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Reminiscing on the Camino de Santiago
When in December 2020 the wanderlust was so great that I googled "Camino Parfum" out of boredom and in the hope to find something that reminds me of better times, I was shown this fragrance. The perfumer is from the US and probably pilgrimaged the Camino himself a few years ago. Because of this experience, he wanted to capture the scent of the Camino de Santiago in a perfume and has created a fragrance whose scents reflect his experiences.
Buen Camino is the name of the perfume and at the same time the greeting that the pilgrims call to each other on the way to wish each other a good journey.
I have walked the Camino Frances three times myself. (This is the most famous Way of St. James from Saint Jean Pied-de-Port to Santiago de Compostela)
Accordingly, I was of course curious about this perfume and had to order a sample of it. The shipping costs were incredibly high for a small 2ml sample, but what does one not do everything to awaken beautiful memories with the help of a fragrance? The sample then arrived just before Christmas, which made me really happy as I couldn't wait and was very excited. Now to the perfume itself:
It is really hard to describe and smells completely different, as all other ever tested by me fragrances.
It's also not possible to divide the fragrance into top, heart and base notes. But one thing in advance...it really smells like the Way of St. James. I do not know exactly how and why, but it brings back memories. I can clearly smell citrusy notes, the smell of a herbal ointment, and very slightly in the background something animalic that reminds me of human sweat. The perfume is thereby not disgusting or insanely unpleasant to smell. I usually have a hard time with animalic notes, and I don't like most perfumes that contain Zivet or something similar. With Buen Camino, however, this is not very strong and there is something soothing about the scent due to the herbal ointment I smell (probably a mix of lavender and immortel). This is probably also one of the strong scent memories I have of my Caminos. When I remember the evenings in the pilgrim hostel, it smelled like voltaren ointment, (constantly used for aching knee joints/back tension from the backpack or minor sprains) sweat and deer tallow. Deer tallow is also a very herbal-smelling ointment that prevents blisters on the feet and was therefore used by all pilgrims with pleasure in the morning before hiking and in the evening after showering. This is exactly the smell that Buen Camino captures very well. Asphalt, dust and almond cake are also said to have been incorporated as fragrance notes in the perfume. If I try really hard I can smell, apart from the above mentioned notes, a slight sweetness (probably the said almond cake) and after some time something smoky on my skin. These scents are also typical of the Camino. In the last section of the Camino, you pilgrimage through Galicia and the sweet specialty of the region is the "Tarta de Santiago", a dry almond cake on which a layer of powdered sugar forms the cross of Santiago. Very delicious with a café con leche and you can get it most mornings for breakfast to start the day invigorated. Unfortunately, what the perfume didn't incorporate into the scents (or I just can't smell it out, unfortunately?) is the eucalyptus. On the way to Santiago de Compostela, you walk through forests with eucalyptus trees in the last days and the smell is just heavenly! One of the most beautiful scent memories of my life. I would have liked to see this scent intensified in Buen Camino. But in the words of the second best band in the world (the Rolling Stones) "You can't always get what you want..." But what I did get with this perfume sample was flashbacks and memories of wonderful and free summers on the Camino, I will continue to wear the sample at home for myself. Another person I do not want to expect the fragrance, because it is already very special and not necessarily "beautiful" in the classic sense