When people question the place of automotive brands in the fragrance biz – we can hear the purists and snobs scoffing in disapproval – we swiftly point them in the direction of Bentley. We haven’t had the pleasure of driving one of their cars but can vouch, without hesitation, for the quality of their scents.
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Bentley Motors Limited was founded by WO Bentley in 1919 in north London and although part of the Volkswagen Group since 1998, it’s very much associated with the best of British luxury and know-how.
The Lalique Group holds the license for Bentley fragrances and while there’s an expensive collaboration in the form of the Crystal Collection (prices range from $3 500 to $20 000 for these collectors’ editions), Bentley releases generally offer great value and often cost less than similar designer equivalents.
Where known, the name of the fragrance is included in brackets after the name of the fragrance.
Our Shortlist For Best Bentley Fragrances
Bentley For Men Intense EDP (Nathalie Lorson)
Many people are surprised to hear Bentley is in the fragrance game. What’s not surprising is the quality of releases from the British luxury automotive brand.
Top perfumers have produced all their scents. Exhibit A: Bentley For Men Intense, created by master perfumer Nathalie Lorson (Gentleman Givenchy EDP, Lalique Encre Noire EDT, Dolce & Gabbana K EDT).
She also created their launch fragrance, Bentley For Men EDT (2013), which we can recommend for its spicy refinement. The first flanker, Bentley For Men Intense EDP (also released in 2013), takes it to another level of classiness.
The impeccably smooth rum note stands out in this oriental-spicy composition, with incense, leather and woods accentuating its timeless appeal.
One of the best boozy fragrances on the market and brilliantly priced too, we reckon this beauty should be a staple of every dapper gentleman’s fragrance wardrobe.
We all know the blue bottle genre by now. In fragrance-land, it indicates a variation on the fresh theme. Bentley’s 2014 release, Azure, is a typically swanky interpretation.
The bright citrus tones of lemon, bergamot, and mandarin orange are joined by the ozonic airiness of violet leaf and juicy sweetness of pineapple in the intro.
The tea accord and lavender bring a green aspect.
The drydown is sensual, musky and slightly aquatic. That could be due to the use of Orcanox, a synthetic version of ambergris.
This is not a heavy-hitting freshie; it’s a subtle skin scent.
Bentley For Men Absolute EDT (Michel Almairac)
You want it darker and deeper? Then this 2014 release created by Michel Almairac (the legend behind classics such as Dior Fahrenheit EDT, Gucci Pour Homme EDT and Davidoff Zino EDT) is yours for the taking.
The intro is deceptively light, with spicy notes of pink pepper and ginger.
The intrigue steps up a notch or three with a woody whammy of sandalwood, papyrus and Atlas cedar notes.
Although the oud in the drydown is synthetic and secondary to the afore-mentioned notes, it’s still distinctively sensual, smooth and musky.
Highly recommended if you’re looking for lots of woody wondrousness.
Bentley for Men Black Edition EDP (Dorothée Piot)
From the black-and-silver bottle to the juice, this 2018 release epitomises Bentley sophistication.
First, there’s the airy powderiness of violet and honeyed citrus of tangerine, with hints of pink pepper and nutmeg in the background.
The distinctive woody smokiness of papyrus is blended with the earthiness of patchouli.
The drydown is perfectly balanced between sensual musk and smooth Atlas cedar, with a touch of oakmoss for depth.
Lesser brands would have taken an overpowering sledgehammer approach with this kind of scent. Bentley is too smart for that.
Bentley Wild Vetiver EDP (Sidonie Lancesseur)
The brand doesn’t usually follow trends but made the shrewd move of launching Bentley Beyond The Collection in 2019. Focusing on specific ingredients and exotic destinations, the unisex range includes EDPs such as Exotic Musk, Rich Pimento and Radiant Osmanthus.
Wild Vetiver is all about the top-quality raw material from the Indonesian island of Java.
The opening features soft notes of bergamot and pepper. They set the fresh tone for the vetiver that follows. It’s given a lemony-aromatic twist with a note of verbena.
Birch tar builds on the smokiness of the vetiver while also giving the scent a leathery undertone.
It’s pricier than the more mainstream Bentleys, but you’re getting one of the best vetivers as part of the deal.
Bentley Majestic Cashmere EDP (Julie Massé)
Another one of our favourites from Bentley Beyond The Collection, it takes its inspiration from Goa, the state on the west coast of India.
The opening displays the softly sweet floralcy of ambrette absolute, the naturally derived musk. Incense, warm and spicy, accentuates the exotic vacay mood.
The cashmere in the name of the fragrance references the luxurious shawl but also the synthetic cashmere wood, with its seductive woody-musky qualities, that’s complemented by the powderiness of orris absolute and nuttiness of tonka bean.
The drydown accentuates the musky properties of vetiver bourbon, patchouli and labdanum resinoid to beautifully sensual effect.
There’s no denying the quality of the ingredients and how they’re blended here.
Bentley for Men Silverlake EDP (Ané Ayo)
Fancy the olfactory equivalent of driving through an Alpine landscape with the window of your Bentley rolled down? That’s exactly what this 2020 release offers and, of course, who could resist such an inviting ride?
There’s a refreshing breeze from notes of citric lemon and green mint.
Violet leaf absolute adds to the airy ambience, with the fresh and spicy aromatics of lavender in support.
Notes of white musk and amberwood wrap it up in style.
It’s a crisp, clean and chic affair.
Bentley Momentum Unbreakable EDP (Ané Ayo & Fabrice Pellegrin)
There’s something effortlessly calming and relaxing about Bentley Momentum Unbreakable EDP. That makes it our top pick from the Momentum range, which was originally launched in 2017.
This 2021 addition opens with the freshness of ozonic violet leaf, softly sweet mandarin orange and aromatic lavender.
There’s a big herbal, hay-like facet, courtesy of immortelle, in tandem with the rosy aromatics of geranium.
And now for the fun science part… Apart from earthy touches of patchouli and vetiver, the drydown features Dreamwood, the Firmenich captive molecule. While creamy like the protected Mysore sandalwood, it gives this creation a clean and elegant finish.
Richard Goller is a fragrance and grooming blogger. His blog is called Fragroom. A senior editor with 20 years' experience, his blog allows him to combine two of his passions: engaging content and the always-intriguing world of fragrances. When he isn't blogging, you'll find Richard indulging in his newly found passion for balcony gardening.