Triticum Turgidum

Lying Dormant and Waiting to Bloom Since 2005

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Location: The Prairie, Illinois, United States

I am a beauty-loving ambidextrous higher-order primate who learned transcendental meditation at 7, statistical analysis at 23, tap dancing at 30, and piano at 35. I tolerate gluten, lactose, and differences of opinion, but not abuse. Or beets.

Monday, January 29, 2007


How did I miss this beauty before? I used to wear CdG's in-your-face carnation but stopped because it was a little too caustic, like Starbuck's (a.k.a. Charbuck's) without half-n-half. Enter Caron Bellodgia, all creamy-pink and comforting. Every February I begin to crave springlike florals, and this is the one that snagged me this year. Thank you Saks for carrying the EDP (last bottle in stock!).

It was the high point of a weekend spent shopping in the city with Fia. She handled it beautifully, with only one meltdown, in the Oilily shop across the street from our hotel. The low point was a set of interactions I had with an SA at Nordstrom. Chicago's Nordstrom has this great little nook of classic and collectible perfumes, arranged in a little arc on the back wall of the fragrance section. When I approached I saw a locked display of four fragrances in colored bottles adorned with bronze statues. Two years ago I'd tested one of them ("Julia") and really liked it. I was certain it contained immortelle, that maple note I love so much in AG Sables. It was priced at $400 then, which stopped me in my tracks. But I'd thought about it a great deal since, and was hoping to meet it again someday. That day was Saturday.

K: Do you happen to have the key to this display? I tested this one a few years ago and would love to try it again before investing.

SA: Ooooh... you don't want these. *waves hands* These are, like, three or four thousand dollars apiece. They're for serious collectors.

K: Wha?? Naw, I priced them a few years ago at $400.

SA: I don't think so. Well, we don't have a tester and I can't let you try the ones in the display anyway.

K: I'm not asking to spray one, just to smell it at the atomizer to see if it's as I remembered.

SA: I don't know where the key is. Really, these are for collectors.

K: I've owned almost 400 perfumes. I currently have over 200. I'm a collector.

SA: *looks me up and down* Tell you what, why don't you give me your number and I'll call you when someone comes in with the key. Will you be here over the weekend?

K: Yes, we're leaving tomorrow, but I'll try back at 11 when you open.

Fast-forward to 11 o'clock the next day.

SA: *sees me, walks over excitedly* Well, well, well, it seems you knew what you were talking about! Yes, these retail for $400. I've got all the info you need.

K: Really, you know the maker and the sculptor and the notes in the fragrances?


Fast-forward 20 minutes. She had no information I didn't already have. And she still kept telling me she couldn't let me spray them, and I still kept telling her I didn't WANT to spray them, I merely wanted to sniff the atomizer, for crying out loud. At one point our exchange went like this:

SA: No you see I can't spray them because air would get in the bottle and break the seal and that would be bad and you need to understand how perfume is made because every perfume has a year and a half before it goes bad once you break the seal and--

K: I. under. stand. I. don't. want. to. spray. them. That. would. be. stealing. perfume. from. whoever. buys. this. bottle. I. simply. want. to. SNIFF. THE. NOZZLE.

SA: Oh! Wait, we have testers of two of them. (WTF? Why didn't you say so? She pulls out testers, lets me spray. It's as I remembered, a good dose of immortelle. I am in love. The SA, in contrast, wrinkles her nose, and goes, "Ewww.")

At this point I started counting slowly to ten in my head to avoid losing my temper while she ran off to get me something. I relaxed when it turned out to be filled sample vials of both the women's scent ("Julia") and the men's ("Romeo"). So I get to try it on my skin and see if it's worth investing $400.

Nobody should EVER have to work that hard to see if a perfume is worth buying. You may wonder why I didn't read her the Poor Service riot act or just walk out. The reason is that I was no longer offended; it's hard to be offended when one is dealing with a person who is legitimately mentally/emotionally disturbed. I went into "kid gloves" mode with her. And I tried not to laugh when she gave me her card and assumed I'd buy it from her once I'd made up my mind.

I left Nordstrom none the wiser about the composition of the scent (I'm still certain it has immortelle), but Google informed me that 7500 of the bottles were made and that the sculpture is by Barry Shiraishi. Here's what the bottle looks like. It's much nicer to look at in person, and it's got a pleasing heft. In spite of the price, I might have bit the bullet and invested, except that I didn't want to reward the SA for poor behavior. I can get it cheaper on eBay anyway. We shall see.


Blogger violetnoir said...

K, I finally "discovered" Bellodgia, too. I love its vintage "girliness," yet it manages to stay fresh and modern. I feel like a powder puff when I wear it, hee, hee! The lotion is very nice, too.

Yes, I have seen those gorgeous bottles at Nordstrom at the Grove in LA. They are works of art! Like the Chicago Nordies, they are also in a locked glass cabinet, and the SAs don't really promote them. I am so sorry that you had to engage in a major negotiation with that silly SA, but I agree with you that she did sound a bit "off."


11:04 AM, January 31, 2007  
Blogger WinterWheat said...

Darn it, Violetnoir, who ARE you? You're obviously someone I like or have liked. MUA name, please??

12:30 PM, January 31, 2007  
Blogger carolyn said...

I am impressed with your patience, and glad that you got a sample after all of that! I have noticed those bottles before in a Nordstrom in Dallas, but never bothered to investigate. Very pretty. As an aside, I wonder what she thinks that a perfume collector looks like? Most of us (in my limited experience) don't spend our money on fancy clothes/cars/shoes when we are obsessed with scent. :-)

1:47 PM, January 31, 2007  
Blogger Bela said...

I don't know how you managed to refrain from slapping the woman. LOL!

I'd never heard of Barry Shiraishi or those fragrances. They sound nice but I could never pay that much for a perfume, even if I could afford it. I'm not a true collector, am I?

7:18 PM, January 31, 2007  
Blogger Bela said...

Oops, forgot: found this while googling BS's name - (scroll down...)

7:19 PM, January 31, 2007  
Blogger WinterWheat said...

Oh my! I didn't know he did lifesize sculpture. I hadn't heard of him either.

And don't you know, "collector" is just a high-class name for "hoarder?" ;-)

I haven't been able to plunk down the $400 (on credit, of course) because I can't seem to get past that big "4" -- but the funny thing is, if I add up my expenses, I can easily assemble assorted purchases that total $400, and most of them are things I don't value that much: $30 t-shirt here, $50 shoes there, etc. Not one of the items is prized. So I'm thinking I'd rather have one $400 prized item than multiple nonprized items totaling $400, you know? Then again, maybe not. $400 is a lot for a bottle of perfume. ;-)

12:58 PM, February 01, 2007  
Blogger Parisjasmal said...

I love Bellodigia too. I love it. Was it Jonniker who said that it reminded her of funerals? I love that description.

I bet I know the SA/dolt you are speaking of! ACK!

I hope you love your new perfume and I hope you and Fia had a lovely time in Chicago.

P.S. I like Viotletnoir too!
She is a peach.


1:13 PM, February 01, 2007  
Blogger Jonna said...

I don't know if it was me, but that is EXACTLY what it reminds me of, and no, no it doesn't work for me. I like my carnation spicy, like Malmaison. This was all violet and vanilla on me - creamy and sweet, and exactly like a funeral flower arrangement. Blech.

Also, my word verification is "schzo" Nice.
I'd have sent you my bottle, K., had I known. I have a big old bottle of the EDP that never sees the light of day.

3:58 PM, February 01, 2007  
Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

Hi K,

I have heard that Bellodgria is indeed lovely. Those bottles are indeed quite extraordinary.

I can see that FI is taking after her mother in good taste and good thoughts.

6:19 PM, February 01, 2007  
Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

Hi K,

I have heard that Bellodgria is indeed lovely. Those bottles are indeed quite extraordinary.

I can see that FI is taking after her mother in good taste and good thoughts.

6:19 PM, February 01, 2007  
Blogger Ina said...

I've seen those in that store many a times but never did it occur to me that they're actual perfumes! I sort of asumed they were just pretty bottles for decoration. You got me intrigued! I'm definitely going there soon but it doesn't sound very likely I'll get to smell them. ;) Oh well. There's one lady who usually handles that nook who's super nice.

9:16 AM, February 02, 2007  
Blogger WinterWheat said...

To those in the Chicagoland area: the SA I'm talking about is short (okay, all women are short to me), with really thick, shiny, bobbed black hair. She appears to be somewhere in her 20s or 30s. When I interacted with her, she had so much shimmer highlighter on the tops of her cheekbones that I thought she's misapplied her eyeshadow. She talks up a blue streak and isn't into listening. By the end of our convo I wanted to grab her by the shoulders and give her a good shake, then smooth her hair, give her a peck on the cheek, and run away. If you deal with someone with straight black hair who brings out the same urge in you, you'll know you've found her. :-)

10:04 AM, February 02, 2007  
Blogger mireille said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:25 AM, February 04, 2007  

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