Carner Barcelona Tardes

Source: Roullier-White,

Source: Roullier-White,

Tardes would like you to take a stroll, starting with an after-dinner, liqueured cocktail involving Calvados and drunken roses steeping in a wooden vat, through a geranium patch in a forest, before ending up in a pillow cloud of fragrant heliotrope and sweet tonka vanilla.

It’s a lovely journey, compliments of the Spanish niche perfume house of Carner Barcelona which was founded in 2009 by Sara Carner. According to Fragrantica, Tardes was created by Daniela (Roche) Andrier, and released in 2011. It is an eau de parfum which they categorized as a “floral woody musk.”

Carner Barcelona describes Tardes as a pure, serene fragrance that conveys the feel of a peaceful stroll through wheat fields on a late summer’s afternoon:

A tribute to the peace and harmony of a late summer afternoon; a fragrance that is pure, serene and enveloping.

A peaceful stroll through the wheat fields and almond trees as the light of a summer day wanes and the warmth of the air caresses your skin… Admiring the beauty of the sun as it starts dipping behind the rolling hills and bunches of wild roses and geraniums color the dimming countryside.

Source: wowberlinmag.com

Source: wowberlinmag.com

Their bountiful blooms release subtle droplets of nectar that float in the air and blend with the earthy scent of freshly cut wood, invading the early night…

Top notes:
Egyptian Geranium, Bulgarian Rose, Rosewood, Almond.

Mid notes:
Virginian Cedar Wood, Celery, Plum.

Base notes:
Venezuelan Tonka Bean, Musk, Heliotrope.

Source: galleryhip.com

Source: galleryhip.com

Tardes opens on my skin with a drunken, brandy rose, infused with almonds, plum, heliotrope, dry cedar, tonka and a dash of clean musk. The rose is simultaneously incredibly boozy and fruity. It smells like expensive brandy, but even more so like Calvados which is an apple variety with a slight pear nuance. In fact, there is a strong whiff of pear about the opening bouquet which conjures up images of Poivre Williams, an “eau de vie” that one often sips as an after-dinner digestif.

Christmas Plum Pudding set on fire with brandy. Source: fooods.net

Christmas Plum Pudding set on fire with brandy. Source: fooods.net

While the drunken trio lead the way, there are other elements trailing hot on their heels. There is a plum note which circulates all around, as rich and deep as a Christmas plum pudding set on fire with brandy. (Yes, another fruit with a drinking problem.) Tiny slivers of almonds dance in and out, smelling fresh, raw, and slightly creamy. There is even a light tinge of celery, though it is muted and remains largely on the sidelines, before fading away 20 minutes into the perfume’s development. Finally, there is the cedar which feels simultaneously dry and green.

Source: Epicurous.com

Source: Epicurous.com

From afar, Tardes’ opening bouquet is primarily a dark, blood-red rose drenched in the juices of highly alcoholic, stewed fruits, then sprinkled with slivers of fresh almonds, dusted off with a heliotrope-tonka blend, and left to steep in the dry embrace of a cedar vat. It’s lovely, especially as nothing about the mix is cloyingly sweet on my skin. In fact, the mysterious pear note feels like dewy, cool nectar that has been either chilled in the fridge or bottled on the vine. It has a tinge of natural cleanness underlying it, but the main impression is of liquidy freshness. At the same time, the plum has a tiny, brief streak of tartness swirled into its alcoholic haze. Actually, after 10 minutes, the plum seems more like rum-raisin than anything else.

"Blood Rose" by Draqulyn. Source: deviantart.com (website link embedded within.)

“Blood Rose” by Draqulyn. Source: deviantart.com (website link embedded within.)

The overall effect is like a rose-dominated cousin to some other, much beloved, boozy fragrances. Tardes’ opening reminds me first and foremost of Frapin‘s 1270, only with apple-pear instead of oranges, and heliotrope-almonds instead of cocoa. In the same way, the boozy warmth, fruited sweetness, and rum-raisin note create a faint tie to HermèsAmbre Narguilé, with rose replacing the latter’s incense as a key note. However, Tardes feels much richer and deeper on my skin than the gossamer light, airy Hermès’ fragrance. Three tiny dribbles from my rather wonky manufacturer’s sample, amounting to 1 spray from an actual bottle, initially gave me 4 inches in projection. Tardes’ opening cloud is airy, not opaque and dense like a Profumum scent, but it has great body and potent, narcotic richness.

Calvados apple brandy. Source: NYTimes.

Calvados apple brandy. Source: NYTimes.

Tardes’ booziness seems to grow in depth as time passes. The rose fluctuates in visibility amongst the alcoholic haze, and initially seems merely like one more facet of a wonderful cocktail. That changes later on, but, in the opening 90 minutes, Tardes is as more about fruity Calvados and Poire Williams on my skin than the actual rose. It certainly isn’t about the heliotrope, almonds, or vanilla, but, as you will see, others had the exact opposite experience.

Heliotrope. Photo: Crystal Venters via Dreamtime.com

Heliotrope. Photo: Crystal Venters via Dreamtime.com

Tardes begins to shift at the end of the first hour. The heliotrope and tonka finally rise to the surface, adding one more layer to the delicious opening. Heliotrope is one of my favorite notes, due to its soothing nature. It often smells of almonds, almond-vanilla meringues, sweetened powder, or marzipan. Here, however, it smells very floral with a touch of vanilla powder, thanks to the tonka which is indelibly intertwined with it. The two together act as a blanket on Tardes’ fruity booziness, squashing it down a little, and bringing out the rose in a much more significant way.

Geranium leaf, close-up. Source: Wikicommons

Geranium leaf, close-up. Source: Wikicommons

At the same time, the geranium starts to awaken in the base and has a lovely indirect effect upon the rose. For all its lushness and dripping juices of rum-raisin and brandy, the rose actually is starting to take on a very natural, authentic aroma, much like a fresh flower in nature. I’m generally not one for roses, but this one is beautiful. It’s all thanks to the geranium, which cuts through the fruited liqueurs and adds a touch of piquant greenness and freshness. The green undertone is further amplified by the cedar.

"Dying Rose" by Janina Photography on Deviantart.com. (Website link embedded within.)

“Dying Rose” by Janina Photography on Deviantart.com. (Website link embedded within.)

The result feels like a multi-dimensional recreation of a rose from the greenness of its leaves to a stem of twiggy woods and cedar. The difference is that this rose is also doused with Calvados and Pear Williams cognac, then stuck inside a giant bush of heliotrope. That soon changes, however. Roughly 90 minutes into its evolution, Tardes loses a good deal of its boozy and fruity head notes, leaving a softer scent dominated by a rich, red-green rose with geranium, heliotrope, and subtle whiff of tonka. The perfume now hovers roughly 1.5 inches above the skin, and feels lighter, though still very rich and potent up close. By the 2.5 hour mark, the booziness has vanished entirely.

Tardes seems to have five distinct phases on my skin, almost all of which are rather short in duration. The first is the very alcoholic fruit cocktail led by the various cognacs. The second starts at the end of the first hour, and sees the emergence of the rose as a distinct and dominant note. The booziness take a step back, while the heliotrope and geranium advance, though they both act as ladies-in-waiting to the queenly rose.

Martha Washington Geraniums. Source: 4hdwallpapers.com

Martha Washington Geraniums. Source: 4hdwallpapers.com

The third phase begins at the start of the 3rd hour, and involves the gradual dominion of the geranium. Initially, as the perfume transitions over, it is a soft scent that is fragrantly sweet and dry at the same time with geranium, rose, heliotrope and cedar in equal parts. A growing streak of woodiness lurks under everything. The soothing heliotrope shares center stage with the other florals, while the tonka vanilla and white musk wait on the sidelines. The geranium soon overtakes the rose, however, and grows dominant with nuances that veer from rosy, to green and fresh, to faintly lemony and a wee bit bitter. Now, Tardes is a mix of geranium and heliotrope, infused with woodiness, with only tiny speckles of roses and tonka vanilla at the edges.

Tardes feels like a relay race where one note passes the baton to the next. In the fourth stage, the heliotrope takes over from the geranium. It happens roughly in the middle of the fourth hour, in what feels like a final transitional phase to Tardes’ drydown. The perfume is now dominated by the heliotrope’s serene, soothing florals nestled within a cocoon of abstract woodiness. The two main notes are lightly flecked by a touch of green geranium, a wisp of tonka vanilla, and a clean, white musk, but none of the latter are very profound on my skin.

"Honeybee on the heliotrope." Photo: KFawcett at katiepickardfawcett.wordpress.com (Website link embedded within.)

“Honeybee on the heliotrope.” Photo: Katie Fawcett at katiepickardfawcett.wordpress.com (Website link embedded within.)

Given how key the heliotrope is during Tardes’ last two stages, it may be helpful to any readers who are unfamiliar with the flower if I quote Fragrantica‘s wonderful explanation of all its nuances, as well as how it appears in well-known fragrances:

The odour profile is powdery, like vanilla meringue with a helping of almond. The characteristic comforting scent of heliotrope has been proven to induce feelings of relaxation and comfort, a pampering atmosphere that finds itself very suited to languorous oriental fragrances and delicious “gourmands”.

In Kenzo Amour the heliotropin take is on the vanillic side, boosted by milky notes. In Love, Chloe we encounter the retro-smelling pairing of heliotropin and violet notes producing a powdery effect, reminiscent of makeup products. […] In Lolita Lempicka eau de parfum heliotropin takes a anisic mantle and becomes a full-blown gourmand, while in the older Cacharel Loulou it’s the comforting billowy background alongside tonka bean (with which it shares an almond and hay facet) and orris, producing a true floriental. In L’Eau d’Hiver (F. Malle) heliotropin is almost reduced to its pure state: fluffy, like a late afternoon cloud. [Emphasis to names added by me.]

Source: Facebook page of "Amazing Landscapes, Nature, Animals and Places." Photographer unknown.

Source: Facebook page of “Amazing Landscapes, Nature, Animals and Places.” Photographer unknown.

Initially, and at this point, Tardes is different from many of those fragrances. On my skin, the heliotrope is much more floral than gourmand or powdery. It is not marzipan or meringues at all. The best way I can describe it is as floral fluffiness, almost as if sweet pollen had been gathered up in a big, pillowy, pink-purple cloud. Another important difference is that Tardes has a definite undercurrent of woodiness on my skin which turns the scent drier than other heliotrope fragrances that I’ve tried. To be clear, Tardes isn’t a dry fragrance, but it’s drier than the marzipan or almond cream of some scents in the genre. Yet, Tardes doesn’t feel like a purely “floral, woody musk,” either. It lies somewhere between a quasi-gourmand and a woody floral.

That changes with the advent of the fifth and final stage which begins at the end of the sixth hour. Tardes loses all traces of woodiness and turns into quite a fluffy, daintily sweet fragrance with only two main notes: soft heliotrope with tonka vanilla. They are both infused with a clean, white musk, which I normally despise, but it’s not hugely excessive here and thankfully never sharp. To my surprise, the heliotrope continues to be largely more floral, like a pollen cloud, than almond-centric, though others had a different experience in that regard. But it’s definitely not a powder bomb the way some heliotrope fragrances can be.

Source: qcorrell.com

Source: qcorrell.com

Despite the heliotrope’s fluffiness, I still don’t find Tardes to be a gourmand scent. Gourmands are very dessert-like, with profound sweetness and, frequently, either heavy sugar or a buttery, unctuous richness. Tardes lacks all that on my skin. The vanilla is relatively dry, and, though it is pretty, the perfume is too sheer at this point for it to feel like a mousse or custard. In fact, in its final hour, Tardes is a mere blur of dry, vanillic sweetness with a vaguely floral character.

All in all, Tardes consistently lasted over 8.5 hours on my perfume-consuming skin: just over 8.75 hours with the atomizer equivalent of 1 spray from a bottle, and roughly 9.5 with 2 sprays. The sillage is initially large, even with a small amount, but my skin seemed to eat it up by the start of the third hour and the projection thereafter became only moderate to soft. On me, Tardes generally became a skin around the 4.5 hour mark, though the number was pushed higher with a larger quantity. However, one person found Tardes to have “monster” sillage, while I’ve read two accounts which describe it as “soft” or “mild.” I think the quantity you apply makes a difference, in addition to the obvious skin chemistry issues.

From what I’ve observed, there seems to be a lot of love for Tardes out there in the perfume world. I’m constantly hearing raves about the scent, and I’ve noticed that one vendor of Carner Barcelona, the Osswald boutique in New York, often seems to run out of stock. In fact, they’re completely sold out of Tardes at the time of this post, while another New York store has run out of the large bottles. I think that says something. I’ve also noticed that quite a few men seem to go utterly nuts for Tardes, even more than women do. That seems to be particularly true if they love gourmand fragrances in general, a fact which leads me to suspect that Tardes may be much sweeter on them, and much less woody or dry than it was on me. My skin usually amplifies sweetness, but it didn’t do so here. Or, perhaps, the geranium and woodiness kept things in check. One thing seems clear, though: Tardes is unisex in its appeal.

Source: americanqualityfoods.com

Source: americanqualityfoods.com

On Fragrantica, the reviews are generally very favourable, though a handful found Tardes to be far too sweet for their tastes, and completely gourmand in nature. Almost everyone talks about Tardes being essentially an almond, tonka vanilla and heliotrope fragrance, with some comparing it to a mousse. However, one person reported experiencing a scent that was mostly fruity, without any heliotrope. For another, there were roses and woodiness amidst the almond-vanilla bouquet. Several people thought Tardes bore a similarity to Guerlain‘s Instant Magic.

A sampling of the various comments:

  • I generally don’t like heavy tonka bean but this one is added at just the right amount the scent actually smells really good. Looked up fragrantica and found out that heliotrope actually has almond facet. I don’t really pick up the other notes they may be well-blended I think. […] Although marketed for women, this can easily be unisex IMO. All in all, it’s a gourmand-ish nutty almond scent with a musky background. It has moderate projection and longevity on my skin.
  • Strangely, it is the fruity notes that are the focal point of this fragrance, particularly in the opening. I don’t get any of the almond/heliotrope notes, but as the fruity edge disappears, there is a strange, almost tobacco note that emerges. While it is interesting, it is not one that is appealing to me.
  • Tardes is a very soft, creamy and somehow airy almond fragrance. It’s sweet, but not cloying or choking. At the beginning I felt some rose (or maybe rosewood) in it, then the almond step forward, and took center place. It’s a creamy, slightly vanillaish, silky smooth almond. Tardes is an enchanting fragrance.
Source: Normann Copenhagen. (Link to blog site with recipe for mousse embedded within photo.)

Source: Normann Copenhagen. (Link to blog site with recipe for mousse embedded within photo.)

  • The aroma is all about almonds, tonka bean and heliotrope. [¶] I can detect plum rather than rose. [¶] The almond is not eatable but bitterly-sweet and aromatic. [¶] The fragrance slightly reminds me of L’Instant Magic Guerlain but latest is not so strong and dense. Considering the “thickness” in both perfumes is like comparing velvet to veil. [¶] Despite its monstrous silage Tardes is surprisingly smooth – more like almond-vanilla mousse rather than cashmere scarf. There is a certain depth and richness in the smoothness

Damascena roseFor one male blogger, the overall composition of Tardes was “determinately floral” in nature, not almond-centric. Scent Bound‘s charming review begins by saying that “Tardes defines beauty in feminine fragrance,” and ends by calling it a “masterpiece,” even if the scent ultimately felt too feminine for him to feel comfortable wearing it. His review reads, in part, as follows:

Tardes defines beauty in feminine fragrance for me. It starts with intoxicating Bulgarian rose, geranium and almond, which possess a very sheer quality. As notes, rose and almond can be very heavy and sweet. As they are used here, however, they recreate the environment around almond trees in a rose field. [¶] Tardes sweetens up a little with notes of plum, tonka beans and musk, however, the overall composition remains determinately floral.  […][¶]

Tardes evokes emotions of happiness and feel-good mood. It achieves it without trying too hard and without being cliche or tacky. It is nonchalant, not boastful about it. It is as casual as a late afternoon stroll down the main street of a small seaside village. The warm air is cooled by a soft breeze and the only way you can feel in that moment is content and full of exciting expectations for the evening to come – great food and wine with friends and family. Absolutely gorgeous. Congratulations, Sara Carner, you have created a masterpiece.

Photo: TheCozyApron.com. (For a recipe for grilled cinnamon plums with honey and marscapone vanilla, click on the photo. Website link is embedded within.)

Photo: TheCozyApron.com. (For a recipe for grilled cinnamon plums with honey and marscapone vanilla, click on the photo. Website link is embedded within.)

For another blogger, Tardes was a soft gourmand that evoked a reflective evening in the countryside. Birgit of Olfactoria’s Travels has a lovely review which also has a useful comparison to other almond or heliotrope fragrances from brands like Serge Lutens, Etro, and Guerlain. She writes, in part:

Tardes opens sweet and softly woody. Almond is prominent, but it is light and airy, like some kind of whipped almond and plum cream dessert (Cooks and pastry chefs, please chime in, whether there is such a thing!) The geranium makes itself felt later on, bringing a slightly green, cool note to this gourmand festival. Musk, tonka bean and heliotrope build the seemingly edible backbone of this perfume that never veers off into total food territory though, thanks to the geranium, which adds a detached, masculine element and cuts into the dessert fantasy in a most pleasing way.

Tardes is a gourmand scent, an evening scent, a perfume that does not go unnoticed and is unusual. There are perfumes that come to mind like [Serge Lutens’] Louve, as I said previously, or Etro Heliotrope, even Guerlain Aprés l’Ondée, but I like it better than all of those heliotrope-centered perfumes. (Well, not better than Apres l’Ondée, but that has more going on than the gourmand aspect I’m referring to here.) Strangely, what Tardes shares with the Guerlain is its melancholy facet. I get still and introspective when wearing it. […]

"Pink & Green Tree Painting by Artist Louise Mead." Source: ebsqart.com. (Website link embedded within photo.)

“Pink & Green Tree Painting by Artist Louise Mead.” Source: ebsqart.com. (Website link embedded within photo.)

My experience seems to be a third version as compared to that recounted by the two other bloggers. Like Scent Bound, I had a distinctly floral fragrance with roses which eventually turned into a heliotrope and tonka scent like that described by Olfactoria’s Travels. Yet, my heliotrope was primarily floral in nature, not hugely almondy, and it was slightly too woody or dry to be a true gourmand fragrance (at least by my definition of “gourmand.”) Plus, I had a heavily boozy, liqueured and fruity opening, which differs quite distinctly from both their accounts.

I don’t know what version will turn up on your skin, but I definitely encourage you to try Tardes if any of the descriptions quoted or described here sound appealing. Plus, Tardes is reasonably priced by the admittedly skewed standards of the niche world. A 50 ml bottle costs $130, €90, or £81. They’re not giving it away, but anything around $100 is practically the new “free” in today’s world of insane perfume prices. (I’m trying to decide if I should review a fragrance next week that costs $1,150. Some of you may throw a shoe at me….)

The bottom line for Tardes is that you should give it a sniff if you enjoy almond-vanilla-mousse, floral heliotrope with tonka, fruited booziness, or quasi-gourmands with a touch of deep, lush rose and some woodiness. I think it’s very appealing.

DETAILS:
Cost & Availability: Tardes is an eau de parfum that comes in two sizes. There is a 50 ml bottle which costs $130, €90, or £81; and a 100 ml bottle that costs $195, €135, or £122. In the U.S.: I found Tardes at Parfum1 and the Twisted Lily (which is currently sold out of the 100 ml size). Carner Barcelona is carried by NY’s Osswald, but they are sold out of Tardes in both sizes at the time of this post on June 15th. (Osswald takes down a perfume’s listing when it is sold out, then puts it back up when more stock comes in.) Amazon has Tardes in both sizes, with the 50 ml at a little below the $120 retail price and sold by a 3rd party vendor. Outside the U.S.: In Canada, Tardes is sold at Masc. The Carner Barcelona line is also available on the Canadian website of The Perfume Shoppe, but, strangely, is not listed on their main U.S. website. In Europe, you can purchase Tardes directly from Carner Barcelona. In the U.K., it is available at Roullier White in the 50 ml size, and at Bloom Perfumery in both sizes. For the rest of Europe, Carner Barcelona is carried by Essenza Nobile and First in Fragrance, both of which ship worldwide. In the Netherlands, ParfuMaria has Tardes in both sizes. Carner Barcelona is also carried at Parfumswinkel. In Paris, you can find the line at Sens Unique, while in Barcelona, Cosmeticoh! is one of the many Spanish stores. In Romania, Tardes is sold at Madison Perfumery which ships throughout the EU. In Russia, Rive Gauche is listed as a seller. In the Middle East, the Paris Gallery is said to have Carner Barcelona, but I can’t see it on their website. For all other countries, including many more U.S. stores, and European retailers ranging from Sweden to Italy and Poland, as well as vendors elsewhere in the Middle East, you can use the company’s Store Locator listing. Samples: Many of the sites linked here sell samples, including Parfum1. Surrender to Chance has Tardes starting at $5.99 for a 1/2 ml vial. Osswald’s Sample Program generally offers a larger amount than most places with 2 ml vials. They have a 3-order minimum, but free domestic shipping. Pricing depends on the cost of the perfume in question. Since Tardes costs less than $200, a 2 ml spray sample should be $3, but, as noted above, Osswald is currently sold out. You can call them at (212) 625-3111 to see when they will receive more in stock, or check their website at a later date.

38 thoughts on “Carner Barcelona Tardes

  1. Your review made lots of things clear to me (thank you, Franz, as always – if I may call you by first name 😉 ). I smelled Tardes accidentally, during a lazy stroll in town, having no idea about its notes, whatsoever. I enjoyed it very much and intended to get a decant, or the small bottle. Then I got crazy about other things, but Tardes kept lingering in my brain again and again. Now I know why : due to tonka and almond – two of my favorite ingredients in parfum. So it goes…

    • Ha, at the “Franz.” *grin* You’re another heliotrope fan, I know, so I think you definitely need to get a decant of this one. What’s odd is how different the heliotrope was on me than, say, Guerlain’s Cuir Beluga. That was all delicious marzipan or pate d’amandes on me, with a good dose of vanilla meringue. I actually enjoy the fact that it’s more floral heliotrope here on me, as it’s a nice change.

      So, how does one “accidentally” smell Tardes on a stroll? LOL. Did some person smell so fantastic that you followed them and asked what they were wearing? If so, I love it when that happens. My experiences in my neck of the woods, however, usually involve someone smelling “fresh, clean” and with painfully synthetic, thin florals.

      • Haha, no, I didn’t follow a gourmand-loving gentleman on his scent trail (unfortunately). I had a day off, enjoyed having no schedule or appointment, walked by a parfum shop and went in : sniffed some unremarkable things – plus Tardes 🙂
        It happens often with me, since I travel a lot for business and if I have spare time I simply go sniffing (I found 777 on this way – accidentally 😉 )

      • Wait, what??! You’re going to blind buy??!!!!! Haha, well, if there was a fragrance that would be quite a safe bet for you with your particular tastes, I think it would be this one. 🙂 You’ll have to let me know what you think. Fingers crossed that you love it as much as I hope/think you will.

    • I’m so glad, Vicki. Honestly, this one has your name written ALL over it, even if you only get heliotrope, almond, vanilla mousse that a number of people describe. (But I so hope you get some of my fruity-boozy notes, even if it’s just the plum!)

  2. Wowzer, another lemming. You are sending me to the poorhouse so yes, I will judge you if you review a $1,150 perfume! If I happen to find a more expensive per mL perfume, will you review it?

    Back to Tardes, I seem to recall smelling through the entire line at Osswald last year but perhaps they were out of stock then too. Great review!

    • I think you’ll like the heliotrope-vanilla aspects, as that was a part of Guerlain’s Cuir Beluga that I recall you enjoying very much.

      As for sending you the poorhouse, ha, we’re talking about “O Hira,” aren’t we? 😀 You have to let me know what you think of it, btw, when you get the chance. Regarding a fragrance more expensive than $1,150, be happy that I’m not covering Roja Dove’s $4,500 one!! 😀 But if you happen to find something crazily expensive and send me a sample, I’ll review it. I’m just not paying for the sample. LOL! 😉

  3. I like Tardes a lot, but what you get from it sounds much more appealing…on my skin it’s a beautiful heliotrope-almond-musk-mix with plum and after about an hour I get tonka and woods. Unfortunately, no “drunken, brandy rose” (sounds delicious!) and no geranium. The tinge of celery is something I don’t know wheter I can really smell it or imagine it after reading that it’s supposed to be in there.
    So, to me, it’s close to L’Instant Magic plus heliotrop minus anise. Do you like L’Instant Magic?

    • What a shame that you don’t get any “drunken, brandy rose.” So no rose at all and no geranium, but is it mainly tonka vanilla and woods on you for almost the entire time (after the first hour)? Do you like it as a whole and are happy with it even as it is on your skin?

      As for Guerlain’s L’Instant Magic, I’m afraid I haven’t tried it. I have an old 2006 bottle of L’Instant (regular) that someone gave me as a gift, but I haven’t sniffed the flanker.

      • Yes, it’s mainly heliotrope, almonds, musk, a plummy note and later on comes tonka and woods. I get two phases, I like and enjoy Tardes but wouldn’t buy a full bottle.

  4. Dearest Kafka
    Now… if there really were to be a fragrance that was alcoholic plum pudding eaten in a shower of decadent rose petals, then that would be one for me. Especially if a June superfluity of geraniums were to be spotted in the corner.
    Tardes, sounds most interesting, as The Dandy’s even known to like a little inappropriate celery in a scent (cf. Yatagan).
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    • I don’t know if you’d enjoy it, my darling Dandy, because I know your skin amplifies sweetness and that you’re not fond of gourmand fragrances. I can’t see Tardes as being your thing given how so many other people describe it. A few people have said that Tardes is too sweet for their tastes and wholly gourmand in nature. And, unfortunately, I haven’t seen anyone talking about any boozy notes, though people do reference either the plum, the fruitiness, and/or the roses. (For the blogger Scent Bound, even the geranium as well). I don’t know what version you’d get on your skin, but I hope you give Tardes a sniff the next time that you’re in Roullier White, and let me know.

      BTW, I’ve missed you. A lot! I know things are keeping you very, very busy these days, but it’s so wonderful to see your face. I can’t tell you how happy that made me!

      • Dearest Kafka
        Perhaps, on reflection the sweetness would be too much for me!
        I am always more excited by the idea of pudding at Christmas than the thing itself…
        It is wonderful to be back and commenting. I have been reading from afar, but have only so many keyboard strokes in my hands.
        Its always a joy to be transported and tempted though, and yes, Roullier White really isn’t that far away.
        Until we talk, soon I hope.
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

    • Awww, you’re so kind, and that was really lovely to hear. Thank you so much! I hope you have a great Sunday. 🙂

  5. Sounds yummy! I love almond, meringue, heliotrope, tonka and rose. Will give it a sniff as soon as I get a chance. 🙂 Going to put on some L’Eau d’Hiver right now in fact – or maybe some Mon Précieux Nectar, which is my latest almond obsession.

    • Oh, I’ve heard lovely things about the Guerlain fragrance!! Is it more almond-y and heliotrope-based than Guerlain’s Cuir Beluga? The latter was very much marzipan and delicious almond-vanilla meringue on me. (NO leather!)

      BTW, I didn’t know that you liked those notes, so I’m glad you told me. I’ll add it to my mental rolodex catalog of your tastes, my dear. 🙂

      • The Mon Précieux Nectar has orange blossom and is quite different from Cuir Béluga, which I find heavier and more gourmand. MPN is more floral and airy, with that sweet almond heliotrope background. You should give it a try!

        • Ohhhhhh, orange blossoms as well!! I just put in a big STC order last night, but the very next one will include MPN. Thank you so much for the suggestion and description, Tara!

  6. dear kafka,
    lovely review! i always especially enjoy it when you review gourmands, because the images you select are so enticing 😉 this sounds like a must-try for me; boozy florals layered over a gourmand base? i’m there. perversely, i’ve been craving heavier scents more in the intense heat…

    on another note, your profumum roma reviews are coming in handy for me, because a friend of mine will be visiting me from italy and bringing me some of their travel sprays. (by the way, a 20ml profumum travel spray costs 45 euros in italy – not particularly cheap, but usually smaller sizes are hugely marked up per ML compared to the giant sizes, so i am pleasantly surprised.) i have tried acqua di sale and adored it, and found your review for it very accurate in terms of how it smelled on my skin, so i am using your other reviews as a guideline! 😀

    • I think a number of heavy fragrances do quite well in the heat. It makes them bloom. For example, Coromandel is stunning, imo, in the summers! 🙂

      As for the Acqua di Sale, it’s great, isn’t it? And how super that your friend can bring you the travel sprays for such a good price. I think they’re like €60 elsewhere in Europe, so €45 is much better! I hope you find a few more from the line that you love.

  7. One of my favorites. This was a treat to myself to get me through the last few weeks of my dissertation so I will always remember it fondly for that. My favorite part is actually the celery, which is kind of prominent on me. That might sound disgusting, but it’s amazing!

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  9. Thank you for this great review. I went to my local scent boutique here in Arnhem N.L. and sniffed it on my own skin. I bought it for my daughter who has her birthday on Christmas day. So will suprise her with this gem of a perfume.
    BTW while I was at it I bought the Garner Cuirs for myself which I love too

    • You’re very welcome, Jock. What lead you to pick a heliotrope fragrance as something to seek out for sniffing? It seems a little outside your normal scope of things. LOL. 😉 I’m still hoping that you’ll try Rudis from Nobile 1942, as it has such a wide range of alcohol notes from Scotch to wine and a few other things. In terms of Tardes, I hope your daughter loves it, and think she probably will, because it really is a lovely scent. Enjoy your Cuirs, Jock, but do look for Nobile’s Rudis if you can.

      • I will try Rudis if its available round my way. My local perfume store has Nobile and I have their Patchouli allready.
        As for trying out the Tardes. I wanted something I thought my daughter would like and so after searching your blog decided to try this one for her and I thought she would like it. And when I smelled the Cuirs, I was delighted. Very old school manly smell to Cuirs and just had to get it for myself. This time of year I work 80 to 100 hours a week and I just need to reward myself sometimes with something special. The Carner Cuirs was at first like Aramis, but then it changed and like yourself I have a scent consuming skin type. But the Cuirs lasts real long on me.
        The Tardes will be a big hit for my daughter. She lives far away and I dont get to see her as often as I would like. So hope to spoil her on her birthday which is on Christmas day, of all things

        • You’re such a sweet father, and your daughter is a lucky devil. Some Christmas birthday babies tend to miss out as their birthday gets subsumed into the general holiday, but it sounds like your daughter won’t be one of them and is going to be spoiled in a lovely way. 🙂 As for you, I’m glad you pampered yourself a little, given how hectic work is for you at this time of your. Enjoy your Carner Cuirs and Marly Lipizaner, Jock. Cheers!

  10. Sorry. I just said that Cuirs reminded me of Aramis. But I was confusing it with another scent I just aquired. And that is Parfums de Marly Lipizaner.
    I do have the Cuirs but bought it on the same day as the Marly. Mixed them up in my head.
    I just ordered the Nobile Rudis. It will not be delivered till January. Could have git it quicker via a webshop but I dislike webshops which imo destroy a nice market and nice quirky shops

    • Yay for the Rudis! I think you’ll really like it. Fingers crossed that you do. (Now I’m getting all paranoid and worrying. lol) I hope you’ll let me know when you receive it, Jock. And Happy Holidays to you and your family.

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  12. A comment three years later… ; )
    I just discovered this scent, and I am blown away by its perception on my skin.
    It seems to smell quite different on everybody (which makes a good perfume, to me at least).

    It is special to me, because I have a sweeter experience at first (which I am not particularly fond of usually, I shy away from too “gourmand” scents, they often leave me overwhelmed) but I really do enjoy this. And with Tardes it is different, because it “moves” so much in the first hour – at least on my skin.
    Tardes has something I have seldom experienced in a scent: a delicious aroma (described enough by others), but something fresh later on at the same time. Yes, fresh (not clean). It seems like some of these pictures, in which two different impressions switch back and forth.

    It left me puzzled and curious. Is it too “sweet”? No. Definitely not too fresh either! Instead, it developed a seldom experienced balance of Heliotrope and Geranium, Tonka of course, and something else too, that I cannot make out, something vivid and cooler. I do not smell Celery, as some people noted, not at all. On me, it is warm, soft, powerful and fresh at the same time.

    The feeling it leaves me with is aroused, energized, comforted and soothed – but not indifferent at all. As I said: it left me puzzled. But I very much enjoy this contradiction. Not many perfumes have done this for/on me.

    A very unusual and enjoyable scent (in my perception) and I will buy it.

    And I very much enjoyed your great review, Franz! Thank you.

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