Bottega Veneta Knot has changed my view of orange blossom fragrances. For me, orange blossom often takes one of two directions: it’s either a sweet bridal concoction or a laundry-fresh soap monster.1 Knot is something else. Although it definitely focuses on orange blossom, it’s dry and herbal, yet holds a sweet, musky core deep in its dry down that gently harkens back to the original Bottega Veneta. If you ask me, Knot is one of the few rewards of department store perfumes.
Perfumer Daniela Andrier (Prada Infusion d’Iris, Prada Candy, Marni Marni) developed Knot. Its notes include clementine accord (mandarin, limette, neroli, and orange blossom), lavender, rose, peony, musk and tonka bean. Of all these notes, orange blossom rises to the top with its soapy-musky feel. But instead of coming off as a guest bathroom soap extravaganza, Knot feels classic in its subtle, clean-woody presence.
On Knot’s first spritz, lime sweetened with a hint of mandarin orange appears, with orange blossom fast on its heels. The orange blossom definitely shows its soapy side, but there’s something herbal and almost mossy about it. Instead of smelling like the bathroom in a gas station, it smells, well, like the bathroom in a sailboat. Imagine a dry bar of soap scraped over a wooden plank, with the scent of the ocean in the background. Most of all, though, Knot is subtle. It’s doesn’t shout “laundry service!” to adjacent cubicle dwellers. It’s quiet and rich-smelling. This is the scent I’d love to inhale in fancy hotel rooms or a loved one’s suitcase. It’s the ideal non-perfume perfume, a terrific non-detergent “clean.”
As Knot wears, and as you’re sure you’ve explored all this crisp, dry orange blossom has to offer, it reveals another, richer dimension with a sweet wood and musk that casts a quick glance back to the original Bottega Veneta Eau de Parfum’s lush suede-amber-patchouli. It’s subtle, but it adds a bonus fondant to what’s already a wonderfully blended meditation on orange flower.
I plan on recommending Knot to both men and women who are just wading into perfume and who tell me they want to smell clean and subtle. The beauty of Knot is that once these scent newcomers have built up a tolerance for more assertive fragrances, they’ll still find something to appreciate in Knot’s sensitive treatment of “fresh.” I wouldn’t be surprised if they return to it for years to come.
As for me, Knot is one of the few department store perfumes I’d spring for in a minute if it weren’t so danged expensive. (Since when has $160 been standard for 75 ml of Eau de Parfum?) I’ll grumble here on the sidelines and enjoy the last few spritzes of my sample.
Bottega Veneta Knot Eau de Parfum comes in 30 ml ($90), 50 ml ($125) and 75 ml ($160) and has matching body products. Knot is available in high-end department stores.