COVID-19 has revived my love for perfumes and overall appreciation for having a functioning nose. This, and the bitter realization that a lot of my favorite perfumes have been discontinued, led me to a journey to find my new signature scent. Then one day I stumbled upon Carl & Claire, an Indonesian perfume brand, and suddenly I have so many of their products in my vanity. Perhaps, it’s time for a review on all Carl & Claire perfumes in my life (so far, because I suspect there will be more).
Carl & Claire Perfumery : The Brand
When I was first introduced to Carl and Claire, they have a very extensive collection of EDP/Eau de Perfume (>30!) but lately I think they sized down a bit. Still, there is something for everyone, ranging from fresh to luxury types, all packaged in sleek minimalistic bottles that reminds you of Jo Malone and Chanel. Some of their best-known products are dupes/inspired by several designer/niche brands, but they do develop their own signature scents (e.g. Natura and Essensa).
I have a very pleasant experience interacting with Carl & Claire through various social media. They were very helpful when I encountered a problem in one of my order, their customer relation is top notch! You can consult with them about selecting perfume, which is important if you’re buying online. I also like that they are getting more eco-conscious in terms of packaging (they are not using bubble wrap in their packaging) and waste recycling (you can return the used packaging to them!).
Each purchase of their 30ml full sized bottle will also contain a 2ml vial of other randomly selected scents, so you can experience more in one purchase. That is also how I ended up smelling a lot of their perfumes despite only buying a handful of times, LOL. In addition to EDPs, for selected scents they also released other types of products such as hand sanitizers, lotions, and hair mists.
Now, let’s delve deeper into each scents :
I received a small bottle of Gorgeous perfume oil to be used in their solid perfume workshop in 2020. I was so impressed with its freshness and longevity that I’m deciding to try other Carl and Claire perfumes! Normally it is sold as 30ml EDP, but for now I have it in the form of solid perfume (created by yours truly in the workshop). They also have Gorgeous-scented hand sanitizer, which I also own.
|Top Notes||Citrus, White Floral, Fruity|
|Middle Notes||Floral, Jasmine, Lily of The Valley|
|Base Notes||Moss, Musky, Oriental|
For me, Gorgeous is very dominantly citrusy, which is gorgeous like its name! I cannot judge for the perfume itself since I don’t own one, but in the form of solid perfume and hand sanitizer, I can’t really smell much beyond the citrus. It’s fresh, pretty, bright…quite a safe bet that most people would love.
I plan to stock the (limited) Gorgeous hand sanitizer because frankly, after using this, all other hand sanitizers don’t spark joy. It does make my hand dry if used too often, though, I suspect it’s because of the alcohol. I hope next they release a similarly scented hand cream… (Carl & Claire product development team if you’re reading this…this is the sign).
For the next three scents, I got in 12ml sprays as a part of Triple Floral Edition.
Delicate has a sparkling lime green impression. It’s more fruity than floral, a cool kind of sweetness, like when you’re taking a first bite of a ripe apple. I can see why it is one of Carl & Claire best seller; indeed, everyone in my vicinity loves it. However, I feel that it has unpleasant ‘aftertaste’ on my skin that I’m not a fan of. Strange, because theoretically I should love this, since I like other fragrances with pear, lily of the valley, and rose (i.e. my after-shower staple The Body Shop White Musk L’eau)
|Top Notes||Freesia, Fruity, Pear|
|Middle Notes||Lily of The Valley, Rose|
|Base Notes||Ambery, Musky|
I use this mostly as fabric spray, and it works wonderful! I sprayed it in the morning on my blanket and in the evening I return to a nicely scented bed. Since I like it on fabric, I think my skin chemistry just does not vibe with it.
SIMILAR TO : Jo Malone English Pear and Freesia
Cherish is a cool and clean white floral scent. Although Carl & Claire (and some other reviewers) mentioned bergamot and fruity notes, I can only pick bouquets of white floral. Jasmine, definitely, and lily? I’m not so sure.
Cherish smells like a good girl, someone who leaves school on time to attend a piano lesson. Very, very feminine, with shorter projection than the other two scents included in the set. I like to describe Cherish scent as ‘polite’, as if it’s greeting you with a curtsy instead of a firm handshake.
|Top Notes||Bergamot, Fruity, Floral|
|Middle Notes||Floral, Patchouli|
|Base Notes||Ambery, Animalic|
Cherish is a good daytime scent, safe for office. For me, though, it could be a little boring to wear everyday. Good thing I have other perfumes on rotation!
SIMILAR TO : Christian Dior J’Adore
Blossom starts like Cherish’ twin but it ended up more interesting. In addition to the white floral (a very dominant tuberose), it has a pinkish powdery feel to it. Still feminine, with a flirty twist.
|Top Notes||Clove, Green, Jasmine|
|Middle Notes||Sambac Jasmine, Tiare, Tuberose|
|Base Notes||Ambery, Musky, Sandalwood|
Blossom is my favorite of the set! Choosing perfume is highly subjective, and I feel this scent represent me the most. The floral notes are nice, still safe for office, but also warm and playful. Sillage and projection are okay, not really filling the room but still noticeable if you’re sitting close to me. It stays for a long time (9 hour-ish) on my skin on low-to-moderate level of activity. I’m thinking of repurchasing this in full-sized bottle.
SIMILAR TO : Gucci Bloom
The following three scents I got in a 2ml vial-size :
Black Orchid is one of Carl and Claire’s best seller. It is packaged in black bottle/vial, representing Carl and Claire’s warmer and more luxurious perfume line. The vanilla note is noticeable, also I smell more chocolate (a kind that is already put in a cake) than coffee. It’s warm, pretty, and delectable. It makes you want to go for more dessert.
|Top Notes||Floral, Gourmand, Coffee|
|Middle Notes||Vanilla, Floral, Woody|
|Base Notes||Ambery, Musky, Sweet|
Along with Lavish, the longevity is one of the best among Carl & Claire perfumes. I sprayed this around 3pm in my wrist area and I can still smell it the next morning! It stood up despite all the handwashing and everything I did overnight LOL. There is a reason why it is a best seller, afterall. I would probably repurchase it, but it seems that a lot of people around me is using something similar? As someone who likes to stand out, I’d prefer something different. I really really like the scent though. I mostly wear it to sleep nowadays.
SIMILAR TO : Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium
Lavish is also one of Carl and Claire’s best seller, and I suspect that it has everything to do with its similarity with Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540. Everyone and their mom use it (or its likeness), to the point of overused. If you love Baccarat, you would love Lavish too.
|Top Notes||Saffron, Jasmine|
|Middle Notes||Amber, Wood|
I don’t know why I’m picking orange-y note in this, there’s nothing citrusy on the notes list LOL. Still does not prevent me to describe this fragrance as chocolate-dipped orange. I quite like it, but I don’t feel like it’s anything to write home about.
SIMILAR TO : Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540
Dulce, like its name, is sweet. Very sweet, cloyingly so, that I won’t advise you to use this while doing outdoor activity, or taking non-AC intercity public transport. It might be my preference, though, as I do favor more fresh scents for daytime use, and oriental floral for night time.
I confirmed with Carl & Claire that they have upgraded Dulce into ‘Love, Dulce’ variant. I hope I can get the ‘Love. Dulce’ vial in my next Carl and Claire purchase because getting the full bottle straight seems like too much of a gamble for me…
This is my first Carl and Claire full-sized EDP bottle. I was looking for a rose-dominant scent for night time and special occasion, and Velvet doesn’t disappoint. It has this warm, smoky rose quality tinged with sweetness from praline and oud. Curiously, I smell something fruity after it settles, but I cannot pinpoint what it is exactly. Perhaps it’s from the praline?
In my mind, it creates an image of an opulent, elegant woman in a dark purple dress attending an opera performance of La Traviata. Great scent for colder climate or staying inside an air-conditioned room. I do find it could be cloying if used in hot weather or during intensive outdoor activity.
|Top Notes||Oud, Rose|
|Middle Notes||Floral, Woody|
|Base Notes||Ambery, Sweet|
As a part of luxury line-up, it stays for quite a long time (+9 hours on my skin with low-to-moderate level of activity). Good projectivity, and moderate sillage. I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite rose perfume, but it does serve its purpose. Carl and Claire suggested me to try Gold variant instead of Velvet when I consulted them about their rose-dominant perfume, so I might try that next.
SIMILAR TO : Jo Malone Velvet Rose & Oud
Carl & Claire Perfumes to try next
Since a lot of Carl & Claire perfumes are inspired by other designer/niche perfumes, for me, that makes Natura and Essensa, the two fragrances concocted by their own perfumery, more interesting. Also, from the current line up, they still have a long list of interesting scents to try : Gold, Oceanic, and Lady are already in my wishlist, also Riyadh from their Middle East Collection. As for the variants I already owned, I definitely will repurchase Blossom and Velvet!
(UPDATE 05/04/21 : I tried and reviewed Lady EDP, which you can read here : Frolicking in Bed of Roses with Carl & Claire Lady EDP)
Carl & Claire full-sized (30ml EDP) are sold within the price range of Rp 199.000-479.000, depends on the variant. You can get Carl & Claire perfumes online here :
What about you, is there any Carl & Claire fragrances you have tried? Which one do you like? Or if you haven’t, which scent would you like to try? Please do tell me in the comments below 🙂