Picking a scent is serious business, and it can prove tricky for any man. Thus, a sound philosophy is to have a go-to, a favorite, but to offset any one scent with a few others standbys, either by picking a favorite base note or by letting the seasons dictate your mood.
Consider Acqua di Parma’s famous scent Colonia as one of these contenders. The company was founded in 1916 in the Italian city of Parma as a small perfume factory creating scents for local noble families as a direct response to the German fragrance manufacturers, who largely based out of the city of Cologne, dominated the market at the turn of the 20th century.
Due to it’s light and fresh scent, featuring undertones of the Mediterranean and the scent of citrus fruits, Colonia become an instant hit with Italians everywhere. It was thought that a distinguished gentleman would “finish his outfit” off by perfuming his handkerchief with a splash of Colonia, in the same manner that he would choose his cufflinks or his tie. Colonia became a part of the Italian dressing ritual.
The fragrance’s popularity soared to new heights in the 1950s when stars of Hollywood, including Cary Grant and David Niven, were known to wear Acqua di Parma’s signature scent. Colonia quickly became known as the scent of sophistication.
Business slackened for the company in the years following World War II, but in 1993, three Italian friends with luxury goods backgrounds, Ferrari’s Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, Diego Della Valle, owner of Tod’s and La Perla shareholder Paolo Borgomanero, in an effort to safeguard the brand and it’s reputation, bought out the previous ownership and a new era for Acqua di Parma began.
Doing all they could to grow the label to new heights, but in such a way that would preserve the history and craftsmanship always associated with it, sales once again took off. Seeing the resurgence of the brand as a testament to its history as well as future progress and growth potential, Acqua di Parma was acquired by LVMH in 2001 and added to their distinguished roster of world renown luxury brands.
And while the new ownership group has brought new products, new stores and innovative brand initiatives to this nearly century old company, certain things remain, among them the iconic label imagery of all Acqua di Parma products as well as their famous rounded boxes featuring the original bright yellow packaging from all those years ago.
Colonia has been time tested and has stood up more than admirably to the task. Perhaps it’s time to add it to your repertoire.
Acqua di Parma Colonia is stocked by the following stores in NYC:
414 Sixth Avenue
New York, NY
Saks Fifth Avenue
611 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY
Barneys New York
660 Madison Avenue
New York, NY