Tag Archives: Carner Barcelona

Golden Impressions of Esxence 2018 – day 1

Just a few days ago I was still in Milan enjoying beautiful Italian spring, magnolias blossoming all over the city & most of all having a great time at Esxence. It was a special edition as 10th anniversary calls for more effort to make it even better than usual. To highlight the occassion of such round birthday the entrance hall of the Mall was decorated with huge statue symbolizing number ’10’ with golden garlands twinkling under the ceiling and golden flakes scattered all over the floor.

It was a bling but in classy and elegant way. Out of 4 days of the show I attended 3, but it didn’t go as smoothly as in previous years… You see… I was supposed to arrive in Milan last Wednesday in the evening but it turned into a nervous story of how I did NOT get to Milan. The thing is – I missed my flight! I was taking the direct bus from Poznań where I live to Berlin Schonefeld airport and maybe 20 minutes before the scheduled departure time all passengers were informed that the bus will have 1 hour delay. When it eventually arrived there was a huge traffic (accident?) on a motorway near Berlin. In the end when we arrived at the airport it was 40 minutes after my flight.

Stressed and all in nerves I didn’t know what to do, I missed my flight for the first time in my life. I even contacted the airport but there was nothing that could’ve been done to help me. And since I was flying with Ryanair my plane ticket was not refundable or exchangeable. I had to buy another ticket for a different flight but there were none more on the same afternoon – I had to wait until Thursday morning to fly to Milan, therefore I also had to rent a hotel room for the night. It was a rough start but I made it there in the end. Thank God my Airbnb host wasn’t causing trouble.

After getting to my sleeping place, quick unpacking and a change of clothes I immediately went to The Mall at Piazza Lina Bo Bardi where Esxence is held for a few years now. I arrived around noon, so I only missed first 1,5 hours of the show. Still not that bad as for such a rough start of my trip. My first appointment at 12:15 (so I made it just in time) was with Jacques Fath team. They were launching a perfume which was a result of  a very exciting project. They asked perfume historians, connoiseurs and vintage fragrance collectors who were familar with the smell of Iris Gris to become judges of an open submission contest to recreate this masterpiece. There were around 5 versions proposed by different perfumers and after blind testing by the experts they unanimously chose a version by Patrice Revillard, a young perfumer who only just graduated.

After the announcement of 5th annual Art and Olfaction Awards finalists that took place right after my first meeting I continued to explore the place until I saw Joaquim Carner in the crowd. He had a free moment so I decided to use this occasion to discover novelties from Carner Barcelona. The brand is launching an oriental collection featuring trio of fragrances: resinous Megalium, ambery Ambar del Sur and incensy Botafumeiro. Design of the bottles remained the same, it’s the brown wooden cap that is a signature element of the new series. The brand seems to want add a new trio each year.

Olfactive Studio and brand’s head Celine Verleure were showcasing their 12th fragrance – Flash Back in New York. Despite the fact that part of its name is shared with with one of their previous launches this is not a case of a flanker in niche. It’s a completely different perfume that was inspired by a photography of New York City in a snow storm. The perfume is a fusion of warm and cold with quite a heavy accent on violet leaf and leather. There’s also a lot of spiciness to it.

The most sensational discovery of Esxence 2018 was probably a new perfume from Neela Vermeire and her brand. I felt connected to these fragrances since a debut of this maison de parfum and I just loved the iris hiding within Ashoka so I was super excited to learn that new composition is going to be all about iris. And it is absolutely amazing! Bertrand Duchaufour made an iris that is creamy, buttery, gently sweet, entwined with notes of tea and champagne fizz effect. Their pretty flacon got a purple veil that goes from transparent at the base and more saturated at the top. And packaging of Niral uses silk for even more luxurious and sensorial experience. I know I want to have it!

Fragrance house of Angela Ciampagna had a break last year due to their laboratory collapsing after an earthquake but this year they were back with some new fragrant ideas. First of all they presented Laetitia, a water-based perfume for children. They also had two complex, resinous new fragrances named Miracula and Materia. Both were well made, I will be further exploring my samples.
Masque Milano is always one of the brands that attract a lot of attention at Esxence. Each time they work with a different perfumer and for their 2018 release they chose to work with a young perfumer Fanny Bal from IFF. They presented a perfume called Hemingway and it smells mostly of vetiver (they used couple of different species) but there was also tart rhubarb in the opening.

Anatole Lebreton was there too! Last year I totally fell in love with his Grimoire. New composition that was being launched at Esxence is named Cornaline and is completely different from all the perfumes in the range. It’s very easy-going and casual. It features quite tropical ylang-ylang combined with bergamot, iris, carrot and benzoin among other notes. I think it’s a great addition.
Aether is the brand from Nicolas Chabot who is also owner of Le Galion and it focuses on synthetic aroma molecules. This spring 4 new fragrances were introduces: Hypær, Supær, Ultræ, Xtræm. Each of them contains an abundance of one of the iconic perfume synthetics like Iso E Super. It’s kind of like Escentric Molecules but the fragrances are made from more than just 1 ingredient.

In mid-afternoon I was going out for a while as I had planned a meeting with Atelier des Ors. Their team wasn’t present at Esxence this time but they had a ‘salon’ organized at a hotel just across the street. I knew beforehand that they’ll have 4 new fragrances to show me and since it’s one of my favorite brands my expectations were really high. Jean-Philippe Clermont – owner of the brand together with Megan who works for the brand presented me with their novelties. They extended their existing line with 1 perfume called Bois Sikar, it’s a super heavy one with lots and lots of dry tobacco and rum. I also noticed a lot of dark tar in it. They also launched White Collection inspired by synesthesia of Klimt art and music. Fragrances are named Nuda Veritas, Crepuscule des Ames and Choeur des Anges. They are lighter than black collection fragrances but still very pretty and interesting. Personal favorite was Nuda Veritas. White details of the packaging look really good too.

Jardins d’Ecrivains joined Esxence this year in order to present their latest development, a trio of splash colognes. They come in 300 ml glass bottles with a trigger spray (like a window cleaner or Moschino Fresh). They are light and not very concentrated and the idea for them is to prolong a feeling of freshness after a shower or during a hot day. You are meant to spray these all over your body. L’Eau de Leopardi is a super refreshing verbena, L’Eau de Kakuzo is more green and smells of tea while L’Eau de Marceline is more floral and feminine. At a very affordable price I think they could serve really well in the summer. I loved the display with sponges to smell them.

By the end of the day I also managed to stop by and say hi to Gabriella Chieffo. She composed a new fragrance that stands out due to being different and more approachable than other perfumes from this Italian brand. Lattedoro smells creamy, sensual and comforting, like a warm glass of milk with honey our mothers made for us when we were young. The perfume has coconut, iris, ginger and some other notes. It’s a gourmand scent but a very well-made one. It’s appetizing but not sickening, you won’t feel as if you were wearing a whole candy shop on your skin.

My last stop for Thursday was Nishane, who inspired by Le Petit Prince launched a duet of fragrances themed around this novella. B-612 is housed in brand’s usual bottle with a blue metal plate (decorated with tiny planets and stars) and it’s focused mostly on lavender that’s been paired with other ingredients. I summarized it as a ‘baby lavender’ because it smells rather soft and powdery. 2nd fragrance is Vain & Naive and has a red metal plate. It’s a rose perfume, a tribute to Little Prince’s rose. I liked that one less but it definitely wasn’t bad. One more thing from Murat Katran and Mert Guzel was a Colognisé, a lemon cologne – fresh and as simple as that.

After the show I had a delicious day with Atelier des Ors team. It was a tiring day, especially that just the same morning I had that second flight to Milan. But all in all I was happy that I got there in the end. I still had two more days to talk to people and smell the perfume. About that in part 2.


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Love… portrayed, Carner Barcelona Sweet William

It’s been known since old times that flowers convey emotions. You could even say that flowers and their different colors are emotions themselves, crystallized in a shape of a blossom. Nowadays red roses are most popular symbol of love but in the past there was another great symbolic flower. In the times of knights those who wanted to find true love had their portrait painted with a red carnation – Sweet William to symbolize their search. Inspired by the legacy of flowers Carner Barcelona launched White Collection, a trio of fragrances – one of them being dedicated to Sweet William.


Sweet William the perfume opens with a prominent warmth of spicy notes that present themselves in a very elegant way. There is a white pepper note that gives warm and creamy spiciness which is much milder than the one associated with black pepper. Within 5 minutes the composition starts to become more textured. There’s a bunch of cardamom to add a crunchy facet with a roasted chestnut impression. In the top notes there’s also cinnamon bark from Laos – this one gives a lovely and tingly sweet-spicy vibe that I simply adore. After this opening the perfume smoothly transforms into floral heart.

Further into fragrance development comes a moment when all the spicy notes become softer and smoother and finally they transform from “spicy” spiciness to “floral” spiciness. Carnation reigns over Carner Barcelona Sweet William like a mighty queen. In this accord its warm, almost fiery floral aroma entwine with spices and unite with them. Secret to realistic impression is the use of Dianthus Superbus ScentTrek™, a Givaudan headspace technology that provided a true-smelling carnation accord. Next up is ylang-ylang that gives a creamy, slightly fruity feeling. It’s a ruly lovely smell that captivates the senses.

Later on I was able to smell a lot of iris, featured in Sweet William in a magnificent rendition. Its presence is highly accentuated through silkniness of its petals, their soft texture as well as a pretty powderness of its heart. There’s also a little bit of buttery and earthy molecules to it but powdery vibe is a dominating one. As time goes on the perfume becomes slightly more balmy thanks to styrax. Tobacco blossom introduces fresh spiciness that continues towards later notes.


Warmth of spices, fiery character of dianthus, powdery Florentine iris and everything else continuously swirls in a vortex of Sweet William. All these notes are present together however they never blend with each other to form some unidentified scent cluster. They co-exist and each is able to give its best feature towards this Carner Barcelona perfume. After good 6 hours the notes become more squeezed and their interactions turn more intensive when ambrarome (a Synamore molecule) enters the scene with its rich ambergris aroma. It also has hints of leather and nuts.

Close to the final form ambrarome wants to embrace the whole creation and wrap it into a warm, cosy blanket. But we’re not done yet. A bit of rose emerges quite late from the perfume – it smells airy and rich and the same time. Press release names it as rose water extract. In the drydown phase Sweet William smells delicately sweet with vanilla that has a little it of fizzy spiciness of galangal (a ginger relative). From this point, hour after hour it will slowly fade away.


Best thing about Carner Barcelona Sweet William is that it remains present on the skin for a whole day, even if in a gentle form at its late phase. Perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Roux managed to create a multifaceted composition that has presence and that doesn’t lack dimension  or substantivity. Sweet William is a truly enchanting flower that can burn as passionately as a desire for love. This brand new eau de parfum is hosted in Carner Barcelona signature bottle (100 ml) that can be distinguished among full portfolio of the brand thanks to the cap that is made of white wood.

Thanks to this perfume I’m even more of a fan of this brand. I could easily see myself wearing Sweet William on a regular basis pretty often. And I will tell you in secret that it was one of my favorites from Esxence 2017. If you’re a fan or iris and carnation like me, after trying it you’ll realize that new Carner is a double pleasure.

[note] photos via Fragrantica.com, Fragrantica.pl and Essenza Nobile.de

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