|Vintage Trifari brooch, Carnation|
This perfume quickly becomes bold and jewel-like, after a delicate opening. Then it continues to intensify towards a deep, intoxicating, close to overwhelming richness.
Similar to this image of the carnation as a jewel; radiating out from a central point, jaunty, lush, opulent, with serrated delicate edges; facets that highlight the complex depths within.
Shelley Waddington, the perfumer of Envoyage, based this perfume on the vintage 1927 classic Bellodgia by Caron.
I don't know the original Caron so I can't compare, but I must say my experience of Fiore de Bellagio closely resembles the descriptions of the original in its purest form (see Bois de Jasmin on Bellodgia in 2005, and then again on the disappointing reformulations and flanker in 2013). This makes Fiore di Bellagio especially lovely for those who want to experience something of the freshness and vigor of a classic closer to the way it once was.
The perfumer was inspired to continue the style of the Twenties as a companion piece to Zelda, and a way to expand on her interest in Zelda Fitzgerald, here expressed in a perfume she might have known and loved.
Fiore di Bellagio matches what I know of the spirit of the 1920s, a glamorous and often more modern decade than some that came after it, for women especially.
Parties with strong liquor, cigarettes, dance, jazz, seemingly infinite possibilities, pleasure in the body freed of centuries of constriction, with a lot of female energy finally released.
Photo via jtrobers of myintrigue on Tumblr
The almost narcotic spiced carnation leads from a heady center of rose, jasmine and gardenia, all lending their power.
The warmth is like an encircling flame, a floral bracelet of aromatic heat.
I could see it worn by men as well as women, as the carnation's clove is so dominant. The strength of clove in Fiore di Bellagio reminded me of the style of Caron's Poivre.
This is still a modern perfume, even if closely inspired by a classic, in that there is more of a crisp clarity and contrast in development than I have found in the vintage perfumes I have tried so far.
It lasts at full strength for a long time on me, which is unusual as my skin tends to absorb perfume quickly, and then calms to a sophisticated multi-faceted base that holds the rosy/gardenia/jasmine floral center and a shade of the clove /carnation, morphed back into dianthus wildflower form, cooled by a hint of iris.
|Photo from the Envoyage site|
EnVoyage is no stranger to this kind of floral power. There are other perfumes in the line that use a piercing floral take-no-prisoners strength to great effect. I am thinking of the Carmel series, especially the white floral Carmel Boheme, or Nectar des Iles, as described in prior posts.
I have seen hints and speculation that Bellodgia and other Caron perfumes are an expression of a possibly more than an unrequited emotional affair between the perfumer Ernest Daltroff and his assistant Félicie Wanpouille, the later partner and eventual director of Caron, who influenced him in perfume composition. In any case, they worked closely together, and though self taught in perfume, with exquisite taste created a number of the beloved classics in the Caron line.
For more background on Caron, there's an interesting and quick overview with a full list of the earlier perfumes on The Perfume Project.
For more reviews and information and to order a sample or full sizes please go to the Envoyage site.
Copyright 2014 Lucy Raubertas, All Rights Reserved.
Disclosure: sample received from the perfumer upon request.