A Rose is a Rose is a Rose...Or Is It?
Apparently, this is not always as simple as it may seem. I have received the following from a lady from Transylvania who had really hard time choosing between two very stylized rosy perfumes from Caron:
I would really appreciate some help I am sure you are quite busy and received many emails; I am trying to decide between Nuit de Noël and Parfum Sacré . I seamed to be decided on Nuit de Noël ( I am a bit partial to it because I am born on Christmas Day and will travel home this winter to Transylvania and it seams to encompass a lit of all the things I miss and cherish) . After reading many reviews on both perfumes I am undecided between the two . My favorite perfume so far has been Amarige by Givenchy. Also I would like to purchase the perfume versus the EDT as it seams to be quite a difference in scents with Caron, is that so is there a big difference?. This will be my first Caron purchase . To tell you know a bit about my style and interests; I am not a girl loves all things pink king of gal:)... I love Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo and my biggest interest is ancient Greek and Roman history, I love all things classic and tailored.
Thank you so much for your time and attention,
Thank you so much for your email and my apologies for taking so long to reply!
Nuit de Noël and Parfum Sacré are very different from one another, albeit both being dark and rosy.
Personally, Parfum Sacré reminds me more of Christmas than Nuit de Noël. There is something about it that just makes it feel very festive and at the same time - despite all the spices and musk - it feels very, very light. Almost like a caress of snowflakes on your cheeks, if those were warm; or a fuzzy fur collar. I have to say though that my impressions are based entirely on the eau de parfum formulation. I have never tried it in parfum, but I hear it is more peppery than the EDP.
Nuit de Noël is darker and denser and if it has anything to do with Christmas, perhaps it is somewhat like plum pudding. There is a bit of an ink quality to it. It is also more dry than Parfum Sacré (even though the latter is dry and spicy and incensey). If there is any sweetness to it - it's more like licorice than a real sugary sweet.
To summarize - while both perfumes are rosy and dark, Parfum Sacré is more airy, spicy and incensey, light and expansive while Nuit de Noël is darker, denser, deep and more mysterious. It is really about the effect you want to achieve and what you associate more with Christmas - something more contemplative (Nuit de Noël) or more festive and outgoing (Parfum Sacre). Both perfumes are excellent so it's definitely not a question of quality, but taste.
All this being said, the only way you can really make a decision is to try them both. There are plenty of ways to obtain samples of these exquisite Caron fragrances - either call the nearest Caron boutique to you (there is one in Paris and another one in New York) and they might be able to ship samples to your country. And if not - try swapping on the many fragrance boards (Perfume of Life, Make Up Alley, Basenotes, Perfume Addicts, to name the main ones) or order from one of the decant and samples merchants online (from a quick shopping around I can tell you that The Perfumed Court carries many Caron samples)