Bottega Veneta

By March

Hey there, everyone.  First off: Don’t forget to drop by The Non-Blonde today for the next great interview/review installment of Brian Pera’s and Andy Tauer’s film/perfume collaboration.

Okay, onward.  The year 2011 has brought all sorts of scented surprises, some of them more pleasant than others.  Out with friends recently, I had a perfumed wrist shoved under my nose, which was my intro to the new Bottega Veneta scent.  I’d not read anything about it and had no information, other than knowing the company makes woven leather bags I’ve lusted after vaguely for years and will never own.  Having sniffed Prada Candy just prior, and the unfortunate Elie Saab a couple weeks ago, I was prepared to be underwhelmed.

Bottega Veneta would make a perfect fall scent, warm and comforting and very much in the background, the sort of thing that could go to the average workplace without offending.  Calling it a “wallpaper” scent or a “tee shirt” scent doesn’t do it justice, though; it’s more alluring and luxurious than that.  Different facets of the opening seem more pronounced on different folks – more bergamot (or less), and varying levels of faint spices, and/or a slight caramel sweetness (or not).  It triggers fond thoughts of the scent of college libraries, of warm radiators the first day the heat goes on indoors; a comforting, almost dusty smell.  It’s as cloud-soft and enveloping as a Loro Piana sweater. I think everyone in our little group loved it.

The drydown makes a more direct reference to the company product, but again it’s the warmest, most buttery suede you’ve ever smelled, not a birchtar-laden leather.  While the scent is not pervasive, it had quite good lasting power on my skin.

The nose of the composition is Michel Almairac; notes are Italian bergamot, Brazilian pink pepper, Indian Sambac jasmine, oakmoss, patchouli.

According to the internets, the “face” of the campaign is a chic Nine d’Urso, daughter of French fashion icon Inès de la Fressange (I’m a fangirl) and Italian art dealer Luigi d’Urso. The bottle (maybe the extrait?) is supposed to be fancy glass, but I found the standard bottle at NM a bit of a weak point in my quick perusal.  It’s simple, which is probably about right, but doesn’t do justice to the quiet luxury of the brand.  It reminded me of a cross between, say, MMM Untitled and the ugly old bottle for the original D&G men.

But if you’re in the market for a quiet, sophisticated scent that whispers (rather than screams) “luxury brand,” don’t let that bottle stand in your way.





  • Soooo glad you’re back! I’ve missed you and you know, a Jewish mother worries. . . The scent sounds like just what I need. After torturing myself for years I realized that I LIKE wallpaper scents. I’m just not a big sillage person. But I don’t understand the photograph. She looks like she’s wearing bones. And I can’t figure out where her other arm is. Which, of course, has nothing to do with the juice.

  • Kate says:

    Hurrah a March fragrance review! This makes me happy. The BV was nice now wasn’t it?

  • mariekel says:

    March, I am so happy to see you headlining today’s post! Hope things are looking up.

    I must say, I do love the sound of this ‘fume. Must try it the next time I am up by Neiman’s.

    • March says:

      It’s worth a sniff, although probably not special trip. Although … they’ve got the new Balenciaga, the Prada Candy and a couple other things.

  • (Ms.) Christian says:

    What a pleasure to see you! :)

  • Joanna says:

    I haven’t been looking forward to an upcoming trip to the Mall of America with a minivan full of teenagers but I will be looking for
    Bottega Veneta, (And others) to sample at Nordstrom. Thanks for making my outlook about this weekend a little cheerier.

    • March says:

      You know, I am dying to go there. Some day i will make it, too. Sure, go to Nordstrom and have fun. Take some Tylenol along. And maybe a Valium.

      • Joanna says:

        LOL Tylenol for sure! I do like the MOA, but I like it more when I have lots of extra money to spend. If you ever go avoid it on weekend nights. Although they police it very well it tends to attract various gangs.

  • sme225 says:

    MARCH! MARCH! MARCH! You’re back! I missed you and your smelly sunshine so. (*)

  • maggiecat says:

    Lovely to see a post by March, always – and I’ve been curious about this scent. The (slightly) cooler weather has made me more adventursome, less dependent on refreshing citruses and florals. This definitely sounds worth a try!

    • March says:

      Gah, I wish it would cool off here, I STILL end up turning the A/C on, wth. Remind me I said that in Jan., when I’m whining about how coooold I am.

  • Cheryl G. says:

    Hi March,
    It’s good to see you up and “Marching”. I’ve been so bored and turned off by all the new launches, and add that they can be so hard to locate, I stopped buying. No more buying untested! The Bottega Veneta sounds like something I can get into, a quiet nudge maybe.

  • Rappleyea says:

    You’ve sold me! And the list of notes are right up my alley – not a mention of “white musk” or “clean musk” in the bunch! Thanks, March.

  • Kathryn says:

    Just this morning in my semi-regular click through the blogs I thought about how much I missed your writing. And here you are! It’s so good to be reading you again.

    I’ve almost used up my sample of BV and think you have exactly captured how it feels. It *could* be a tee shirt scent, but the tee shirt would be made of the smoothest pima cotton, maybe with a much loved and well worn cashmere sweater over it on a fall day. BV is understated for sure, but it makes me feel contented and satisfied, feelings that aren’t all that easy to come by these days.

    • March says:

      Hey, you should write this! Your description is spot on. Glad you are enjoying your sample. After smelling a couple of things that were very much in-your-face, the subtleties of BV were appreciated.

      • Musette says:

        Well, that goes hand in hand with the brand ethos – they have never (well, rarely) been ‘in your face’….my first experience with them, before I realized they were All That, was a grey woven envelope clutch, back in the early 80s, when their sloga was “when your own initials are enough”… there’s a structured handbag in Spring 2012 collection that I would bite everybody in this town for – twice!

        #-o (I put him up here because I have NO idea what emotion he is ‘conning’ but it looks all verklempt, doesn’t it?

        xo >-)

  • mals86 says:

    I was coming down here to ask about a comparison to Cuir de Lancome (which I now have a backup bottle of because I lurves it so much). So BV is… a bit drier and less purse-y? More floral? More woody? The “Mom’s good purse” aspect of CdL is what I adore, but I do enjoy that hot-dust/library smell as well. Hm. I’ll try to smell BV, but since I live in the boonies, it’ll probably be six months, at least, before I can manage to lay a nostril on it.

    (“Unfortunate Elie Saab”? I didn’t think it was as bad as all that, though I didn’t love it either. But then again, I could have postulated that it would not suit you at all.)

    Nice to see one of your posts – I’ve missed them.

    • March says:

      Elie Saab was green and bitter and just … overpowering on me. Scent magnifier in a painful way. And yes, not me at all. Which is fine.

      I still like Cuir better (I love that ladies purse smell.) BV is a bit less sweet and makeup-y, more like a straight suede when it dries down, but rich. More in the woods/musk direction? I’m not quite sure it’s unisexy, but less girly than Cuir. Also more subtle.

  • Tom says:

    Once I can smell again I’m getting my butt to N-M to sniff this one..

    Good to have you back!

  • DinaC says:

    I’m so glad to read one of your reviews, March. This one by BV sounds interesting. Normally, I would have dismissed it, so it’s good that you brought it to my attention. :-)

    When is it ever going to stop raining?! Gah. I’m so sick of rain now. Ugh.

    • March says:

      This weather is ridiculous. Thunderstorm this morning, not our usual stuff. I wish it would cool off, it’s still really humid.

  • FragrantWitch says:

    A March- moment- hurrah! I have been curious about this and, given that their leather goods are permanently out of my price range, I shall content myself with sniffing this instead. Better than being escorted out by security after huffing the leather bags right?? Bergamot, spices and caramel sound right up my alley- thanks!

    • March says:

      lol go huff the bags, see if they do anything. BTW I saw an old friend recently and she was carrying her old-ish BV classic which I drooled all over (metaphorically.) She said, but it’s old! I said, which is what makes it so great. Patina.

  • Ann says:

    Hi, March (waves excitedly)! What a treat — how lovely to have you back today!! BV is pretty classy line so I knew the scent wouldn’t be absolute dreck. Glad you reviewed this as I really like it and think it’s well-done. I’m just taking baby steps into leather, so this one, Daim Blond, Cuir de Lancome, etc. are doing nicely by me. Hugs to you …

  • karin says:

    Interesting! I thought that was Natalie Portman in the ads! I have a small decant of this coming my way. Looking forward to trying it. And all of you who have colds – hope you get better! I was at the dealer having my car repaired yesterday, and a guy in the waiting room was coughing and sneezing up a lung. It will be a miracle if I don’t get sick. I’m praying not as I’m leaving on vacation in a week. Nothing worse than being sick on vacation!!!

    • March says:

      Oldest kid just came down with a cold (and thus it begins)…. that does look a bit like Natalie Portman, doesn’t it? I also thought of Sarah Jessica Parker. Ines herself is amazing.

    • Elisa says:

      I thought it was Natalie Portman too!

      I sniffed a bunch of new stuff yesterday at Neiman’s and Norstrom and thought Bottega Veneta was one of the better launches, though I can’t say it has a “strong signature” as Bois de Jasmin would say — it smells good but familiar.

      The worst new launches I smelled were definitely the I <3 NY Bonds. They smell like Pop-Tarts! No joke.

      The Prada, as usual, is too subtle. All their perfumes feel like instant drydown…

  • Vanessa says:

    Sorry – the “as” after “this scent” went awol.

  • Vanessa says:

    No wonder I have been itching to try this scent “alluring wallpaper” scents are exactly my style. I often describe my taste as “bland” but with a slight edge, but “alluring wallpaper” absolutely nails it! ;)

  • I’ve really been looking forward to this. I just hope it ends up in Sweden. Everything about seems to breathe class and quality. And a suede note. Thanks for the review.

    • March says:

      You’re in Sweden?! Gah. I wish *I ended up in Sweden, although I hardly breathe class and quality. So jealous. And you’re welcome.

  • mary says:

    Yay! Been wantin to sniff this one. You convinced me to make the pilgrimage. Good to have you back, Miss March.:)>-

    • March says:

      It’s nice to be here! I didn’t even know this was coming. The deluge is ever-increasing. But, as I said, an unexpected pleasure.:)

  • Carla says:

    I wanted to get this for my sister for her 21st birthday, only once I’d tried it of course. (Now I think 21 is young.) I liked the ad and thought she’d appreciate having a brand new luxury perfume. I know she owns Angel Innocent and Lolita Lempicka, they’re both from me, given after seeing her enthusiastic reaction when she tried my Angel. But the other day out of the blue I thought, Le Temps d’Une Fete, that’s perfect for her! She needs a good floral, and it will introduce her to niche perfumes! But I still must sniff this.

    • March says:

      Hey, I can get behind any effort to support PdN. I’m always afraid the line and their sketchy bottles and gorgeous frags will evaporate. And this is worth a sniff, for sure.