The main argument you hear from brands launching one bland, derivative perfume after another is that consumers like this sort of thing and that it is impossible to come up with an easy to like and uncomplicated perfume that holds the attention and smells interesting. But Bottega Veneta Knot, the new fall launch, proves that this reasoning doesn’t have much merit. If you want a fragrance that is as versatile and stylish as a little black dress, then this radiant orange blossom has much to recommend itself.
Bottega Veneta’s first perfume was a leather-moss blend attuned to today’s fashions, with emphasis on radiance, softness and bright top notes. Knot’s basic idea is sheer as tulle orange blossom edged with vanilla and musk. Orange blossom is derived from the flowers of a bitter orange tree, and depending on how it’s processed–melting the flowers in a solvent or distilling the essence with steam, the result will be different*. The former gives you orange blossom absolute with its sweet, sumptuous notes, and the latter–neroli oil redolent of green buds of spring. Knot blends both of these essences and sheers them out with citrus juice and featherweight musk. The result is as fresh as a classical cologne, but with a curvier body.
Knot is hardly an inspired name, but the perfume itself is. At first, I get a hit of starched linen and soap bubbles, which give a wholesome and clean feeling. But the orange blossom peaks through the well-scrubbed prettiness of the top notes, and for all of its innocent connotations with baptisms and bridal veils, it’s an ingredient with a dark side of inky, moth ball-like indoles.
Daniela Andrier, the perfumer who created Knot and who also worked on Marni, Prada Infusion d’Iris and several other excellent compositions, uses the dark side of orange blossom judiciously here. There is just a hint of it, but it’s enough to give texture to this breezy floral. As it softens on your skin and the spark of citrus burns out, you’re left with a creamy, velvety wrap of vanilla and salty musk. Knot will linger for hours, and it will leave a noticeable trail behind you, even though it’s far from a bombshell.
The best part is that Bottega Veneta, a brand easily available at most department stores, is worth its price. Knot is impeccably crafted, it suits the aesthetics of the brand and offers enough comely charm to please those who are looking for a chic daytime perfume. Like Chanel Beige, Love Chloé and L’Artisan L’Été en Douce, Knot makes me feel like I’m much more elegant than I really am, and that’s an illusion I don’t mind keeping.
Bottega Veneta Knot includes notes of mandarin, lime, orange blossom, lavender, rose, peony, musk, tonka bean. It is available as 30, 50 and 75ml Eau de Parfum.
*To find out more about orange blossom absolute vs neroli, please see Orange Blossom, Neroli, Petitgrain : Bitter Orange Notes.