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June 22, 2005

Fragrance Review: Carnation by Comme des Garcons


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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