Retrospective: On the road with Carbone de Balmain

As you may remember from my earlier post on Carbone de Balmain, I chose it as my “travel to Texas” scent. We packed all our worldly goods into a U-Haul in Oregon, then hit the road for… Hotter pastures.

I wanted to select just one fragrance for the whole trip, since on the emotional side, that fragrance would forever be associated with the trip, and on the physical side, which ever fragrance won the honor would be subjected to untold horrors: baking sun, heat, humidity, being thrown into the bottom of a huge purse, tossed around hotel rooms… While the rest of the collection would be nestled safely in a giant cooler in the back of the moving truck.

The travel scent needed to be something that would work well in a small, enclosed space. It had to be something interesting, but highly wearable. Carbone de Balmain, I can affirm, fit the bill perfectly.

When the bottle accidentally got left too close to a hot spot in the truck, and became over-heated to the point that the bottle was physically sizzling to the touch, I sprayed to see if the juice had survived: the heat really brought out the pepper note! It cooled off (and I was much more careful after that lesson), and returned to the familiar scratchy-weird-vanilla that’s won me over.

Mr. Howe and I both wore it through the whole trip, and it never felt overwhelming, or became boring. Would I liked to have stopped at various shopping venues along the way to score a bottle of the new 19? Yes. But I never had that over whelming feeling of “I need something different, NOW.” Through the heat, the air-conditioning, the truck, and the hotels, CdB held it’s own nicely.

Worth $50, and another un-sniffed purchase victory!

13 thoughts on “Retrospective: On the road with Carbone de Balmain

  1. The first moment when I saw the picture I re-checked the date thinking that maybe you decided to mention on Twitter one of your older posts… And only after seeing today’s date I realized that I just remember that picture from the time right agter your move, but it wasn’t on the post about the perfume.

    It sounds like a tough and very very versatile perfume. I’ll need to try it some day.

    Cho is such a beauty!

    1. You have a good memory Undina! It’s true, I used that image before, but the only other ones from the trip weren’t as good, and I figured no one would remember it, lol! 😉

      When we spend so much time worrying about the careful storage of perfume, of protecting it and keeping it out of light and heat, I thought it warranted a follow-up post to tell you all about CdB’s survivalist nature. This bottle went through HELL. I mean, the stuff was practically boiling, and it’s no worse for wear. That’s something! 🙂

      If I can ever get my lazy self to the post office, I’ll send you some.

    1. Ines, Carbone is such an easy-to-like fragrance, I think you can’t go wrong. And, if I remember correctly, you wear masculine leaning fragrances really well, don’t you?

      If you don’t mind waiting until the end of time to get it, send me your address, and I’ll decant you a big sample 🙂

  2. How great that your choice worked out so well! It must have been a tricky decision and you could have so easily regreted it.

    That was such a clever idea to stick to one perfume, dee. Now you have the memories of that trip saved in a bottle. And it was such a bargain too!

    1. It’s true! That trip is saved in a bottle, and looking back on it, it was a great trip, and a great perfume 🙂

      FYI, yours has been decanted and in an envelope for weeks, I just haven’t managed to get it to the USPS… *embarrassed grin*

  3. I agree with Tara, it was very clever to have your trip in a bottle now. And it was obviously the right one. You have good instincts when it comes to buying unsniffed. I love that thrill from time to time as well, and as long as there is not too much money involved, I won’t stop doing it. 😉

    1. It was the right one, for sure–just enough, but never too much 🙂

      I promised that I wouldn’t do any more unsniffed purchases, but they always work out so well! The combination of knowing the perfumer, the notes, and the house behind the project is helpful–Lorson is a favorite (POIVRE!), and Balmain is really a solid perfume brand. But you’re right–as long as there isn’t too much money involved, I can’t stop doing it!! 😉

    1. Tommy, Cho sends her thanks!

      It was a fun idea—I should do an experiment and spray it around the house, and see if my husband is reminded of the trip… that will be a good test to see if it was really effective 😉


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