Bottega Veneta is an Italian luxury handbag/leather company that has, like everyone else, entered the fragrance world. Being makers of luxurious leather, it comes as no surprise that their 2011 fragrance is also a luxury leather. Described as a “leathery floral chypre”, I found it had a few notes in common with recent release Aura by Loewe (also a luxury leather company) and an enormous amount in common with the quintessential scent of quiet wealth that is Serge Lutens Daim Blond.
According to Fragrantica the notes are:
Top notes: Bergamot, Pink pepper,
Middle note: Jasmine
Base notes: Patchouli, Oakmoss and Leather
As much as I love Bergamot in just about anything, I cannot be certain that it goes with leather in this fragrance, and there is most definitely leather in Bottega Veneta EDP. This is not brash biker leather, nor weathered horsey leather as in Cuir de Russie (Mmm, so good). In fact, it is a muted leather: you could almost say suede.
This is where the comparison to Daim Blond enters the frame. Daim Blond is muted suede: the smell of the interior of a shop so exclusive that you need to show your stock portfolio just to walk past the window. Bottega Veneta is very similar, but without the apricots. There’s not much in it though. Take out the Bergamot and tone down the Jasmine and you pretty much have a doppelganger of Daim Blond. (I always think of Jasmine as a teenager who keeps turning the volume up to loud).
The Patchouli and Oakmoss in Bottega Veneta, which would be terrific if they cranked it up a bit into “Level Raspy”, are sadly, not bitey enough for my liking. If you’re going to put them on the stage, at least give them a few lines. There was a note in this I couldn’t define. It’s like a slightly sweet suede with a nutty flavour to it. I searched the notes and could find nothing it could be, so maybe it’s just one of those notes that manifests itself from a hybrid of the others.
Between the two, I think Daim Blond has the edge. Price wise, there’s not much in it.
Given the choice, I’d go for the Uncle Serge, but Bottega Veneta can certainly hold its own.