Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
To all those fearing doom for today’s perfumery and saying that there can be nothing good under the sun, I say—smell Bottega Veneta Eau de Parfum. Here we have a big “prestige brand” launching its first fragrance that by all accounts should be either a copycat or a predictable crowd pleaser. Instead, it is a sophisticated, polished composition with a voluptuous character. Bottega Veneta Eau de Parfum intertwines leather and violet notes into an intricate accord that feels like warm silk on the skin, and—in a rare occasion of marketing concept matching the olfactory idea—evokes the sumptuous feel of Bottega Veneta’s classical intrecciato woven leather.
The fingerprint of perfumer Michel Almairac is clearly seen in the composition. Both the milky-lactonic chypre idea, similar to his masterpiece Gucci Rush, and the violet leather of Armani Privé Cuir Améthyste play an important role in the new perfume. However, while a familiar melody may be at the core of Bottega Veneta Eau de Parfum, it is colored quite differently. It is darker and softer, progressing from the bright spicy top notes to the velvety warmth of moss and woods. The leather notes that form the main impression of the fragrance are caressing and tender, possessing a classical tangy animalic richness without any of the smoky and rough facets.
The floral notes are an important element of Bottega Veneta Eau de Parfum; however, they remain hidden under the layers of woods and leather. An apricot note of jasmine lends a delicate sweetness, while the violet-iris is a perfect, suave counterpoint to the rich motif. Like other fragrances by Almairac, Bottega Veneta Eau de Parfum has tremendous radiance, revealing the perfumer’s impressive technical genius. In the end, the only thing that matters is that Bottega Veneta Eau de Parfum is beautiful and memorable. It makes me happy, which is probably the best compliment I can give to a perfume.
Bottega Veneta Eau de Parfum includes notes of jasmine, bergamot, pink pepper, patchouli, and oak moss. 30ml ($70), 50ml ($95), 75ml ($130) bottles are available as well as the whole line of matching body products. Sold at Saks5thAvenue, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and other major retailers. As for the strikingly beautiful model in the ad campaign, it is Nine d’Urso, the daughter of French style icon Inès de la Fressange.
Sample: my own acquisition