Today’s guest post is by Ms. Katy Kippen (who also happens to be the uber-talented designer behind Grayling Jewelry). With bling that good, you know her taste is impeccable – but I had no idea she’s also pretty darned articulate about fragrance. Since my expertise stops at the pretty packaging, I happily delegated this one to her! Prepare to learn more about good perfume than you ever thought you’d know.
Now that it’s cooler out, my usual floral fragrance is beginning to feel a bit delicate. I’ve been searching for a a warmer blend, one that feels “right” with my winter wardrobe.
How convenient it was, then, when Becki offered me the chance to test and review two just-released perfumes, L’Essence from Balenciaga and the very first fragrance release from Bottega Veneta – Eau de Parfum.
Both are chypres, a fragrance style described by Wikipedia as, “an accord composed of citrus top-notes, a floral middle, and a mossy-animalic base-note derived from oak moss and musks.” But interestingly enough, they don’t smell anything alike.
First, I tried Balenciaga L’Essence, the greener version of Balenciaga’s original scent from 2009. It’s safe to say I’m in love with the new interpretation – which is quite a surprise.
At first sniff, I wasn’t sure about it. In the beginning, the scent is large and rich. It is almost headache-inducing. You needn’t stick your nose right up to your wrist or the nozzle to catch a whiff (in fact, I would suggest refraining from doing so, as the top notes might make your nostrils hurt). But once the initial violet notes in L’Essence mellowed, my wrists smelled lovely. The delicate citrusy-powder scent lasted all day. L’Essence is quite mysterious – what begins as somewhat off-putting ends up drawing you in. L’Essence is truly a unique fragrance; it’s worth waiting for the initial notes to fade away as what’s left is quite lovely and feminine.
Next I tried Bottega Veneta’s Eau de Parfum, described by the company website as a “leathery floral”, “evoking blended notes of Italian bergamot, Brazilian pink pepper, Indian Sambac jasmine, oak moss and patchouli.”
From the description, I anticipated an explosion of musky flowers. Instead it was much softer. The fragrance is earthy and mossy – like lingering aroma of smoky incense and burning resin (which are things I love). In fact, it smells a lot like one of my favorite candles, Spiritus Sancti, from the French maker Cire Trudon.
I wasn’t sure about wearing a scent with hints of “leather” in it initially. But after a long trial period, I am finally sold. Eau de Parfum from Bottega Veneta is the perfect fragrance to pair with a cozy sweater by a warm fire. It truly epitomizes everything their company stands for – luxury, quality, and sensuality. Plus, the bottom of the bottle has a frosted texture which would be especially beautiful on a mirrored tray on a vanity.
The final verdict? While Balenciaga’s scent was my initial favorite, when the cold weather set in, Eau de Parfum from Bottega Veneta answered my calling. It exudes a warmth that’s a perfect match for cool temps. –Katy Kippen