. It's a very pretty perfume and I like it quite a bit in theory. Unlike many rose-violet compositions, this isn't too candied and there's no hint of the sour note that kills so many roses when they meet my skin. Instead, there's a white floral heart that is all about various summer blooms. It feels like a romantic date on a summer night, well-dressed and properly jeweled. I wouldn't be surprised to learn Pour Femme is a favorite among the bridal crowd.
Part of the problem is that Bulgari Pour Femme tries too hard. I suspect the original creative brief had a paragraph or two about creating a modern classic (using such adjectives as timeless, eternal, elegant and refined). The Bulgari people unintentionally hit the jackpot big time with Jean-Claude Elena's 1993 Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert, a perfume first created as a limited distribution item for the boutiques. It makes sense they wanted something more substantial and jewel-like to make their mark in the perfume world but still sell it by the bucket.
Pour Femme, a Sophia Grojsman creation, answers these requirements. It's also easy enough to wear, inoffensive and dries down quietly and without putting up a fight into a clean and soapy wood. It's one of those scents that would attract compliments from people close to its wearer and always feel appropriate, like pearl earrings or small diamond studs. But whenever I pull out my decant (a mini bottle I transferred into a small atomizer) it feels like I borrowed a dress from someone else and it's all pink and dainty. Even the jewelry is wrong because my ears aren't pierced and I prefer big cuff bracelets. I can appreciate the idea and the thought that went into creating this Bulgari perfume, but it looks like I'm more of a Cartier woman.
Bulgari Pour Femme costs $92, 1.7 oz at most decent department stores and Sephora, but can be purchased for far less if you know your way around the various discounters.
Ads from 1993, 1999 and 2003: couleurparfum.com