Under the Radar: Bruno Acampora Musc- New Signal on the Musk Radar

I probably don’t say this enough, but I adore my readers. I’ve always wanted this blog to be a place to have a discussion. After my Discount Diamonds column on Kiehl’s Musk one reader contacted me through Facebook and asked if I’d ever tried Bruno Acampora Musc. I told her I had not. Then she put me in contact with the brand and they sent me a whole package of samples. It turns out she was absolutely correct about this being another perfume which should be known by those who love full-spectrum musk fragrances. Which means it was a natural to be this month’s Under the Radar choice.

Musc was the inaugural perfume in the Bruno Acampora brand. Founded in 1974 there has been a consistent output of new releases over time. Exploring a brand like this with forty-plus years’ worth of experience it allows me to see Sig. Acampora’s aesthetic through a time-lapse. It is interesting to notice that Musc turns out to be a sturdy platform from which the rest of the collection grows outward from.

Musc opens with not the fierce animalic musk I expected. Instead Sig. Acampora goes for one which evokes rich earth full of decaying humus.  This is a style of musk not often used because it is the furry and feral version which is seemingly more popular. It is a reason why Sig. Acampora’s version stands out. Then like a riotous early spring garden tiny shoots of rose and jasmine provide tiny floral highlights. Clove props up the forest floor aspect. An equally earthy patchouli doubles down on that vibe. A creamy sandalwood provides the base.

Musc has 12-14 hour longevity as a perfume oil. In that form it has little sillage almost entirely a skin scent.

Bruno Acampora is an example of why I want to do this column. A brand working within the independent sector with a definable aesthetic. This is the kind of excellent perfume which gets lost in the clutter of new brands. It shouldn’t. It took a reader to point out my musk radar screen had a new signal. I am extremely grateful to her for making sure I pulled Bruno Acampora Musc up from Under the Radar.

Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Bruno Acampora.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Bruno Acampora Azzurro di Capri- Mediterranean to the Max

When I attend Esxence I am usually focused on new brands and the new releases of brands I have liked in the past. This can be a hindrance because if I have made a judgement in the past a brand doesn’t often get a chance to make a new impression. At this year’s Esxence a brand did have that chance because it was right next door to some long-time friends. While I was talking to them I kept smelling this really fascinating aquatic coming from the stand next to theirs. My friend remarked to me how much he liked it and got me a strip to smell. At that moment I found I needed to give Bruno Acampora Azzurro di Capri a try.

Bruno Acampora started a presence in the niche perfume world when they started releasing alcohol based perfumes starting in 2012. Previously the constructs had all been oils from 1974-1980. Because of that history the more recent releases have carried an intensity to them which I didn’t care for. As a result, they never got the opportunity to really grab my attention. With Azzurro di Capri they took an aquatic and applied that kind of focused construction. In this case by driving up the concentration and releasing it as an extrait it turns out that it was exactly this intensity I was missing from this class all along.

bruno acampora logo

Like many Italian aquatics Azzurro di Capri is a classic Mediterranean variation on the theme. That means lots of citrus, some orange blossom, and some clean wood. That is the framework of most scents claiming this part of the world as inspiration. Azzurro di Capri has all of the necessary ingredients. It is what they add in besides the required curriculum which really makes it stand out.

The citrus opening of Azzurro di Capri comes courtesy of a juicy orange. The citrus is matched with jasmine. Right from the top the amplification of certain notes let me know this was going to be a bit different. The jasmine actually takes the lead and the orange tucks in underneath. This sets up the arrival of orange blossom to form a white flower duet in which they let muguet sing some harmonies. This willingness to give over to the white florals and let them drive the middle part of the development was unexpected and delightful. Things take a turn for the darker as a rich patchouli begins the transition to the base. Cedar provides the requisite woodiness. Amber and musk form the base accord. Usually in these kind of perfumes the musk is kept to a whisper. Not here. The musk is sultry picking up on the patchouli while allowing the amber the opportunity to provide warmth. More than anything it is this drydown which has made me enjoy Azzurro di Capri so much.

Azzurro di Capri has 12-14 hour longevity and has above average sillage.

In the past I have found the power of Bruno Acampora to be a detriment to my sampling the line. With Azzurro di Capri it is almost the entire reason why I am impressed. It turns out I wanted my Mediterranean maxed out. Azzurro di Capri delivers.

-Disclosure: this review was based on a sample provided by Bruno Acampora at Esxence 2016.

Mark Behnke