Sand castles, Carner Barcelona Costarela

Use your imagination and think about the upcoming summer for a second. What images come to your mind? A clear sky with a bright sun shining upon you? A cruise on an exclusive ship? A trip in the mountains? A quiet place in the countryside that is almost like an asylum to help you relax? Or maybe you envisioned a beautiful day at the beach – the sun is shining, the sea is humming gently. People around play in the water and children laugh as they play in the sand. This last picture is what I imagine when I smell a new Carner Barcelona fragrance. I like this brand very much and each new release from them makes me excited. So far I liked all of their scents.


The new fragrance, named Costarela, seems to be quite different from earlier proposals of Carner Barcelona. But on the other hand you will realize later that it’s still coherent with the collection. This composition opens with a citrus zing of Italian bergamot. But this is not your average bergamot top note here. Bergamot usually has a tart & juicy smell but it also feels cold, refreshing. In Costarela bergamot is more aromatic, zesty, with an accent on citrus peel and albedo. Moreover it has a warm temperature. The perfume is enriched with saffron that appears in perfect sync with the citrus, giving it that sunny warmth, sensuality and a bit of mild spiciness. I find this approach very unique and also interesting. It instantly make me think of a citrus plantation where you can smell the warmth of the sun reflected by tree leaves.

After around 15 minutes Costarela begins to change. For a while there is some sort of a fight between bergamot and saffron in order to decide who can go first. In my case bergamot wins and I could smell more juicy, citrusy and a bit fruity version of it. Saffron came in a bit later, with its warm aroma that is sensual and kind of dreamy. The opening of this new Carner Barcelona is like a hot day at the Mediterranean coast. You’re not at the beach yet because the sunlight is still to strong for safe sunbathing. But you’re getting ready for it. To some extend this phase make me think of some luxurious suntan cream that you’d apply generously all over your body before you go out.

My impression of lovely combination of bergamot and saffron last surprisingly long as for the top notes. The intriguing warm citrus doesn’t disappear for at least 2 hours since I sprayed Costarela on my wrist. After that time the composition begins to change and it’s also a marking point – it is now the right time to go to the beach. As soon as you’re there you start to smell the typical aromas of the spot. Sea notes come up first. You can smell how the aroma of salty breeze floats up in the air and the watery element just a bit later, as if the tide hit the rock, causing the water to splash.


Where there is a beach there is also a sand. Another aspect of Carner Barcelona Costarela is the sand accord. It’s another one of those warm notes in the fragrance. It does nothing else but make you think of a fun at the beach. The warmth of this note is, however, a bit earthy in my opinion and it seamlessly proceeds to amber and ambroxan notes. These two deliver warm and sensual experience of radiance and luminosity that is entwined with a bit of mineral saltiness. That’s why this part brings to my mind the association that this is how human skin could smell  when you sunbathe.

Especially that the composition becomes more musky as the time goes by. It’s a musk balanced between clean and dirty. It’s a compromise that somehow engages the sense of smell and make you want more of it. In the late stage of development Costarela reveals a woody aroma of Virginia cedar. It introduces a typical woody aroma that is not very rugged. It even has something powdery about it for a few minutes and more sweaty element is also possible to detect for a while.


After a few hours of wearing Costarela by Carner Barcelona I noticed how all of the notes in this fragrance lose their bounds and slowly they become one olfactive being without defined borders between the notes. To me this perfume does evoke a day spent at the seaside in the Mediterranean region. It’s the smell of fun in the sun. Costarela is a kind of perfume I would put into my summer suitcase if I was going to the seaside. I wouldn’t wear it to the beach but I would happily spray some on to have a perfume companion during sightseeing or in the evening to have a cocktail in the bar or to go for a walk along the shore and watch the sunset. It’s a dreamy scent, far away from ugly marine theme.

Founders write about it in these words: “Costarela evokes that unique feeling of freedom that one can only experience when admiring the immensity of the open sea; a perfume that captures the marine Mediterranean breeze and the salty woody smell of the old boats shored on the sand.” This fragrance was composed for Carner Barcelona by perfumer Shyamala Maisondieu. It’s an eau de parfum concentrated fragrance and is available in 50 and 100 ml bottles. Bottle is still cubical and has a wooden cap. The brand recently re-designed their labels for more simple and clean look by removing a silver emblem from it. Costarela has medium sillage and good lasting power.

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11 thoughts on “Sand castles, Carner Barcelona Costarela

  1. I love Carner Barcelona! Their fragrances are very different from the florals I usually favor but they are lovely. Your review captures the quality of this brand very well.

  2. hajusuuri says:

    This sounds like a perfect vacation perfume! I hope to smell this the. Ext time I go to Osswald or Twisted Lily!

  3. Holly says:

    This sounds really nice! We’re in (?) monsoon season where I live, so imagining sun, sea and relaxation represented so well is definitely appealing.

  4. Undina says:

    Everything I tried from this line I liked, so, most likely, I’ll like this one as well – even though when I think of summer, vacation is the last thing on my mind these days: since I don’t like hot weather, I postpone my vacations until Fall. Of course, some may argue that Fall in Tropics isn’t much different from the summer in most other parts of the world 😉
    Good review though, it makes me want to try this perfume (and to go to a vacation).

    • lucasai says:

      That would be nice if you liked Costarela. I usually take my holidays in September, so it’s not exactly in the middle of the summertime.
      Glad my review evoked those feelings in you

  5. […] place – 50 ml of Costarela by Carner […]

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