Perfume Reviews

Neutral Reviews of Botafumeiro by Carner Barcelona

Total Reviews: 1
Botafumeiro is named for the massive censer in Santiago de Compostela Cathedral that takes several men to swing. But naming a perfume this and then omitting to put any frankincense and myrrh in it is like advertising a vegan restaurant with pictures of rotisserie chicken.

Botafumeiro is a rather plain benzoin-patch-labdanum combo that’s been teased and tickled until curlicues of sugar and smoke materialize at the edges. Benzoin has been called in to do all the heavy lifting - you’re essentially paying niche prices to see benzoin strut its natural stuff. Benzoin is one of those raw materials that is so subtly complex that you can just massage it in, leave it to its own devices, and it will always smell like you’ve done a lot more than you have.

I love benzoin. It can smell like brown paper, cassonade, coffee, the pages of an old book, burnt sugar, cinnamon, and Communion wafers. All those facets come out to play here, but keep in mind that the natural spectrum of benzoin runs a narrow path between buff and brown. It’s gorgeous, but there are no peaks and valleys to it. Past the initial burnt sugar rush, the scent’s main building block is coaxed into a faint incense shape and darkened with a brown-butter combination of nutmeg, patchouli, and a rather chemically dry aromachemical (Mystikal) in the base.

It smells good, but then again, benzoin itself smells good. Therefore, though undeniably likeable, Botafumeiro doesn’t deliver the goods I expect from a high-priced niche scent. It doesn't smell like an awful lot of effort went into it.
22nd May, 2020