Colonia is the signature fragrance of the perfume house, which began life in 1916 in an essence laboratory in Parma, recognisable with its Art Deco inspired bottle and yellow hat box style box.
Acqua di Parma Note di Colonia
It is the smell that heralds the arrival of elegance. A stylish chap – or chappess - robed in Loro Piana, heading into St Moritz’s Badrutt’s Palace, or stepping off their Riva in their jaunty Tod’s. The waft of Acqua di Parma is a comforting one that evokes stylish summers past.
With top notes of grapefruit and blood mandarin, it gives way to rose absolute and leather. It has expanded rapidly, with new lines such as Blue Meditteraneo, and Profumo, the first women’s fragrance, in 1999. In 2001 the brand was acquired by LVMH and has since branched out to include spas. Colonia continues to be the brand’s hero product, however there are some newcomers this season.
The most recent launches is a triptych of different scents: Note di Colonia I, II and III. The first, Colonia I, is a melange of bergamot, neroli, Damascus rose and violet, made heady with patchouli and cedarwood. The second in the series is a more intense offering, with punches of basil, cardamom and sandalwood. More of an evening scent, it is rich with musk and vetiver.
The finale of the three is the grandiose and evocative scents of ginger, mandarin and jasmine with full-bodied tonka bean and myrrh.
The perfumes are meant to be an ode to the musical side of Parma. Whether or not this is translated to the scents is arguable, but they are a fresh interlude nevertheless.
Scents priced at £280; harrods.com