Graceful Suede – Review: Bottega Veneta Eau de Parfum

Mainstream releases are an emotional topic for many Perfumistas. We bitch and moan about lack of quality, creativity and individuality. And we do that for a reason, since so many releases offer nothing new, nothing worthwhile, nothing worth the money. I am moaning right along with the best of them.

This fall I have been very disappointed by several mainstream releases I was looking forward to (worst example was Chanel N°19 Poudré), but one I didn’t anticipate at all, turned out to be my favorite new launch in this category.

Bottega Veneta is a brand I admire, albeit from afar, my budget does not stretch to their bags and shoes, although it maybe would over time, if I didn’t invest it all in perfume… 😉 But one has to have priorities.

Thankfully Bottega Veneta saw fit to provide perfume junkies with a little BV glory.

Bottega Veneta Eau de Parfum was created by Michel Almairac and includes notes of bergamot, pink pepper, jasmine, plum, patchouli, benzoin and oakmoss.

Bottega Veneta smells decidedly different from what we are used to from designer fragrances. Not a fruit in sight (well, no berries at least, Imnot counting plum among the group of evil fruit 😉 ), no gooey sweets either, this is a soft chypre-ish leather scent that is refined, elegant and distinctive. The leather here is by no means heavy and black, it is a barely there, buttery suede in beige, but it is a scent that has charm and personality, elegance and style.

Bottega Veneta wears close to the skin, the sillage is soft and understated, but longevity is very good. While the sparkling top notes of pink pepper and bergamot are gone quickly, the heart of jasmine is dark and softly muted, while the base is amazingly rich and lasting on my skin. The drydown is reminiscent of Chanel Rue Cambon 31, although Bottega Veneta is a little sweeter. Oakmoss – or rather the synthetic ingredients used nowadays to evoke oakmoss – often smells very thin and one-dimensional to me, but here I find it well rounded thanks to the plush, clean patchouli and smooth and sweet benzoin it is paired with.

I am very happy with this new release and I couldn’t resist picking up a small bottle. The flacon itself is beautiful as well, the soft beige suede band decorating it quite literally ties together the presentation and the juice.

For me Bottega Veneta Eau de Parfum falls into the “wear everyday, everywhere, with abandon” category. It is an entirely office-appropriate, grab and go perfume that is elegant and fits every occasion. In that respect as well as through the floral-leather combination it reminds me of Hermès Kelly Calèche, although they are very different in smell, the idea and the feel are similar.

Therefore my conclusion is similar as well: It never hurts to feel like Grace Kelly.

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56 Responses to Graceful Suede – Review: Bottega Veneta Eau de Parfum

  1. lady jane grey says:

    I passed by a Topsi last Friday and saw the BV in the window, so went in and spritzed quickly (and Etro’s Paisley on the other wrist…) – uncomplicated but very pleasant. Strangely I get some amber but no leather. Nice drydown. Passed the test.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Good! I’m glad! 🙂
      And how was the Etro?

      • lady jane grey says:

        Paisly wasn’t too bad either. But it’s much simpler, it’s rather the easy going sporty style – peppery bergamott on the start and amber with vanilla in the dry-down.
        I was thinking about buying BV, but I’m afraid with all the big guns in my colleaction I’d rarely use it, so I rather put that money into the pigibank for Mona di O.
        My “everywhere everyday with abandon” is still Mulholland…

  2. Aaron says:

    I’ve been trying out a sample of this recently and it’s a shame the longevity and projection are poor on me as the scent itself is awesome. The opening is a very clean and cool leather.

  3. vanessa says:

    With every review I am more and more excited about trying this one, and your wistful paean is no exception. I am bidding on a 12 pack of samples on Ebay as we speak, and am determined to win it (having lost a load of auctions lately, probably for the best…)

    Sorry you didn’t care for the new 19 Poudre – I preferred it over the original by a long way. But then I would do!

  4. civava says:

    Should have one easy-to-wear-everywhere scent. But I’m always returning to my favorites and these averages do not have a chance to get it’s turn. I like smell of soft leather and smooth suede, so I’m quite sure I’m going to like it, I’ll buy it only if it will be a bargain or should I put it on a Christmas list. That one is long too and it is getting longer ;-).

  5. I too was surprised by my love for this. I received a sample in my Neiman Marcus Beauty Event GWP and fell in love. I think I may have to shell out for a full bottle soon as well.

  6. andrea says:

    I got a sample of this a few weeks ago when I bought some Hermes Elixir ds Merveilles, I put this to one side as I did not have high expectations, I finally got around to trying it and was actually quite pleasantly suprised, I did not get the leather note in it (maybe because I was asleep at that point, the hazards of trying at night time) The notes I did get were very pleasant although there was a brief moment where it seemed a little bit screechy on me, I had a second look at it yesterday as a consideration to buying it but I feel there are other I would buy first, however I am also watching the same 12 samples on ebay as Vanessa whom I will fight to the death for. (I jest, Vanessa you go for it and I will resist the temptation to bid against you):-)

    • vanessa says:

      Andrea, you are a “little duck” as they say round these parts. I’ll gladly bung you a few of mine (I don’t need 12, let’s face it) if you use yours up!

      • andrea says:

        Vanessa, that must be Nottingham if you are calling me ‘little duck’, I will gladly swap you a couple for some of my samples (of which there are many):-)

    • Olfactoria says:

      Pleasant surprise is exactly right, that is what it was for me too. I didn’t expect anything, so this was a happy find for me. Lol, I find the idea of a bidding war between you and V rather funny! 😉

  7. Tara says:

    I am having a hard time resisting this one B, especially now with your review! Though I’m very happy you are going through a chypre phase laterly. I’ve only tried BV a couple of times but you’re right of course, there’s no typical leather note here, just a whisper of beige suede. Might put it on my Christmas list…

    BTW I’ve never seen that gorgeous pic of Grace Kelly before, just stunning.

    • Olfactoria says:

      That is a beautiful picture of Grace. I adore her. 🙂

      I know you said you couldn’t justify it, because it reminded you too much of 31RC. I never compared the two side by side, did you?

      • Tara says:

        No not yet. I only tried it on holiday where the Assistant sprayed in for me so I couldn’t get more than two sprays – I had to request the second! Looking forward to trying it “properly” and comparing to 31 RC (only similar in the mid secton from what I remember). I was surprised how long it lasted on paper. I think the Parfum would be amazing but not at that horrendous price unfortunately.

        • Olfactoria says:

          The Parfum would be amazing!!! I even thought about activating Milan connections, because there is a Bottega Veneta boutique there, but that was before I heard ofmthe price and the unnecessary Murano glass bottle. 😦

  8. Sandra says:

    Oh how I wish that I reacted to the perfume like you did. I tried it and could not wait to wash it off! It was far too strong and it turned very powdery on my skin as well. Perhaps I should try it again when it cools off. I have to try to fenagle a sample out of someone here in the city. :). Have a great afternoon before the rain comes!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Oh, too bad. But a friend of mine said the same, she hated it and said it reminded her of the eighties…

      You too, Sandra! Last afternoon at the playground for me for a while it looks like. 🙂

      Sent from my iPhone

  9. Suzanne says:

    Enjoyed reading your take on this, Birgit. I find it a bit more candied (sweeter) than you do, judging by your description, but otherwise I think we are of similar minds. 🙂

  10. deeHowe says:

    Lovely review! And I confess, I am smitten with the bottle! I think it’s the little leather tie that drew me in…


    • Olfactoria says:

      This is one of those cases where everything fits perfectly for me. Great bottle, lovely juice and low price = happy Bee!

      And that leather band is the softest leather, it almost entices me to check out their handbags… (although here it would be Great bag, soft leather and exorbitant price = sad Bee).

  11. Undina says:

    I’m wearing this perfume today. This time it wasn’t a coincidence: I saw before going to bed that you published your review – it’s so… graceful, I enjoyed reading it, – so this morning I decided to spray it on before going to the office.

    It smells powdery sweet(er) on me – which is interesting because on a couple other occasions I didn’t smell sweet notes when you did (e.g. Santal 33). No leather whatsoever. It is office-friendly, I agree. And I would prefer people around me smelling of this perfume to most other mainstream ones. But for me… I wouldn’t refuse a small bottle from the sky, I might even use it occasionally, but for the price for the easy wear I would rather go with one of Exclusifs.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I’m honored that I had some influence on your SotD today. I would love one (or more rather) of the Exclusifs as well, but I’m going with the more is better philosophy here and go for both. 😉

  12. Georgy says:

    ….don’t even think of touching a braided BV bag then, the touch is highly addictive……

  13. annemariec says:

    Did you get no fruit all? I get heaps. Denyse on Grain de Musc mentions apricot and plum, and I sure get the plum (in the dry=down). But then I get a big melon note from Le Parfum de Therese, whereas I think you said you don’t especially notice it. I’m beginning to think my scent-brain magnifies fruit notes a lot.

    I do like BV tho’. It’s a go-to, any occasion scent but at the same time is not dull.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I don’t get much fruit to speak of, it is more of a well blended sweetness for me. Le Parfum de Therese is very fruity, and I do get melon, although not in an unwanted way, as I usually perceive melon.I am wearing Therese today, it is true love…

  14. Joanne says:

    I’m wearing it today–have had it on for over an hour, and I have to say I that to me, it is so much like Gucci Rush that I looked up the notes for both perfumes to compare them. It’s very, very sweet on me and actually rather strong. I wanted leather, but I’m not getting leather. Or, if I am, I’m not recognizing it as such. Maybe as the day wears on . . . .

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hi Joanne,
      the leather is never dominant in BV, it is a subtle skinlike touch, not a full-on leather.
      I always find that until I haven’t worn a fragrance at least three times, I know next to nothing. But I needed a while to realize that. 🙂

      • Joanne says:

        How kind of you to tip me off to the need for repeat visits–I will definitely wear it several more times before I decide. I just can’t get over how much like Rush it smells.

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  18. Michelle says:

    Lovely review. I’m quite picky about scents because I am headache prone. This is the first scent in years that agrees with my head but still has a soul. It’s warm, comforting and elegant.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hi Michelle,
      thank you!
      I agree, it is a very soulful perfume and so very elegant and sophisticated. I’m glad you found something that agrees with your head.

  19. Bella says:

    It didn’t last on me until I by chance layered it over my vanilla body lotion and then I smelt heaven. Creamy, elegant floral with a touch of musk. The way I image the most exclusive lingerie boutique to smell.

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  25. elisabethst says:

    I love this perfume!

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