January 3, 2011

Bruno Acampora Profumi

This line was a surprise and new to me, even though it has been in existence for more than thirty years and is well known in Italy. Now recently become available in the U.S., and it is about time. It is strongly Italian in its aesthetic, of a certain era I remember well, through its films. I am thinking Fellini, Bertolucci, Antonioni.

Bruno Acampora apparently was one of the beautiful people of the era, of the so-called jet-set, continuously moving from beautiful place to beautiful place all over the world. There is an Andy Warhol portrait, which is the trademark of a certain type of person, time and place. The perfumes in the line were created in the mid 70s into the early 80s. They carry the feeling of those times into the present day, by which I mean the embrace of guiltless hedonism, referenced back to the ancient Roman resort of Capri. This is a good place from which to start in creating fragrances.

I was introduced to this perfume at the Fall Sniffa perfume event, at Bendels. They made a strong impression, which is saying something in the midst of a massive perfume and sensory overload. Samples were running very low, and certain solid perfumes were sold out already, but I was able to get samples of the Musc and Jasmine. These are perfume oils, in aluminum vials stopped with corks, and there are written directions provided to help you turn them into an eau de parfum if so desired. Everything comes in a solid perfume version, and it is obvious right away that the quality and density of the scent they hold is rich and strong. While there is a very high percentage of natural essences in these fragrances, it does not appear that they are all strictly and entirely natural perfumes. (The information on the site is mostly in Italian.) Many aspects of both Musc and Jasmine bear the marks of a high component of naturals in the action of the drydown and in complexity of single notes.

Both the Musc and the Jasmine turn animalic after a few minutes, in the sense of something catlike there. A cat relaxing in the sun, after washing thoroughly. They are redolent of the corporeal, very material and tangible, not ethereal in any way; there is a strong sense of the body in both of them. The Musc seems to grow in strength as time goes on, a true musk, the scent of a clean strong animal, and is actually a perfect balance to the Jasmine, (I can see wearing one on each wrist) which starts out true to the floral form but burns off the jasmine headiness to settle down into the green/subtly indolic aspect of the flower. The Musc (1975) notes are listed as Musk, Rose, Violet, jasmine, Cloves, Amber, Patchouli penang, Sandalwood. The Jasmine (1978) notes are listed as  Jasmine, Cyclamen, Cloves, Ylang Ylang.

I am still thinking of those few moments I was able to try the solid perfume version of Sballo, but it was sold out with no samples available, so I will have to check back soon to see if it could possibly truly be as wonderful as I remember. An earthy floral, the base of vetiver, hay and sage gave the top floral notes of rose geranium violet lily and neroli an astringency that was smoothed by the musk, patchouli and sandalwood mid tones. There was a sense of wind-swept strongly aromatic summer country air.

All of these are wearable for masculine as well as feminine.  There's that ancient Roman/modern Italian hedonist flavor for you.

Bendels is currently the place to try these things in person, otherwise Luckyscent has them online, and a sample set of all seven.


Above images. top from the Bruno Acampora site, next Dionysus on a wild cat, an ancient mosaic; last, the beautiful Anita Ekberg in La Dolce Vita by Fellini.

14 comments:

Vintage Lady said...

I noted this address. To discover! Thanks.

ScentScelf said...

I enjoyed being introduced to Bruno Acampora through your tour...and have to say, the "earthy floral" with hay and sage is ringing a bell for me. I think I'll definitely want to seek that one out. Also, I am a fan of solid perfume--it often doesn't turn out well, but I want it to, and am always on the hunt for a successful execution in that form.

I misread at first; I thought I saw "available" rather than "wearable" for masculine feminine. I was ready to get up my gender free dander...but I'm settled down now. ;)

JoanElaine said...

I tried Prima T and if that's any indication of what the other oils will be like, I want to try them all. I'm already lusting after the jasmine!

I didn't know solids were avilable too. Although probably out of my financial reach, thank you for the heads up!

Marina said...

These two are actually my favorites in the BA line, was great to read about them, I thought they were totally obscure.

Lucy said...

Hi Vintage -- glad to be of some service!

Lucy said...

Dear SS --

Actually now I have second thoughts about the phrasing of "guiltless" and feel perhaps I should have said hedonism without consequences, as it was in those days...
Those days are done, but this has that flavor of La Dolce Vita.

Yes that hay! I am always on the look out for hay

Lucy said...

JE, the solids are fantastic, and yes, fantastically expensive. However, so many things are expensive but this is worth the money for once...I try to budget for one or two full purchase things a year. It's really gotten to be such an expensive interest...

Lucy said...

Hi Marina, thanks for visiting --

I am amazed they have been around so long and I never heard of them before Sniffa in November. Goes to show I need to move in different circles...those that vacation in Capri for one

ScentScelf said...

Ha! Yes, I do understand your revision...hedonism without consequences...or so some thought when they first dove in.

I am not exactly of the right generation to have lost many friends to quiet consequences, but they were indeed there to be found.

I really need to try La Dolce Vita. Perfume. The life, I fear, I shall only see through the eyes of Marcello.

Lucy said...

That is one way to do it, through the hedonism of our perfumes.

waftbyCarol said...

Hi Lucy !
these are also available at Fred Segal in California now ,from me , the SE rep and soon at Lotus Boutique in Sarasota Fl . We are expanding distribution as we can , even though these pure , all natural parfum oils are made in small , 5 liter batches and poured by hand into the vials . the
" solids " are actually body cream which is more long lasting on skin and faithfully renders the parfum scent . There is also shower gel , and in a few months , candles and room diffusers...

Lucy said...

Thanks Carol --

the body creams were presented as solids to us at the event, but they were so dense they reminded me of the body butter from Malle's perfume lines, super fragrant. Glad to hear you are bringing such great things all around the country.

Qwendy said...

Hi Lucy, we're on the same wavelength this week! I wore Acampora's Blu on New Year's Eve, easily the most Narcotic Tuberose ever! I thought Blu, Jasmin and Sballo were my faves, but I want the Jasmin to be MORE Jasmin all the time, and the Sballo, my ultimate fave when I first tried it a few years ago (Luckyscent is in my town ; ) is a bit too earthy for me now.

I'm glad Carol is carrying these, I owe her a message ; ) The shower gels or body creams might be a more affordable way to bask in these scents! Happy New Year!

Lucy said...

Qwendy, I know you have an instinct for the luxurious!

xx,

L