Tastes of childhood, Carner Barcelona El Born

According to my parents and many city guides, Barcelona is one of the most beautiful and picturesque cities in Europe. Avenida Diagonal is the longest (11 kms) and most broad (50 meters) street there. At number 600, Carner Barcelona has their bureau. You can go down the street from there and turn into Carrer de Pau Claris, which later becomes Via Laietana if you continue to go straight on. That way you’ll evantually reach El Born in La Ribera (The Shore) district, a Barcelonian neighborhood known for trendy boutiques and many fancy restaurants and cafes.

The neighborhood of El Born with its multiple stylish cafes, restaurants, bars also happened to inspire the owners of Carner Barcelona. They have just introduced a new fragrance, which is the 5th installment to the collection. Inspiration for this perfume must come from the aroma that fills the air nearby all of these fancy dining places. The composition of El Born starts off really boozy and it goes straight up your sinuses. The rich and alcoholic vibe of rum, or some other liquory, spirituous beverage is very prominent and makes an overwhelming impression at first encounter. Just a few minutes later it becomes toned down and a very pretty chocolate note appears. It smells more like a bitter, dessert kind of chocolate.

The confectionery vibe it gives away blends really nicely with the boozy alcohol aroma. Together they create a velvety concoction which is both sweet and spiced. It’s almost like you wanted to write an equation that rum plus chocolate equals a fine chocolate praline. Choco praline is definitely the association that I get. There’s also a little bit of caramel there in my opinion and the whole composition so far makes me think that some maltol was used to create El Born.

 As the time flies this new Carner Barcelona composition seems to become more tender and soft. The praline vibe still goes strong, but not as strong as in the opening. Now it is also joined by heliotrope which adds a very nice floral tone which veers a little bit to the gourmand territory as it has that specific almond facet. Honey makes it for an additional portion of sweetness, though it’s also a bit animalic and some spicy elements start to appear on my skin too, which is a nice thing.

If you asked me, I would say that the spicy sensation comes from cardamom and maybe from a little bit of cinnamon, but none of these notes are not mentioned officially in the notes. There’s always a chance that these ingredients might be there (of course that brands don’t reveal a full composition of their perfumes) but you can’t be 100% sure. Angelica is also a nice feature in El Born, breaking the spiciness with a little bit of herbal tone, not too strong. After 2-3 hours the perfume becomes slightly milky green because of the fig accord, but it’s pale so if you don’t like fig there’s nothing to worry about, really.

For the next couple of hours Carner Barcelona El Born smells to me like a nice blend of hand-made chocolates and almond pudding. The imagine this fragrance creates is like I was taken to Spain and like I was sitting at one of the fancy street cafes. I’m sitting under a big umbrella at the cafes patio and observe as busy people walk on by. I’m drinking some iced coffee and enjoying every bite of my dessert. I know! Amaretti cookies are the closest to what I smell from the heliotrope/almond note. This perfume is like a virtual trip to the city of Barcelona.

By the time the clock has ticked 6 hours since the moment of spraying this perfume on my skin, El Born is still a noticeable element of my day and to tell more – it gains density now! There’s this accord of benzoin which is both balmy and sensual. Actually it slightly reminds me of a traditional Polish fudge we love here. It’s made just by slowly boiling a condensed milk but the taste is so unique and rich. Vanilla brings the additional portion of flavor, it’s also a bit darker and has a powdery finish. Balsam of peru amplifies the spicy elements that I noticed a little bit earlier.

The drydown of this composition is very pretty but comparing to the earlier stages of El Born, it is not very complicated. It appears on my skin after 8 hours. The main ingredient of it is sandalwood. In this particular case the woody accord has a very smooth and luminous rendering, the feeling that you notice is that it’s creamy and a little bit like a pudding or some other delicious sweet. To me it smells like a shortbreat for a small tartalette with a bit of vanilla pudding, caramel and chocolate. The second element of the drydown is musk which is white and fluffy, light and like a delicious meringue. Through my tests I didn’t smell much lemon, bergamot or jasmine.

El Born by Carner Barcelona is a full-fledged gourmand perfume with some small spicy and woody elements. But it’s exactly those small nuances that make this composition different from a typical gourmand. This fragrance doesn’t have a girly connotation per se. Actually those woody and spicy notes make it a good option for a men. The lasting power of El Born is above 12 hours and for quite a long time it leaves a scented trail behind the wearer. June seems a little bit weird time to launch a perfume like that but for autumn – it will be perfect then.

“A group of old friends playing cards, youngsters discussing at the edge of the fountains, tourists enjoying a glass of champagne… this is El Born, a perfume that captures the essence of one of the most spirited neighborhoods in Barcelona. Merging the old and new, we have created a contemporary soft liquor scented  fragrance filled with the vitality and character of El Born”

The new eau de parfum from Carner Barcelona is available in 50ml and 100ml bottles of a cube shape, the design matches the entire collection and the cap is still make of real wood. As much as I don’t like “edible” scent, this one is great. I don’t know who is the reator of the composition, I will update when I get the information.

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8 thoughts on “Tastes of childhood, Carner Barcelona El Born

  1. hajusuuri says:

    Yummy! From your description, I think this was made just for me. I’ll have to seek out a sample! Could the spiciness come from carnation? I am on a carnation kick lately! Great review and kudos to fattening my lemming. BTW, for as much as I had travelled, I have never been to Spain! Don’t you think it’s high time I remedy the situation?

    • lucasai says:

      It is yummy. Glad to hear the perfume sounds ideal for you. I don’t think the spicy aspect comes from carnation. Hype that you like it, you have no problem accessing Carner Barcelona so it should be there soon. My parents wentylacji to Barcelona last year, I haven’t been there yet. If you go, you can visit Ramon Monegal too

  2. Lovely review Lucas. Your vivid description made me feel like I could smell the notes! And yes, Barcelona is incredibly beautiful and I would love to return someday.

  3. This sounds like a unique boozy/gourmand, since the idea was to bring out the feel of a neighborhood and not a specific type of food. I’ve never been to Barcelona myself, but your write-up is very evocative, and makes me want to go!

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