Thursday, January 28, 2010

Caron Bellodgia

I needed a good pick-me-up this evening (I'll tell the story tomorrow. It's beauty and shopping related), so I went straight to my vault of vintage perfume and got the Caron Bellodgia parfum. My bottle is small, quite old and holds inside the sunshine, flowers and air of vacation. It's no wonder the perfume was named after the northern Italian town Bellagio on Lake Como. If that doesn't make one feel better, nothing would. Just look at the photo above.

Bellodgia is very perfumy. The most dominant note here is carnation. It's sweet and more delicate at first before becoming quite peppery and assertive. Later it slides into a creamy drydown, courtesy of a sandalwood base. My experience is that the older your Bellodgia bottle, the better quality the sandalwood, which makes for a smoother, easier wearing. Carnation can easily be worn by men- just look at Diamond Water and Golconda by JAR. Maybe I should try smelling Bellodgia with a more open mind, but I doubt I would be able to make even my scent twin (who is a guy, for those of you just joining us) leave the house wearing it. Is it the other floral notes? I don't know- they are very well blended and I'm having trouble picking them even though I know there's some rose and jasmine there, and from the powderiness probably also orris.

The creamy drydown is also pretty musky, almost dirty but not quite (Caron never go all the way). It mellows down quite a bit as the hours go by but retains the basic idea and the strong carnation note. It's probably a bit too old fashioned to wear on a first date or a first day on the job, but it usually delivers on the promise of making your day very pleasant.

While I'm not fond of the thinner concentrations (EDP, EDT), the extrait is pretty easy to find. While I'm pretty sure the version from the last couple of years is not as good as it used to be (smelled it in the Paris boutique. It's probably the sandalwood they're using now), older bottles are still available here and there. Reformulated or not, it's worth trying if you are anywhere near a Caron boutique or a store that sells the extraits and the urn fragrances (Bergdorf Goodman in NYC and several of the big Paris department stores).

Photo of Bellagio from
Vintage Caron perfume ads:


  1. You are right about the picture. It really brings summer vacation to mind - and now I can't wait for it. And there is still half of winter to go through...

  2. Bellodgia was the first fragrance I bought unsniffed, because I read that it was a carnation scent (i have a long-held, sentimental attachment to carnations). And I was not disappointed, even though I have what is probably the most recent formulation of the EDP. It's carnation all right, with that creamy drydown. I find it to be long-lasting, still smelling true to itself at the end of the day. I'd love to find some vintage extrait, though.

  3. So crazy! I just found three little bottles of vintage Bellodgia parfum at the perfume shop on my corner. I don't think she knew what they were, because she had them priced at like, $19 a piece! Is that outrageous? I have no idea what they're worth, but I grabbed them all because I couldn't stand to see them collecting dust in her shop, forgotten and ill-used!

    Lovely, lovely review. I always like your perfume stories.


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