Time for our 19th edition of our “He says, she days”! Black Collecion by Carner Barcelona was one of our Persefume 2016 Awards choices. That was quite obvious decision – for now Carner‘s scents were mostly about very pleasant and well-composed woody gourmands. The new line takes this house into new, exciting direction highlighting more nocturnal side of Barcelona – its legends, myths and stories.

CB_BLACK_COLLECTION-17-560x373
Carner Barcelona Black Collection

Sara and Joaquim Carner comissioned Rodrigo Flores-Roux to work on the Black Collection and that was smart decision – this masterfully-skilled perfumer is known for his amazing scents composed for such houses as Arquiste, Donna Karan (incl. iconic Black Cashmere and Labdanum), or Tom Ford to name the few.

For now, Carner Black Collection comprises of three scents – and here is our double take on this trio (He – Jakub, She – Aleksandra):

BLACK CALAMUS

black-calamus-collage-img2

We bring to you our personal interpretation of calamus, joined by resins and balsams — a sensually woody perfume.The bright sweetness of Calamus embraces the dazzle of darkness, sumptuously blending with exotic resins and balsams.

Top notes: Indian calamus essence, Malabar pepper, Moroccan coriander seeds, Egyptian papyrus extract
Heart notes: Andalusian labdanum resin, Andalusian cistus concrete, Chinese osmanthus absolute, Turkish rose absolute
Base notes: Mexican vanilla extract, Oud wood accord, Omani frankincense, Spanish cade essence

He - “Oh, Donna Karan Black Cashmere is back!” – that is was my reaction after testing Black Calamus for the very first time. Both scents are apparently composed by Mr Flores-Roux and Black Calamus shares a lot in common with my beloved Black Cashmere – scent which I adored in all available forms, from Extrait to the body line. It is not its carbon copy though – I even feel that new Carner slightly improves the previous concept with extra touch of oud, honey and labdanum. I love it – bravo Carner, we have our icon back – let’s embrace this dark beauty once again!

She - Unmistakeably reminds me of Black Cashmere by Donna Karan, which I cherish so much that I quickly use up my resources. Carner’s creation is a bit less sweet, perhaps more savoury and salty, more round on a molecule corner of understanding, but still – this whiff of darkened labdanum is something I will always recognise and welcome in woody perfumes. So, it seems I finally have something to replace my black, oval bottles with. Happy!

ROSE & DRAGON
rose-dragon-image-head-img

We want to make you feel part of the catalan legend of Saint George with Rose&Dragon — a dark and fascinating perfume.“…And Saint George appeared to save the princess from the ferocious dragon, fought against his flames, stabbed him with his sword and from his blood a rosebush with dark red roses grew…”

Top notes: Persian saffron, Cumin essence, Wild strawberry accord, Cinnamon leaves
Heart notes: Bulgarian rose essence, Turkish rose absolute, Manuka honey, Ethiopian frankincense extract
Base notes:> Castoreum, Leather accord, Andalusian labdanum resin, Amber

He - Wonderful rose which unfortunately behaved in very diva way – once it turned out to be smoky and wonderfully covered in saffron, incense and honey, while the other time it was just too fruity and rather floating. I do hope to smell just darker side of Rose and Dragon from now on.

She - A beautiful, fierce rose you want to wear if you like to make a statement. Despite its fiery nature it’s a “friend” type of a perfume – it wins you over with a smile and never disappoints. Fresh and sweet hints of strawberries make it juicy and approachable, while frankincense, labdanum and honey create a saint’s halo over this beauty’s head. If you thought about flirt, forget it – it’s love me or leave me scent. I personally love it.

SANDOR

sandor70-image-head-img

We will tranport you to one of the most iconic bars of the 70’s in Barcelona with Sandor 70’s — a leathery tobacco perfume. “At the crest of upper Barcelona once a place to see and be seen, an iconic bar where the smoke of cigars flirted with the aristocratic leather armchairs…”

Top notes: Suede Accord, Italian bergamot, Vintage jasmin absolute, Chinese osmanthus absolute, Bulgarian rose essence
Heart notes: Tobacco Accord, Clary sage absolute, Virginian cedar wood, Peru balsam, Mexican vanilla extract
Base notes: Spanish leather accord, Patchouli essence, Vetyver essence, Ethiopian frankincense extract, Oak moss absolute

He - Adore this one – animalic smoke with extra dash of boozy, sensual decadence! It can really transport us to the old, dusty bars. Strong at the beginning, it ends up covering us in leather and incense aura. Gimme more!

She - The least joy-bringing creature among the three, as I am not very fond of leathery, animalic scents. This one begins with a silent but potent carnal note thanks to jasmin absolute. There’s something very masculine, restricted but very powerful within this warm, soft concoction, the strength that is not vivid and extravagant, rather an undercurrent of relentless, constant energy. For me – too much to cope with, but I can imagine it works beautifully on some skins.

Our verdict:
Jakub - great line from the house which preferred to play rather safe before. All three scents are attention-worthy and I just hope we will see more chapters of Black Collection!

Aleksandra – Overall this is a very nice surprise from Carner, who never managed to win me over – as for each good scent it created one I would not be able to appreciate. This series though is constantly excellent.

Black Collection is available from Carner Barcelona E-Shop and authorized stockists as Eaux de Parfum (50ml, 180 EUR), sample sets are also offered (25 EUR).

Pictures and quotes – Carner Barcelona, samples via Perfumeria Quality thank you!