Last year during Pitti Fragrance in Florence Bruno Acampora Profumi launched nine new fragrances divided into two collections. Nine. New. Perfumes.
Brunello and Sonia Acampora teamed up with Miguel Matos – an independent, talented, wildly creative self-taught perfumer, and a renowned Fragrantica Editor. Two new collections were presented – Acampora 54 (with six new fragrances plus already existing Bruno/2014) and Tadema. Ha!
In this whirlwind of niche perfumes today with literally hundreds of new releases in a single year, there are situations when I freeze.
This usually happens when I’m facing four or more perfumes from one brand/collection/perfumer – launched at once, no matter how much time it took them to round up the collection. Or when I have a discovery kit in front of me containing twenty fragrance samples, none or just a couple of which I had a chance to try before.
This just means that I’ll have to take my time and study the whole collection in order to get to know the brand better, to dive beneath the surface – which then in return slows down the process even more.
I really took my time with these two collections, drained all the samples I had, and now I’m ready to share my top choices with you.
Acampora 54 collection revolves around the atmosphere of the famous Studio 54 in New York, late ’70s, vibes of freedom to express yourself in a way that is provocative and elegant at the same time.
Bruno Acampora was hanging out there rubbing shoulders with artists and celebs, dreamers and party animals, inhaling scents of funky glamour and wild exuberance of night-life with limitless possibilities of entertainment.
I don’t remember reading much about Studio54, parties, celebrities, and related news or gossip during the70’s – I was far too young. As far as I remember later references to Studio54, when I did read local boulevard print available at that time, that kind of entertainment coming from the States was still referred to as „unspeakable capitalist decadence“ aimed at „corruption of the society“.
Photos featured were purposely chosen to illustrate „fallen and drugged young female models“ in arms of „vile and corrupt international playboys“. Or even worse. Same-sex couples kissing! Sodom and Gomorrah, drugs&sex inferno fueled up by disco music, spoiling the innocent youth.
Later on, when my father drove me every Saturday to the most famous disco in the city, he would spend hours sitting in the car, reading books, just waiting for me to leave the place – before midnight – and drive me and my friends home safely. So much about having limitless entertainment possibilities at that time!
Yet, you can’t stop the music: it travels fast across all borders, and just like the ’60s brought change to people, the late ’70s and early 80’s affected their kids. Dance music, glitter, shiny shirts, freedom to dance any way you wanted to, to be whatever you wanted to be, and all the songs about love – how alluring for a young, teen me!
My first Studio54 experience took place every second Saturday from 5-8 PM in our primary school classroom: we had a great teacher that allowed us to have our own „disco night“. We would clear the dance floor by pushing all the desks and chairs aside, one of us brought their own record player and records (so all the record player owners got the chance to take turns and be DJ’s), we even improvised a disco ball – and this is all we needed.
No drinks were allowed, I remember rushing to drink water straight from the pipe in the hallway after hours of dancing with my classmates, smearing off what little of bubblegum-smelling glittering pink lipgloss was left on my lips.
When it got dark, our teacher would turn off all the lights in the classroom – during only one slow-dance…and those were the moments that we talked about and giggled about for weeks that would follow, until the new disco-evening. Saturday night fever, when we all felt ultimately chic.
Memories of all that excitement, hours and hours of choosing, swapping and improvising „disco“ clothes and accessories, a single tube of pink lip gloss I begged my mom to buy me, sneaking into my parents’ bedroom to grab my mom’s perfume to steal a couple of spritzes from any bottle I would grab first and rush out before she could disapprove of anything I was wearing.
Dancing and forgetting everything outside that classroom disco, and the soft, musky smell of my own skin during a slow dance. Trying to like to move, dance, and talk like Debby Harry, looking every night at her image on a huge poster on my bedroom wall: Freak Chic.
Freak Chic is impatient, bursting at the seams in an energizing way. It opens with funky fresh fruits mixed up in a cristal bowl, spiced up, and ginger-zesty. It feels like a shiny, pink silk shirt, purposefully unbuttoned in a careless manner.
Glittery, fresh roses that pop up from that crystal bowl are shiny and intense. It’s like they are saying „I am what I am and I don’t care what you think about me“.
Roses, intense jasmine clad roses, like dancers on a dancefloor that attract all the attention, and are well aware of it. The crowd around breathes and moves, adding warmth to the scene: roses sink slowly in darker patchouli hues with a breath of warm sweetness.
Musks resembling a glowing, sweaty human skin in the drydown are seductive, with softly gliding woods and smooth, honeyed beeswax as the aftertaste.
An unapologetically smug, sexy floral chypre. Le freak, c’est chic!
Notes: Apple, ginger, bergamot, passion fruit, mandarin, jasmine, rose, chamomile, musk, teak, patchouli, ebony, cedar moss, raspberry, beeswax.
Relight My Fire
Plush leather seats, scent of a mix of various drinks and cocktails on the table. Sitting down and leaning back to observe, while the spinning lights pierce the darkness with myriad spots of light spinning around the walls and the dancefloor.
Contrasts, of calmness inside and the pulsing rhythm outside, bitter drinks and soft leather, a glimpse of a couple with hands embraced around each other in a slow-dance moving slowly and elegantly.
When their dance finishes, the music stops, and the lights dim down leaving you with old memories resurfacing.
Relight My Fire feels like a reflection of an image of a beautiful, classic-style, vintage perfume broken in many mirrors of a disco-ball. The opening is fizzy cocktails bright and fresh, aldehydes sparkly with bitter-green hues swirling around. Floral accords take over moving boldly, in dense strokes, bringing in a feeling of grand classics in perfumery – but this bouquet is darker and less feminine than it seems at first.
A sweet, resinous note of fir added is thick, woody, and balsamic, yet I still feel soft and hazy mimosa adding its aroma to it – with just a touch of dusty violets. And the drydown! It spins into an animalic direction, becoming a muffled animalic to be exact, seeping the warmness out of musky pores. The overall slightly vintage feeling is accentuated by a rich leather accord that melts with your vanilla tasting skin smoothly.
A decadent, classy, and elegant fragrance. Beautiful and touching.
Song: Love Of My Life, Queen
Notes: Aldehydes, bergamot, coriander, juniper, galbanum, jasmine, mimosa, geranium, violet, fir balsam, musk, peru resinoid, vanilla, animalic notes, leather.
All Bruno Acampora 54 (Bruno, Young Hearts, Read My Mind, Relight My Fire, Keep on Dancing, Robin, and Freak Chic) fragrances are available at Acampora Profumi as eau de parfum, extrait de parfum, and pure essence. Test before you buy.
The Plum Girl
Photos: The Plum Girl, Bruno Acampora Profumi, Studio 54 Tribute, Getty Images.
Samples were graciously given to me by Sonia Acampora at Pitti 2019, opinions and feelings – as always – of my own.
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