“While I feel it surrounds me and is all-encompassing, it’s still transparent and shimmers […] Carter really did something with Buen Camino because it has feelings. It feels like a blessing to me. Almost holy. I’d wear this to church and feel reverent.”
–Jane Daly, dalybeauty.ca
A PERFUME ABOUT PILGRIMAGE
When I was 23, I walked the 600-mile-long, 5,000-year-old route we now call the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. By the time I was within 200 miles of my finish line, I'd shattered bones all over both feet, caught a wicked blood poisoning that turned abrasions into infections all over my body, and withered to a weight I'd not been since middle school.
Buen Camino gathers scents from this last stretch of Camino when my health was at its all-time worst. Here are the stiff bandage wraps that held together my shattered feet, the antiseptics a kindly old nun used to clean out my infections, and the bundle of dried Iberian lavender and immortelle she gave me to inhale for relaxation as she conducted that painful, makeshift surgery. Here is the hot asphalt of newly paved roads, the dust of ancient, decaying Roman ones, and the pervasive smell of sweat and grime that permeated my backpack. And here's the slice of Tarta de Santiago—a Galician almond cake scented with spiced oranges and lemon, served with espresso—that I shared with my father, who, worried about my rapidly declining health, traveled to Spain to care for me during my final four days on the trail, lending me his shoulder to lean on as my walking pace slowed to a pained and belabored snail crawl.
This 16% concentrated eau de parfum has been called a "psychotic fougère." And it may overwhelm during its cacphonous and rapid-paced early stages as, like the Camino, it twists, turns and loses all sense of orientation. But in its long dry down, it ultimately provides comfort and reinvigorates a genre aching for new dynamism.
*A VEGAN OPTION OF THIS PERFUME, WHICH OMITS THE CIVET PASTE FOUND IN THE ORIGINAL FORMULA, IS AVAILABLE FOR A 15% SURCHARGE.