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While I understand that market dynamics seem to demand constant expansion these days, even of traditional fragrance firms, it is sometimes just better to keep doing what you have done well for a hundred years and stick with that. And if you're going to branch out, to do it right. Colonia by Aqua di Parma is such a classic, it truly stands tall among traditional Italian colognes and those of the other great perfume nations. Whoever controls this company now seems to know little of the responsibility that should come with bearing such a rich heritage, or so would be my conclusion from trying a number of the more recent offerings from this house: the inept mutilation that is Colonia Assoluta (the Germans have that wonderful word "Verschlimmbesserung," meaning "improving for the worse"); the gruesome cheap-scent-candle vanilla-almond Mandorlo di Sicilia; the insipid Arancia; and now the utterly superfluous Fico di Amalfi. For the perfume world needs an inferor version of Diptyque's Phylosikos with a citrus top as much as Italian democracy needs people like Silvio Berlusconi.
26 December, 2006 (Last Edited: 16 September, 2009)