It’s Not You, It’s Me – Bottega Veneta Eau de Parfum Perfume Review

Bottega Veneta

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 [1]. 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” [2] and is described as a “leathery floral chypre”.

The Notes

Top: Bergamot and Pink Pepper
Heart: Jasmine, Spices and Plum Note
Base: Leather, Patchouli and Oak Moss [3]

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.

The BottleBottega Veneta Flacon

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!)




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37 thoughts on “It’s Not You, It’s Me – Bottega Veneta Eau de Parfum Perfume Review

  1. I’m with you on the pink pepper thing: I swear it’s THE note for 2011. It’s been in freakin’ everything.

    That said, I still want to try this, as I have many friends raving about it. You’re the first lukewarm review I’ve read, and we seem to have a pretty similar ‘fume aesthetic, so I wonder if I’d indeed like it.

  2. Interesting review – I’ve been curious about this one and hoping that it makes it to Australia so I can test it out! I like the sound of it, although you describe it as bland sometimes I like those quiet/polite-type scents (ala Balenciaga Paris or Prada Infusion d’Iris) so I’ll be checking it out when I can 🙂

    ps. I totally agree about the pink pepper thing! I’m almost shocked when I don’t see it on a fragrance pyramid.

  3. Tommy, after reading this review, I have a hard time believing it’s not for you— you’ve made it sound absolutely divine! As in, unsniffed purchase “divine”….

    Slowly backing away from the computer now… 😉

  4. Love the title of this post! Sometimes we can appreciate how good a perfume is even if it’s not really “us”.

    I’ve only had a spray or two of BV metered out by a SA on holiday but I would say it’s very wearable even for people wary of the words “leather'” and “chypre”. You’re right when you say it’s suede rather than leather and a very soft, pale suede at that. I have just bought a 50ml bottle on Ebay for £40 so I’m looking forward to a good dousing 🙂

    It’s not you but it’s definitely me!

    • I’m very glad it’s you and I’m also glad that you managed to find it for a bargain price!

      This scent deserves all of the high praise it is getting, the problem for me is that I’m more lacy Madonna Like a Virgin gloves than pale suede ones 😛

  5. LOL at the idea of your being lacy Madonna Like a Virgin gloves rather than pale suede ones! : – ) I am probably more lambswool mitts myself but I aspire to wear this scent and you captures its subtle elegance beautifully. I passed an actual Bottega Veneta shop the other day but was too shy to go in (not being a genuine bag buying punter either!)

  6. Well, here I can at least completely agree with you. We are 100% in sync re the BottegaV.
    I too thought is just perfectly lovely, (and absolutely well suited to the label), but also thought it a little oomph-less for my personal tastes.
    For “suede” I think I’ll stick to my “Dzing!” & “Cuir Beluga” … and … for “chypre” I will stick to the gorgeous “Diaghilev” (at least, for the moment 😉

    Look at me, I’ve been reading you for ages yet never commented. Now I can’t stop … (LOL)

  7. Oh, and by the way, BV really reminded me strongly of some other fragrance I’ve sampled before. But for the life of me I can’t work out which one exactly (???) It just feels so very familiar. Any ideas anyone ???

      • Nope, it’s the strong raspberry that is causing the similarity. … Still can’t figure it out. I’m sampling it again as I type, and it’s on the tip of my (er) nose ;), but I just can’t place it. It’s driving me crazy, as it’s almost a “dead-ringer” for the one I’m thinking of. …
        I am not going to be able to rest until I work it out ! *pulls hair*

      • Oh my goodness–“dead on,” not “dead one.” Geez. Is it lunch time yet?

  8. I’m sooo happy you wrote this review because I felt like an outcast with everybody around raving about this perfume and me thinking exactly “it’s just a little bit too bland for my tastes, it doesn’t have much oomph to it”.
    Thank you!

  9. I think I might have worked out what BV was reminding me of. … On my skin, as I mentioned yesterday, the whole “plummy-rose-suede-patch-nilla” accord was giving me a very “candied-raspberry” like vibe. (Or at least, more “raspberry-ish” than actual “plum-my” to my nose). And I think it was this “raspberryness-joined-to-suede” that made me think BV reminiscent of a lighter Cuir Amethyst. (Which, of course, is an actual raspberry/leather).

    However, doing a “side-by-side” comparison I realise my “scent-memory” regarding CA is somewhat wonky. They don’t in fact smell as similar as I was “remembering”. (& definitely NOT “dead-ringers”) ~ However I do still understand why BV made me think of AV, as I still think they do share a very similar vibe and an over-all impression. Like they could be “scent-siblings”. …

    (Also, CA has more of that “oomph” ! 😉 )

  10. Not much more to add really, spot on review! I got a nice opening with a “cool leather” vibe but it stayed too close to my skin and was a little understated for my in your face taste.

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  12. I have Kelly Caleche, Cuir Amethyste and Bal a Versailles. Is Bottega Veneta something my education would be incomplete without? I’ve never been brave enough to try L’Air de Rien. My new love is Alahine (no leather I know) but it does have a Bal vibe to it

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