WHAT I SMELL: Palo Santo opens with a milky coconut, boozy rum accord. It’s sugared without being sweet, but it crackles with a wonderful gourmand and slightly earthy goodness. The sugared aspect begins to retreat as the perfume starts to become a bit more woody. Add on top of that a light burnt hue as if the woods and rum have attracted a lit fire which singed the sweetened wood. The guaiac wood starts to become prominent as it begins to dominate the perfume. Thankfully, the guaiac is tempered quickly by the addition of a woody vetiver which helps to bring the perfume into a more sharpened tonality. After around 30 minutes or so, the perfume begins to blend with hints of incense and tonka bean sitting on top of a woody base that is full of cream. Palo Santo is at first rather big, bold and in charge, but with a rather sweet demeanor. In the end, all those elements are still there, but they settle down to more of a whisper.
From the Carner Barcelona website:
A ‘’sacred wood’’ steeped in magic and mysticism for thousands of years, releases an enchanting aromatic essence that swirls to life in a spellbinding blend that infuses earthy hints of wood and incense.
Coveted by shamans for centuries, it is believed that this spiritual wood has the power to protect and usher in good fortune. A faint misting will cleanse the mood and raise spirits, invoking the true purifying virtues of Palo Santo
top notes: Indian Davana, Rum Accord
mid notes: Warm Milk, Paraguayan Guaiacum Wood, Venezuelan Tonka Bean
base notes: Moroccan Cedar Wood, Vetyver from Haiti, Dominican Republican Amyris
WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: Don’t ask me why, but for some reason this brings to mind a very happy and content brown bear.
THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE PALO SANTO: milky, calming, peaceful
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT PALO SANTO: Chemist in the Bottle, Colognoisseur, Kafkaesque
BOTTOM LINE: Palo Santo is smooth and creamy and full of guaiac wood which unfortunately never seems to work on my skin. However, if you do like guaiac wood…this might just be a good fit as it softens to a nice woody glow in the end.
- Bone Rating: 3 out of possible 5 bones
- Scent: Woody
- Classification: Unisex
- Expense: $130 for 50 ml eau de parfum. Available at Twisted Lily Fragrance Boutique and Apothecary.
October 28, 2015 at 6:35 am
I am amused that you would even think of a happy and contented brown bear, hehe. If I think of a bear I immediately think of hikers coming a cropper in the woods following a chance encounter with a furry predator.
This perf wouldn’t be for me on account of the davana and the rum, I sense, but I am a big fan of the house!
October 28, 2015 at 6:02 pm
I am a big fan of Carner as well….but that pesky guaiac wood is a hard one for me. Although I have to say it is used in the best sense with this. You don’t find bears cuddly? 🙂
October 28, 2015 at 9:48 am
Great review! While I love Carner Barcelona generally I am not a guiac wood fan so I’ll pass on this one. Love the bear!
October 28, 2015 at 6:03 pm
Thanks Ricky…I rather like that content bear as well. He’s all ready to chill out for the winter. I wish I could hibernate until next Spring too!
October 31, 2015 at 3:37 pm
Lovely bear, S ! Carner Tardes is one of my favorite summer fragrances to relax, must try Palo Santo. Love the scent of the real burning Palo Santo wood. PSorry to read gaiac does not work too Well on your skin. It is one of my favorite woody notes together with sandelwood.
November 1, 2015 at 7:13 am
E – If you love gaiac then you’ll like this. It has a wonderfully smooth interpretation of the note.
November 2, 2015 at 1:31 am
They look cute and kissable in photos, however in my back yard or at the end of my drive, not so cute, not even one thought of kissable comes to mind….LOL….once you catch their scent in the air, not so lovable comes to mind either….! LOL
November 2, 2015 at 4:56 am
I never thought about the gawd awful smell that comes with them. Being a city boy myself, I couldn’t imagine being that close to such big wildlife!
November 27, 2015 at 9:59 pm
I wish this brand had been better represented where I live: in my opinion, these perfumes (at least those that I’ve tried) are not of the type that you fall for from the first sniff/try but with at least several tries I could see getting one or two into the collection (for my vSO if not myself). But as much as I like guaiac wood, I’m not paying for the sample! 😉
(lovely bear picture 🙂 )
November 29, 2015 at 7:44 am
U – I like the brand and D600 is one of my favorites. Actually, it’s one of the few fragrances that I actually drained the bottle in less than a year.
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