Since 1901, Bergdorf Goodman has been providing the utmost in quality, service and luxury to New York City on the corner of 5th Avenue and 58th Street. To celebrate this New York landmark, Master Perfumer Roja Dove was asked to create two exclusive perfumes that embody this legendary institution. Back in September, I reviewed Goodman’s, Roja Dove’s creation named for the Bergdorf Goodman men’s store. And now, Roja Dove has launched Goodman’s female counterpart, Bergdorf. Together, they were both created to personify Bergdorf Goodman, the pinnacle of style, service and inspiration for over a century.
WHAT I SMELL: Bergdorf’s opening is comprised of airy florals which dance around a bright bergamot. The florals are lightly sugared and candied making the opening so incredibly bright and cheerful that it feels like you’re running through a summer field of delicate wild flowers in a warm and sunny afternoon. The florals are hard to distinguish as they’re flawlessly blended, but the violet pops out as a cheery leader of the bunch. The fragrance is grounded by a hazy base of sandalwood which warms the fragrance as it moves from the shiny and carefree opening, to more of a refined, graceful and full-bodied floral that is wrapped around the edges with pink pepper. After around 15 minutes, Bergdorf turns into a ball gown. The fragrance dances, moves and twirls under a shimmering light. It’s pretty, lush and full of gaiety. As more time passes, the fragrance quiets as if the dancing slows and the party retreats to quieter and contained refinement. The florals then become deeper and they’re met with this lush and comforting warmth that is very secure in its majestic self. As beauty is not always what it seems, there is just a bit of dirty (I think it’s the castoreum) that brings a bit of realness to the florals as if to say, “all that glitters is not gold.” My favorite part of the fragrance arrives after around an hour when Bergdorf’s becomes smooth as golden silk covering the windows to the garden outside, which at this point, the now lightly creamy florals are hauntingly and beautifully restrained.
Top – Bergamot
Heart – May Flower, Orange Blossom, Heliotrope, Rose, Jasmine, Gardenia, Tuberose, Violet, Pink Pepper
Base – Patchouli, Sandalwood, Cedarwood, Storax, Oakmoss, Vanilla, Benzoin, Musk, Frankincense, Castoreum
“Bergdorf Goodman, in my mind, has always embodied the refinement, glamour, and polish that is the very best of Manhattan.
With Bergdorf, I wanted to create an incredibly feminine scent that was unapologetically refined, elegant and sensual. A rich bouquet, with notes of Gardenia and May Flower, nestling on a base of Oakmoss and Vanilla”.
Roja Dove, Master Perfumer
WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: The life of Marie Antoinette, starting with her carefree youth as an Archduchess of Austria through her infamous and larger than life reign as Queen of France. It’s charming innocence in the beginning and grand, refined and strikingly beautiful throughout the end even when her world became oh so real.
THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE BERGDORF: refined, graceful, stately
BOTTOM LINE: The problem with reviewing a Roja Parfum creation is that the development is so seamless and pulling apart notes is next to impossible. But what a great problem to have. It’s just testament to the talent of Roja Dove. I have to admit that at first, I was going to give Bergdorf’s a rating of 4 bones, but each time I wear this, my love grows stronger. So in the end, I have to up the ante. Bergdorf is a legendary perfume for a legendary store.
For those of you lucky to in be in NYC on Thursday December 4th, Roja Dove will be appearing at Bergdorf Goodman’s from 5 to 6pm. This is your opportunity to have Roja Dove himself, sign your exclusive bottles of Bergdorf and Goodman’s!
- Bone Rating: 4.5 out of possible 5 bones
- Scent: Floral
- Nose: Roja Dove
- Classification: Feminine
- Expense: $545 for 50ml parfum, exclusively at Bergdorf Goodman via Roja Parfums’ Bergdorf Goodman Representative, Tom Crutchfield, 212-872-2768.
Sample courtesy of Bergdorf Goodman.
November 24, 2014 at 7:44 am
You had me at the ‘lightly creamy florals’ that are ‘hauntingly and beautifully restrained’. This sounds more subtle and refined than Scandal, for which I have an uncharacteristic penchant. 4.5 bones is praise indeed.
November 24, 2014 at 7:45 am
Then I saw the price…
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November 25, 2014 at 1:54 am
Vanessa – I can’t recall if I have ever sampled Scandal, although it sounds like it’s right up my alley. This gets somewhat big, but never to the point of being over the top. There’s a wonderful control there that makes it ever so much a lady! 🙂
November 24, 2014 at 2:30 pm
thank you for such a lovely review – I am thriled you like it. I hope you are able to come and say hello when I am visiting?
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November 26, 2014 at 11:51 pm
Eeek, I am losing my touch as I thought you would have given this either a 3 or 3.5 bones!
I did not like this on the tester strip (it was bland and flat) but I know Roja Dove perfumes require a little bit more work to “understand”. It is too bad that the SA did not accommodate and refused to give me a sample (“Mr. Dove does not provide samples. You can buy them from his website.”) Sure I can, but I won’t. I walked to the next alcove to visit JAR (again) and I am considering getting something at the next beauty event.
On a redeeming note (for Bergdorf), I did get a sample of Goodman on a prior visit and I actually like it a lot even though it skews masculine.
Have a great Thanksgiving.
November 28, 2014 at 2:54 pm
Hajusuuri my dear –
First, happy belated Thanksgiving. OK, first off, I too smelled Bergdorf on a strip. You’re right, it did not interpret well as it seemed that all you got on paper was the sandalwood note and an almost hair spray finish of sharp florals. For some reason, the paper does not do this any justice at all. As for the samples aspect, I didn’t realize that it was a policy?! If you do end up buying a JAR fragrance, I would love to know which one you do purchase. They are so different from anything else out there.
November 28, 2014 at 4:26 pm
It’s still Thanksgiving weekend so Thanksgiving greetings are still on time :-)…I hope you had a good Thanksgiving!
Re: the samples…if it was a policy, then it’s not being enforced or the policy changes depending on the mood of the SA which defeats the purpose of a policy.
I have already picked out which JAR I want – Golconda. It’s now a matter of deciding whether I want the 25-year old version or the new formulation with the older one being about twice the price AND do I want to spend that much for a perfume. I am scheming for the best time to buy it and I do have some Bergdorf gift cards burning a hole in my pocket.
I just got home from braving the mall (I walked there and back and I did it for exercise). After a few commenters on NST mentioned Tabu as a cheap thrill, I just had to go to … Sears … and got myself an unsniffed 35 mL bottle of Tabu with matching body lotion for a whopping $8.02.
November 27, 2014 at 3:11 am
I’m one of those who doesn’t mind almost any price of a perfume – as long as I love it. But here the price comes in play: it prevents me from sampling those perfumes that are extremely expensive and without trying there’s no way I’ll spend that amount of money. I don’t really complain, especially when it comes to perfumes with an extremely limited distribution: clearly those who commissioned them didn’t intend them to be a mass production. I just wish I could go to BG and try those perfumes: I might love and buy some of them.
November 28, 2014 at 2:56 pm
Dear U –
I typically shy away from the expensive as well as I don’t want to be enticed to spend the money. If only we were all independently wealthy we wouldn’t have to worry about these issues 🙂