Scentbird, Inc., New York, NY 10001
Carner Barcelona’s Costarela is a lighter, citrusy aquatic scent but with the usual Carner Barcelona unexpected note combinations. Costarela is a paean to the Mediterranean coast, with the refreshing air filling your lungs, but also with the old and ancient scent of boats whose wooden hulls have been bleached for decades by the sun.
It starts out with Carner Barcelona’s signature delightful twist – Italian bergamot and saffron. Somehow the bitterness of the bergamot is eclipsed by the tangy, sharp saffron note so more of its natural young fruit appears in the top notes. Costarela’s opening exhales briskly and the bergamot/saffron combination is a wonderful bridge to the marine and sand accords that the heart presents.
The sand accord in the middle phase is a wonder. A pristine beach lies tucked away in the heart of this perfume, and the sand accord recreates the feel of warm, dry salty sand amazingly well. Another lovely surprise in this perfume is how Carner Barcelona lets the sand accord triumph over the marine notes, keeping Costarela closer to the intimacy of a slow, lazy walk on the shore. The marine accord isn’t a blast of salt and ozone here; there’s just a shimmer of the ocean present, more a change in the amount of moisture in the air than anything typically aquatic-smelling.
The dry down is a muted cedar, ambroxan and amber trio, with the sunlit skin tones of the musk and vanillic sweetness of amber winning out over the woody note. Fans of Carner Barcelona’s sophisticated reserve in their blending process will be quite happy as Costarela enters its final phase. Between the woodiness of the cedar and the dry sand accord, it’s easy to visualize a quiet Mediterranean stretch of beach, with the rustic boats bobbing and drifting at the water’s edge.
Costarela is both a delightful, lightly spiced citrus scent, and also something ethereal, as if that pristine beach in the heart was being brought back into memory after decades have passed. There’s a hint of nostalgia tucked away in the bottle; like a simple message that was sent out on the tide to wait for a moment for the waves to return it, years later to remind you of how peaceful it is to be here.