After reformulating its 1927 classic Bellodgia to death, Caron added a new version called Più Bellodgia. Più in Italian means more, but Caron fibs when promising more of anything with this take on Bellodgia. It’s a pale floral that I imagine more as a shampoo than a fine fragrance.
Now that I’ve told you how I feel about it, I’m tempted just to move onto something else. But I don’t like to write grumpy reviews without offering further details, and it’s far too easy to be cross about Caron these days. Their classical collection has been dramatically reformulated (to be fair, it’s not entirely their fault), and in the search for a new consumer, they keep releasing perfumes that don’t fit their aesthetic. We all need to move with the times, and it’s a tricky compromise to keep the loyal customers happy while attracting a generation of fragrance wearers who recoil at moss and leather.
Più Bellodgia does neither. It’s far too bland to appeal to people who enjoy Narcisse Noir and Nuit de Noël. On the other hand, it’s too nondescript to capture the imagination of someone who loves the exhuberance of Chanel Coco Mademoiselle or the freshness of Ralph Lauren Romance.
The unfortunate English homonym “piu” aside, Più Bellodgia doesn’t smell bad. It’s a creamy blend of white flowers (mostly jasmine) and rose, with a whisper of clove. The mild spice is obvious the moment you spray it on, but unlike in the classical Bellodgia, it fades quickly. Più Bellodgia then becomes sweet and soapy and ends up as a mellow slick of musk and rose.
If you’re looking for a spicy carnation, you can do much better than Più Bellodgia. Etro Dianthus with its peppery twist is a great option as is Comme des Garçons Carnation. For a luxury version, try Prada Oeillet No 2, a sweet carnation accented with toasted almonds and earthy woods. Another gem is Hermès Equipage, a herbal and spicy fragrance that wears a red carnation in its lapel. You have to look for it on the masculine side of a fragrance bar.
Are there other interesting carnations worth mentioning?
Caron Più Bellodgia lists notes of carnation, rose, jasmine, cinnamon, clove, cedarwood, sandalwood, and musk. Available in 100 ml Eau de Parfum at Caron boutiques and department store counters.