Encountering a new fragrance can be a really unusual experience particularly when the fragrance takes you back to your childhood – more exactly to the silk or satin lining of Mum’s leather bag after the bottle of Ô de Lancôme or of a Coty Chypre had slightly leaked or just impregnated the fabric!
Last week, I was flying back from Bordeaux to Manchester via London Gatwick! This is after having caught a train (luckily there was no strike!) and a shuttle to the airport. Landing in Gatwick, all I wanted was to catch my connection flight to Manchester. After going through the UK Border Agency passport control, I had to check-in again at another departure gate, about 3 km away!!
And here it was!! Winking at me: a simple but elegant bottle of Bottega Veneta
In my run to the departure gate and before being asked to smile for the camera, scanned through the body and searched by a lovely London custom officer who was wondering whether my bottle of Sauterne wine was a liquid bomb and why I was carrying a French baguette in my bag, I went past the World Duty Free perfumery!!
I was literally sweating under my coat and I needed to freshen up… And here it was- like winking at me, standing exactly where the marketing people knew everyone would go first i.e. on the side shelf, on the way to the departure gate, a simple but elegant bottle of BOTTEGA VENETA, a brand I had never heard of!
Mind you, I might have forgotten it all together because I quickly sprayed my neck and scarf and my wrists and run to the plane… I had forgotten to note the name and back home all I could remember was some words like VENDETTA in the name…
I could swear the smell that was developing on my wrists and scarf was Coty! And it was like the silk lining impregnated with a Chypre perfume in a leather bag!! No wonder! Bottega Veneta is LEATHER itself!! The company started to produce artisanal leather goods in 1966 and since 2001, is in the hands of Gucci. Bottega Veneta means ”Venitian Atelier”….
This leather bags and accessories Italian house went for the full Monty on its first fragrance. Thomas Maier, their creative director turned to Coty and Robertet for the creation of this Chypre-Fruity fragrance with Leather as its theme. The beauty of it is that because Bottega Veneta is about craftmanship, the fragrance has not lost the philosophy of the craft and this is why it is such a beautiful fragrance, reminiscent of the lost vintage perfumes.
On the first spray, you get bergamot and pepper (pink)!! I could swear it’s a CO2 extraction because it’s light. Exactly what I needed in my rush through Gatwick airport! But nothing really special at first glance! The spice continues through the fruity heart of prune. This Prune smells natural (maybe a blend of cedarwood + rose?) butI read somewhere it was a blend of osmanthus and violet. It’s not sickening at all because it blends with the jasmine (a natural isolate of jasmine to tone down its green aspect) and very quickly develops to give place to a powdery Venitian leather created through a combination of patchouli (natural isolate giving a less mouldy smell), oakmoss (the derivative version of it, Evernyl )and leather note (its smokiness evokes birch tar). You start falling in love with Bottega Veneta when you realise that the first impression of vintage and classic scent gives place to a velvety leather seat on which you share a kiss with your lover in a Rolls-Royce! But it’s a soft, reassuring and warm leather that makes you feel like cocooning.
It’s been a week and the smell is still lingering on my scarf in which I plunge my nose every time I wear it. I close my eyes and I see Mum’s bag when I was 10!! Its price is affordable: £60/$90 for a 75 ml bottle but if you want the Murano bottle version, you’ll have to spend $395. It is definitely one I will treat myself with in 2012!