Discover Allegra with Luis Miguel, Head of Bvlgari Perfume Division

Kicking off 2021 with nothing but joy and charm, Bvlgari unveiled its latest olfactory marvel “Allegra”. In its swooning Bvlgari Hotel & Resort in Dubai, the Roman house proved once again that the Italian joie de vivre reigns supreme but this time, it was through a newly introduced concept.

In a conversation with Azyaamode, Managing Director of the Fragrances Business Unit of the Bulgari Group Luis Miguel Gonzalez Sebastiani explains about the “Magnifying” concept that opens the door to new personalization territories in the world of fragrances and takes us on a journey to the universe of “Allegra”.  

Tell us about Allegra and the idea that brought it to life.

Allegra finds inspiration in emotions. By definition, Italians are emotional in everything they do – how they express themselves, how they embrace food, how they love their country and its landscapes. Everything they experience morphs into emotions, which are mostly ones of happiness, optimism and positivity. And it’s from this exact idea that the collection gets its name “Allegra” which means joy in English. Therefore, we explored different emotional facets. From love, passion and seduction to admiration of the land and the connections between family members, this collection shares with people the joy of these emotions and the joy that comes with leading an Italian lifestyle.

Since at Bvlgari we’re driven by audacity and magnificence, we brought these emotional connections to new heights. We capitalized on a very important trend in the market called layering, and we did it in a way that is not deceptive. So, for example, if you have two beautiful dresses and you try to style your look, you don’t cut each of them in half, and then mix and match them. What you do is take a dress and accessorize it by either adding a jacket, a special belt, a nice jewelry piece or a beautiful pair of shoes; so basically, making the dress a canvas you can personalize, without changing it. And, this is the best way to explain this collection; the creation of the master-perfumer won’t be changed but rather accessorized by magnifying one of its elements.

How were the 5 magnifiers chosen to fit the fragrances?

What helped Jacques Cavallier and our creative team to design the 5 eau de parfums with the 5 magnifiers is that there are common elements between them, which made the process less risky. Of course, some of them work more naturally with some specific fragrances. For instance, some people like Riva Solare because they love the bergamot and neroli notes and they use the bergamot magnifier to make the perfume stand out even more. In this case, the fragrance is magnified in a not so risky way. Another example is Fiori D’Amore as its rose notes constitute a great combination with the musk magnifier.

This collection is made for women. However, do you think that some of these fragrances can be used by men?

Speaking from personal experience, I absolutely love wearing the magnifying musk on its own. I would also wear Riva Solare because I personally like citrusy fragrances. In fact, the florals are mostly neroli, which is a very nice masculine ingredient as well. I also love musk, as it’s very fresh and sparkling. Although, it’s definitely not a collection for men, it depends on the cultural realities and preferences. For instance, we know that, in the Middle East, men love the smell of roses, so I wouldn’t be surprised if a man chose to wear a fragrance from this collection. Men here are so educated when it comes to olfactive gestures: a gentleman would wear an oud oil, then add the magnifying rose scent to it. It’s an absolutely correct assumption. That would be a plus to the main objective of the collection, which is to address women.

What are the two ingredients that stand out in this collection?

First off, the red roses that Jacques Cavallier used in these fragrances are provided from Bulgaria and Turkey. They are of extremely high quality in terms of how they are harvested, collected and distilled. In fact, this process is Jacques Cavallier’s forte. He’s a master when it comes to natural ingredients and he really knows how to source them; so, when he puts things together, he does so in an exclusive way. This is what makes the roses so special and sophisticated.

The second ingredient would be the musk, which is different because it’s vegetable. It’s extremely expensive and this is most probably the reason why it’s not so common in perfumery. We’ve used it as a magnifying element because the fragrance has to be very special. What people appreciated the most about it is that it’s enveloping, soothing, caressing and comforting.

How does the bottle pay tribute to the values of Bvlgari as a jeweler and as a perfumer?

The inspirations behind the bottle are various. For “Le Gemme” we had two types of bottles. However, for the collection, the iconic element is the cabochon. In fact, it’s not the shape that is bringing you the connection between them, but it’s the symmetry that is a constant and it allows us to start creating associations and color contrasts – all the while staying true to the values that set the Italian design apart. And as I compared magnifiers to fashion, I compare the bottle to furniture. For instance, you can find that a couch and a chair go well together but they actually don’t. There are certain fundamental elements in Italian interior design that we link together to get a great result.

This time, we used a technique called eco-design to create the bottle because from the beginning, our intention was to minimize its environmental impact. We played with the materials and we industrialized the creation of the concept. And we ended up with a bottle that is 96% made of glass with basically no plastic – just a little tube inside the pump. The metal is also separable which allows people to completely recycle the entire flacon or put it into recyclable glass containers.

This collection is not exclusive to Bvlgari boutiques and it will be available at some points of sale. Is there a specific reason why?

Globally speaking, we’re only going to distribute it in 100 points of sales at first, so that is extremely exclusive. In the region, it’s going to be exclusively available at Sephora. In different countries of the region, we’re going to distribute it to niche and high-end sections of stores that display these high-end fragrances. In addition, client advisors will be trained to explain the magnifying concept.  

Would you consider following a refill strategy for your fragrances?

Potentially yes, we’re considering this strategy not only for this collection, but also for the other ones in our portfolio. In fact, we designed a bottle that can be unscrewed for refilling. It’s definitely something we will explore in the future.

What’s next for Bvlgari?

For the time being, what you can expect from Bvlgari is disproportional attention on the higher-end fragrances of the portfolio, as we work on beautiful projects for Le Gemme that are going to become available in the region soon. We actually have a pop up now at Dubai Mall with a new capsule collection of two fragrances from Le Gemme family called Astrea and Azaran, and we’re definitely going to continue expanding the collection of Allegra.

What is the best-selling Bvlgari fragrance around the world?

There are always fragrances that perform differently, but Le Gemme collection’s Tygar is unique, fantastic, fresh and oriental. It is a woody, citric fragrance that has a very strong note of grapefruit and it was initially created for men but many women wore it as well. Another one is Onekh, which is a darker woody fragrance that uses dark musk.

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