Caron – Parfum Sacré

Caron – Parfum Sacré

caron Perfumes Parfum Sacre There are those loves which we know will endure forever. Such is the beauty of this peppery rose-inspired fragrance by Caron. But where Caron’s Rose is simple and Marni is sheer and evanescent, Parfum Sacré positively smolders, bringing new depths to the pepper-rose combination.

As the vintage advertisement for Caron perfumes at left attests “What is seduction if not a man, a woman and a Caron perfume?” While the fragrance’s name references the sacred, Parfum Sacré is nothing if not sensual.

Though Parfum Sacré opens with a burst of lively, citrusy pepper and spices, like many Caron fragrances, it is perfectly blended to create an more of an overall impression. Despite its spicy opening, Parfum Sacré is as warm and enveloping as a lover’s embrace. The presence of rose lends a velvety texture to the underlying woods and spices, elements which on their own can often be perceived as dry.

Though vanilla and floral notes make an appearance, it is only to support the romance between rose and spices. While the distinct Caron drydown is recognizable, it remains enrobed in the warm, dark rose, adding a hint a smoky drama.

While both the extrait and Eau de Parfum have impressive lasting power, they wear fairly close to the skin, making for an intimate yet luxurious fragrance experience. While the vintage versions have more complexity and depth (especially the extrait which is truly magical) the reformulated version available today is a reasonably close facsimile and worth seeking out for those seeking an elegant and unusual rose-tinged oriental.

Notes: Vanilla, Myrrh, Civet, Cedarwood, Lemon, Pepper, Mace, Cardamom, Orange Blossom, Rose, Jasmine, Rosewood

Christian Dior – Diorissimo

Christian Dior – Diorissimo


There are times when life’s trials become a bit much, and we crave some comfort or small happiness. While for many, the first thing that comes to mind may be food or drink, I find that fragrance often has the power to be an uplifting presence and bring a smile to my face. In these times, I will often reach for a scent that is beautiful in its unadorned simplicity, rather than provocative or challenging. One fragrance which can always bring a smile to my face is Christian Dior’s Diorissimo. Diorissimo perfectly captures the scent of the lovely Lily of the Valley, so much so that it seems one is wearing a living flower, and yet the fragrance is a ruse: for it is not possible to extract the scent of this beautiful white flower.

Diorissimo was the magical creation of Edmond Roudnitska, the nose behind the beautiful Femme, as well numerous perfumes for Christian Dior. Given the impossibility of utilizing actual Lily of the Valley extract, Roudnitska’s work is nothing short of an optical illusion. More than any other fragrance, Diorissimo truly captures the scent of Lily of the Valley, to an astonishing degree. The creation relied heavily on Hydroxycitronellal, an aroma chemical with a sweet, green, soapy scent which very closely resembles that of the flower. As with many other vintage beauties, Diorissimo has suffered greatly at the hands of the IFRA regulations regarding potential allergens, as the use of Hydroxycitronellal in fragrances is restricted, because of potential sensitization.


I have both the Eau de Toilette and Parfum versions of vintage Diorissimo and each has its own distinct beauty. While the Eau de Toilette has a sharper, greener opening, as it unfolds, it becomes a gauzy Lily of the Valley, supported by a touch of jasmine with a slightly powdery feel. The fragrance is extremely light and inspiring, the scent of innocence and youth. I love this version just after a shower or right before bed.

The Parfum version is much deeper and somewhat hypnotic. I always have the impression of having crushed the flower on my wrist. The Parfum has a richness and animalic earthiness that is absent in the Eau de Toilette. It is richer, deeper and slightly indolic and an absolute beauty. diorissimo1


Notes: Green notes, bergamot, lily of the valley, ylang ylang, rosewood, amaryllis, boronia, jasmine, sandalwood, and civet.