Tag Archives: Carner Barcelona

Summer Siesta, Carner Barcelona Fresh Collection

For those of us who live in the Northern hemisphere July usually happens to be the warmest month of the year. In the time of summer vacations you might not crave the heat or scorching temperatures (like me) but you surely crave for the sun and for a beautiful weather, right? (who’d want a gloomy summer) People travel to Greece, Italy, Bulgaria, to the South of France or to Spain to run away from daily life and get some well deserved rest. With a Fresh Collection from Carner Barcelona we are treated to three fragrances that will make your holidays even more enjoyable.

salado

Salado starts with a green and leafy vibe that immediately evokes the Mediterranean aura. Petitgrain effuses a verdant and slightly dusty scent of thick leaves warmed by the sun. A small hint of bergamot adds more freshness to the opening while pink pepper introduces a minimalistic dose of spicy molecules that make the perfume feel more like a skin scent. Thanks to it it becomes more sensual and embracing. Relatively soon Salado becomes more watery and vegetal while it maintains its green character. Cucumber note is quite prominent on my skin and has been toned down by floral nuances of orange blossom and Japanese privet tree flower (never met this in perfume before). In my case it doesn’t take very long for the base notes to appear. Salty accord of this new Carner Barcelona fragrance is nice, warm and slightly marine. It marries very well with a driftwood. The latter one imitates the smell of wood soaked in the salty water for days until it finally hit the shore. The smell is wet, woody, saline – very summery and crisp. Musky tones in late drydown make Salado feel as if the whole perfume was a person who just sunbathed, took a dip in the ocean and now salt is crystallizing on their skin.

bo-bo

In brand’s new collection Bo-Bo is completely different. The composition takes off with a juicy sweetness of mandarin that creates a contrast with more sour & zesty bergamot note. Essences of both come from Italian citrus. Mouth-watering scent of this cocktail becomes even more delicious when blackcurrant joins the party. Its fruity and tart flavor compliments mandarin and bergamot making the opening of Bo-Bo full of different tastes that entwine with one another. The way it is built reminds me of tropical drinks you get from the beach bar – they are colorful, often with multiple layers and each tastes differently. After some time heart of the scent reveals floral notes that focus mostly on color white. There is orange flower that connects gentle flowery aroma with delicate citric tones. Jasmine accentuates white floral phase with solar and airy elements. Lily of the valley gives this perfume more dewy vibe. Drydown is a blend of aromatic, slightly rooty and earthy vetiver, warm and luminous white amber and a bit of musky notes. Bo-Bo is a perfume that needs no special effort to wear it – you could just spray it on and enjoy the day without much overthinking.

fig-man

One of the scents that are immediately connected with the Mediterranean countries is the one of fig. You can love it or hate it, as it’s still one of the most polarizing types of notes in perfumery, but you can’t deny this smell screams Italy, Spain, Bulgaria and Greece. Fig Man from the new Carner Barcelona collection is a fragrance dedicated to this material. It begins with a fruity scent of fig, served in slices and surrounded by zesty bergamot pieces on the plate. Cardamom adds a dusty feeling that combines with characteristic, crunchy spiciness. As time goes by the scent of fig transforms into that of fig leaf – very green, sappy & milky. Paired with violet leaf that makes this verdancy more watery, crunchy and dewy. Marine accord is a joint element for all 3 fragrances in this collection but in Fig Man it’s present as a more crystalline, mineral facet. In the drydown a woody dryness of guaiacwood is combined with aromatic and somewhat spicy elements of tonka bean, so that together they create something a bit nutty. In the end patchouli adds some earthiness and provides more depth to this perfume.

Bo-Bo, Fig Man or Salado are not very innovative when it comes to their olfactive profiles. They follow well-known paths of fragrances designed for the summertime but each has a little twist, like this privet tree blossom, blackcurrant or cardamom. Staying on a beaten track is not a drawback in this case. When you wear a perfume on holidays you want it to be as casual as possible, so that it wears like your favorite clothing set. Fresh Collection is available in 50 and 100 ml bottles with light blue details to characterize this line. The perfumer who worked on this trio is not disclosed.

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Hungry for Inspiration – Day 1 of Esxence 2019

Last Thursday, on 25th of April, the door to the Mall were opened wide to welcome all of the enthusiasts coming to Milan from all over the globe to discover what’s new and exciting in niche & artistic perfumery. It was the 11th edition of Esxence, this year held under a theme “inspiration flow”. I was on my way to Milan the day before the fair was starting and even though Poland and Italy don’t seem to be that far away on the map it took me almost 12 hours total to get there. 3 hours on a train to Berlin, 4 hours waiting for my flight, flight delay, transfer from the airport to Milano Centrale train station. It all adds up to a lengthy travel but it’s ok as I had a purpose and excitement for that travel.

I stayed at the Airbnb located just 10 minutes walking distance away from Piazza Lina Bo Bardi, where the fair venue is located. It was actually the same Airbnb I chose last year, the location was super convenient. So when Thursday came and after I had my breakfast and after I put on some nice clothes I headed for Esxence. Upon my arrival, couple of minutes before official opening, I met with Elena, The Plum Girl, who was waiting for me at the entrance. We haven’t seen each other for a whole year so it was a nice and happy reunion. I also met someone new that moment – Kate Nose, an Australian who is wishing to start her Youtube fragrance channel soon. It was her first Esxence.

After greeting with everyone we queued to collect our press badges, punctually at 10:00 there was an official opening speech, a symbolic ribbon was cut and the show was oficially open. But before I even starting to explore all the stands, together with Elena we stumbled upon another new face – Dana, known on Instagram as a_nose_knows and also contributing towards Cafleurebon editorial. We clicked very easily and so she became my next sister in l’eau. Now, on to the show we go.

Starting with Nishane, where as many as 6 new fragrances were presented. There was Ani, a spicy composition named after a great city locatated by the border between Turkey and Armenia and which today is a ghost town in ruin. Since their new collection is titled No Boundaries they decided to work on this project with Cecile Zarokian (who is Armenian). Next there was Unutamam, a rather animalic fougere by Miguel Matos (mostly known for being Fragrantica editor). On popular demand to have a Middle East oriented fragrance they made Nefs (Chris Maurice) which is a soft and plushy scent. They also introduced Safran Colognise, a variation on 2018’s Colognise as well as a line of demi-extrait: Muskane and Florane presented in cylinder-shaped bottles. That’s a lot to smell.

Then I went to meet Chiara Ronzani, founder of Extrait d’Atelier to smell a new fragrance in her line. Dedicated to beautiful gardens and the art of sculpting certain plants into natural decorations, Maitre Jardinier was born. It’s a beautiful green-floral scent which starts with a lot of verdancy with a bit of fresh juiciness, goes through a gentle floral heart of peony and leads you to the woody-ambery drydown with some incense in it. A truly pretty scent, ideal to wear right now in this weather.

At this point I made a friendly encounter with Nick Steward, founder of Gallivant. He came to Milan as a visitor just for 2 days but it was absolutely thrilling to see him again, half a year after Pitti Fragranze. He was very kind to allow me and Elena smell his upcoming perfume. Of course it’s another city but we cannot tell you what it is. You’ll have to be a tad more patient – the perfume will be released soon so keep your eyes and noses on a radar mode to not miss this perfume.

When I met with Nicolas Chabot, a guy behind Le Galion and Aether, I learned that the first brand is hiding a little bit in the background while the second one is doing perfectly fine and 2 new creations were launched for it. Aextra highlights a sandalwood molecule called Bacdanol while Suprae is an overdose of Akigalawood – a Givaudan captive creating modern patchouli notes. To my surprise even though both of these scents are based fully on synthetics they smelled more natural than some of the other fragrances I tested that day which is quite an intriguing conclusion for me.

At 1 PM I joined the annual announcement of the Art and Olfaction Awards finalists where to my great joy some of my friends were nominated. Tanja Bochnig for April Aromatics Irisistible¬†and Hiram Green for Hyde. I wish both of them good luck, especially that the big winners are being revealed today, 2nd of May at the ceremony in Amsterdam. Maybe someday I’ll be able to attend it.

Early in the afternoon I met with Celine Verleure, Olfactive Studio founder in order to try their newest fragrances. First of all there’s a Sepia Collection which launched last September (but not at Pitti) so I didn’t have a chance to smell any of those. Chypre Shot was interesting take on this genre but with a coffee twist, Leather Shot turned out to be soft while Vanilla Shot was dark and liquorish. Any Esxence attendee could also have a preview sniff of 3 upcoming new scents in this collection: Violet Shot, Rose Shot and Iris Shot. The last one was my absolute favorite. Photographs for a new trio were made by Roberto Greco while scents are being developed by Dominique Ropion.

For Hiram Green it was the first time when he decided to show his all natural brand at an exhibition that is as big as Esxence. His stand was simple, had a clean layout which was great for taking photos. We’ve met before in Florence where he came as a visitor last time but I think it’s great he decided to have a stand this year. Hiram introduced a new fragrance called Lustre, an ode to a rose flower which I found to be very jammy and lush.¬†He also decided to change a packaging for a white box with golden letters which sort of makes the packaging look more luxurious.

Close to the entrance was the booth of my friends from Carner Barcelona. Joaquim, one of the founders, introduced me to brand’s new Fresh Collection dedicated to Mediterranean coast. It consists of 3 perfumes: Bo-Bo, Salado and Fig Man. Those fragrances remain in the light, summery registers featuring citruses, marine notes making them great summer choices. He was also eager to guide me a couple of stands farther to a new brand called Beso Beach, which is a project done under their guidance for a famous night club. There are 3 fragrances representing morning, day and night – Bendito Beso, Beso Canalla and Beso Negro. I liked the 1st one a lot.

At the stand of Sarah Baker Perfume you could meet Sarah Baker herself and discover something new. First noticeable change is a brand new packaging which makes all of the fragrances look consistent. I was quite taken by Atlante, a scent that was created by Sarah McCartney. It was a lovely mineral take on marine theme with a bunch of fresh citrus notes and some floral nuances. And actually just a couple hours before I smelled it, this perfume was announced as one of Art and Olfaction Awards finalists. Also smelled Jungle Jezebel which gets lots of buzz lately. Didn’t like it.

At 3:30 PM I had a scheduled meeting with an old friend Megan who is with Atelier des Ors since few years ago. The brand was presenting 3 new fragrances at Esxence that create a brand new Riviera Collection. Riviera Drive, Pomelo Riviera and Riviera Lazuli are all about slow life, enjoying each moment of vacation and feeling lazy and carefree. I have to say that Atelier bottles, with gorgeously blue-tinted glass and white caps were the biggest piece of perfume bottle porn at Esxence. Fragrances were top notch too, as you could expect no less from Jean-Philippe Clermont and his team. I especially liked Pomelo Riviera and its refreshingly sour flavor.

Last activity for that day was to go to the conference hall and listen to a panel discussion titled “Do experts matter? Experimentation, expertise, and craft culture in the digital age”. It was moderated by Eddie Bulliqi. I wanted to listen to it because it seems to be a hot topic as of late to decide what makes one an actual expert and that this title is being given to people too easily but the discussion took a different turn. I just expected something different so in the end this panel didn’t satisfy me.

For the evening I decided to gather round a couple of good perfume souls so that we could have a dinner together. We ended up in a group of 10 people – perfumers, creative directors, fragrance evaluators and other people who simply love fragrance and write about them. So there was Elena, Ana from Ana y El Perfume and her sister, Dana, Tanja, Kate, Nick, Bibi. We went to a restaurant that was recommended by my Airbnb host. The food was absolutely delicious, the service was great and fast so we had a blast that evening. And so the Esxence day 1 came to an end. More to come!

See also impressions shared by Michelyn and Ida from Cafleurebon.

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