An eter­nal magic

Bul­gari Goldea The Ro­man Night takes Grace Wong on a noc­tur­nal ad­ven­ture through the sto­ried streets of the eter­nal city

ELLE (Malaysia) - - CONTENTS -

Un­pack­ing the ro­man­tic new Bul­gari fra­grance

It’s 7:30pm in Rome and the late spring sun is yet to set on the an­cient city’s beat­ing heart. The ap­proach­ing sum­mer has made the days longer and warmer, yet this mo­ment has the sense of be­ing par­tic­u­larly drawn out. Ear­lier in the day, bar­ri­cades were erected around Pi­azza di Spagna at the base of the Span­ish Steps and now a crowd has gath­ered to see who or what will be ap­pear­ing on the empty steps (a rare spec­ta­cle in it­self).

These 135 steps are on the bucket list of ev­ery world trav­eller with a pen­chant for pop cul­ture, and most fa­mously starred along­side Au­drey Hep­burn in Wil­liam Wyler’s 1953 com­edy Ro­man

Hol­i­day. Yet even for those of us who aren’t movie stars, an evening spent strolling around this Via dei Con­dotti land­mark is only marginally less cin­e­matic. Rome is a city built for theatre, and one that show­ers ro­mance on even the most ba­nal of scenes. Any­one could spend hours en­tranced

by tourists wield­ing cam­eras, lo­cals tak­ing in the sights on their ri­tual evening passeg­giata, and shop­pers dart­ing in-and-out of stores in the nick of clos­ing hour.

But tonight, as the crowds soon found out, Bul­gari’s tak­ing over. The Ro­man jew­ellery house fi­nanced the re­fur­bish­ment of the steps, a feat com­pleted in late 2016, and now they set the scene for the un­veil­ing of Goldea The Ro­man Night, a fra­grance that cel­e­brates the elec­tric­ity that lingers in the Ro­man air. That any­thing-can­hap­pen magic cast from the city’s his­tory, cul­ture and power paired with a gritty cityscape rich with dis­cov­er­ies at ev­ery cor­ner.

For Bul­gari’s Ital­ian CEO, Jean-Christophe Babin, Rome’s ap­peal starts not with its ar­chi­tec­ture, but its cit­i­zens. “It’s the peo­ple, there’s a lot of joy,” he says. “And the mag­nif­i­cence of the sur­round­ings, span­ning across close to 23 cen­turies of his­tory and ar­chi­tec­ture. Nowhere else but Roma do you have this kind of in­spi­ra­tion, of con­trasts, vol­umes, colours and power as well. We [Bul­gari] have pow­er­ful scents, pow­er­ful jew­ellery. And this has been a pow­er­ful city across the cen­turies.”

If there was any dis­be­lief among the guests, me­dia and throngs of on­look­ers be­yond the foun­tain, it was quelled when cam­paign star Bella Ha­did waltzed down the steps, a vi­sion in a gleam­ing corseted gown, drip­ping with Bul­gari jew­els.

Bella had been spot­ted in town the day be­fore, in­stantly spark­ing ru­mours of ro­mance. Hadn’t she just been in Cannes? Was she here to meet a man? This kind of star power, teamed with Bella’s par­tic­u­lar brand of high­wattage mil­len­nial style, mir­rors the au­da­cious, ad­ven­ture-seek­ing woman Goldea The Ro­man Night is de­signed to be worn by. There’s a fam­ily con­nec­tion too. At the press event a few hours be­fore her evening re­veal, Bella coyly told the story of how her fa­ther gave her mother a Bul­gari bracelet for their wed­ding day, and how her mother had then gifted it to Bella on her 20th birth­day.

Goldea The Ro­man Night is the third of the Goldea fra­grances, all of which were com­posed by Span­ish mas­ter per­fumer Al­berto Mo­ril­las. While the se­ries is not a sin­gle un­fold­ing nar­ra­tive, Mo­ril­las says it main­tains the same spirit through­out, from the bold flo­ri­en­tal of Goldea, to Rose Goldea’s spring gar­den and lat­est edi­tion’s recre­ation of a mag­nif­i­cent city af­ter dark. “Roma is a very in­trigu­ing city, when you walk in the street in day­time or at night, you have the same sen­sa­tion of creativ­ity. It’s emo­tional. It’s not just the nice palaz­zos or very nice gar­dens be­cause you smell im­me­di­ately the flow­ers. For me, all of this is my in­spi­ra­tion,” he says.

“Nowhere else but Roma do you have this kind of in­spi­ra­tion, of con­trasts, vol­umes, colours and power as well.”

Bul­gari cam­paign star Bella Ha­did

The Span­ish Steps formed the back­drop for the launch of Bul­gari’s new fra­grance

Bul­gari CEO Jean-Christophe Babin and Bella Ha­did on the Span­ish Steps

Roisin Mur­phy per­formed at the launch of Goldea The Ro­man Night

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