Have you ever wondered what were the thoughts and dreams of someone in the moment just before creating a perfume house? Sometimes I do and I would love to know what Sara Carner felt in 2009 when she brought to life the maison of Carner Barcelona. Do you think she expected the brand will spread to different countries all over the world? Certainly I’m glad it appeared in Poland, allowing me to discover the creations, to have my own D600 and to fall in love with them all.
Cuirs is the 3rd fragrance in Carner Barcelona portfolio and this is probably the dearest perfume to the members of Carner family because of the fact that their ancestry were leather artisants for generations, creating the finest leather goods in Spain. This perfume, a composition dedicated to leather and resins, is an homage to the decades of family tradition in manufacturing luxurious objects of desire. Thanks to Sara Carner, the fragrance has a Catalonian soul and impeccable style.
The first impression that Carner Barcelona Cuirs gives me immediately after spraying is the aroma of rubbing alcohol. This feeling lasts only for a moment and when alcohol starts evaporating from your skin the evolution begins. As soon as the alcoholic vibe is gone you get to experience a sharp and peppery note that makes a prelude to agarwood. In this very composition oud is presented in a woody way, with dryness, spiciness and splinters rather than smelling like a dense and gooey secretion of the ill tree. This tone is initially bold and in next 15 minutes it becomes lighter, more approachable and sophisticated. The accord of oud disappears only to let other notes come to the fore, that happens within 30 minutes.
The next step forward in the development of Cuirs is the leather accord, the leading role in this perfume composition. Before I tried this fragrance for the first time I was expecting a really pungent and strong leather. Now that I smell it I think it’s done in a very beautiful way. It’s subtle, gentle and soft. Leather in this Carner Barcelona scent doesn’t put a pressure on the wearer! It’s kind of casual, very stylish and definitely possible to wear both by women and men. Classy to the power of two.
The cuir accord plays on its own for around 15 minutes and then sandalwood joins the composition. It adds depth to the blend as well as it brings more power. Because of this note leather is bolder, a little bit darker but it still remains well-behaved. Some time later when the accord diffuses sandalwood is the note that takes the lead. It’s smooth but dry, kind of making me think of hot sand on the beach. And when saffron appears it adds some mild spiciness but it’s not as fierce as in other perfumes where saffron is bright red. This one is more reserved.
At 1st hour mark Cuirs re-gains the woody element when guaiac wood appears. It is more balmy and resinous than oud wood in the opening phase. 20 minutes more and it gets cut short by the aroma of musk. In this composition it’s animalic at the optimum level. One can trace aspects reminding of fur, skin, a little bit of sweat. From underneath amber tries to add some brightness with a little bit of sweetness and more vivid color. The balance is uncertain, at some moments veering towards the darker side. At 1 hour 45 minutes I could smell some earthy quality sourced from patchouli (not rotten, phew!) Caraway adds a roasted feeling to this Carner Barcelona perfume and some sweat can be detected too. Luckily it’s not that strong to affect the positive impressions I get.
The drydown of the composition appears between 3rd and 4th hour – earlier there’s some reorganization with the notes, leather makes a comeback in a more intensive way. The warm up comes last with a hefty dose of tonka. Unlike many compositions it’s not paired with vanilla, so instead of warm pudding like sweet spiciness the wearer gets to experience the spicy and only spicy aspects of the note. There’s also a lot of galbanum smoke going on here, making the blend darker. Other notes that are given are amyris and violet. I didn’t smell them…
Cuirs by Carner Barcelona is a wonderful scent and one of the leathers I feel good wearing and mind you that I’m not a leather perfume kind of guy. This one is stylish and powerful in a refined way. Like a hand-made pair of leather gloves or a made-to-measure leather jacket. This eau de parfum was created by Sonia Constant in 2011. It’s available in 50ml and 100ml cubic bottles with a real wooden cap. The flacons are hosted in elegant, white-colored boxes.
With this review I drew a full circle around Carner Barcelona as a brand. Now I’m waiting for their new perfume. There are plans to launch a new scent this year, hopefully soon.