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Jaime B's Blog

The Acqua di Parma Line

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Another repost from the old blogs:

This house has been in business for nearly a hundred years. Many of their scents are very fine, and all of them are at least quite good.

The Colonia and Colonia Assoluta are the best sellers, probably, but (being in the eaux de cologne genre) the least interesting to me. If I had to choose, I'd say the second one is more interesting, more complex, but don't overspray! I do wear and enjoy it, especially in hot weather.

But if you asked me, I would have to say that their true gems are:

1. the Profumo, which is a very complex unisex chypre with (they say) over a hundred ingredients. Very elegant, it lasts for a long time on my skin. It's a rather green chypre; even the florals in it tend to the green, e.g., it uses a very fresh and green rose de mai. I've worn it to birthday and holiday dinners at restaurants. It made me feel very warm and celebratory. I find it very suitable for the most special evening out. It changes subtly over the course of an evening and, IMO, is in the heights of sophistication for its type;

2. Iris Nobile, which they market towards women, but which I would gladly wear. I have it only in samples, unfortunately. It's one of the most beautiful iris-based scents I've ever smelled, IMO on a par with Lanvin's Arpège pour Homme or Dior's Dior Homme. What distinguishes it is that it has an agridolce quality, managing to make the iris note both sweet and dry at the same time. I'm sure there's some trick of using earthy orris root in the base with sweeter suggestions in the top or middle notes, such as the star anise (astringent) and the orange blossom (sweet). Since they came out with the EdP version, I can't decide which of the two I like better.

They also make a Lavanda Tonica, which is a pretty straightforward lavender blend, with a noticeable rose drydown. It's not very long-lasting on me, and I consider it a little old-fashioned and somewhat less masculine on me.

Their Blu Mediterraneo series is interesting. The two I have are Cipresso Toscano, a fresh, woody-green scent, moderately lasting. The cypress is a little out of balance with the rest of the ingredients, and should be better supported, I think. Once the cypress is gone, the scent loses most of its interest for me. The other one I have is Fico d'Amalfi, better than CT IMO. It is a fig scent with citrus in the top and cedar and other woods in the base: a nice, fresh scent for spring or summer. I think they pitch this one mainly to women, but it has some eau-de-cologne-type attributes, so I would call it a shared fragrance. There are some others in the Blu Mediterraneo series, but I'm not familiar with them enough to pass any judgment on them.

I think Acqua di Parma is a great niche house. If I had to judge them on only what they've put out since Profumo, I might knock them down a notch to merely very good. Since that peak, their next-best is Iris Nobile. I feel their future lies in reaching those levels of creativity again.

Updated 22nd January 2008 at 06:19 AM by JaimeB

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