Acqua di Parma launch Colonia Club

acquaI think I must have rather annoyed the lovely Acqua Di Parma people at the launch of the company’s latest fragrance Colonia Club the other day by constantly referring to it as a sport fragrance – something they fervently denied each time I mentioned it. I’m not sure why, though, because that’s basically what it is. Oh sure, the inspiration might be that most elegant and refined of activities – dressage – but in character it’s definitely a sport fragrance in character, featuring, as it does, citrus notes like lemon and mandarin alongside the sport scent favourite, mint. Conceptually, the whole thing – including the superb green bottle – fits into the existing Acqua Di Parma portfolio beautifully, filling a gap with something muscular and energetic and, thanks to the addition of galbanum – a note variously described as smelling like cut grass, pea pods or pine needles – something ‘green’ smelling too.

colonia_club_01Of all the Acqua Di Parma fragrances this is the most youthfully commercial too. And by that I mean it does smell a lot like a dozen other men’s fragrances on the market. Now, that can be taken one of two ways: as a bad thing or a good thing. It’s certainly a positive if the objective is to attract a slightly younger customer whose main frame of reference, fragrance-wise, are big-selling fragrances from famous fashion brands like Dolce & Gabbana. In truth, it’s not my favourite Acqua Di Parma offering (there are so many good ones it does have rather stiff competition!) but if you’re looking for something that’s punchy and has a bit of energy to it and which isn’t too polarising a fragrance you might want to give it, you know…a sporting chance.

Available now from John Lewis

Become a leatherman with Acqua di Parma

2. Colonia Leather 100mlThink of Acqua di Parma and you tend to think of light, fresh Mediterranean fragrances bursting with energy and packed with more citrus fruits than your average bottle of orange squash. And you’d be right of course. But in the last few years the company have also been exploring a much darker and more sensual side. Their new fragrance Colonia Leather is a perfect example of this and is as warm and sexy as the original Colonia fragrance is light and summery.

The leather accord is true and authentic smelling and there’s a touch of smoky oud in there too but not enough to overpower the fragrance and you detect it most three or four hours after applying. Other notes include orange, lemon, raspberry thyme and rose but as you might expect it’s the leather that dominates here.

The acid test of any fragrance, of course, is whether other people rate it when they smell it on you. So as a test I wore Colonia Leather the other night and a friend I was meeting instantly commented: “Wow! What are you wearing? You smell amazing!” Somehow, I think I’ll be wearing this sexy little number again.

Acqua di Parma’s Collezione Barbiere gets a new lease of life

8. Collezione Barbiere GroupageI still remember the tingle of excitement when I first saw Acqua di Parma’s Collezione Barbiere range a few years back. Lightly scented with their legendary Colonia fragrance it was just so luxurious, elegant and desirable. The only problem with it was that if you didn’t like the scent you were kind of stuffed. What if, for example, you liked the range but wore Acqua di Parma’s Blue Mediterraneo or the wonderful Colonia Intensa Oud fragrance?

acqua di parma scrubClearly the company must have been aware of this slight drawback because they’ve wisely reformulated the range with a barely-there scent that makes perfect sense commercially, allowing it to be used as a stand-alone grooming range regardless of the fragrance you wear.

Stars of the line up include the luxuriously thick and creamy Shaving Cream, the new Shaving Oil – which is fantastically light and non-greasy –  and the the Scrub Purificante Viso (I just love typing that – it sounds so good in Italian) which is especially worth having as it’s not too abrasive. What’s more, a brand new Eye Treatment and Face Cream have been added to round out the range and to elevate it from ancillary shaving range to a full-blown collection of skincare essentials. Definitely one of the new season’s must-buys.

Collezione Barbiere is available from Selfridges and your usual Acqua di Parma stockists from 1st October.