Just when I had given up all hope for designer men's fragrances, Bottega Veneta comes to the rescue with a release defying the newly set norms in the genre. The house's new release Bottega Veneta pour Homme Essence Aromatique is a bracing spicy citrus built very much in the fashion of the classic Italian cologne.
Bottega Veneta pour Homme Essence Aromatique shouldn't be an impressive fragrance. It smell exactly how a good masculine cologne should smell like (even if a bit retro) - fresh, edgy and with a stubble. Bottega Veneta pour Homme Essence Aromatique should be the standard and, therefore, we shouldn't be impressed by fragrances like it.
Unfortunately, what makes this composition stand out is the absolutely dismal record of designer houses releasing utter garbage in the last several years. When characterless soft woody-citrus compositions shyly whisper from the necks of the average man, a well-spoken fragrance from another era stands out. The hospital-reminiscent light green (simply a boring colour) manages to stand out boldly when everything everything else around us is grey.
In other words, it doesn't take much to impress us in this state of utmost apathy and lack of imagination among the recent designer releases.
What Bottega Veneta pour Homme Essence Aromatique Smells Like
It starts off with a healthy dose of bergamot. Citrus chimes in and a pronounced accord of cloves appears. Clove is not listed as one of the official notes, so I assume that the combination of pine and cedar might create the illusion of cloves.
With or without cloves, Bottega Veneta pour Homme Essence Aromatique opens with a very masculine citrus-aromatic character, just like a traditional cologne.
The projection in the opening stage is strong but as the fragrance dries down, so does the projection quiets downs. Thomas from The Candy Perfume Boy finds the dry down of Bottega Veneta por Homme Essence Aromatique similar to a typical fougere fragrance.
I find the dry down more piney with elements of cedar. The combo of pine and cedar can be an unapologetically sharp one but this is not the case here. There is a certain element of softness, which in a way humanizes the scent. It makes it more pleasant and less astringent.
I've worn Bottega Veneta pour Homme Essence Aromatique for three days now and I keep getting the same feeling I'd expect to get if I had just left a high end barbershop in the Brera District of Milan. After the initial blast of citrus calmed down, the juice gave me an aura of natural elegance - the kind that gets you compliments like "you smell great" instead of "your cologne smells great". How do I know? The looks and smiles people gave me told me.
Where to Rock It
Bottega Veneta por Homme Essence Aromatique reminds me of a morning breeze passing through the still deserted streets of an old city on a cold spring morning. It has an old-worldly character and modern elegance. I imagine Jep Gambardella from Paolo Sorrentino's acclaimed movie La Grande Bellezza would smell like this on a lazy morning in Rome.
If, however, you happen to be somewhere other than Rome and you are not a 60-year-old Italian socialite, you can still rock Bottega Veneta pour Homme Essence Aromatique and smell great. More than anything else, to me, Bottega Veneta pour Homme Essence Aromatique smells like spring - fresh, sprightly and cool - the perfect scent for a spring morning.
Bottega Veneta pour Homme Essence Aromatique is a citrus-aromatic fragrance and, just like most other perfumes in this genre, it is very versatile. The spicy top notes may come off somewhat sharp, so you may want to limit the sprays to no more than two if you are going to be in closed quarters. I find the longevity excellent for a citrus fragrance - more than 8 hours on me.
What the Frag Heads Think about It
Released in early 2016, at the time of this writing, only a couple frag heads have picked up on this fragrance. One of them is by Thomas from The Candy Perfume Boy, who has an excellent take on Bottega Veneta por Homme Essence Aromatique. In fact, reading his review got me to try this juice and sample it.
Thomas finds Bottega Veneta pour Homme Essence Aromatique to be "a scent from the mainstream but leagues above it". He continues to explain that what makes this particular perfume different than the majority of recent masculine releases is the original and well-executed combination of a classic cologne and a modern fougere scent.
I can't agree more - Bottega Veneta pour Homme Essence Aromatique is what all mainstream designer fragrances in the genre should smell like.
Persolaise compares the lightness of Bottega Veneta pour Homme Essence Aromatique to "a sliver of lemon zest floating on the surface of Lake Como". His brief take on the fragrance continues in the same spirit.
The Bottom Line
Would you buy Bottega Veneta pour Homme Essence Aromatique?
I definitely would. It is on my wish list for this summer.
Would I get compliments wearing Bottega Veneta pour Homme Essence Aromatique?
I am not the type of person to get compliments from strangers and this fragrance nearly got me some. If compliments are important to you, Bottega Veneta pour Homme Essence Aromatique would likely get you some for its zesty character.
What rating would you give Bottega Veneta pour Homme Essence Aromatique?
I think Bottega Veneta pour Homme Essence Aromatique deserves a five-star rating. There is nothing I wish was different about this fragrance.