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Carner Barcelona

Carner Barcelona Cuirs and Nasomatto Black Afgano: Are they similar enough?

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I’ve been hearing of these comparisons between Cuirs and Black Afgano for years. With Black Afgano being a LEGENDARY fragrance in its own right and one that I quite love, I figured it was time to give Carner Barcelona’s Cuirs a shot. Once I received Cuirs I gave it a week of testing, fully wearing, that left me with very little to be discovered. Having already reviewed Black Afgano over the years, it’s refreshing to be able to dissect it again.

What makes them similar?

Well, I want to say all around smell, because you’re immediately reminded by Black Afgano’s existence the second you spray on Cuirs. Upon initial spray, both parties leave you with a thick, balmy aroma. As far as notes, I get a blast of woods from both; burnished sandalwood, oud, smoked-incense, resinous balsams, neither of them having a smooth introduction. I think that’s where the similarities stop, just beyond overall vibe in the opening, Cuirs sticks to that linear script for its life on my skin, while Afgano has another three or four layers it weaves through. KEEP ON READING

Samplin’ – Carner Barcelona – Rose & Dragon and Black Calamus

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There are common themes between these two; rose, incense, amber, but any fans of those could do no wrong by looking at both. As a fan of CB’s previous releases, but at the same time knowing some are a little ‘blah’, I was met with excitement, but no real urgent need to sniff these out. I’m happy I didn’t wait too long.

Carner Barcelona – Black Calamus

You’re hit with a barrage of notes upon the initial spray. At first, it’s hard to tell whether this is an incense based fragrance or amber, because there is heavy doses of both on my skin. While on paper, I get a pot of dark spices and a smoky rose (still incense). Throughout the opening I get the culinary classics, black pepper and coriander, their aroma weaves in and out of the layers of labdanum and incense. One could imagine, Carner Barcelona wanted to step away from their other creations as it’s apparent, Black Calamus is of higher quality than anythhing else they’ve released. There is a dry richness from the start, which only becomes denser while racing to the finish line, and that finish line doesn’t come for a while as I clocked Black Calamus in at 12+ hours on my skin. A few other scents come to mind, Puredistance Black with a hint of rose among many other smoky-ambers, but never have a found one with rose and spices to break up the monotony. KEEP ON READING

Carner Barcelona’s Tardes: Creamy, Unisex Almond

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Almond scents can sometimes be one-dimensional and boring, or maybe too sweet. Other times they smell cheap, or suffocatingly synthetic. When paired with a regrettable overdose of tonka bean or boozy notes, they can be cloying, and when paired with heliotrope, they often smell exclusively feminine. Carner Barcelona’s Tardes manages to avoid all of these pitfalls.


Yes, it’s an almond scent, but it’s certainly non-traditional. Instead of going the typical route, stuffing the perfume with sweet almond oil and tossing in a few synthetic sweet notes for good measure, Carner Barcelona is crafted as a proper fragrance that features almond, but never quite lets it dominate. Here the almond is more green and fresh than unctuous, perhaps because of the judicious use of the celery and geranium notes. This makes the fragrance unique, and ensures that it is able to use the remainder of the traditional pairings without becoming boring or generic. Heliotrope, tonka bean, and boozy notes are all present in this fragrance, yet somehow it avoids being cloyingly sweet or completely feminine. This can partly be attributed to the green nature of the almond, but also could be a result of the woody notes – cedar and rosewood anchor the composition, and both are framed by a deep musk. KEEP ON READING

Mon Dieu, Monsieur! A new Frédéric Malle Experience

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Jean Paul Belmondo - Monsieur. a fragrance like composed for him
Jean Paul Belmondo - Monsieur. a fragrance like composed for him
Monsieur. A fragrance like composed for Jean Paul Belmondo himself.

Mon Dieu, mon Dieu – this release is a shocker! While I am writing this, I feel like Belmondo in the photo above. I am enjoying the new Frédéric Malle release “Monsieur.” Mon Dieu indeed – this is one of the rare, almost groundbreaking perfume experiences we all are living for (more or less). The first spray leaves you puzzled, enough so that you want to sit down and take a deep breath. This is exactly what “Monsieur” reminds me of: the movie “Breathless” by Jean Luc Goddard from 1960. “Monsieur” is film noir personified – virile elegance, with a touch of masculine drama, heck – this is the utterly French…. Michel (Jean Paul Belmondo) and his love for american idols and the hipness they radiate. This is the irrational, wild passion of an elegant slickster in love with Patricia, a young and vivid American girl. Crisp ties and classic thick suits are popping up in my mind, smelling this fragrance. Oh wait – please let me apologize, I’ve been taken on a flight of fancy. Yes, the fragrance – I guess it’s time to talk a bit about it: KEEP ON READING

Exploring Frederic Malle Samples (Part 3 – Feminines)

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We now come to the third and final installment of my explorations of Editions de Perfums Frederic Malle, focusing today on a selection of the brand’s feminines. As before, I attempted to provide balanced commentary on each of these fragrances, and have tested each of them a few times on both my skin and a woman’s skin. Enjoy:

Carnal Flower (Dominique Ropion):

How it smells: Carnal Flower is a celebration of the exotic tuberose. Instead of presenting a one-dimensional, synthetic snapshot of the flower’s aroma, Dominique Ropion has captured the overall feel of the tuberose and its environment. The fragrance feels damp, like the humid air of a greenhouse. All of the facets of tuberose are captured well, including its camphorous, sweet, and animalic nuances. Not only is this a magnificent fragrance, but it also performs very well, lasting many hours on the skin with excellent sillage. KEEP ON READING

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