Comme des Garcons Carnation : Fragrance Review



Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

The fragrance attempts to capture the spicy bite of carnation and its sweetness by combining red pepper, cloves and rose, a fairly traditional ensemble. Unlike most carnation fragrances, Comme des Garçons Carnation lacks the characteristic powderiness, instead being heavy on a honeyed spicy chord, which takes the carnation warmth a notch too high. In fact, it is not too far from sweeping into the rose sweetness, without characteristic bite the carnation offers. Thus, if someone is looking for a true dianthus peppery warmth, Carnation is too sweet and too heavy on rose to be a decent representation.

Unlike many other floral notes, carnation lends strength and warmth to oriental and floral compositions without either compromising the delicacy of floral accords or rendering them too sentimental. Given the high cost of carnation absolute, I know of very few fragrances (JAR Golconda being among them) that employ the natural essence. Far more common are the carnation aromachemicals like eugenol, isoeugenol and eugenyl, among which eugenol and isoeugenol are considered to be allergenic.

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  • KS: Hi Victoria: I’ve tried my hand TWICE at getting a sample of CdG “Harissa” — each time I’ve been sent “Carnation!” (Many sample vials must have been filled incorrectly.) So, though Harissa is still a mystery, Carnation has been tried. On me this was unpleasant, harsh, and a very false carnation. I got only a slight fizz/brightness on impact with skin…followed by a “note” that ‘screeched’ all the live-long day with an annoying sameness. NOW…if THIS perfume had a voice it would be Lily Pons on a bad day (apologies to all Lily Pons fans). Kevin June 22, 2005 at 11:21am Reply

  • Victoria: Kevin, I agree it is just too sweet, hardly a good carnation rendition. However, the top notes were very nice, which is why I decided to explore more carnation fragrances to find something that captured the sweet spicy bite of the flower. I am just not a fan of anything from CdG leaves, etc. ranges, other than perhaps CdG Avignon. June 22, 2005 at 1:33pm Reply

  • Liz smellslikeleaves: In general, I have very little tolerance for powder, so I was surprised and delighted with CdG’s green, peppery carnation. It actually caused me to reconsider the flower entirely, and seek out other carnation fragrances. I find it quite fresh and lovely, although I prefer the richer, spicier, more complex Floris Malmaison and LV Garofano, and the soft, ladylike L’artisan Oeillet Sauvage. June 22, 2005 at 2:08pm Reply

  • Victoria: I am still baffled by L’Artisan’s decision to leave Verte Violette and discontinue Oeillet Sauvage, which was the most interesting of the three. June 22, 2005 at 2:18pm Reply

  • Liz smellslikeleaves: I’m confused about the Oeillet Sauvage discontinuation. The SoHo L’artisan boutique recently acquired new bottles. The manager of the store, Emmanuelle, said that it’s not discontinued, and they will continue to stock bottles. But apparently there are other sources citing its discontinuation. Puzzling indeed. In any case, I agree with you that it’s the best of that flower trio, although I like Verte Violette as well. June 22, 2005 at 3:25pm Reply

  • Victoria: I am not sure what is the situation now, but in the winter the manager from one of L’Artisan boutiques in Paris said that Jacinthe de Bois den Oeillet Sauvage are discontinued, while Verte Violette will join the permanent collection. L’Artisan has changed its plans before, therefore if it is not discontinued in the end, I am not surprised. June 22, 2005 at 3:39pm Reply

  • oeillet: Oeillet Sauvage is most definitely NOT being discontinued. It is listed in the latest catalogue and is now sold in the traditional L’Artisan bottle. June 26, 2005 at 10:30pm Reply

  • Liz: The English perfume house Floris has a beautiful, spicy carnation fragrance, called Mal de Maison. It is difficult but not impossible to get. The original perfumery still operates from the London premisis.
    Caron has BellogiA ( not Bellogio) which is also uplifting but not as spicy. I hate sweet perfumes.
    I wear Bandit, Miss Dior, Coriander, Montana and Cabochard. If these are your “cup of tea” try the Floris October 23, 2006 at 2:26am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: I love Caron Bellodgia–beautiful fragrance. October 25, 2006 at 12:00am Reply

  • Chris Sheppard: Floris has a great site out of the UK, March 6, 2007 at 11:04am Reply

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