A Tale of Two Perfumes

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… 

Well, so far… it’s been a really good summer for stuff I’ve sniffed and fallen in love with. Yeah, there have been some stinkers in the past month, one of which will get a mention here –  I keep hoping it’s a mistake – but it’s been a pretty good crop of just new things to me.

Les Larmes Sacrees de Thebes — Good Lord, that refill bottle, as March warned me, is a ugly little thing — cheap metal with a white plastic cap, but a royal purple label on it… and the words Baccarat and the name of the perfume in gold letters.  Listen, I know it’s the refill and not as spendy as the bottle, but could they have at least picked up a nicer cap or a plain bottle from Madina?  If I saw this in a store, I would assume inside was some horrible homemade perfume swill my kids mixed up just to make fun of my perfume obsession.  I’ve read raves on this thing all over the perfume boards and never really thought I’d get to smell it. It has notes of Jasmine, Geranium, Ylang Ylang, Pepper, Cardamon, Basil, Myrtle, Amber, Musk, Sandalwood and Myrrh.  You know, if you were to pick my nose (not literally) and my brain for the notes that are most likely to make me squeal in joy, those would be most of them.  Anyway, after March and Lee came sashaying back from their jaunt just fawning over this thing and disclosing there was a refill to be had at a lesser than 1,000 # price (all you Brits can just hush up about that # for pounds, there is NO pounds sterling symbol on my keyboard and I’m hopeless at remembering ascii character code), I knew it had to be mine.  The fabulous Marcel zipped it to me spectacularly fast, I tore into the package like a fiend, causing my mother no end of concern about the depths of my obsession, pulled out that ugly little bottle, unscrewed it (this is like unscrewing a bottle of Cristal Rose), sniffed deeply and thought….

Parfum Sacre Extrait, come to mama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I adore Parfum Sacre Extrait to the depth and breadth of my being, and I horde my little bottles — yes, I have two now, shhh! — like they were the Original Ten Commandments with a piece of God’s beard fluff hanging off the stone.  Are they exactly the same? No.  PS is a little sweeter, but they both share that deep woody resin that feels like you are in a temple made out of the most beautiful wood and incense — rich, contemplative scents that could not be more perfect than if Jesus had sat down at a nose organ. Lots of references to the holy, I know, but both of these scents tend to evoke a cuddly reverence.  Sorta like how I felt as a child during Sunday School when we sang “How Great Thou Art,” just reverent and joyful and content.   So while the Parfum Sacre extrait is almost impossible to get anymore, the Les Larmes Sacrees de Thebes is slightly less impossible for the right price. Now, I’ve heard and just scored a bottle of the EDP of this, which I didn’t know they made. Anyone have more info on where this is available?  And how different it is from the parfum? Well, I’ll know soon enough, I guess, but I’d love to know who might still sell the EDP as it’s slightly more affordable.

Next up for total get down and roll around in the mud pig happy is Bruno Acampora Musc.  Notes of Musk, Rose, Violet, Vanilla, Cloves, Amber, Sandalwood.  Musk is difficult for me to wear, just toooo something, I can only take it for a little while before I long to have it vamoose off of me, even my beloved Musc Ravageur, and it hangs around forever.  This scent is an oil, and I can verify that it lasts and lasts and lasts. Oils are usually difficult for me to wear too, they turn plasticky smelling or they disappear.  Not so with this one. Now, it’s pretty linear and changes little, but that’s a great thing.  It starts off with an earthy musky aspect, then the blend of cloves and amber and other notes makes the heavy aspect I usually get with musk fragrances disappear.  There’s quite a lot of good amber, and I swear I smell patch in there too. The sillage is phenomenal. One drop on my wrist, and every time I moved, I could smell it. When I got into my truck and shut the door, the truck filled with the smell on my wrist, it was heavenly  — well, and a little Sballo was in there too, which is a post for another day… can we say hey hay!? I put a drop of this on my mom, who was recuperating at my house the last few days, and she swooned too. She almost never swoons over perfume, but she did on this one and CB I Hate Perfume’s Tea/Rose.  Not sure what that means, but we’re afraid if she gets to three perfumes she loves and stays in love with, the triad will have been formed, the Four Horsemen will be stabling in my garage.  Word of warning, if you are looking for a musk like CB’s musk or musc ravageur or any other skanky musk, you won’t find it here, there’s just no overt naughty bits rolling about, just more subtle ones. For me, I find it enchanting and beautiful, with a tremendous sillage.  It’s just not going to be the musk some of you probably have in your head when you think musk.

Now for the swill of the group, I think… but maybe not.  I found a bottle of the new Narciso Rodriguez for Him on eBay. The seller is reputable and says they got it from a duty free store, and it was a pre-release bottle. It says mock-up on the back. Why do I tell you all that? Because I was so jacked to get it, thinking they would do something pretty wonderful for men, like the women’s, and I put it on and thought…  there must be a mistake, they filled this bottle with the same men’s scent that everyone has been making the last four years?!?!  Nothing ground-breaking or great?!  Anyway, as scents go, I guess it’s not so bad. The notes are suppoed to be musk, amber, violet leaf and patchouli, but I swear I don’t get this out of that bottle. So I am hoping against hope that this was some mocked up bottle filled with something else and the real NR for Him is NOT in there.  It can’t be it!  I would far rather have thrown away $80 than to find out that this really is what they plan to put in there.  Anyone know what it means when a bottle says mock-up?  Please tell me it just means “filled with some other juice, silly, we just want to show you the bottle.” 

  • Louise says:

    Oh Thank You, Maria-you have saved me. If the perfume disappears on you…well I am just going to assume it will on me. Thanks!

  • winterwheat says:

    Dang. Dang dang dang. You are making me want to order BA Musc unsniffed. It’s a bad thing when I order unsniffed. I feel dirty after, like I’ve been gambling. But… oh my. In this case I think it might be worth it. Dang. :(;)

  • Maria says:

    Les Larmes started calling my name when I first heard its name, and everything I read about it makes it sound more irresistible (resins, temples)–except the price. Then I tell myself that it wouldn’t work on me as well as on others. That’s how I rescue myself from perdition.

    Last night I tried a sample of JAR Bolt of Lightning. From the first moment, I loved it, and to make matters worse, my DH loved it. He decided immediately that it was unisex. “It’s very expensive,” I warned him. “How expensive?” I looked it up and broke the news to him. He looked crestfallen. Then something good happened a half hour after I’d dabbed on the fragrance. “Smell my arm,” I asked him. “Faint, no?” I was doing a little Snoopy dance, and he didn’t understand why. “It vanishes on me! I won’t be dying to get it!” Still, it’s very nice to be able to enjoy the exciting and quite remarkable transformations the scent goes through on my arm one half hour at a time while the sample lasts. 🙂

  • Bryan says:

    I agree with March, girl…you need to be working for the CIA. Actually, don’t, we’d miss you too much. OK, I am this close to getting some Brunos…like tuberose. I just don’t really love oils. Help me out here, ’cause I do enjoy some Yosh.
    I need some Sacred Tears I think. I just can’t help myself when a lady swoons. How do I find Parfum Sacre extrait? I used to have the edp and I haven’t smelled it in years.
    Love ya sweety.:)

  • violetnoir says:

    I love the Bruno line, especially Sballo. I don’t generally like perfume oils, but when my luckyscent friends gave me a dab of the Sballo several months ago, I could not wait for it to debut.

    I know that everyone, including the beautiful you, raves about the Musc, but that Sballo has me going. In fact, I am wearing it today and loving its beautiful sillage wafting all around me.

    As for the NR: I agree with Robin that it must have been a factice???

    Hugs and love!

    • Patty says:

      Oh, I”m head over with SBallo. I didn’t dare include it in this post, though. I had to have something that I didn’t like! 🙂 Well, a couple of the other Brunos I don’t care for, but they need more testing to be sure. That’s a good thing!


  • Justine Tamaro says:

    I tried the Brun Musc yesterday and am going to have to try it again today because I got mostly violets on some white musk. The smallest hint of cloves, but no patch at all. Just not getting that, and I’d like to. I got some powder with my violets, and a little rose too. It ended up making me think of L’Huere Bleue layered over Clair de Musc. I’ll have to try that combination someday now that I’ve tried the musc. I didn’t get sensuous, spicy, or sexy as Luckyscent seemed to think I would. I got pretty and light.

    • Patty says:

      So odd. I get a little white musk, zero violets, but the carnation really comes out in mine to warm it up. That may be the difference between simply okay and great. It wasn’t very light on me at all, but it wasn’t particularly heavy either. Not heavy like CB or Musc ravageur. I can definitely wear it during summer, but not on the hottest days.

      Skin chemistry is weird!

  • Robin says:

    Ack — hoping along with you that the NR was a factice and not the real thing. I do think men in general are getting better releases this year than women, but still, I know lots of people are looking forward to this one and it will be too bad if it is dull.

    • Patty says:

      yeah, I know. I’ve just never seen something marked like this, and I keep thinking it smells just like something else, but I can’t recollect what!

  • Amy says:

    Sick. SICK! I am SICK with envy. I’ve been carrying a torch for Les Larmes for two years now, since my trip to London. It’s the perfume that shines at the light of a veeeeeeeery long tunnel, the pot of perfume gold at the end of my rainbow. “Someday,” I always thought, “some very fine day…”

    Very wistful…

    I seem to have completely missed all this Bruno whosis stuff. I need to look into this. My Grandpap’s name was Bruno. Who’s selling it?

    Patty, have you set dates for Paris?

    • Patty says:

      Oops, sorry! Get a piggy bank and insert all spare change in there, and before you know it, in a year, you should have enough!

      Bruno, Luckyscent has it. So far I’ve tried four. Two were winners,the other two I’m thinking are losers, but I want to retest to be sure.

      No date set yet. We probably won’t set one until the end of August, we want to see if airfares will go on sale, but I’m guessing it will be the first part of october.

    • pitbull friend says:

      Hey, Amy! My Opa(grandfather)’s name was Bruno, too! I loved him so much. A gentler human has ne’er been born. The funny thing is, folks tend to associate the name with a Mafioso or some suave, slick Italian wearing couture clothes. I associate it with a dear little German Jewish man whose greatest joys were long walks, cheap cigars, and absentmindedly drumming the “William Tell Overture” with his fingertips… –Ellen

      • Amy says:

        Aw, that’s sweet. My Grandpap was Italian, but he was a long way from slick or even remotely Mafia-like. He was also very gentle — he used to secretly give me baggies of change to take home when we visited them. “Don’t tell your mother,” he’d whisper. Such a dear man… I miss him.

  • Jennifer says:

    I am so sad to hear the news about NR for him; I had such high hopes, considering the woman’s scent is so groundbreakingly unique. That musk sounds gorgeous and I am a musk addict.

    • Patty says:

      Well, hold out hope! I am. That either I’m anosmic to the musk in this or that it’s the wrong juice enitrely.

      the musc is gorgeous, but I still feel like I need to overwarn everyone that it’s not going to smell like you think in your head.

  • pitbull friend says:

    Ah, Patty! Sometimes reading this is like being in a big ward full of patients and thinking…. “Oh, so that’s how bad it’s going to be when I get into the advanced stages of this disease…” I can only hope that, by then, I will have grown as amusing as you are! 😡 –Ellen

    • Patty says:

      Something to look forward to for sure! 😮 We need a little straitjacket smiley. Oh wait, here @-) it is

    • Maria says:

      Ellen, yes, watching people at the advanced stages of the disease–I sometimes feel that way reading posts and responses from these marvelous people. At the back of my mind are thoughts like, “I’ll have a well-paying job,” or “My book will sell.” That’s the only way I can proceed to more advanced stages. ;))

  • Marina says:

    “The Original Ten Commandments with a piece of God’s beard fluff hanging off the stone”. Patty, I heart you, mwah! :d:d:d

  • Lee says:

    All we need now if for the real Jesus to come along and do his loaves and fishes business with your ugly little bottle. PLEASE! I don’t ask for much in life, oh holy one.

    As for musks, unless they’re dirty, I don’t understand them (they go into the perfume chasm in my brain where they ferster up a stink with the likes of those chypres I just can’t do).

    As for mock-up – your guess is probably better than mine.

    Love you, baby Jesus!o:-)

    • Patty says:

      That’s frickin’ brilliant! Is it sacre(i?)ligious (look who I’m asking?!) to do a novena to get my ugly bottle miraculously refilled?

  • Elle says:

    I did *not* want to develop a lemming for Les Larmes. The sane, moderately budget part of my brain was screaming that I should just skip over reading your review and go straight to the Bruno Musc, but, no…obviously I didn’t listen and just got hopelessly sucked in. My one hope is that ger*n**m note.
    Can’t say I had much hope for NR for Him since I never managed to get the magic of the women’s scent. That definitely was a musk my nose is unable to detect.

    • Lee says:

      Elle – sorry to break it to you, but the geranium is a long way from dominant…

    • Patty says:

      What geranium? Sorry, this really has your name written all over it. You’ve tried the PS extrait, right? If you have some of that, you don’t need the les larmes at all. Is that helpful? No?8-|

      maybe I can’t smell the musk in this one either, just anosmic to it, so it could be better than I think it is. or not.

      • Elle says:

        OK, between your comment and Lee’s, my fate was sealed. Once again, as another shining example of my truly incredible willpower, I wandered over to FF and ordered a sample. I might as well just go ahead and get a Les Larmes fund piggy bank.
        Oh, and in my previous comment, it *should* have been “budget conscious part of my brain.” I don’t know why I ever post anything in a pre-caffeine state.

        • Patty says:

          Yeah, I think so. I’m starting my own piggy fund to replenish this when it runs out. I can’t wait to try the EDP. I stole that thing practically. 🙂

  • Judith says:

    Oh, I don’t think I can stand this. I am just debating (after having run through about half of my decant) whether I REALLY need a bottle of Nasomatto Absinth (of course I do; compliment from DH this morning–but I am TRYING to save for Paris), and you make me drool over ever more spendy things. *tries–probably in vain–to plug ears*

    • Patty says:

      So you loved the Absinth? Oh, good, i guessed right! It’s tough to know sometimes. As perfumes go, though, it’s not as horrible as some pricewise, right? Little over 100 for an ounce. Okay, I realize how ridiculous I sound there. 🙂 But after spending for the Brunos and the Les Larmes and some other pricey things the last few weeks, that really almost sounds like a reasonable price in comparison.

      So jealous of the Paris trip. I’m going this fall, that is if I can manage to get my passport renewed before it expires.

      • Judith says:

        Yes, you are a genius–I do love it! More than Fleurs de Sel, which surprised me (I like FdS, but this one, I love). The other Nasomattos were nice, too, but didn’t seem as original to me; I think my 2nd fave (again a surprise) was Narcotic Venus, although I liked Hindu Grass, too.

        I guess it’s comparatively not Soooooo expensive (you enabler, you); of course there’s postage from Germany, too. I wonder if Luckyscent will get it, soon.

        I wish you were coming to Paris, too. We should organize a blog trip! With families. . . . 🙂

        • Patty says:

          I think that would be a blast! Do you know how you go about organizing something like that? Are there travel companies that deal in just that?

          • Judith says:

            I have no idea.8-|I think things are generally cheaper for groups. I can inquire. . . .

          • Louise says:

            I have a wonderful travel agent who works with a European tour agency-they have done a great job of organizing a trip to England (hellooooo, Lee!), Scotland, and France for me and child for July. I can ask what they could do for a group…

  • chayaruchama says:

    As much as I adore you two, I’m afraid of the Larmes.
    [I need another lemming like a GIANT hole in my cranial vault…]

    But I’m SQUEALING with delight…
    That means I’m really going to love my Musc when it arrives !
    [Does the demented yoga-nun victory dance…]

    Also, am clutching my big EDP and residual extrait to bosom, trembling with fear..
    [Because YOU GUYS KNOW where I LIVE, lol !]

    I feel like Stimpy… and that’s a good thing.
    MWAH !

    • Patty says:

      I hope you love the Musc! I can see how some people would not, expecting something different, but I adore it, and I hate that it’s so expensive, though I do think I tracked down a company that sells the 20 ml bottles of it for just a little more than the 10 ml, which makes it not quite as spendy. They do take their time replying to e-mails, so I’m waiting to hear back on that.

      My extrait is clear at the back of my perfume cabinets. I had to clear everything out of the way to get to it to do the comparison yesterday. it was ridiculous. /:)

  • March says:

    Woman, where do you find these things?!?! I went looking for that EDP and never did find it… your sleuthing skills are amazing, you should chuck your job and become a detective.

    Also, I love that photo so much! I want to jump in, actually.

    Also, the Cheese asked me to ask you: remember the ladder photo of the two dudes trimming the hedge, one ladder on the other? The OSHA “Don’t” type photo? He wants to know if it was a joke. Do you know? (I told him I had no doubt there’s some poor guys out there right now doing that in, say, the Hamptons…)

    • Patty says:

      eBay! I just stumbled on it after I got the parfum. Now I’m anxiously awaiting it. I really, really, really want to spritz this thing, it *needs* to be spritzed, but even I ain’t doing it with the teensy amount I have! But I googled an old conversation on POL where they were talking about the EDP, so I know it exists or existed, but nobody seems to know where it’s currently sold. So annoying.

      The hedge thing was a joke picture, but I have no idea whether it was staged or someone snapped a picture of it.