Scented Snippets New Fragrance Review: EnVoyage Perfumes Fiore di Bellagio / Divine Excess

by: Ida Meister

More is more is more thank you, Gertrude Stein!. SIGH. Sometimes one craves Divine Excess—and here it is.

“Why should all life be work, when we all can borrow. Let's think only of today, and not worry about tomorrow.”

—quotation under Zelda Sayre [Fitzgerald]'s
high school yearbook photograph

Shelley Waddington's new companion perfume to her voluptuous Zelda follows the infamous Mrs. Fitzgerald to Lombardy and the Pearl of Lake Como. Bellagio was famous as a resort and respite even in Roman times; the Romans introduced the olive and the laurel tree there. Pliny the Younger retreated to Bellagio to fish and hunt.

Like many fellow expatriates, the Fitzgeralds [who so vividly conjure up the Lost Generation] were wont to gallivant and gather with like-minded creative folk throughout Europe during the Roaring 20s. Fiore is a fragrant homage to the opulent now-vintage perfumes of its time [including the carnation- rose-jasmine-muguet-musk-sandalwood rich Bellodgia by Caron's master, Ernest Daltroff]. It won the 2014 Top Artisan Fragrance of the Year Award—and for good reason. It's a master composition unto itself.

Fiore di Bellagio is first and foremost a heady, dizzyingly intoxicating concoction. It summons up an image of consummate femininity for me—Femme as Fleur, ripe and bursting at the seams with vibrant floralcy underpinned with potent animalics: musks, costus, civet. It feels like dancing until you are breathless and swooning, held skillfully and masterfully by someone who knows what they're doing and is in full command of the situation. Not unlike the ballerina in The Red Shoes, you cannot—try as you may—stop dancing. Can you feel it too? The florals very clearly sing; not a one is silent. Although they blend harmoniously, you can sense the presence of each and every one. Underlining it all is a marvelous web of intrigue, so many resins and dark beauties which peek out from underneath your voluminous gown and many petticoats. They growl. This is NOT a perfume for the timorous, the uncertain, the reserved—unless you wear it as Aromatic Armor, a talisman one hopes will imbue them with fortitude and guts.

I'm simply mad for Fiore, though I know that, dab as gingerly as I may—I cannot wear it to work. It is far too sensual for that. It is a perfume for Everything But, as it is a potent elixir sans conscience. That's why I decant it into lovely tiny "dab" bottles; I can control the dosage and anoint several spots at once without going overboard ;-) AND I can share it with others that way, as well.

Hedonism on such a scale is a true joy. It is unfortunate that our world has altered to the degree that such voluptuousness is held suspect, isn't it? Sad, sad. So, my friends: put it on the night before. Put it on the second you leave the workplace. Dab it on for deliciously erotic dreams. Seduce yourself, above all.

When all is said and done, that's what such perfume is all about.

Notes [per website]:

Top Notes:
Italian Lemon and Citrus, Green Leaves, Ylang Ylang

Heart Notes: 
Spicy Carnation; Gardenia absolute, Jasmin absolute, Bulgarian Rose Otto, Muguet, Violet, Bois de Rose

Base Notes: 
Dark Vanilla, Antique Sandalwood, Iris Florentine (Orris absolute), Costus Oil, Vintage Resins, Civet and Musks


Ida Meister (chayaruchama) has been an avid collector and sniffeuse for over 40 years. She adores consulting and collaborating with niche, budding and independent perfumers. Her hypervigilant nose has been of great help in her profession as a neuroscience/ oncology nurse, where she often smells fear, suffering, stress, and can identify most micro-organisms, medications, stages of disease, and has written about the amygdala. As a Senior and Natural Perfumery Editor, Ida has participated in many blog events with natural and mixed media perfumers and other writers. She has also been a teacher, translator, opera singer, dancer and caterer.