Monday, 16 June 2014

El Born, it takes all sorts...

Spanish perfume house Carner have dedicated their 5th scent, El Bornto the ueber trendy local borough in Barcelona of the same name. My personal memory of Barcelona is a bit hazy but I certainly wouldn't mind a refresher any time soon, not least because the city has become a bit of a perfume destination. I have tried the whole Carner range before and while I certainly liked them, I found longevity to be a bit of an issue. Considering they are all created around woody notes, I thought they should last longer. But there is a certain aesthetic about their fragrances, a moody, warm and somehow languished sensuality, that appeals to me and I was happy to try their latest creation.

El Born has 2 distinctive phases for me. The first, which I call the wet one, is a strong honey and angelica mix with some added citrus notes. This honey has been made by bees who get stupidly drunk on strong cocktails on a daily basis. Well, the bee equivalent of a cocktail obviously. The sweet/sour/booze mix is interesting, but quite 'in your face' and I sit through this first half hour a bit impatiently because I want the second, dry phase to begin. The one that screams:

My visual interpretation of El Born, by Carner

LIQUORICE ALLSORTS! Because that is what is, in all its delicious glory. The list of notes is long and let's say, colourful, and congratulations to anyone who is able to sniff out half of them, but for me it's all a blend to conjure up the liquorice. If you like your allsorts and your black wheels, this scent will make you very, very happy. Otherwise you might want to stay away. It covers the whole spectrum of the legendary candy, the woody bits, the strange salty sourness you get when you munch on the all black stuff and your teeth get funny, the fruitiness from all pastel coloured ones, and the creamy sweetness from the yellow/brownish bits.  When I was a child, I hated liquorice, but these days it's a flavour I like to find in whiskeys, wines, gins and... perfumes. Alcohol makes a lot of things better.
It has excellent staying power and good projection. Once the dry phase has started it gets gently softer and softer until vanilla replaces the fruity sourness. All in all, a wonderful and sweet-wood fragrance for those who like their Haribo with a shot of spirits. Of course, there was no way I could resist using the marvellous colours of the Liquorice allsorts world for my visual. It might not be exactly what Carner had in mind, but for me it totally works. Also: sorry for headline pun but again, irresistible.

How and where to wear:
A perfect choice for a long night out. I bet it will smell lovely on a hot summers evening in Barcelona, while you desperately wait for the restaurants to open and serve you some food. 
At 10 p.m. 


  1. Wow! Great impressions. And so totally different than mine. On me El Born was mostly an alcoholic chocolate praline with rum and then som dry spices :)

    1. Hi lucas, I'm totally with you on the alcoholic aspect of it but found the liquorice association so strong that individual notes became quite secondary.

  2. Oh, Blogger ate my comment! Will try and reconstruct it...

    This was a fun review, and I enjoyed the visual conjuring of the palette of colours in Liquorice All Sorts. I tried El Born the other day, and cannot recall exactly what I smelt, but I know the were really my thing. I did enjoy the vanilla drydown though, predictably enough! Oh, and I hate liquorice, hehe.

  3. Blogger just ate part of my comment, how weird!

    "I know that the opening comprised a number of disparate notes, none of which were really my thing." While I am here I will replace one of the 'enjoy's with another appreciative verb - I swear there wasn't any repetition in my original comment. ;)

    1. Blogger is a pain, sometimes..
      Like, right now, when I want to leave a reply at my own blog.
      Hi Vanessa, shame you don't like liquorice, but I'm not surprised that El Born wasn't so much your thing.