Bottega Veneta Eau de Parfum

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.

Bottega Veneta Eau de Parfum is available from Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Bloomingdales, starting at $65 for 30ml

Veneto villa via MyItalienWeddingPlanner

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  1. Haha...not five minutes ago I looked up Botega Veneta to read about it. I saw the bottle in a mag and had to know about. then I opened my mail and here you are!!!. Well, I was teetering on the fence but you just nudged me a good friend always does. "Oh, go ahead. Buy it!".

  2. Timing is everything, karen, especially when it comes to lemming confirmation. "Oh, go ahead. Buy it!"

  3. That is interesting about the Italian villa inspiration, of which I was not aware. I assumed Bottega Veneta was for women (primarily) who wanted to smell like a classy bag.

  4. Vanessa, better classy bag than classy old bag.

  5. Hi Katie,

    In my opinion, any guy who knows what a Daim Blond is (LOL), would have no trouble wearing this. I count myself among them! I love this one. I love the scent cloud I walk around in when I wear this. Enjoy guys!


  6. I'm sorry, but any scent that's Daim Blond PLUS delicious grassy notes - this can never be a bad thing.

    In fact, I'd say this is what Lonestar Memories could benefit from - a little hit of thistle along with the Marlboro Mannish vibe.

    Leather is such a monster note in most fragrances, it's cool to hear about something new where the softer side of Sears Tire Co. gets equal time.

  7. Steve, you're right about the scent cloud here - BV is fetchingly soft and hazy, an aurora borealis of perfume.

    Stefush, Michel Almairac calls leather as a perfume material "stubborn", and over a private drink with you, he may even agree on "monster." The stubborn monster is certainly tamed in Bottega Veneta.

  8. Leather notes always seem strange to me in perfume, although I like them. It's like when I drink Scotch - I know it's quality, I know it has a following, but then I sip it and say, "What would ever go with this? What food would work?" And I'm at a loss. I'd love to hear from my fellow fumeheads about what other notes they feel match up with leather in delightful, complementary ways.

  9. Stefush, you mention Scotch, how about leather with Scotch? Peaty, smokey, wee-beasty?

  10. I hope to try this one some day...

    Leather is a little tricky for me: I find the '40s Chanel Cuir de Russie I have too barnyard despite the beauty in its heart. Miss Balmain is almost whip-wiedling dominatrix-like in its rendition of leather amid dense florals, and so is Cabochard, which is softer & classier than the former,albeit a little on the smoky side. Diorling is a little tame(though admittedly luxurious) on the leather notes,while Scandal(Lanvin) is just divine!

    (Holding up a shot of whisky)Here's to more leather fumes coming my way & opening up my mind further to this rather neglected category!

  11. Concerning leather, I kinda want whip-wielding. I'm such a marshmallow, I need to smell like a dominatrix.

    Stefush, your descriptions always crack me up. Let's run away and join the circus together.

    Alison's description is beautiful. I think that this post has helped me to find the common denominator among perfumes that I like enough to want to own--it has to give me a very specific sensory experience. I want to not only smell the perfume, I also want to "see" and "hear" other things. When I smell my favorite perfume, I hear music. Kind of like a cross between chamber music and a beautiful music box, but I couldn't hum its tune. And I have images in my mind the same way that you remember things that you have seen in a dream, eluding description.

    It's almost like reading a book.

  12. DomPerrier - I'm inspired by your leather menu to offer a few more: the pull-you-up-by-your-bootstraps Estée Lauder Azurée, the buttery-soft Cuir de Lancôme, the dry,fruity warmth of Donna Karan Signature.

  13. Nora, I'd pay to attend the Stefush & Nora Circus.

    That's a thought-provoking depiction of your perfume experience. Now that you mention it, when a fragrance really clicks for you, it goes beyond a feeling of rightness. It plunges you into a trippy little vision.

  14. Hi Katie,

    I few months ago I noticed that I MAY like leather, have to try this one! Thing is, I am less than impressed with all the recent releases, so I will try not to have high expectations about this one:) I am a bit scared too... Daim Blond is my least favorite Lutens, but who knows?

  15. Sabrina, I can say in full confidence that you can approach this one without fear. It's sophisticated and elegant, not tough and weird.

  16. 1. Love, love LOVE this scent. It's my 'mommy' scent, it's so warm and comforting and cuddly.
    2. Your comment 'As "invisible" is sadly the only flavor of luxury I'm currently experiencing in my life' is pretty funny, coming from someone who's been to both Paris AND London in the last few months! Trying to feel sorry for you, but nah, the feelin' just ain't there.

  17. Hahaha, Anonymous, I totally feel ya re the lack of sympathy for my "nowhere" life after talking up my Paris/London jaunt. I guess it's just the slump after the glamour that's getting to me. Poor little me.