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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Acqua di Parma Colonia: Fragrance Review & Giveaway of Luxurious Body Products Set

It had been ages since I had last smelled the refined herbal, acrid top notes of Acqua di Parma's cologne, atavistically named Colonia and encased in the sunniest crocus yellow this side of the earth's "omphalos". (Seriously, if there's one shade in the beauty business packaging to rival Hermes's coveted orange and Tiffany's delicate robin-egg blue, it's Aqua di Parma's yellow; a true trademark). It was the mid-1990s, I recall, when I was first taken with the "niche" circuit and when coincidentally Diego della Valle decided to rescue not only driving shoes (establishing the famous Tod's loafer) but also credible Italian cologne resold as a refined commodity since at least the times of Jean Marie Farina. Acqua di Parma was immediately eye-catching but it was the simple, to the point elegance of subtlety (fragrance wearing for the pleasure of fragrance wearing -not announcing any deep and meaningful messages about one's self importance) which cinched the deal. My first bottle found its rightful place on my vanity. The rest is history.
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In Alfie, the modern version of the film from 2004, this is all Jude Law, devastatingly charming*, with a full head of hair thank you very much and ruining his marriage with the help of Sienna Miller, used to have on his bathroom shelf: Acqua di Parma Colonia. And who can blame him**? Apparently the scent scored, as scads of females were hankering for his guiles, Susan Sarandon in all her mature knowingness no less. The cineaste reference isn't without peer: reportedly both Ava Gardner and Cary Grant liked and wore Acqua di Parma's classic cologne in the 1930s. Today you can feel like a movie star when stepping out of the bath of any 5 star hotel in the world where Acqua di Parma bath and body products are a sine qua non.

The story of Acqua di Parma goes like this: In 1916 Master perfumers created a new fragrance in a small laboratory in Parma using natural ingredients. It was an unusually fresh and modern fragrance – the first true Italian Cologne. Today Acqua di Parma is still true to its heritage. The fragrances and the packaging are still both hand-designed and Acqua di Parma is an iconic symbol of the refined, exclusive, and purest Italian lifestyle.

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The brilliance of Colonia by Acqua di Parma lies in the intensely sunny, succulent marriage of both sweet orange rind essence and bitter orange notes (citrus aurantia from which neroli, petit-grain and orange blossom absolute derive) to the soapy mossiness of the base; it gives a genuinely chyprish scent nuance, evocative of tall cypresses, proudly standing against Tuscany winds, with a backdrop of lemony verbena, delicate rose and a hint of patchouli, like spots of sienna tiles and stuccoed walls silhouetted serenely in the distance. It's enough to shed away your winter stressed shell and bask in the Italian sunshine Ava-style. Who in their right mind could ask for more?

Notes for Acqua di Parma Colonia:
Bergamot, Citrus, Lemon, Bitter Orange, Sweet Orange, English Lavender, Bulgarian or Damascene Rose, Verbena, Clary Sage, Rosemary, Cedarwood, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Oakmoss.

For our readers, we have a luxe gift set of Colonia bath & shower gel, hair conditioner and body lotion in the glorious yellow boxes and bags. Please enter a comment to be eligible. Draw is open internationally till Wednesday midnight. Winner to be announced sometime in Thursday.

*it is my personal quirk that I prefer his portrayal of the murderer photographer in the grim & great  Road to Perdition...don't mind me.
** this film still tells you all about the intended audience of the product placement

In the interests of disclosure, I was given the set via a PR opportunity. 


94 comments:

  1. Fernando14:15

    How long does it last? That has been my prennial issue with various forms of cologne.

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  2. I thought that I didn't like cologne, but then I tried Aqua di Parma and fell in love :)

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  3. Jonatan Sommer15:17

    I really love all Aqua Di Parma I have tried. Simple awesome!
    Nice review!

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  4. Liz K15:31

    Gorgeous stuff, Acqua di Parma. Have never owned a bottle but used to have a small travel soap that I stored with my out of season handbags - they smelled amazing. On reflection, I have no idea where that little mini soap came from; some promotion probably. Thank you for this draw!

    PS. Jude Law, with or without hair, is also gorgeous.

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  5. Mimi G15:38

    Gorgeous Aqua di Parma . I do wonder how much oakmoss is in it .

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  6. used to own it, don't know why I stopped using it (overload of other fumes, I guess)

    Thanks for the draw!

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  7. oh please do enter me in the drawing for this! sounds like the perfect antidote to our hot, miserable summer weather. and i haven't smelled it in years, but remember it very pleasantly...

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  8. Erik16:40

    I love all Aqua Di Parma scents! Colonia remains one of the best colognes! I like your review!

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  9. I am really into colognes this summer but I have yet to smell Colonia. I'm hoping I can find some to sniff this weekend. Thanks for the draw.

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  10. I always see Acqua di Parma when drooling over the Neiman Marcus fragrances section on their website, but have never had the pleasure of trying it. Maybe now...A girl (old woman!) can hope. P.S. Since beginning to read your better-than-anything blog, I have ordered a few niche fragrances from their own lovely websites. None have arrived yet, but maybe I'll let you know how they turn out. I know I'm extremely excited !

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  11. CBee17:36

    An Aqua di Parma Colonia gift set would be just the thing to take on holiday with me. I could dream of Italian sophistication while occupying active 7 year olds at the British seaside!

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  12. Lena17:59

    Please enter me into the draw! So curious about Aqua di Parma! So far I tried only Atelier Orange Sanguine. It had an oxidizing steal note to it. Not my favorite!

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  13. What a heavenly draw, E, thanks so much! The quintessential summer scent, definitely.

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  14. Anonymous20:12

    With the summer colognes I just can't get enough
    Please count me for the draw
    Thank you :)
    Phanie

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  15. You are right about "The Road to Perdition", one of his better performances. I liked him in A.I. as well! Thanks for having the draw!

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  16. mmm... aqua di parma... indeed, the yellow boxes alone are glorious! Thanks, Radmila, rada76@Mail.ru

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  17. Oh, I would love to try them! :-)

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  18. voxsusanna22:58

    Ah, Elena, you are the whole package, as we say here in the US. Love your insights and unfailing generosity of spirit. I hope you can place some product with me!

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  19. Anonymous00:54

    I love a classic cologne structure, both the scent profile and how well they work on my skin. I haven't tried Acqua di Parma yet, but I'd love to -- I suspect these products would make for a glorious shower.
    Thanks so much for the draw opportunity.

    -- Lindaloo

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  20. Its a lovely classic!

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  21. Anonymous02:03

    Just the antidote needed for the dog days of August fast coming up. Thanks for the draw.
    Kayceebee

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  22. Delightful reason to de-lurk after a long time reading...

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  23. I love Colonia, and I would love even more to win the body products! Thank you for the draw!

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  24. Anonymous03:36

    This scent is lovely on so many, my mom included. I would love to own the gift set.
    Great blog.
    Thanks
    Patricia

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  25. Anonymous03:48

    What a fabulous prize! I adore the packaging too, and admittedly have neglected the older 'classics' of AdP, so would love to try this!
    Lynley

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  26. SandyVasalos03:54

    This is on my list of coveted scents. Wonderful description as always. I will dream of Italy tonight.



















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  27. I've never used anything from this house, but it certainly sounds good for this summer. Thanks for the draw.

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  28. Love the historic references, and sense of atmosphere you convey. Please enter me in the draw.

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  29. missionista04:37

    I’d love to be entered in the draw. I have yet to try anything from this line.

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  30. How have I never tried this? I love the idea of the hair conditioner.

    What a great draw, thanks!

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  31. this sounds delightful!

    i've been trying to get the bf to get one of the men's scents, hopefully soon...

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  32. I've been thinking that it's time for me to reclaim Acqua di Parma. It was the soundtrack to my divorce twelve years ago. The Colonia was the first bracing citrus I craved and needed; I applied it constantly. Liquid confidence. I still crave citrus, especially bergamot. Speaking of which, my beloved Bergamote lasts hours more thanks to your blog. Thank you for suggesting that the outer forearm is a great spot to spray.

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  33. This is exactly what I need, owning a fragrance of this mark. Thanks for the opportunity.

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  34. That is a very generous offer! and perfect for summer!
    I do hope I get lucky this time around... ;)

    and if not, at least my vacation starts tomorrow. :)

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  35. Zazie08:16

    Amid this relentless heat, a cologne is just what I need to sparkle things up in the mornings and evenings!
    Thanks for the draw!

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  36. Anonymous08:24

    Thank you for your wonderful blog and for this generous draw. I hope to win this lovely classic of classics. A fresh cologne is just the thing!

    Akmtvehi

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  37. Miss Heliotrope08:32

    O glory - lemon verbena, chypre, citrus...

    It is interesting how the idea of Italy or Italian scent is so clear cut -

    Please?

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  38. Gisela08:48

    You had me at "Oakmoss"...
    Lovely review, thanks for the draw!

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  39. 'tall cypresses amongst Tuscan winds' yeesh I wish I was there.

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  40. I've always wanted to try something from Acqua di Parma!

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  41. Dearest Shrine
    So tryue, the packaging doth maketh this scent... to a degree for what's inside is so very lovely.
    It lasts much longer on The Dandy's skin than almost any other cologne (excepting ferns) though that is only a handful of hours.
    But isn't the fleeting quality if this type of scent its beauty?
    Talking of beauty, I was once in the presence of a naked, youthful Jude law for the best part of an hour, though that as they say is another story...
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

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  42. One of my all time favourites!

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  43. older lady10:33

    Fragrance wearing for the pleasure of wearing it. Yes!

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  44. Have not tried Acqua di Parma,it sounds like i'm missing a real treat! I feel cheated not having access to many wonderful scents in the U.S.-Please enter me in the drawing thank you.

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  45. Belle11:21

    Oh my! I would certainly love to try this! Especially since I've not tried anything from Acqua yet.

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  46. Yes, it's a great scent, unique but easy to wear.

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  47. I love this stuff- it's the only scent my husband will wear.

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  48. I love this stuff. It is the only cologne my hubby will wear.

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  49. I purchased my (only) bottle of Colonia at NM in 1996 and have been stretching the last mls this summer. Would love to be entered in the draw. Thank you. :-)

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  50. I love bitter orange notes for summer, that´s for sure! Thank you for the draw, will be looking forward to tomorrow results!

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  51. Bergamot, Cedarwood, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Vetiver and Oakmoss all mixed together delightfully...this must be a sinfully delicious Summer scent!

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  52. Olivia12:39

    thanks for the draw! I've never smelled this cologne, but if it smells anything like the lovely Italian men who were walking by me on my trip to Italy, then I can't wait!

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  53. AdP Colonia is a standard by which cologne (in the formal sense) could be judged.

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  54. Ah just what an over-stressed lady from down under is craving. A warm, carefree citrus scent to breathe a little fresh air into life. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

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  55. Dina C.13:15

    I want to try their Colonia, because I love Acqua di Parma's Iris Nobile edp. Their Magnolia Nobile is good, too. Thanks for entering me in the drawing.

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  56. Irina13:16

    would love to win this draw-did not try, yet, any of their scents and this is a great start
    thanks a lot

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  57. Tally13:18

    I just found this blog, and I'm really excited to learn more about perfume!

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  58. Anonymous13:18

    What a coincidence , my son just asked me when am I goIng to get another bottle of the cologne in the refrigerator. Let me exPlain... I have used AdP Colonia for several years and always keep it in the fridge as I love to use it cold in the summer, I find it to be refreshing and soothing and it lasts and lasts. It is also the first cologne I have ever put on my son and he recognizes the smell immediately. We just ran out and would love to be entered in this draw! ---thanks Firefly 97

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  59. I'm always attracted to classic scents. Enter me please. Thank you.

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  60. I would love to be entered in the draw! Thanks so much.

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  61. Anonymous14:00

    love this scent ! its perfect when you don't want anything sweet. fresh and crisp. would love to be entered in the draw.

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  62. Anonymous14:03

    love this scent. after reading your review, if i didn't already have some i would def go get it !! would love to be entered in the draw. thanks !! annsmith

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  63. Thanks for the draw, I'd love to be entered.
    Portia xx

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  64. I love body products! Thanks for the great giveaway!

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  65. I've also never tried or even sniffed, and now after reading this, sure would like to!

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  66. Mary K15:20

    This is a great scent for summer, but works well any time of the year. Love the yellow packaging, too. Please enter me in the drawing. Thank you.

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  67. Eva H.15:41

    Thanks for this draw! I have yet to try any Acqua die Parma scent...this sounds so nice !

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  68. I used to love Colonia, but haven't used it in years. Would love to win this set!

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  69. I love this scent and would love to win the draw.

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  70. μπε-α-ού-τι-φουλ!!! ;)

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  71. I would love to try them

    Anna

    anna_k67@yahoo.com

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  72. Anonymous16:43

    I miss the good old days, of Jude and Sadie frost-thank you for the chance to win the fragrance. I always look for fume references while watching movies-I have wanted a bottle of the SMN fragrance with the green label, ever since I saw it on Eva Green's character in the James Bond movie.

    Sincerely,

    Carole macLeod

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  73. Ellen16:54

    oh oh oh. I would love to win this. thanks for the draw.

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  74. I love the freshness of the whole Acqua di Parma range, although Gelsomino Nobile really takes my breath away.

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  75. Maureen20:28

    I would love to win this. I have never had an Acqua di Parma fragrance, but the notes sound wonderful. Thanks.

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  76. Amy K21:49

    I'm apparently not staying in the right hotels! Thanks for the drawing.

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  77. I would love to smell this nice! Thank you for entering me in the Drawing.

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  78. I can't believe I've never tried this! I am in love with all things oakmoss. Actually, the only AdP that I have tried is the Iris Nobile, which I really like in warm weather. Please include me in the draw!

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  79. I would love to smell this nice! Thank you for entering me in the Drawing.

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  80. Ooh, I hope I'm not too late. My clock says its 23:32, but the time stamp on my comment says 00:31. I hope that still counts as by midnight. WANT!

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  81. leathermountain22:46

    This sounds really great. Total cologne, not 'just' a cologne.

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  82. hotlanta linda00:15

    Sounds PERFECT for heatwave relief!! Thank you for the contest :-)

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  83. Oh my, this sounds like heaven for the summer heat! I have been longing to try Colonia for some time now, really any Aqua di Parma, especially Iris Nobile. Thanks for the giveaway! :-)

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  84. Pyewacket01:32

    I have and love the Essenza variation. It never fails to make me extremely happy!

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  85. Lili Bitmore02:59

    Thank you for this education. from the dimension of description to the actual scent? Do, please sign me up for the drawing, Thanks again, Lili B.

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  86. I have only tried Mandorlo di Sicilia Acqua di Parma, but it was very nice. This would be a real treat to try. Thank you for the giveaways.

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  87. annemariec09:50

    Thanks for the draw, please enter me. I'm not that familiar Colinia

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  88. Merlin14:33

    I love this, and the intense but find their florals a little too mild!

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  89. Anonymous18:17

    Thanks for the drawing I'd love to try this!
    bookwyrmsmith at live dawt cawm

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  90. Oh, wow. That sounds close to perfect. Thank you for the opportunity!

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  91. Vlada18:54

    I would like to win this! Thanks for the draw!

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  92. Sophie C.16:33

    Please enter me for the draw! I love classic colognes and this sounds wonderful.

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  93. They offer a great product line. I'm in for the draw.

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  94. To layer this scent and dream of Italy.......yes please.

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