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Roger and Gallet Blue Carnation (parfum)
On first application from a dabber sample, Blue Carnation smells very sharp and almost leathery. The opening accord has a slight plastic edginess combined with antiseptic herbal and clove notes. I am pretty sure it is not leather I smell, but it is very evocative of the smell of modern industrially produced leather products. I am really drawn into this fragrance which so far is not terribly gentle nor floral. I am reminded of leathery chypres, especially some of the classics. However, I am certain it is the olfactory imagery of a perfect carnation blossom that provides such a rich and colorful sensation. BC's complexity gives contrasting cues of a herbal, medicinal, and cool (almost mentholated) side along with sweet, embracing floral nectar and warm spices.
As BC begins to settle, it becomes less leathery, and the central carnation accord takes shape with its fresh, dewey and soft diffuseness surrounding a direct and powerful clove and bay spiced heart. It is so beautiful, it almost hurts to smell it. The fragrance is mostly linear in the middle stages, a true carnation soliflore. However, as it develops, BC becomes softer and creamier while still retaining its identity. The creamyness gradually increases while the spice recedes. Even two hours into the fragrance, BC smells of a crisp, living carnation.
I can hardly believe that this fragrance was an early 20th century creation. It smells clean, clear, bracing, modern--and, not artificial. I can't understand why Roger and Gallet would discontinue such a transcendent fragrance. On the other hand, I can't see BC fitting into the latest fashion trends. It is classic, well made, different (not very many *good* carnation soliflores out there) and very pleasing to wear. I love carnation and am very picky about how it is represented in fragrance. Blue Carnation meets and exceeds my expectations--it is unassuming and magnificent from beginning to end.
14 February, 2009