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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Sacred Feminine: Parfum Sacre by Caron

It is hard to believe that Parfum Sacre was created as recently as 1990, this incredibly beautiful perfume, an immaculate, soft, classic, timeless blend. With notes of myrrh, musk, vanilla, rose, jasmine, pepper, cinnamon, coriander, Parfum Sacre is something straight out of the Song of Songs, “an orchard of pomegranates with choice fruits…with every kind of incense tree, myrrh and aloes and all the finest spices…”

It starts as a gentle, whispery rose and vanilla blend on my skin, with tiny sparkles of pepper adding discreet spiciness to the composition. Cinnamon and jasmine, two notes I find rather hard to wear, are not obvious to my nose here, this story really is all about roses, vanilla and musk. As the fragrance develops further, incense tiptoes in, and this is sweet, warm incense, very far removed from the cold grey scents like Avignon or Passage d’Enfer. Parfum Sacre is all about warmth, colors red, black and dark gold.

Having said that, there is nothing overly grand or imposing about this perfume, don’t let the name lead you to expect a heady voluptuous High Priestess kind of scent, this is a different kind of sacred, the one that is kept in reverent secrecy and related in whispers. Song of Songs aside, what this fragrance really brings to mind are the images of Sacred Feminine and the theories of the Goddess in the Gospels. Yes, I did read and like The Da Vinci Code and it obviously shows, but think about it- roses and myrrh, what other perfume would be more appropriate to personify Mary Magdalene? Have the members of the Priory of Sion infiltrated Caron in the 1990s? Perhaps, given the history of all the wonderful Caron creations, they were present there from the very beginning.

I will leave you with Padraic Pearse's "Song for Mary Magdalene":

O woman of the gleaming hair,
(Wild hair that won men's gaze to thee)
Weary thou turnest from the common stare,
For the shuiler Christ is calling thee.

O woman of the snowy side,
Many a lover hath lain with thee,
Yet left thee sad at the morning tide,
But thy lover Christ shall comfort thee.

O woman with the wild thing's heart,
Old sin hath set a snare for thee:
In the forest ways forspent thou art
But the hunter Christ shall pity thee.

O woman spendthrift of thyself,
Spendthrift of all the love in thee,
Sold unto sin for little pelf,
The captain Christ shall ransom thee.

O woman that no lover's kiss
(Tho' many a kiss was given thee)
Could slake thy love, is it not for this
The hero Christ shall die for thee?

*The painting is Mary Magdalene in the Desert by Jusepe de Ribera, 1640-41, Museo del Prado, Madrid.

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Blogger Heather said...

This is the first time I've looked at this blog - and as always I have Andy Tauer to thank for great links.

But I couldn't stop myself from commenting here - you create such a beautiful impression of this perfume - I'm almost tempted to rush out and buy it. Not even Luca manages that for me!!

What a lovely blog you have - thank you

4:54 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Vikochka, spasibo. I think Parfum Sacre is one of the most beautiful scents out there, just stunning. Not always easy to wear for me, it is a tad temperamental on my skin sometimes, but I love it no matter what.

10:16 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Andy Tauer has a wonderful blog (and so do you, dear The I in Eie Flud) :-) Thank you so much for your kind words! I am so glad you are tempted to buy Parfum Sacre, it is so beautiful, I would love for everyone to have it.

10:18 AM EDT  
Blogger Heather said...

I decided I might try this perfume as its my b/day shortly and it would be something exciting to put on my list.

However, the geneology list for this perfume says it has civet - would you know if this is the real stuff or synthetic? If its real its off my wish list!!

4:35 AM EDT  
Blogger Char- Dog/Grandmama said...

I mistakenly traded my Parfum Sacre in the gorgeous splash bottle with the dabber stopper away for another fragrance!
I could not stand being without my Sacre and was amazed at how much I missed it. I had to search all over the internet to find that lovely splash bottle again, but I found it!!! I ordered it, it is on it's way and I will never make that mistake again.
Parfum Sacre can only be described in one word - "masterpiece"

7:40 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I couldn't agree more, it's a gorgeous scent. My bottle is a splash too, with a dabber cap and I think it's the best option in this case as spray could perhaps be overwhelming.

7:50 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Happy Birthday!
Unfortunately I don't know what kind of civet is in there, I didn't even realise there was civet. No animalic notes on my skin here.
Luca Turin is bound to know this things, if that fails you can always email Caron, they have a new website.


10:18 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh how I wish that the rose, jasmine and civet had appeared for me. All I got was cinnamon, vanilla, and then more cinnamon and vanilla. The EdP had very poor sillage and lasting power both on skin and clothing. Perhaps I will try layering with
Creed's FdTRB and see if I can get Caron's rose to make an appearance. I was really looking forward to a vintage, vampy, va-va-va-voom of a fragrance and instead got a sickly spinster with her woolen cardigan buttoned at the neck on a hot July day. Boo Hoo, poor me!! Worse things could happen. . . .

9:08 AM EDT  
Blogger Cat Fish said...

Thank you for this wonderful review, painting and poem.
I just love the "cinnamoned rose" note in it. Finally used up my large decant and git my first full bottle. Perfect for this season!

6:48 AM EST  

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