Parfum Sacré by Caron makes winter livable.
Ever since I am a perfume aficionado (phew, thank Goodness, I thought of a word in time: freak, nerd, addict and many more came to mind first ;)) I love the cold, the snow, the ice, but only for the one reason: It enables me to wear the most gorgeous fragrances, that I could not imagine wearing in summer. I only ever lived in a place that has seasons, so I can not say how it would be for me in sunny California. If, over there I would only wear summery perfumes, but here and now, winter makes the most wonderful scents possible for me.
Not that Parfum Sacré is a heavy scent, it is a dark, spicy oriental, that initially smells like mulled wine to me. Its fruitiness is more pronounced indoors, although some days I get more of it, some days less (I prefer less), in the cold outside the drier aspects of the spices dominate.
It opens with a bright symphony of pepper, mace and citrus notes, instantly warming, but still bracing, and then develops into a smoky-sweet drydown, where myrrh and vanilla on a woody bed serve as a soft, sweetish but also a little dirty base. Orange blossom, Rose and Jasmine add a fullness in between, padding out the dry spices and woods.
Parfum Sacré gives me a certain calm, a quietness, but with an edge.
It has a festive and noble character. I wore it to church last Sunday and its quiet dignity combined with just a little non-church appropriate ideation, courtesy of the civet, I suppose, was a delight, cheering me up all the while. It is rich and full-bodied without being overbearing or ostentatious.
Notes include vanilla, myrrh, civet, cedarwood, lemon, pepper, mace, cardamom, orange blossom, rose, jasmine, rosewood. The Eau de Parfum was created in 1990 by Jean-Pierre Bethouart, but it smells a lot older. I mean that in the sense, that it fits perfectly in Caron´s line up of perfumes hailing from as early as the 1920ies.
This is a heavenly scent, with both feet firmly planted on the earth. Its sacredness is not ethereal and floating, but grounded in humanity. Flesh and spirit.
What could be more appropriate around Christmas time?
Picture sources: daddyo.typepad.com, preisvergleich.org, some rights reserved, thank you!
Is your review for the EDP? I tried the EDT a long time ago and don’t remember it being half as good as it sounds in your review. Very interesting to learn it was only released in 1990, I assumed it was from around the 1930s.
I too can’t imagine living somewhere without seasons, perfume-wise, as all my faves (Mitsouko, Bois des Iles, Cuir de Russie etc) are better suited to the cooler months. Still wish our British summers were a bit longer though!
I have the EdP, thanks for pointing out that I forgot to mention that. I did not try the EdT concentration.
I know what you mean about British summers, they don’t have the best reputation 😉
Thanks, though I just noticed it says Eau de Parfum in the photo – I should be more observant!
You are welcome!
I can’t think of another reason to love the cold, the snow, the ice either 🙂 Love Parfum Sacre, thank you for the review.
My pleasure! It is such a comforting scent on those short, lightless days…
Oh, what an enjoyable review of one of my own favorites! You are so right that while it is rich and complex, it does not have that overly opulent, heavy quality of most spicy orientals. It has an interesting austere dryness in the base. There is a new version/flanker called Intense, which is also very nice.
Thank you very much, V! 🙂
I have not yet had the opportunity to try Intense, how would you say it differs from the original Parfum Sacre?
Jumping in on the PS Intense comparison – it is only more “intense” up top, with more peppery notes and perhaps a tiny hint of plum. Overall, though, it seems thinner than my regular edp.
The (discontinued) extrait, of which I have a very small decant, is quite as peppery as the Intense, less rosy in the body than the edp, and the incense and vanilla in the base are… thicker? Hard to describe.
Thank you for your input! I dream of the extrait, sigh…:)
Pardum Sacre is on my list of things I must try. Thanks for the great review, I enjoyed reading it, and I love that picture!
I love gothic churches. They are so much more awe-inspiring than roman or baroque churches, even if the roman-catholic church’s attitude is definitely more baroque in style. But that is another matter entirely 😉
Let me know what you think, once you try Parfum Sacre!
Cold weather is my nemesis: when the weather drops below 50 degrees F, I give the world a squinty-eyed frown that sticks until spring… that is until, like you, I became a perfume aficionado (much classier than my favorite term “frag hag”). Now on the coldest days I pull out my densest perfumes and apply with abandon! And since they seem to fade more quickly in the cold, I apply with abandon multiple times each day!
Ah, cold is good. 😉
Lol, so we are frag hags, huh?
I love the applying with abandon too, marinating myself in Lutens or Tauer or… hhmmmmm!
Great review , I have the E.D.P and wonder if extrait is available. Les Senteurs have a hair oil of the flanker .I havn’t tried it yet but will write a review when I do.
About the extrait, see this link:
So happy you reviewed this. I sniffed this at Nordstrom in the summer and it did nothing for me. I liked it but it was hot outside and it didn’t “fit”. I recently saw this on a discount site for a really good price and I think I may pick it up.
My perfume wardrobe is dominated by autumn scents. Where I live, it’s 9 months of fall. We may get a couple weeks of snow in Dec. and that’s it. The rest is 45-55 degrees and rainy. So, I totally get what you are saying about the seasons. I actually like our Seattle rain because it allows me to wear rich, cozy scents!
If you can get it for a great price you should really snap it up, I imagine it is perfectly suited to your climate.
Isn’t that where all those vampires live, too? (Sorry ;))
Yes! I’m starting to get that vampire complexion too!
Last time we were on the WA coast, we were there with a group of Norwegians that were doing a Twilight tour!
Lol, I am vampire-complected too, aside from the glittering part 😉
I was once lost in Olympic National Park, not much fun then, good story now, though 🙂
Lovely review. I have long held that when I die, I want to be wearing Parfum Sacre…
Thank you! That sounds like a beautiful plan, it makes me think about what I would want to wear for my last perfume…
I would have loved to try the original, though the fruit part has always given me some pause. (Especially fruit, plus rose. I’m generally not a huge fan of either.) But It’s rarely on eBay and goes for so much. Since I have a major, major issue with post-IFRA reformulations (and almost never buy something I know has been reformulated for the worse), I’ve been on a hunt to find a bottle of the P/S Intense version on eBay. I hear that is much closer to the original Parfum Sacré but much less fruity and much more spicy. One of these days, one of these days….
I hear you!
I hope you find your dream version eventually.
What a f’ing glorious image! Is that the Sainte-Chapelle? I remember the first time I saw slides of that building, in a dreary catholic highschool classroom in suburban Philadelphia, I started to cry because I couldn’t believe that anything so beautiful exsisted in the world that I knew. It gave me hope.
As a man who (secretly) wears Parfum Sacré, I also appreciate is warm volumptusness on frosty winter days.
Thanks for the beautiful review and breathtaking image.
Oops! That should read… I appreciate its warm voluptuousness… (and using spell check whould help!)
Whould?… Seriously, I give up.
Please don’t give up commenting though! 😉
Ah, don’t worry, it happens to all of us. 😉
I’m glad you appreciate the review, the image is indeed wonderful.
Parfum Sacré smells great on a man.
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