It has been awhile since I featured a blog post in my series “Stuff Aesthetic Fascists Like.” In case you’re unfamiliar with the term aesthetic fascist, my friend gave me this appellation because my appreciation for beauty, whether music, art, theater, literature, or fashion, risks being authoritarian. I recently got educated on fragrances at Neiman Marcus and enthusiastically recommend these two colognes from the perfumer Acqua di Parma, “the expression of exclusively Italian savoir vivre and savoir faire.”
It all started with this fragrance, created in 1916 in a small perfumer’s laboratory in the heart of Parma. Master perfumers devised an unusually fresh and light composition compared to the perfumes of the day: Acqua di Parma Colonia, the first true Italian eau de cologne.
Its refined alchemy, which was immediately successful and became an evergreen classic, still offers sensations of incomparable freshness and radiance. Pure joie de vivre released by the sunny essences of the finest Sicilian citrus fruits and a harmonious blend of lavender, rosemary, verbena and damask rose. This is followed by warm woody notes like vetiver, sandal and patchouli. Inimitable accords capable of seduction, oblivious to time and fashion. The Colonia formula has remained unchanged for nearly a hundred years. The elegant Art Deco bottle, with its distinct bakelite stopper has been an undisputed style icon since 1930. The exquisite craftsmanship is reflected in every detail of the packaging, made entirely by hand and characterised by the arms of the duchy of Parma and the yellow that has graced the city’s elegant buildings for decades. A timeless classic.
An invitation to travel with Acqua di Parma in the heady, sensory Middle East. Colonia Oud is an original and sophisticated interpretation of Colonia Intensa that combines the freshness of Colonia with the persistent and sensual lingering of agarwood (oud) oil, a prestige ingredient typical of Middle Eastern perfumery traditions. A charismatic and intensely male fragrance. An exquisitely balanced composition. On top is the lightness of citrus notes typical of Acqua di Parma, blending unexpectedly with the depth of agarwood, whose warm magnetic and persistent notes arouse sensations of assertiveness, power and ancestral virility. A unique combination of citrus top notes (orange and bergamot from select producers in Southern Italy) that blend with warm woody notes (Amyris, Russian coriander and agarwood oil) and combine in the end with aromatic base notes (cedar wood, patchouli, hints of leather, sandal and musk).