Seeing as it the very last week of Movember, a month in which we celebrate all aspects of masculinity, it’s only fair that we also take time to look at some pretty epic masculine fragrances. Over the course of the month I’ve been featuring classic masculine scents on Escentual, but this week I’d like to focus on two new and very well executed fragrances for 2013 – one designer and one ‘niche’ – starting with the newly launched Bottega Veneta Pour Homme.
The astute amongst you will know that Bottega Veneta have already proved that they take the world of perfume seriously with their debut feminine fragrance launch of the same name. The feminine was a masterfully composed (if perhaps a little too whispery) ode to the leather goods for which the brand is famous for and it appears that its masculine counterpart has been subject to the same degree of thought and quality control.
Created by perfumers Daniela Andrier (Prada’s Infusion d’Iris, Candy and basically everything else good they’ve done) and Antoine Maisondieu (Etat Libre d’Orange’s Fat Electrician and Comme des Garçons Stephen Jones), Bottega Veneta Pour Homme feels very much like an extension of the luxury leather feel of the feminine Eau de Parfum but in a more outdoorsy, nature-filled and relaxed manner.
“For the brand’s signature masculine fragrance, Bottega Veneta Pour Homme, Tomas Maier’s vision of elicits a journey north from the Veneto region, where we find ourselves in the Dolomites. Amid the lush mountain meadow, sits a farmhouse; a rustic retreat from reality. The interior is panelled with pinewood and the windows are open wide, letting in a gentle breeze evocative of hay, fir cones, and pine needles from the nearby woods; combined with the chilled air from the glacial stream that is bordered by wild irises. A built-in wood bench is made comfortable by gracefully aged leather cushions, and seated there is a man taking a break between his heavy work schedule and an upcoming mountain climbing excursion. This vision fuses rugged sensuality, subtle intellect, and raw intrigue that lingers in the mind like a memory not soon to be forgotten.”
The ‘Story’ of Bottega Veneta Pour Homme
Top: Bergamot, Siberian Pine and Juniper
Heart: Pepper, Canadian Fir and Clary Sage
Base: Labdanum, Leather and Patchouli
How Does it Smell?
Despite the fact that the above ‘description’ of Bottega Veneta Pour Homme is more than slightly OTT and would definitely win an award in Now Smell This’ annual ‘Le Prix Eau Faux’ awards, it’s not entirely off the mark. There is something decidedly outdoorsy about it and whilst it may not be entirely rugged the edges do have a jagged feel, almost as if things haven’t been sanded down completely. This makes for an intriguingly laid-back scent all round.
Bottega Venetta Pour Homme starts with a clash of bright (but dry) bergamot, pepper and juniper. Strips of pine intensify the spiky feel of the opening and add a sweet hum of crisp green that doesn’t quite evoke the image of wood-panelled cabins but rather feels like a deep inhalation of fresh, clean air.
The suede aspect of Bottega Veneta’s feminine perfume is maintained within Pour Homme’s heart and it serves as a nice contrast to the open countryside vibe that runs pretty much throughout the scent’s development. The leather here however, is less evocative of luxury goods, instead hinting at the supple warmth of a worn pair of leather boots.
In the base, blocks of pine and other assorted woods carry the theme of jagged lines through to the very final stages of development. There are still touches of the initial peppery zing and slight sourness of citrus, but for the most part Bottega Veneta Pour Homme ends as an essay on rough woods and distressed leather and whilst this all may sound rather stubbly and manly, it is in fact pretty versatile gender-wise.
As far as designer masculine output this year it’s hard to think of a mainstream masculine that is better than Bottega Veneta Pour Homme. Perhaps it’s the lacklustre competition (I’m looking at you Eros) but BV’s first masculine outing really does feel a cut above the rest in terms of quality of ingredients and overall design, ultimately making for a very well-rounded and enjoyable fragrance.
Bottega Veneta Pour Homme is available in 50ml (£50) and 90ml (£65) Eau de Toilette. Matching body products are also available.
Image 1 via thefashionisto.com. Image 2 via parisgallery.com. Notes via Harrods.com. Quote via bottegaveneta.com. [Edit: Image 1 via rosswoodhall.com. Original images removed as Bottega Veneta don’t want me using them without linking to their website.]