Jan
28
2014
By
of Valet.

$91 / $79,
at Amazon

Enduring Classic

Acqua di Parma

What's fresh yet masculine and Italian all over? Acqua di Parma, the timeless fragrance that's been a favorite of men the world over for nearly a century. And there's a good reason why—the stuff does its job like a boss. It's got a refreshingly light but perceptible aroma that strikes the prefect balance between crisp, vibrant florals and rich, man's-man woodsiness. After the initial dry down, the fragrance gives you a clean smell like you've just taken a shower with some soap from a really nice hotel. Officially called Colonia, the scent was created in 1916 in a small perfume factory in the old town center of Parma, and was originally intended to perfume the handkerchiefs of Italian gentlemen. At the time, most commercial fragrances were much stronger and heavier, so the lighter scent was a novel and welcomed change. The clever alchemy quickly found success and by the 1940s and '50s, it was the most popular cologne of the day, worn by everyday gents, royalty and Hollywood stars alike. The cologne's composition—featuring natural essences of citrus, clary sage and sandalwood—has remained unchanged since its debut. It's still presented in simple cylindrical glass bottles with a label bearing the royal coat of arms of Parma, Italy and then packaged in bright yellow round boxes. In an age where design houses are constantly messing with their fragrances, offering new versions—summer, night, black code, extreme—Acqua di Parma remains a bona fide legend.

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    While it was officially developed for men, the Colonia fragrance has widely been used by both men and women.
 

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