We look across the whole of the Beso Beach brand and find beachy scents which aren’t quite what you might expect.
Beso Beach are a newish brand who’s whole schtick is about making scents which evoke and reference the culture of hot coastal resorts, but in a classy way. Well, that’s the hope at least.
It’s perhaps fair to call Beso Beach a destination brand rather than just a perfume brand, as a quick look at their slightly confusing website will give you a host of information on the Beso Beach destinations rather than just the scents. That said, they’re stocked alongside big sister brand, Carner Barcelona, in great perfume houses and there’s pedigree in this particular line. Their whole ethos is formed around wanting visitors to this part of paradise to be able to take a piece of that home with them in the form of a fragrance.
There are three fragrances in the line-up at the moment: Beso Canalla, Bendito Beso and Beso Negro.
Listed notes: Lavender, neroli, bigarade, bergamot, safran, heliotrope, caramel, cistus, sandalwood, patchouli, amber.
Beso Canalla starts out with a lovely tango between the calming, twiggy lavender and the brighter citrusy-yet-almost-medicinal notes. The lavender is beautiful, bang up to date and smelling nothing like grandma’s toilet water from back in the day. But nor does it smell entirely like the hyper-masculine lavender colognes either, the sort of scents we might imagine Brigadier Generals splashing on after they’ve waxed their moustaches. Somehow it manages to balance and combine elements of both these traditions and comes out smelling new and relevant.
The citrusy note from the sprightly neroli, bigarde and bergamot zing around like a cloud of tropical mosquitos but they are cemented and restrained, ultimately, by the woodier facets of the neroli and sandalwood. The respective woodiness of both the lavender and the neroli ends up what being unites them as the perfume wears and warms. Indeed, what starts out as an almost brown, twiggy, herbal scent smooths and relaxes as it goes along. The sweetness of the caramel sugars and amber creeps in beautifully, at the end of an inhale, and adds a luxurious smoothness. By the time the scent has been on skin for an hour or more, it has been burnished and refined.
Beso Canalla was our favourite from the line because of its ability to marry such different vibes within the scent. It didn’t feel massively ‘beachy’ to us, but it would be an elegant office fragrance that would work well in a variety of everyday situations, from board meeting to date night.
This fragrance leans ever so slightly towards the more feminine end of the spectrum, but is totally applicable to all genders wanting an interesting woody scent. On the Beso Beach website it’s described as a gourmand, but we would more firmly put this in the woody camp. On our testers at least the gourmandy caramel notes are way in the background.
Listed notes: Hedione, neroli water, bergamot, cascalone, orange blossom, paradisone, musks, cedar wood, atlas, heliotrope, fir balsam
Of all the scents from the Beso Beach line, Bendito Beso felt likely to be the most polarising. It opens with a very vibrant, salty, fresh vibe. If we’d been told that we were inhaling sea air that had been bottled we would have believed you. It smells like a rather bracing walk on a Scottish beach just moments before the warmth of the sun breaks out from behind a cloud. There’s fir in there, an extreme saltiness, wetness and a murky mustiness. Bendito Beso feels like the slightly-more-affable cousin of Fillipo Scorchinelli’s Nebbia line (see our review of Nebbia Spessa if you aren’t familiar with the that trio of scents).
There’s a cool aloofness in Bendito Beso and a salty vibe which is, at times, so pungent you can almost taste it. Of the Beso Beach trio, this one feels like the most ‘beachy’ of all the fragrances, but this is a turbulent beach, one which has been washed clean following a storm.
Bendito Beso leans more towards the masculine, but of course, wear it whatever gender you identify with.
Listed notes: violet leaves, cardamom, greenery, violet, orris, cypriol, patchouli, Virginia cedar, ambrox, sandalwood, leather.
If one of the Beso Beach line is warm and smooth, and the other is cool and stormy, then Beso Negro sits nicely in the middle of them both. It opens with a rich dose of cardamon which is fragrant and spicy, woody and dry. A richer wood then starts to appear in the form of sandal and cedar, like freshly cut timber which is a little damp from a brief shower. We retain hints of greenery throughout the scent, like flecks of moss on a tree at the fringes of the beach.
The violet in Beso Negro isn’t overpowering, it doesn’t turn the scent into a boring we’ve-smelled-it-before floral, instead it adds the idea of a gentle sea breeze, a cool and fresh tone to the overall picture.
In the final phases of the scent, the leather comes through to a greater degree, and the whole fragrance takes a move away from the beach and into the leather goods store. It’s a pleasant, soft leather though, pliable and yet protective.
The highlight of Beso Negro was, for us, in the interplay between the warmth and coolness in the fragrance; it shifts and changes as the scent wears and depending on the wearer’s skin. We could see the appeal of this scent to people of all genders.
It’s a bit unfair to pigeon hole these scents as beachy. In a way they are, but they are also possessed of a greater degree of complexity and sophistication than this term might convey. Don’t come to this line expecting suncream and flirtatiousness, whatever their website says. Those things might be there but they aren’t presented in a tawdry, obvious way. This is Ibiza for sexy grown-ups rather than horny teenagers and the scents themselves will translate well to everyday life.
With regards to taking a slice of your holiday home, we’d suggest wearing one of these scents exclusively whilst you are on holiday. That way, when you return to the real world, you can use the fragrance to conjour up delightful, sunny memories on even the drizzliest Yorkshire day.
The Beso Beach fragrances are available from Bloom Perfumery London, who very kindly provided us with no-strings-attached samples of these scents to try. All the scents are priced at £145 for 100ml EdP.