Bvlgari Omnia Crystalline ~ fragrance review

Bvlgari Omnia Crystalline perfume

Bvlgari introduced the original Omnia fragrance in 2003. Omnia is a spicy oriental by perfumer Alberto Morillas, and marries spices with trendy gourmand notes like tea, chocolate and almond while managing to be neither heavy nor overly foody. It smells like a nicely spiced wood scent, very sheer, very modern. It is one of my favorites from Bvlgari, and makes a great, nearly year-round woody comfort fragrance.

Omnia got its first flanker in 2005, with Omnia Crystalline. Like many recent flanker scents — Calvin Klein Euphoria Blossom, Prada Tendre, among others — it was designed for the Asian market, where lighter, fresher fragrances are the thing. And it did very well, apparently "reaching number one in Japan and South Korea". (via cosmeticsint.co.uk, 2/9/2007)

Omnia Crystalline is also by Alberto Morillas, and is a fresh musky woody fragrance with notes of bamboo, nashi pear, lotus flower, and balsa wood. On first smell, it would seem to have little in common with its parent scent: it is notably more aquatic, paler (in keeping with its name) and blander, and the first time I tried it, I dismissed it as not interesting enough to bother with.

Subsequent tries have changed my mind. Omnia Crystalline is fresh and light, as you'd expect, and it is blander than the original, but it isn't without personality. The pear, happily, is subdued in the opening, and not at all sweet: it doesn't smell like a fruity floral or like something geared towards teenagers. Once the fruitiness fades, Omnia Crystalline is mostly musky woods, with very subtle green notes and something that smells rather like white tea. And while its overall character remains fresh and clean and crisp, the wood notes smell darker and deeper than you'd expect from balsa wood alone; according to PerfumeWorld, both Omnia and Omnia Crystalline also have guaiac wood, which might explain why I like both scents.

I don't wholeheartedly adore Omnia Crystalline (and I'd still rather wear the original) but it is nicely done and worth trying if you're looking for a clean woody musk for summer. I find it unisex and would think a man could easily wear it so long as he didn't mind wearing a scent called Omnia Crystalline. For that matter, I didn't find the original Omnia very feminine either.

Bvlgari Omnia Crystalline is an Eau de Toilette. I find the lasting power to be excellent (easily 6 hours or more), but I should note that as with the original Omnia, I've seen numerous reports about its poor staying power, and I suspect that the musk notes induce olfactory fatigue rather quickly in some people. It can be found in 25, 40 and 65 ml. Bargain shoppers can find Omnia Crystalline at discount; scentiments currently has the 25 ml for $22.99.

Tomorrow: Omnia Amethyste

Note: image via Images de Parfums.

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43 Comments

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Sounds lovely. I am going to find some to try.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Will be shocked if you like this one, M…

  3. Anonymous says:

    I wear Omnia and love it–it is every bit as unisex as you say, and on my skin smells deliciously warm without being cloying–but I assumed that, based on the notes, Omnia Crystalline would be very girly. (The pear didn't scare me off–after all, Higher Dior has a pear note in it–but the other things, and the name, made me think light, fresh, prettified.) Now I suppose I'm going to have to hunt it down….

  4. Anonymous says:

    Light & fresh are accurate, but not prettified — it isn't in the least girly. Let me know if you try it and disagree!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I have somewhat of a crush on the whole Bulgari line right now, having found several different scents at discounters for prices too good to pass up. OC is the one I'm wearing most in our warm weather. You described the woods perfectly. I am currently using Yves Rocher Bamboo Vegetal body wash, and OC has the same slight bitterness the body wash does, so I guess that would be the bamboo. Overall, this lasts very well, and is *fresh and clean* without smelling like laundry, etc. as is the current fresh fad.

    I know you like the green tea scent also, R. Have you tried the “extreme” version of the green tea, and if so, what is the difference between the two? So far, the red tea scent is my favorite of the Bulgari line.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I will have to try the YR Body Wash — I did try the EdT, and thought it nice but maybe a bit *too* fresh.

    I do like the Extreme, and reviewed it (see “Perfume Reviews” link just under the banner) but I like the regular better. It is just crisper & brighter. If you can't live with the poor staying power, the Extreme is a decent alternative.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Oops, sorry! And it was your review of the red tea that made me want to try Bulgari scents in the first place!

    YR body washes are great, the actual edts not so much, IMO.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Did you like the Red Tea? I'll have to go look. White Tea is shaping up to be the first full bottle of anything recently that I may actually work all the way through, and if/when I do, I'm getting red, I think. In fact, while I'm opining, I think much of the Vulgari line is under-loved by the perfumistas. ;-) The regular Bvlgari Femme or whatever it's called is lovely.
    The Omnia. Gad, I hate that bottle. I think it's so ugly. But it smells gorgeous. I tried the Crystalline, got a pinch too much of the aquatic thing, which I don't like, and forgot about it. Then two different people that day asked me what delicious thing I was wearing, prompting me to reconsider its charms. I think your description captures it beautifully. I still wish they'd change the bottle!

  9. Anonymous says:

    I love Omnia, but only tried Crystalline once and dismissed it. I defiinitely think I need to go back and give it another try and pay more attention. Sounds like it has real potential for sweltering mid-summer days.
    Oh, and shuffles feet, looks around awkwardly, but…have to confess that I'm one of the two people in the known universe who actually likes the Omnia bottle. :-) I just think it has a cool sculptural shape.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Then will really have to go try the Body Wash. I like bamboo, and the YR prices are perfect!

  11. Anonymous says:

    M, don't love Red Tea, sadly. But like the rest of the teas, and agree about Femme.

    I liked the Omnia bottle in pictures, but hated it when I saw (and touched) it in person. Plastic, and the colors aren't done as nicely as they look in pictures. Oh well. Hoping they'll do another Omnia anyway. Green, this time?

  12. Anonymous says:

    I seriously doubt you're alone on the Omnia bottle. It won some sort of design award, and doubt they'd keep using it if everyone on earth hated it :-)

  13. Anonymous says:

    Whoever gave the design award obviously didn't consult anyone on MUA, where it regularly gets listed as one of the ugliest bottles ever released. :-) I do agree that the actual plastic they used is not wonderful, but I”m still impressed w/ the concept and the form.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I actually love the Omnia bottle: I think it's enormously appealing–weighty, voluptuous, intricate–and the plastic doesn't bother me a bit. I have the miniature, as well (I actually have two of them, for some reason), and that's even nicer; there's no sprayer, obviously, and the bottle holding the juice is sort of a thin slice of glass that slides down out of the rest of the packaging (which is all plastic), which I realize is kind of hard to visualize, but it's a very clever solution to what must have been a difficult problem.

  15. Anonymous says:

    You know, I like the shape too. But hate the feel, and hate when I pick up a bottle and can't immediately see where the spray is or how to use it (hate Bvlgari Black's bottle for that reason too). So I would have loved it if I'd never seen it in person.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I have a mini of Omnia too, and it took me forever to figure out how to open it! I had removed the plastic piece on the top of the bottle (that's not supposed to come off) and was seriously considering punching a hole in the metal casing to get at the darn juice. Fortunately, I happened to show it to my much cleverer husband, who figured it out in no time.

    Doh!

  17. Anonymous says:

    This is all cracking me up — you should have seen me fumbling with Carolina Herrera's new Splash scents trying to figure out how on earth to open and spray them. If it doesn't have a top and a cap, chances are I'll break it before I figure out how to use it ;-)

  18. Anonymous says:

    The miniature sounds absolutely fascinating! Had to see exactly how it works for myself, so just ordered one and got the Crystalline, thus killing two birds w/ one stone.

  19. Anonymous says:

    There is another — Amethyste (it's new, Sephora has it here.) Pale purple, natch. It's sweeter, more closely modeled on Crystalline rather than original Omnia (which smells like HEAVEN on men. I totally agree it's not feminine.) Anyway, I'd guess violet and/or rose, but it's a total guess. I was underwhelmed because it was sweeter than I'd expected, but I need to re-try it — I didn't like Crystalline on the first go-round either, and I tend to judge things sometimes on what they're not rather than what they are, which doesn't produce a fair assessment.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Elle, I'm predicting you'll really like the Crystalline. I go through a slightly rough “fresh” patch, then it's smooth sailing (definitely gaiac and woods.) As it dries down it gets surprising substance for something that seems so sheer when you put it on.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Doing that one tomorrow, M. Agree it is sweeter, and it is easily my least favorite of the 3.

  22. Anonymous says:

    OK, will now definitely be tapping my fingers impatiently waiting for it to arrive. Sounds like I might well be graduating to the large size.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Duh! And it says so right up there in your notes… I look forward to your review. You're responsible for getting me to go back and try more than one thing I now really love (e.g., KenzoAmour.)

  24. Anonymous says:

    It's true–the Bulgari Black bottle, while some sort of triumph of design and engineering, was dreadfully conceived from a human-interface point of view. You really want to pull the top off, even if you know you're supposed to twist it. Paco Rabanne's Ultraviolet Man has a similar problem: it really looks as if there's a long cap which needs removing, when in fact it's a sort of trigger that you squeeze to shoot yourself with scent.

    Issey Miyake's Le Feu D'Issey is probably the greatest ever non-standard sprayer design: if the bottle's sitting on your dresser, there doesn't actually seem to be a sprayer because there's a plastic sleeve over it, but when you pick up the bottle, the sleeve just drops away into the shell of the bottle, exposing the sprayer. (And there's a little plastic device that fits into the bottom of the bottle which deliberately keeps the sleeve in place: you use it when you're travelling to prevent accidental discharge.) It's extraordinarily elegant.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Yep. At least half the time you pick up a Black tester in a store, it has been broken by a consumer who couldn't figure out how to use it. Bad sign. Will have to check out the Feu d'Issey bottle!

  26. Anonymous says:

    I actually don't adore the scent of Le Feu, but bought the bottle because I was so impressed w/ the design (and it was relatively inexpensive).

  27. Anonymous says:

    I have always thought Le Feu is one of the weirdest scents ever released commercially. It's just bizarre. I like it, but I don't wear it really often, and I can see the problems people have with it. I'm not a enormous fan of the bottle, but for an innovative design, it sprays (even into sample vials and decants) extremely well.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Help! I can 't figure out how to open this, either!

    I have a small sample of the Omnia with the beautiful brown plastic semi-loops. Can't open it….yup, doh!

    Can you help?

  29. Anonymous says:

    I haven't got the mini so will be no help, but it sounds from pyramus's comment above that you've got to slide the glass bottle out. Good luck!

  30. RusticDove says:

    I had received a sample of this fragrance a while back and thought, at the time, that I really liked it. I recently ordered a small bottle from Sephora and now I’m not all that crazy about it. I will try it again in hot weather [seems like it that’s type of scent] and see if that makes a difference. At least I only purchased a small purse size spray so if I still don’t like it – no big whoop.

    • Robin says:

      I think I like it better in summer too.

  31. RusticDove says:

    I decided to give the Crystalline another try on this summery day, and I must say, what a difference the weather makes for this fragrance. I am enjoying this quite a bit again [I must have sampled it originally on a hot day]. I feel like it’s keeping me ‘shower fresh’. :-)

    • Robin says:

      Good, glad your bottle won’t be wasted!

      • zehrasaad says:

        can you please let me know how it opens! :s

  32. Butterscotch says:

    Bvlgari Omnia Crystalline I like it the only bad thing is i wish they had it in eau de parfum!

    • Robin says:

      It has great lasting power on me.

  33. zehrasaad says:

    can someone please tell me how it opens!
    i’ve tried everything! :/

    • Robin says:

      There is no cap, so strictly speaking it does not open unless you’re talking about the mini, in which case I’m sorry but I don’t remember anything but that it took me forever to figure out. Sorry!

  34. scorpiosunshine says:

    I’m coming in late on this, but after trying this for the second time, I wanted to chime in.

    I didn’t care for it when I first received my sample. I didn’t exactly hate it, I just found it underwhelming and a bit off. It could have been because at that point, I had sniffed too many new arrivals; I’m not sure. I put it aside and forgot about it.

    This evening I sifted through my samples again and decided to give this another shot, and not expecting much, was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it at first sniff, and am enjoying it now as it settles in. It’s not overwhelming, but it is very nice.

    I think I’ll purchase :)

    Perhaps it’s the unseasonably warm weather, but this is working really well for me this evening!

    • Robin says:

      I would not be surprised if it wears much better in warm weather. Glad you gave it another shot!

  35. eswift83 says:

    On my skin, this is a dead ringer for the original DKNY Women, launched in 1999… although not quite as sharp if my memory serves me right (it’s been a couple years since I’ve worn it). This one doesn’t seem to be as overwhelming either, as it does dry down to a softer scent.

    • Robin says:

      Interesting, would not have thought of them together!

  36. eminere says:

    Now THIS is my favourite Omnia flanker. Figures that of course it’d also be the most expensive one still at online discounters.

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