If you had mentioned the name Bottega Veneta to me a month ago I would have stared at you blankly and wondered who the hell you were talking about. My interest in fashion is more of a passing interest, I can appreciate excellent design and I have a good few fashion books for my coffee table (despite the fact that I don’t actually have a coffee table, sad I know) and I’m more than slightly addicted to Project Runway, but I would never describe myself as a fashionista, hence my somewhat unfashionable ignorance of Bottega Veneta.
So, for those of you, like me, who aren’t aware of Bottega Veneta (which is Italian for ‘Venitian Workshop’), they are an Italian luxury goods house that specialises in leather goods . Like many fashion and luxury goods houses they are diversifying their brand and stepping in to the world of fragrance, every house needs a fragrance these days and if you don’t have one then you are quite behind the times (see Louis Vuitton, although they are going to release something next year).
Their first fragrance, “Bottega Veneta, the Eau de Parfum, evokes the suppleness and sensuality of the house’s renowned leather goods”  and is described as a “leathery floral chypre”.
Top: Bergamot and Pink Pepper
Heart: Jasmine, Spices and Plum Note
Base: Leather, Patchouli and Oak Moss 
How Does it Smell?
I don’t know about you but whenever I see the word ‘Chypre’ associated with a modern fragrance I tend to role my eyes in disbelief, Bottega Veneta is an exception to the rule, it does feel like a chypre.
The first spray reveals a soft, sparkling note of bergamot which is coupled with the dreaded pink pepper, I have nothing against pink pepper it’s just that it is in EVERYTHING at the moment, but here it works and the overall effect is fuzzy and soft. There is also a touch of something mentholated in the opening that is slightly reminiscent of Vick’s Vapour Rub, that may sound awful but it slots in nicely next to the bergamot and pepper before fizzling out.
As I mentioned before, Bottega Veneta is described as a ‘leathery floral chypre’ and the leather comes through quite quickly and to my nose the effect is closer to that of suede than leather. I enjoy suede in fragrance, it is impressive that not only can you smell the scent of suede, you can also smell its soft, luxurious texture, I particularly like the use of suede in Traversée du Bosphore by L’Artisan Parfumeur, a fragrance that I really should get around to reviewing at some point.
Laying underneath the suede is a chypre base of patchouli and oak moss which, just like the rest of the fragrance, feels soft and understated. The patchouli is the main player during the base and dabs of iris, oak moss and a little musk very much feel like they are playing supporting roles. Bottega Veneta’s progression to the base is slow and languid and overall the fragrance doesn’t change much, there are just subtle movements that allow for some notes to bow out gracefully and others to come through and flourish.
Bottega Veneta does an excellent job at evoking luxury leather goods, it’s impossible to take a whiff and not think of posh handbags, suede gloves and fancy things. I also think that it is a very well done fragrance, that unlike so many new fragrances that hold the ‘Chypre’ label, actually feels like one, and yes it is very pretty. All of that aside, I can’t help but think it’s just a little bit too bland for my tastes, it doesn’t have much oomph to it (nor should it, it is not a fragrance that would suit oomph) but that is more to do with me and my tastes than the fragrance itself. Sorry Bottega Veneta, it’s not you, it’s me.
Bottega Veneta in scent and in bottle is understated, it is simple, luxurious and very much suits the brand’s aesthetic.
The apothecary style bottle is adorned with a silver cap and a beige leather tie.
The Pure Parfum is housed within Murano Glass and tied with a khaki coloured leather tie.
Bottega Veneta is available in 30ml, 50ml and 100ml Eau de Parfum, prices range from £42-£75 and matching body products are also available.
A pure parfum version of Bottega Veneta, housed within Murano Glass is also available, and 65ml will set you back £365.
This review is based on sample of Bottega Veneta Eau de Parfum sourced myself (thanks Aaron S!)
Image 1 i-blogged.com
Image 2 selfridges.com