Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Caron Parfum Sacre Intense eau de parfum: fragrance review

Back when I was a teenager I developed a strong belief that "real" perfume was supposed to harken to its oriental roots and smell of the East; or at least what my west-laden eyes of the mind imagined a mythical East to be like. Parfum Sacre (sacred perfume, the quintessential notion of eastern scent), launched in 1991, at the cusp of the transition into the blander part of mainstream perfumery after a clashing cacophony of too many loud perfumes worn all together in the 1980s, and it sort of flopped commercially. But it was such a good execution that they have kept it. And when the Parfum Sacre Intense version rolled over by Parfums Caron in 2010 I admit I was greatly intrigued.


There was a 1925 fragrance called Mystikum, by perfume Scherk, tagged "the mystery of flowers" of all things, and accompanied by a full range of body products in the coming years, but surely the name would fit Caron's perfume perfectly as well.


I own a quite large decant of Caron's Parfum Sacre Intense (more like a purse spray), and I should quickly upgrade to a full bottle, but each time I use it I feel like a goddess on a pedestal, receiving rites of peppery spices and rosy sacrifices upon a sacrificial altar, while myrrh fills the atmosphere with the solemnity of religion. The myrrh is especially warm, bittersweet, with no powdery after-effects, so it doesn't project as "clean" or "groomed" rather than sombre and liturgical, but it's the alliance of spicy rose with musk which makes the real message of devotion to a higher being. For once, rose sheds its prim guise and reveals a throbbing heart full of thorns.

I dig this kind of ritual and therefore Parfum Sacre Intense aims for the sweet spot. Touchée.

I just wish they hadn't changed the bottle, from the glorious deep purple with the peppercorns into the blander columnar ones they have used when revamping the line a couple of years ago...


  1. i've always liked the caron "parfum sacre", and i haven't had a chance to smell the 'intense' version, but i am certain i would like it even more. i just rotated my bottle of "sacre" to the fore of my perfume shelf, as i like it on certain winter days. something about myrrh and winter to me...

  2. Over time, Parfum Sacre has become one of my favorite cold weather perfumes. I have the vintage EDP in the black box. Perhaps the last great perfume from the storied Caron perfume house.


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