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Krak des Chevaliers

Essenza

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Like Swedish death metal or Byzantine icons, cologne is essentially a narrow and conservative form. That makes genius within the genre all the more impressive: as the smaller details are the only really variable elements, they have to carry the composition.

Some weeks ago I tried some Acqua di Parma Colonia Essenza in a store, and it seemed impossible that any fragrance could lift my spirits so suddenly and decisively. Pure transport and unlike anything I had ever smelled before. Then, when my sample arrived a few days later, I realized: Oh, it's a cologne. Says so right on the bottle, doesn't it. But what a cologne. I don't know what those Parmigiani do to elevate the basic citrus elements into a marriage of heaven and earth worthy of Titian, but I remain in awe. Even if it is, and has always been, just a cologne.
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