Thursday, September 1, 2011

Bottega Veneta Eau de Parfum

All of a sudden, my heart sings...

There are two short films for Bottega Veneta's new fragrance. One video stars Nine d'Urso, daughter of Inès de la Fressange, a muse herself. It was shot in South Florida and features walking on the beach and romance. Another video on the Bottega Veneta Web site sets the mood with sepia tones and soft music. Both films are enticing, although they might have been better shot in the Venetian countryside, the inspiration for the fragrance.

Founded in the 1960s, Bottega Veneta is one of the world's most prestigious luxury brands. Renowned for its craftsmanship and understated elegance, Bottega Veneta produces handbags, women's and men's ready-to-wear, and luggage and fine jewelery. Bottega Veneta was part of my life for 15-20 years when I carried no handbags and no totes other than the company's woven bags. They were so precisely made, they lasted for years. I was a BV gal! Then, unfortunately, two things changed: 1) They stopped making navy blue bags, my signature color, every season; and 2) prices soared. Suddenly, I found the prices creeping upwards at a more rapid rate than my income. I started purchasing less expensive alternatives. I still gaze at every season's new introductions and sigh (except for the broken weaves in the latest collection). The handbags remain a favorite to be admired in their cases at Neiman Marcus.

Imagine my excitement when I learned that Bottega Veneta was creating a fragrance! Earlier this summer, a high-profile launch party was held in Milan, attended by Coty Prestige officers and Bottega Veneta Creative Director Tomas Maier. I counted the days until I could get a whiff and hoped that the eau de pafum wouldn't be "just another department store fragrance." I shouldn't have worried.

Maier described the inspiration for the fragrance creation to WWD...
An old house in the beautiful countryside in the Veneto region of Italy, with rolling green hills, where we’re from. 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.

Fragrance composer Michel Almairac told The Moodie Report, “I was asked to create a fragrance that would mirror the brand, which would convey its feeling and atmosphere. That image of Bottega Veneta incorporates elements such as a countryside villa, the smell of furniture, food, and vegetation - in short, the whole ambience of Vicenza, where the brand was born. And as this is the very first Bottega Veneta fragrance, the parameters were broad, and I could give full rein to my imagination.”

A chypre juice was the ideal choice, Almairac felt, because it offered the most suitable texture to the fragrance. “Chypre is rich, elegant, and timeless, and very helpful in terms of conveying the abstract floral affect that Tomas wanted me to convey, in addition to the subtle leather tones,” he explained.

I started receiving samples of Bottega Veneta Eau de Parfum ($65 to $475) from Neiman Marcus about a month ago, and I've been enjoying it immensely. The fragrance is described as a leathery, floral chypre. In line with Maier’s vision, it evokes, but doesn't transport me to, the Venetian countryside, with the gentle richness of leather crafted by a master artisan. I detect the flowers, but no hay. There's a subtle earthiness, but it's not dirty. It's more about softness - the softness of leather blended with a sophisticated floral.

There are four key notes in Bottega Veneta's Eau de Parfum: jasmine sambac, Brazilian pink peppercorn, bergamot, and Indian patchouli (yes, patchouli, and I like it). Additionally, the fragrance includes plum, benzoin, and oak moss. “The choice and quality of components is even more important when you have a simple formula such as this,” noted Almairac. “My company, Robertet, is known for using natural products. We treated the four ingredients of this fragrance to enhance or diminish certain qualities. For example, we treated the jasmine to give it a stronger character, but a lighter color.”

The fragrance's elegant flacon was inspired by Venetian (Murano) glass and the traditional Italian carafe. The soft, rounded curves sport are accented with Bottega Veneta's signature shades. The neck is adorned with a skin-colored leather ribbon clipped with a brunito butterfly. The underside of the bottle features Bottega Veneta's famous woven look.

The scent is very feminine. Whether it's the association with the fine leathers of my Bottega Veneta bags (yes, I still have them all) or by design, I smell a floral leather in the fragrance. It opens with a spicy note - the pepper, I'm sure - that departs the stage within seconds, leaving a soft floral. The floral notes dominate and remain with the fragrance until it fades into the skin. A leathery softness develops in the mid-notes and lasts for hours. I smell harmonious and pleasant memories. The scent is sensuous, soft, comfortable, and romantic. Never too assertive, just as Bottega Veneta's leather bags are conservatively elegant, Bottega Veneta Eau de Parfum is a scent I could wear every day. It's a scent I could wear to sleep, one that relaxes me and make me dream of life's simple pleasures.

The fragrance will be exclusive to Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman starting this month. It's expected to arrive any day. In November, it will be available at all specialty stores globally. A body cream, body lotion, and shower gel will also be available. I'll be perfectly happy with one beautiful bottle of the eau de parfum. By all means, look for it!

Photo and quotes by Michel Almairac courtesy of The Moodie Report


lovethescents said...

I'm excited to read that you love another chypre. I guess when something's well blended, it's easier to ignore the notes we usually don't care for. Like you, I don't love patch, but I recently learnt that patch is used in nearly all rose fumies to "ground" the rose and make it shine.

Anyway, I'm not a huge chypre lover as I usually don't enjoy the mossy base. These days, you won't find true oakmoss in any modern frags, thanks to IFRA regulations. I'll def. try this one when I see it. Thanks for the review!

Charlestongirl said...

Yes, Lovethescents, I keep surprising myself.

I don't smell the "usual" moss in this one.

As for patchouli, so many fragrances with patchouli smell like stale perfume on me. Really bad, cheap stale perfume. It's intolerable. Recently, I've found that there are some scents with it that are soft and nice. Clearly, it has something to do with the quality of the ingredient and perhaps source. Right?

Anyhow, more often than not, if the ingredients list patchouli, I won't like it.