Bottega Veneta is a modern designer fragrance that lasts forever. This could be a good or a bad thing, but lest it conjure images of Britney Spears’ Curious in your head, I’ll assure you that you’ll probably like this fragrance. I haven’t read an unflattering review of it yet.
It is meant to be a soft, floral leather, and the marketing is right. The main notes I smell are as follows: leather, ladylike patchouli, transparent rose, pink pepper, bergamot (but when I first smelled bergamot oil, I realized it was in absolutely everything; it is almost synonymous with the scent of perfume especially near the drydown), plum, and a bit of apricot.
The opening is the most beautiful. Not only is it the most overtly leathery part of the fragrance, but it brings with it a decadent outburst of plum. This effect lasts for about half an hour, impressive for top notes.
It gets sweeter towards the heart, half-an-hour in. This is where the pepper and rose become more noticeable. Bottega Veneta has been described as a chypre, and I don’t think this is technically incorrect. Lots of perfumes contain the ubiquitous chypre triad of labdanum, bergamot, and oakmoss. But it is featured softly, as an accent rather than the main show. The heart reminds me a little of the 2008 Chloe with the softness and the transparent rose. But it’s better than Chloe, and remains dusky and soft.
Towards the aforementioned forever-lasting end, all of the accents fade, and you are left with a lovely suede rose. The best thing about Bottega Veneta probably the natural feel of the leather note. Somehow it feels like you are actually wearing kidskin gloves, instead of just having sprayed chemicals on your wrist.
Bottega Veneta is quiet, elegant, and original. It weaves leather, flowers, fruits, a chypre, and patchouli together seamlessly. There is nothing not to like about it. But something about it seems inchoate to me. I would probably love it if I hadn’t smelled Chanel’s Cuir de Russie: the queen of the soft floral leather genre, whose lush, simple iris crushes every technique in Bottega Veneta’s arsenal.
Perfumer: Michel Almairac
Price Range: Moderately Expensive
Recommended Occasion: Any
Release Year: 2011
My Rating: 7.5