Carner Barcelona is a classical and sophisticated fragrance house that oozes a quiet elegance and luxurious aura. In aiming to capture the spirit and essence of the magnificent city of Barcelona in their scents they have brought us some really solid perfumes such as Palo Santo, Tardes, Latin Loverand Besos, which we have previously reviewed. Carner’s fragrances are conceived by well known experts from around the world, but manufactured entirely in Barcelona.
The Sweet William scent itself opens with a rich, powdery chorus of top notes. There’s a lemony citrus nuance in there, vast plumes of white pepper, and iris which gives the whole scent that beautiful, slightly nostalgic vibe. The iris and the pepper play off against each other beautifully. It’s almost as if the perfumer wanted to evoke that tension between raw passion and a more old-fashioned true love embodied in smell. It has to be said that at the start, the passion wins out. The perfume is full of spicy energy and va-va-voom.
The top notes of the perfume also reminded us of the scent of old make-up which seems to be so popular at the moment. It has that vibe of powder and rouge that cosmetics don’t smell of any more, but which we can recall from the scent of our mother’s and even grandmother’s face powders and lipsticks. It doesn’t last forever, so don’t be put off if that isn’t your thing, but it has a comforting feel about it under all that unbridled energy.
In the top of Sweet William, there is also something which we might describe as a gentle incense nuance. It’s not acrid and hard like incense can be, but instead offers a slightly smokey, slightly sweet feel to the perfume without it taking over. It’s that play between spicy and sweet, floral and woody that we are getting at here. The facets chime against each other and the balance of the scent is beautiful. You’re left wondering which facet will win out as the scent ages. It’s always a lovely experience when a scent keeps you guessing and doesn’t emerge in a predictable way. We found that this really was the case with Sweet William.