“Sacred wood” steeped in mysticism, and coveted by shamen over the centuries for its ability to protect and purify through its aromatic, earthy, incense, and woody aromas — that’s how the Spanish niche brand, Carner Barcelona, describes the heart of its newest fragrance, Palo Santo. My experience, however, never once evoked images of spiritual shamen purifying the world through mystical, smoky woods. Instead, I was taken back to childhood with memories of sweet treats and hot milk.
My list of favorite fragrances that I’ve tried this year is quite different from yesterday’s list of the best new releases of 2014. The latter centered largely on scents that I thought were good, very elegant or interesting representations of their genre, regardless of whether they were my personal cup of tea, and they were only things that debuted in 2014. Today’s list is purely about what I really enjoyed and does not consider the date in release at all. So, this time around, there are very few qualifications and caveats, and the vast majority of these fragrances are things that I bought for myself, am thinking about buying, or would love to buy were their price not a consideration.
You will notice that a good number of the fragrances are not complex masterpieces at all, but quite simple in nature. One reason for that is that I love cozy, comfort scents, and they are generally not very nuanced or multifaceted to begin with. Plus, mindlessly simple but really well-done fragrances that combine richness with soothing warmth are, in all honesty, a huge relief to me after a long day where I do nothing but analyse every nuance and change in a scent for hours (upon hours) on end.
A few other points. As always, I have to repeat my mantra regarding the subjective, personal nature of reviewing in general, and how a list like this is even doubly so. With regard to the rankings, it’s always an utter nightmare, but the Top Ten chosen here are generally quite firm in order. There is a bit more leeway with the next 10 names, as a tiny handful could go up or down one to two places of where they are at the present time. I’m most undecided about the placement of the last 10 which are the most subject to fluctuations in order. One reason why is because perfumistas are a fickle bunch who can change their mind from one month to the next, and I’m no exception. The other reason is that I’ve gone back and forth on a few scents, switching their places repeatedly until I just gave up in the end. So, for now, this is where things are, for the most part. Finally, you will notice that some of my summary descriptions are verbatim from my list of best, new releases of 2014 or from my mid-2014 best or favorites list. My apologies in advance. Covering almost 60 fragrances in two days is rather an exhausting process, so I hope you will forgive me.
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. Continue reading