Blue Carnation 
Roger & Gallet (1937)


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Blue Carnation by Roger & Gallet

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About Blue Carnation by Roger & Gallet

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Roger & Gallet
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Blue Carnation is a women's perfume launched in 1937 by Roger & Gallet

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Reviews of Blue Carnation by Roger & Gallet

There are 4 reviews of Blue Carnation by Roger & Gallet.

This reviews a vintage edc.

I wish I could wax rhapsodic about this highly regarded carnation, as I wanted to like it, being dissatisfied with other carnation/clove centered scents I've experienced, but it is too simplex for me to do so.

It is, to its credit, softer, rounder, more soapy, than other soliflores devoted to this scent. It uses carnation, clove, eugenol (derived from clove), vanillin and sandalwood. Barbara Herman detects an anise and cigarette effect that my nose does not.

No one has addressed why it is called "Blue" - unless it is proclaiming its use of artificial ingredients, in that for a time florists dyed carnations blue and green - the latter still used for St. Patrick's Day celebrations.

It is a "nice" carnation, but I fail to see why it is heaped with praise.

Perfect CarnationAfter several months of research and sampling, I came to the conclusion that Blue Carnation by Roger and Gallet was the best there ever was. It came down to two finalists, the second be the much vaunted Floris Malmaison. Unfortunately, most carnation fragrances on the market today do the flower little justice: they represent it as fiery, peppery, and over the top clove-laden or as a syrupy and sweet floral; neither of which could be any farther from the truth. There are some small independent perfumers who still use carnation absolute, but it is very expensive and the better the quality, the more expensive it gets. Most have a tendency to use it in symbolic quantities in the same manner as the mainstream. Even the cheap, readily available carnation substitute, iso-eugenol, is heavily regulated by IFRA and it is difficult to use enough to achieve the desired effect. Now, onto the scent itself: Blue Carnation was released as a feminine fragrance in 1927 and discontinued around 1973 for a variety of reasons. I believe it was phased out because of the unjustifiably high price of the raw materials and general "unfashionableness" of the genre in the first decade of contemporary perfumery. Others claim Roger and Gallet intentionally took it off the market so that it could be worn exclusively by the Queen of England. I've never seen any verification of this claim in writing or from Roger and Gallet themselves. I think R and G was transitioning themselves from a glorious house of yore that perfumed the aristocracy of the XIXth Century to the budget brand (albeit one of the best) they are to today (thank heavens they've preserved, at least in part, the flagship Extra Vieille). Blue Carnation is the carnation to end all carnation. This is the essence of the flower itself. Carnation plays the leading role in the opening and drydown. Nowhere else, save partially in Malmaison, have I ever smelled such a fragrance. The carnation absolute, of the highest quality, sits masterfully over a bed of cinnamon, tonka bean, clove, musk, oakmoss, and bit of vanilla. BC is mildly spicy unlike the spice bomb Caron Poivre or is it over the top floral. It is just right, decent, and above all else, luxurious, not luxurious as in a jet-set DUI-accumulating starlet of today, but luxurious in the sense of old moneyed aristocrats who are not in need of attention. The overall feel is velvety and plush with a dash spice inside the very carnation flower itself. My bottle is the ribbed rectangular splash from the late 1950s or early 1960s. The juice is a grassy green, which I surmise is the proper color. I've smelled similar bottles with dark yellow juice and while still superb, the carnation is not would it should be. BC was available in EdT, EdC, and Parfum concentrations. This review is for the Eau de Toilette.

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.

This is, in my opinion, the most beautiful version of the soliflore carnation perfume ever made. It is silky and smooth, the spiciness of the carnation softened with the sweetness of vanilla and powdery notes. Bellodgia is much more complex, and I'm not including it as a carnation soliflore. Blue Carnation is smoother than and slightly sweeter than Floris' Malmaison.

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