Bottega Veneta Eau de Parfum is a sophisticated leather/apricot chypre that blends niche sensibility with accessibility. As the debut fragrance from the luxe leather goods firm, Bottega Veneta EdP is said to embody the house signature: "invisible, private luxury." As "invisible" is sadly the only flavor of luxury I'm currently experiencing in my life, I'm not averse to something showier in my scents. But BV does provide plenty of plushness to give everyone within sniffing distance a snootful of the good life.
BV's overture introduces all the themes of the perfume: the leather, the apricot, and the traditional chypre that provides the quilted cushioning of the structure. BV goes through a distinctly nichey phase at the top when the leather is at its most prominent, and combined with the apricot, it calls to mind Serge Lutens Daim Blond, with its soft, sweetened suede.
That initial encounter with lush edginess blurs soon enough into a less delineated, more "perfumey" warmth. An appealing echo of fresh cut grass floats around the edges of the scent like a hazy halo. BV lives on the skin softly but with a winning persistence, becoming less flowery-sweet and more dry as the hours wear on.
Bottega Veneta creative director Tomas Maier describes the inspiration for the perfume thusly:
"An old house in the beautiful countryside in the Veneto region of Italy with rolling green hills. I envisioned a room with old wood floors, library walls and leather-bound books with the windows open wide, the breeze coming in and cut grass, hay, moss, garden flowers, growing through the room and everything mixing up. That’s where we started."
While formulating my thoughts on the scent, I offered my Bottega Veneta-perfumed arm to my friend Alison to sniff, since I'm convinced she's a perfume savant. (She's the one who took a single deep breath of KP fave rave Bruno Acampora Musc and declared, “It smells like Belgian drains. No, wait! It smells like the locker room of a girls' gym.”) Like some kind of fragrance oracle, she produced an instant spiel on BV:
"It smells comfortingly old world, like charity balls and proper grownup ladies. It reminds me of expensive hotels, thick carpets and clinking of crystal glasses -- of feeling safe in a posh environment."Wow! All that without having read the PR bumf on “invisible luxury” and old houses in peaceful environments. It looks like perfumer Michel Almairac really pinned the tail on the donkey by marrying Bottega Veneta's brief to the actual dreams induced by the fragrance.
And despite my first impressions that BV EdP was a “women only” affair, now that I've keyed into its fresh grassy aspects, I see it working for les dudes looking for leather in all the wrong places.
Read about my encounter with Bottega Veneta perfumer Michel Almairac here.
Veneto villa via MyItalienWeddingPlanner