Bulgari’s Omnia (2003)

© Victor Wong
© Victor Wong

My coworker once told me that on her birthday she had received a bottle of Omnia Jade, but she didn’t like it. I wasn’t into designer perfumes at that time to give her any opinion or sarcasm, but later that day I checked out Luca’s review on Omnia Jade and found out that it had got a low score (1 out of 5, I guess, don’t remember exactly). The next day I told her that her perfume didn’t get a favourable review and she said, “No wonder.” From that moment onwards I had unfairly associated the rest of the Omnia perfumes to sub-par designer perfumes.

A year has passed and a friend asked me to help him get a bottle of the very first Omnia. I found one in a Toronto perfume shop, and as I was about to pay for the bottle, I asked the salesperson to let me smell the tester. Oh lord, it smelled wonderful! That SOB knows what is good!

Without knowing the notes, to me Omnia smells like wet, clean laundry. But, it’s like someone has used booze instead of fabric softener in the last spin cycle – “Mama was drunk but she remembered to do laundry for her son”. (Spoiler alert) Later I found out Omnia has saffron, almond, white chocolate and masala Chai tea. Once I have learned what’s in it, everything becomes detectable and recognizable. It still smells amazing, but the abstractness and mysteriousness of the perfume has somehow evaporated away.