Bruno Acampora - Three EDPs

Here's my choice among Acampora's range of Eaux de Parfum.



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Jasmin T

Year: 1978

The opening is powerful and sharp, jasmine on ylang, simple as a soliflore but beautifully complex because of the "freedom" Acampora skillfully left to the flowers to express all their depth and facets. The nuances are impressive and range from dusty tobacco, to camphor, to balsamic, to a materic, organic, botanical crunchy "greenness", to the silky, resinous, carnal, polleny (pollinous?) softness of the very heart of jasmine, ending with the airy and lively gracefulness of the sweet notes of the petals. Natural and shady, raw and springy, gloomy and invigorating. The majesty of a single material – that's perfumery at its traditional best. There is also a tiny, dense rose heart, tasty and almost fruity, and a general elusive melancholy, a slight cloudiness I felt in almost all Acampora scents I tested, which I link to the Italian heritage he was such a great representative – some aristocratic, understated, decaying Mediterranean melancholy, with an austere and respectful attitude towards nature – a nature that in fact, Acampora does not "play" with to create posh, refined, rounded, glossy floral bouquets: he just presents nature as it is, in its rawness and ambiguity. So basically this is an essential, earthy, even rough chypre, really dry and simple, almost monolithic, utterly noble and slightly stale. The way Acampora treats flowers makes me think of floral bouquets, not fresh but not dead, just slightly wet and sleepy, abandoned on a table in a closed room of a noble mansion on the sea. One of the very few "pure florals" I would wear with joy and confidence. Brilliant.

9/10

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Sballo

Year: 1977

Sballo has been my very first "encounter" with Acampora's EDPs. I did not know it was from 1977, so the opening was quite a surprise to me, as I wondered how did they manage to recreate that mood and that "old" quality. Sballo opens in fact with a beautiful, nostalgic, dusty, chypre, deeply Italian accord of oak moss, robust woods, hay, so dry and dirty it almost smells like a tobacco-leather accord, with austere shady green notes and some spices, among which perhaps cloves, cumin and juniper, a subtle geranium note which may be the cause of a medicinal/menthol thin balsamic breeze, a floral side accord, discreet enough to give just the right amount of airy silkiness. The harmony is great, a dense, aromatic, cozy, gloomy texture with a slight salty touch and a base accord tight a slightly animalic/indolic, perhaps due to labdanum. The ambiance is again, as for other Acampora scents, deeply and genuinely Mediterranean, a forgotten room in an old mansion above the sea, stuffed with accessories, scents, memories, in a sleepy afternoon of a windy, slightly cloudy day. What I love the most is an elusive, yet compelling and bold "Italianity", which I can get perhaps because I am Italian myself and therefore I share a common cultural and traditional ground... an aftertaste of souvenirs I also have which tell me stories of a dusty, relaxed, forgotten elegance. The notes are all great and the quality is perfect, all sounds deep, rich, wide, evocative. A velvety, refined, shady chypre/fougère scent, hieratic but cozy and friendly, a severe, distinguished but gentle and thoughtful grandfather. As many "bold" vintage scents, not for everybody (no fancy notes, no glossy roundness, just uncompromising old-school beauty).

8,5-9/10

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Iranzol

Year: 1975

Iranzol opens with a heavy, textured note of jasmin, rich and realistic, on a soft sweet base accord of vanilla, amber, resins and tonka, with hay notes, cedar-like woods, and "something" darker on the very under-base, which I do not get clearly – smells almost like castoreum to me, same ambiguous dense thickness, slightly sweet too (although I doubt it's that note). Bergamot and citrus notes to counter-balance this overall "austerity", ginger root, a rich and tasty fruity/spicy note which may be red pepper, and also a mossy-herbal vibe. The bone-structure is however that narcotic, dry jasmin accord on resins, musk and vanilla. A quite gloomy and nostalgic chypre, enigmatic in its own way, rich and overwhelming with a remarkable "lost times" feel, like Sballo. Then it slowly "blossoms" a powdery side, mellow and aromatic, with violet notes, some more soft woods and a talcum feel, which slightly reminds me of Feminité du Bois, only with a more cloudy, gloomy, musky and masculine twist – and more Mediterranean too, Acampora's true "heritage". This sort of wet, slightly cloudy feel is perhaps one the more interesting key features of this scent, there is this general, palpable but elusive and nondescript humid/windy almost "rural" accord with delivers a bold Mediterranean feel, just in a less predictable way – no spices, no bergamot, no beaches, rather a more countryside-aristocratic, slightly decaying but graceful melancholy and austerity. The drydown (which after a while gets a little cloying on my skin, to be honest) comprises dusty resins, a subtle "roasted caramel" feel, which then eventually ends with a gentle powdery/medicinal accord, much discreet and cozy. 

7,5-8/10


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