At the end of July Undina wrote a great post about the brands we consider as “ours” and “not ours” in this marvelous perfume world. As I was preparing to write this review I was reminded of Undina’s article and then I had a thought – since I discovered this Spanish brand of Carner Barcelona I felt the immaterial connection between this house, its beautiful perfume and me. Its design, aesthetics and style of creating really spoke to me, and so I consider it as one of “my” brands now.
Rima XI, or Rhyme 11 in English is the youngest fragrance in Carner Barcelona line up, it was introduced earlier in 2013. Inspiration for its name comes from the work of Spanish poet Gustavo Adolfo Becquer, who wrote a poem titled “Rima XI.” As for the perfume it’s a warm, spicy and sensual composition. I find it perfect for Autumn and it makes me think of rainy days.
On me Rima XI begins with a nutty smell of hot, roasted cardamom grains. The opening is indeed very aromatic and spacious, creating a vibrant aura surrounding the wearer. There’s a mild spiciness behind this note and it also has that interesting burning smell. Like someone tried to grill chestnuts or hazelnuts. I’m absolutely sure that for the moment I don’t know any other perfume that would smell like this one! It’s unusual, stylish and quite urban in character.
After 15 minutes a vanilla from Madagascar marks its entrance. I’m surprise at the comments at Fragrantica and some other sites that they find Rima XI very sweet. In my case it’s not. Vanilla that I smell in here is dark and balmy, raw like a black vanilla pod. I find nothing edible, gourmand about it. The role it plays in this Carner Barcelona perfume is strictly oriental. Amber accord emerges after another 30 minutes or so. I find it quite mineral and raw. It’s definitely not a shiny and polished golden stone, a fossilized resin. Still there’s something charming and peaceful about the not-altered elements of this fragrance. Beauty of unchanged things counts double.
Close to the 1,5 hour mark I start to detect sandalwood, in this particular perfume its Australian species. With the introduction of this note Rima XI becomes softer and smoother. It’s not yet a highly polished piece of wood but it’s not a raw block of wood that could hurt your hand. To me it has a lovely, rough-woody quality of sandalwood. At the same time the note has a fiery sensation as a company and I believe it’s because of nutmeg that makes this stage dry and spicy.
I also find benzoin to add balsamic accord with a slightly marked salty quality. Black pepper continues the spicy feeling of Carner Barcelona Rima XI. Later on the spicy molecules subside but not for good. Closer to 3 hours from the start I could notice some musk. Not clean and not dirty, somewhere in between. With a subtle but noticeable sweaty sensation. Later on spices come back.
What I can smell now is some tender cinnamon that brings more warmth to the entire composition (that, by the way, is very warm). Saffron adds some piquancy to Rima XI and coriander boosts this feeling. In the drydown, and that comes long later, after wearing the perfume for around 6 hours, some calm notes are revealed. Hints of jasmine mingle in the background adding more versatile character to this scent. A mint accord was practically invisible to me.
As I mentioned it earlier Rima XI name was inspired by a poem of the same name written by Gustavo Adolfo Becquer. In case you were interested and wanted to read it, an excerpt from this poem is few lines above in the quotation. To me it sounds mysterious, with a sad tear in the eye.
Rima XI might be my least favorite in the current range of Carner Barcelona but I still find its style – classic, unchanged – very appealing and to me it is totally worth trying or owning a bottle. Which actually means that all perfumes from the Spanish house are full bottle worthy to me. When I first tried this perfume I couldn’t understand it. It took me few more times to understand what this fragrance is about. To me this scent embodies the Autumn rain fall. Even a visual convinces me I’m right. Look at it – you see a girl looking through the window with her big eyes, like she was looking at the falling rain. Hoping that it would stop soon.
Rima XI by Carner Barcelona was created by Sara Carner and Sonia Constant. Its concentration is eau de parfum. Sizes available are 50ml and 100ml transparent cube glass bottles with genuine wooden cap with brand logo embossed on it. Just a couple of weeks ago the brand introduced a Voyage Set consisting of two 15ml bottles, Rima XI and Tardes respectively. They look cute!
I had a very good experience trying Rima XI. It lasted all day on my skin and had a medium sillage.