A salty old seadog of a scent or a gentle holiday spent by the rock pool? Either way, the latest release from Carner Barcelona is continuing the theme of mineral saltiness which is permeating fragrance these days.
Bergamot, mandarin, seaweed, jasmine sambac, lily of the valley, orange blossom, sea grass, ambergris, cedar, musk.
If you’re anything like me then holidays are one of the things sorely missing from your life at the moment. The feel of hot sand on your feet, and the cool seawater between your toes, admiring crabs hiding in crevasses of rock pools and watching the waves lap against the shore. Perhaps understanding that there is a longing around holidays and vacation type scents, Carner Barcelona have come up with Rock Star, which may satisfy those of us suffering from some serious vacation blues.
Mineral accords that evoke a certain saltiness have been popping up in many fragrance creations lately and Rock Star continues that trend. It opens, at first, petal-fleshy and salty. It is quite light and expansive, but has the sultry throb of jasmine lurking under that saltiness. The petal floral aspect has that plumpness and is evocative of delicate but sumptuous white florals and the more mineral accords that accompany it are tangy, crystalline and dry in comparison.
Give it five minutes or so to properly settle and the citrusy notes come out more fully, but that salty tang remains. The citrus is juicy and orangey and for a while, with the citrus sitting next to the salt, you could almost be mistaken for thinking that this is the scent of some sort of salty soda pop.
Further into the composition, the jasmine comes back more fully but it really feels very holiday-evocative here. The gentle floral aspect has that perfumed quality of clean skin, speckled with salt crystals from a dip in the sea. It’s vaguely sultry and suggestive, but only a little – mostly it remains polite, hinting at more than it actually delivers.
The scent grows muskier along it’s journey which, given the overall feeling of the fragrance, can only be likened to falling in love on the first morning of a beach holiday, spending the day flirting over orange sodas as the sea laps at your feet, before finally disrobing and going for an evening swim together. The heart of Rock Star is the moment when you watch the sun set, shoulder to shoulder, as the breeze dries the salt on your sun kissed skin.
One of the things that lovers of salty mineral fragrances will enjoy about Rock Star is the way that the saltiness is retained throughout. What the seaweed starts in the top, sea salt continues in the heart and an ambergris type accord completes in the base. That means that the saltiness – or a form of it – is never far away, and it is the thread that draws the perfume from its beginning to its end.
In the latter phases of the wear of this fragrance it becomes creamier nudging the scent a little towards sun tan lotion, it becomes even more radiant and skin-like, with a noticeable deep, tangy mineral accord that provides the enduring salt water feel.
At the end of the wear, the white musk pops forward, beckoning you towards fresh, clean, hotel bedding and those feelings of clean but comforting crispness.
The other stuff
Rock Star is a delicate scent, even if you go heavy on the application. The sillage or projection of the scent doesn’t go much beyond hugging distance even with a generous spritz.
The longevity of the fragrance is also about as fleeting as holidays are, lasting around three hours – perhaps four maximum – following application.
Fresh, clean and mineral are the main take away messages of Rock Star.
Carner are a brand based in Barcelona, as you might have guessed, and the magnificent city inspires and infuses a lot of their fragrances. Sara and Joaquim Carner founded the brand in 2010 – so it’s been around for a while now – and they come from a line of artisan leather crafts people which has helped shape the way that they utilise the skills of local crafts people in the design and manufacture of their scents.
The Carner fragrances are presented in chunky but attractive blocky bottles with wooden caps. They lean towards that minimalist style but with a crisp elegance conferred by their straight, clean lines too.
My personal impression of the brand is that you can split the majority of their scents into two camps: strong, bold scents which you will either love or hate, and much lighter, easier, modern fragrances which will perhaps find wider appeal but less fervent adoration. Rock Star falls into this latter camp.
Rock Star is available from Bloom Perfumery London where it is priced at £140 for 100ml EdP, or £100 for 50ml.
We were very kindly gifted a no-strings-attached sample of this fragrance from Bloom, our thanks go to them.
Rock Star is also available from the Carner Barcelona web boutique.