This is a bit overdue since it's been nearly four months since my Italian vacation where the husband and I sniffed our way through Naples and the area around it equipped with a Google map dotted with various perfume destinations. The Bruno Acampora showroom was one of the most anticipated ones. True, we can get all of Bruno Acampora fragrances here in the US, but there's nothing like visiting the source. Once we actually found it, that is. The location is quite central (Via Filangieri 72, Naples), but there's no sign outside the building and the boutique is on the second floor which you access through a staircase in a semi-inner courtyard. Thankfully, there was a doorman who pointed us in the right direction.
Bruno Aacampora was a Capri-based jetsetter with a passion for his native area and the scents that defined it, as well as luxury and travel (his son, Brunello, is a yacht designer). The perfumes that carry his name are, indeed, luxurious. They come in two formulations: spray and oil, and I much prefer the latter. Bruno Acampora's oils are heavier and have an unmistakable high percentage of natural ingredients. The alcohol-based sprays (unfortnately named "Eau de Bruno") are still extrait de parfum concentration but feel more perfumy, for better and for worse. The boutique carries everything in several sizes, including travel sprays, and also offers body products (I'm kicking myself for not buying any), candles, and gift-sets, including one of the entire oil range that costs like a small Italian car.
Smelling everything on the spot can be a bit overwhelming. I was only familiar with Musc, which I've smelled a couple of times, including on my friend Lucy (see her post on Indie Perfumes). Thankfully, the people at the showroom were wonderfully generous with samples, which allowed me to spend some quality time with these gems and conclude that I like them quite a bit. Really like them, even. The only one I somehow didn't get to sample and can't even remember is Seplasia. If you're familiar with it please chime in.
Bruno Acampora Private Collection includes two perfumes: Bianco and Nero. I expected to fall for Nero, a dark spicy amber, but instead found myself coveting Bianco. Nero is a saffron and chocolate affair, ambery and woody, heavy on patchouli with a somewhat smoky dry-down. It's a great one, for sure, but it's Bianco that captivated me with its complexity: a musky white floral with a surprise sparkle, like tiny crystals on a silk chiffon dress. There's jasmine and spice, white roses over smooth wood, and a creamy dry-down.
Nero: citrus, saffron, cedar, patchouli, sandalwood, amber, musk.
Bianco: lemon, orange, bergamot, coriander, rose, ylang-ylang, clove, pepper, jasmine, lily of the valley, musk, tonka bean, sandalwood, vanilla, patchouli, raspberries.
The other perfume oils I've tested-
Musc. This one smells shockingly different on everyone, to the point it's hard to believe it's the same perfume. The animal here is lurking in a very French lavender field and is semi-concealed by powder. I like it, but it's not true love. I guess I'm spoiled by MKK. Notes: musk, rose, violet, vanilla, cloves, amber, sandalwood.
Sballo. La Primavera. The essence spring. Call it whatever you want, it's an intoxicating and beautiful green floral with a hay dry-down that is far less feminine than the opening suggests.
Notes: rose, geranium, violet, orange blossom, musk, resins, sandalwood, vetiver, hay, sage.
Prima T. My first impression was soap. An expensive galbanum soap. Upon further testing the true chyper-like nature of Prima T becomes more apparent. There's a hint of vintage there; a vintage Chanel No.19, to be precise.
Notes: narcissus, violet, jasmine, rose, galbanum, mandarine, muguet, lily, musk, patchouly.
Volubilis. What an interesting creature! A bright and minty rose that reminded me instantly of Frederic Malle Geranium Pour Monsingeur, only deeper (and perhaps better).
Notes: pink pepper, bergamot, peppermint, rose, iris, patchouli, vanilla, amber, musk.
Blu. Tuberose, tuberose, and more tuberose. I love this narcotic yet beachy flower, so this was a no-brainer, but I can't say that Blu adds a lot to the already-crowded white floral shelf, except for being truly beautiful.
Notes: tuberose, orange, sandalwood, ylang-ylang.
Ignore the feminine label on Luckyscent. This is an outstanding and unique masculine. Opens as fresh-cut grass and damp earth, and becomes dirtier, somewhat fatty, with a hint of cuminy curry and a herb garden after the rain.
Notes: musk, sandalwood, jasmine, rose, amber, galbanum, patchouly, vanilla
Jasmine T. Bruno Acampora had a thing for jasmine (it's also his daughter's name), and this is his ultimate interpretation of the flower. Jasmine T really needs heat to develop and I like it much more now in mid-summer than I did back in the cool and rainy days of early spring. It's truly golden, with a heavy dose of mimosa and ylang-ylang.
Notes: jasmine, cyclamen, cloves, ylang-ylang.
Luckyscent carries all Bruno Acampora perfumes, both in spray and in oil, the latter is around $200 for 10ml. I wish they also stocked the 5ml size that's offered in Italy (I'm pretty sure you can call them and ask for a special order, though). Nero and Bianco, unfortunately, are only offered in 10ml and 20ml