The steamy campaign stars Vittoria Ceretti and Canadian Simon Nessman.
By Ashley Joseph
Date July 17, 2019
Italophiles, this one’s for you: Bottega Veneta just released their latest fragrance, Illusione, wholly inspired by the allure of Italy. “Illusione is a getaway,” says Amandine Clerc-Marie, a second generation perfumer who worked on the female fragrance, alongside Annick Menardo. “I imagined the smell of a siesta in the summer, the contrast between the warmth of the skin and the freshness of the water.” It’s a mix of citrus, bergamot and blackcurrent, with woodsy undertones and green fig—so basically, what the Italian villa of our collective vacation home fantasies might smell like. “I thought a lot about the  French movie, The Swimming Pool, with Romy Schneider and Alain Delon,” says Antoine Maisondieu, the nez who worked on the men’s version. “We needed something very fresh in the start to give this feeling of holiday, but we also needed something sensual: pine woods, Cyprus—I can’t think of Italy without thinking of Cyprus—and cedar notes. I thought about how Italians treat lemon in cooking—never too acidic, never harsh, so I added tonka bean and vetiver.”
The appropriately steamy campaign is headed up by Canadian model Simon Nessman and Vittoria Ceretti, who grew up in a small town about an hour north of Milan. Here’s what they had to say about Italian allure and the newest scent from the Bottega Veneta family.
On Illusione: “The fragrance has strong notes of citrus and also a strong woody smell, with balsam and white cedar. I think all of that comes together and creates a very refined and elegant scent. When I think of Italy, I think about the countryside and sunshine and forest and for me, that’s really what this scent evokes. Maybe not like a rugged Canadian forest—rather a much more refined and manicured countryside.”
Favourite Italian city to visit: “I like Rome. Obviously, it’s an iconic city but I’ve spent a fair bit of time studying architecture and to be able to walk amongst these incredibly iconic buildings and architectural features for me is a special thing.”
Espresso order: “Whenever I go to town, I try to take time to stop in and have a coffee to stay. My go-to order would be a caffé latte.”
On Italian allure: “I think Italians, generally speaking, have a very sophisticated, elegant style that’s also very relaxed and easy. And obviously the sensuality. Italians are very passionate. There’s a really strong connection to food in that culture as well—good food, elegant style, and a strong connection to sensuality.”
On Illusione: “It has a really fresh scent. I love that it’s inspired by Italians and all the scents you smell when you come to Italy. It’s a mix of grapefruit, orange blossom, fig leaves. At my parent’s lake house, we have this giant fig tree and it reminds me of those summer days.”
Favourite Italian city to visit: “I love Florence. I actually went there for the first time a year ago. I was still living in New York back then, so going to a place where it’s so green and the people are just, you know, Italian, it was great. There’s so much history in Florence that it’s just nice to feel close to where I belong.”
Most cherished memory growing up in Italy: “I grew up going to Lake Garda in the summer and it’s known for its olive trees. They make really good oils there. The scent of Illusione kind of reminds me of that—the olive trees and the freshness that the summers would give me. Those were the best days of my summers growing up, spending time with my family, with my cousins, playing all day in the middle of nowhere on the lake. I just came back to Italy after being in New York for four years and I can say I’ve never been happier—just the calmness that there is here, and the amazing food.”
Favourite Italian foods: “Like everyone, pizza. Italian pizza is just the best and I’ve really missed it living in New York City. Pizza, burrata, pasta—those were my favourite dishes growing up and they’re still my favourite dishes today.”