Vintage Caron Bellodgia

We had a brief good weather respite: no rain and mild temps. I was thankful. Gone now though.

Another flood meeting is being discussed, but I don’t think I can stomach it.

Anyway, February is my birthday month and I sort of shrugged my shoulders and did some damage simply because it felt right (there you go: not much of a justification but it will do).

I finally bit the proverbial bullet and bought a 50ml bottle of Perfumer H Smoke – because every time I’ve worn my sample it’s made me swoon and the juice in the sample bottle is getting quite low. It clearly tickles something in my perfume being, so now I own it.

I also was tooling around Surrender to Chance even though I keep telling myself the shipping from the US is silly and found myself looking at Bellodgia. Caron is not my classic house. That’s Guerlain. I can wear some Chanels and Diors but not much from Caron works that well on me. And the masculines in general are better.

But years ago, I read an article in UK Vogue about Dark Lady scents (ie, pongy stuff) in which it was included.

Since then, it’s stuck in my head (nose). Whenever I’ve mentioned it, people have offered some very interesting looking perfumes to try that might scratch the itch. But most are in the US and I’m really trying not to even think about things that might originate there (after saying the above about trawling StC).

But a decant of vintage EdT just seemed too good to pass up (using the excuse of bday month). So, I ended up with one.

The first Bellodgia was released in 1927. Earnest Daltroff was the nose. Notes include carnation, rose, jasmine, violet, lily of the valley, clove, sandalwood, vanilla and musk. What a straight-forward list versus all the kitchen sink ones.

It was discontinued and reissued at least twice. I asked StC what ‘vintage’ my decant is but haven’t yet heard back.

The opening of this is a lovely scratchy carnation-violet on me, with a strangely minty accord, and with a definite something skanky under it all – even so early in its development. I wonder about the carnation. Modern ones aren’t supposed to have a scent, but I’ve read about older style Cottage Pinks, which are supposed to be quite fragrant.

As it opens up, it gets peppery – maybe the clove and carnation? And a bit stronger. As noted above, my decant is EdT and due to my lower body temp doesn’t go completely boom which is actually rather nice. It’s definitely not quiet – it just doesn’t scream at you.

And then I could smell the rose which is a wonderful foil to the peppery-spicy other notes.

Deeper into its development – which, as an aside, is quite linear (actually, I think legible is a better descriptive) in the way of classical perfumes – we’re talking a deeper rose, modified by the sandalwood. It’s still peppery but less pongy.

The drydown is interesting. Rather than just the usual sweet or resinous thing you get a lot now, there’s a weird, slightly grassy undercurrent of what otherwise would be a slightly peppery floral musk.

Longevity is very good for an EdT, like at least eight hours.

All in, really pleased I got this decant after all the years of mooning over the perfume.

Anyone own any of the various iterations?

Pics: Pexels and mine

  • Tom says:

    Happy birthday!

    I don’t own any but years ago Gaia sent me smigdes of old Carons and their new counterparts. Just awful what they did to them. But that was the “malaise era” of perfumes when they were trying to deal with the new regulations, so maybe they’ve gotten better (other houses have, sooo..)

  • March says:

    Happy birthday month — “I sort of shrugged my shoulders and did some damage simply because it felt right” has led to some of my favorite purchases over time, particularly artwork. I’ve sniffed vintage Bellodgia and I admire it but don’t need to own any (which is how I feel about most of the Carons.) I do love a lighter, spicy carnation though.

    • cinnamon says:

      Ah, yes, the justification sometimes comes out very right. I appear to have no regrets about these purchases:-)

  • Kathleen says:

    Happy birthday Cinnamon! This is the month to treat yourself. I adore carnation in perfume, and have a few Caron’s that I am fond of.

  • Dina C. says:

    Happy Birth month, Cinnamon! I don’t think I’ve sniffed Bellodgia, and the list of notes is very attractive. I can see why you broke your own rule and got it. Plus you got Smoke, too. Yay! A splendid way to celebrate.

    • cinnamon says:

      Tx, Dina. Bellodgia is definitely worth a sniff. Pleased I got it and it morphs interestingly each time I wear it.

  • Pam says:

    I have been wearing Bellodgia today! so this post was quite in tune with me. My version is perhaps twenty years old. I take it out and spritz occasionally and love it. I’ll be sad when it’s all gone. Happy Birthday Month!

    • cinnamon says:

      Tx. 20 years … perhaps you’ll be able to find another bottle at some point. Fingers crossed?

  • Portia says:

    OH Cinnamon,
    Bellodgia is one of my too good to wear but yes I have a small hoard of. Including a 60ml extrait that remains unopened. What a fragrance.
    Thanks for the reminder. I’m going to get a bottle out and start wearing it again.
    Portia xx

  • alityke says:

    Happy Birthday month & many more of them. Congratulations on the Smoke. Sometimes things just must be done!
    Bellodogia is something I’ve been curious about. I love a good carnation note.
    You’re right, florist carnations have very little fragrance but garden centres will have traditional pinks. They aren’t all pink, there are some beautiful lemon yellow pinks that are highly fragrant

    • cinnamon says:

      Tx?? I feel strangely relieved about having bought Smoke — like it was meant to be. On a completely different issue: what sort of pot/tray do you use for baking sourdough?

      • alityke says:

        I use my Dutch oven, it’s a large, deep, round enamelled casserole. The only special sourdough stuff I have are silicone bread slings, bannetons & dough scraper.