When it debuted, the Bentley infinite range boasted the boldness and curves of Bentley’s motors, and the Eau de Toilette embodied the organic British identity inherent to the Bentley brand. The range, made exclusively for men, was a statement piece iconised for its woody base notes (vetiver being the most prominent component). The fragrance suggested fresh and mossy notes, but it was an undeniably unexcited mature aroma. The design features were also notably impressive, bearing the obvious footprints of Bentley design and details.
Since then, the fragrance line has been on somewhat of a roller-coaster as it tried to re-identify itself in the hands of the gamma of different parfumiers and design vision- until now, when the fragrance comfortably finds its throne, having undergone elevation and a strategic rerouting.
This year, Bentley fragrances present experience and an art-piece. The story begins most humbly at the presentation box, which borrows the earthy hues and simplistic modernism found amongst Lalique’s identity. The broad, grain-leather textured presentation box is opened to reveal, what seems at first glance like a crystal decanter constructed for a religious procession. It is the welcome return of the curved glass, the silver details, and the embossed Bentley ‘flying B’.
The new ‘Beyond’ collection consists of three new numbers, all made as uni-sex parfums, broadening the target demographic. Creating a uni-sex fragrance is no easy to ask, let alone three. Despite initial skepticism, the fragrances fit the bill. The notes appeal to both genders and draw upon the fresh, organic but dull tones that reinforce the maturity of the essence.
Drawing from the three different muses (as the perfumes were crafted by different parfumiers), the collection: Wild Vetvier, Exotic Musk, and Majestic Cashmere draw on stories of colourful adventure and landscape from Java (Indonesia), Acapulco (Mexico) and Goa (India), respectively.
The spicy concoctions were balanced and displayed structure. The collection truly experiments and arouses the senses, and the romantic compositions were much appreciated.
My personal favourite, and most true to brand in my opinion, was the exotic musk (although the Wild Vetiver is highly commendable). The essence of the night, Exotic Musk utilises amber woods as a catalyst to activating the electrifying tonka bean (of the cumaru tree). The palette is bold, earthy, and evokes an essence of raw primate spirits (perhaps the values of the musk, being mother nature response to animal seduction, secreted by deer) signature perfume for the modern gentleman.
The sharp shift in strategy and product elevation is justified by the new price tag. Each of the perfumes within the collection retail at GBP165 for 100ml.