A brand infused with a rich history as well as the city in which it originated, Acqua di Parma has been synonymous with luxury, sophistication, and Italian elegance for more than a century.
The name Acqua di Parma dates back to 1916 when Colonia was created in a small perfume factory. It was a fragrance that is said to represent everything that is loved in Italy. A refined and elegant, sophisticated and wearable, refreshing, and sensual, instantly fashionable, and timeless classic, it immediately became a profumo uomo for many Italian gentlemen.
Baron Carlo Magnani was an educated and sophisticated heir to one of the oldest families in Parma. He inherited an affinity for art and beauty from his grandfather, Girolamo Magnani, a painter, director, and set designer at the Teatro Regio (Royal Theater), an artist whom Giuseppe Verdi said was “the greatest Italian designer”.
Carlo Magnani lived in the heart of Parma, the Borgo San Vitale Palace. There he was driven by the desire to discover a fragrance that would remind him of his birthplace, family, and the Italian sun. In 1916 he created with his chemist friend an improvised lab where they imagined a fragrance that was something completely new and different from the thick French and German perfumes of that time. The combination of lemon and sweet Sicilian orange with Calabrian bergamot, lavender, rose, verbena, and rosemary with woody notes of vetiver, sandalwood, and patchouli, was everything he expected from the fragrance. Thus Acqua di Parma Colonia was born, the first Italian cologne, whose formula in its original form is passed down from generation to generation.
Magnani’s scent did not remain his for long. The baron’s friends wanted the same, a local tailor from Parma, then tailors from Milan, Florence, and Rome. The demand was so high that Magnani invited local artisans to make an Art Deco bottle for Colonia -and with a label in Parma yellow, the color of aristocratic houses from the Baroque era. The royal shield became part of the logo and was very reminiscent of the coat of arms of the Duchy of Parma in the time of Marie Louise.
The 1930s were golden for Acqua di Parma. In exclusive tailoring workshops, the fragrance was used as a “finishing touch” before the suits were delivered to a demanding clientele. From then on, in the craft sense, the brand became a synonym for quality and a part of the historical heritage of the city. In the fifties, the scent became adored even among the Hollywood elite. His loyal admirers were Cary Grant and David Niven, and the timeless beauty icons Ava Gardner, Lana Turner, Audrey Hepburn nurtured the same passion for this perfume.
The transition to ready-made production during the 1960s and 1970s led to the closure of Italian tailoring shops, so the smell was almost forgotten. In the 1990s, three well-known Italian businessmen, loyal admirers of fragrances, including Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, realized the brand’s potential, giving it life with a new creation, Blu Mediterraneo, a unisex fragrance sold to Italian and overseas department stores such as Bergdorf Goodman and Harvey Nichols.
The brand was acquired by the LVMH group in 2001 and increased its success internationally, developing an ever-expanding range of products: from fragrances for men and women, scented candles, travel, and business leather accessories to elegant shaving accessories.
In carefully selected Italian workshops, each product is still hand made today, with great patience and dedication. Only the top quality materials are used: rare oils, the purest wax, precious metal, the softest and most beautiful leather, quality fabrics.
The new president of Acqua di Parma, Gabriella Scarpa, has started creating a palette of feminine fragrances called Le Nobili (aristocrats), inspired by the flowers and gardens of Italy. Iris Nobile was created in 2003, followed by editions featuring magnolias, jasmine, roses, and peonies.
In 2007, the first in a series of fragrances for men based on the original Colony was created: Assoluta, Intensa, Essenza, Oud, Leather, Ambra and finally, in 2015, Colonia Club, a fragrance reserved for men who share the same values and the same attitude towards sophistication.
What hasn’t changed even after 100 years is the brand mark – Made in Italy. Colonia is still made in Parma, and all the ingredients of the fragrance, except patchouli, come from the south of Italy.
This procedure is more expensive, mainly because everything is done by hand. But for Italians, style is part of their origins. In our genes, there is a connection between beauty and the past, present, and future, and Acqua di Parma is just that, explains Scarpa.
The list of Acqua di Parma perfumes:
- AdP Colonia (1916)
- AdP Colonia Assoluta (2003)
- AdP Colonia Assoluta Edizione Riviera(2007)
- AdP Colonia Assoluta Edizione Speciale(2011)
- AdP Colonia Designer Edition(1911)
- AdP Colonia Edizione Centenario(2016)
- AdP Colonia Pura(1917)
- AdP Gelsomino Nobile (1911)
- AdP Iris Nobile
- AdP Iris Nobile Edizione Speciale(2008)
- AdP Magnolia Nobile (2009)
- AdP Magnolia Nobile Special Edition(2010)
- AdP Profumo (1930)
- AdP Profumo (2008)
- Acqua di Russie(1950)
- Acqua Nobile Gelsomino (2013)
- Acqua Nobile Iris (2013)
- Acqua Nobile Magnolia(2013)
- Acqua Nobile Rosa (2015)
- Blu Mediterraneo : Arancia di Capri (1999)
- Blu Mediterraneo : Bergamotto di Calabria (2010)
- Blu Mediterraneo : Cedro di Taormina (2016)
- Blu Mediterraneo : Chinotto di Liguria (2018)
- Blu Mediterraneo : Cipresso di Toscana(2005)
- Blu Mediterraneo : Cipresso di Toscana(2019)
- Blu Mediterraneo : Cipresso di Toscana (1999)
- Blu Mediterraneo : Fico di Amalfi (2006)
- Blu Mediterraneo : Foglie di Basilico (1999)
- Blu Mediterraneo : Ginepro di Sardegna (2014)
- Blu Mediterraneo : Mandorlo di Sicilia (1999)
- Blu Mediterraneo : Mirto di Panarea (2008)
- Blu Mediterraneo : Quercia Marina (1999)
- Colonia Ambra (2015)
- Colonia Artist Edition by Clym Everden(2018)
- Colonia Assoluta Edizione Speciale(2013)
- Colonia Club (2015)
- Colonia Ebano (2017)
- Colonia Essenza (2010)
- Colonia Essenza Special Edition(2015)
- Colonia Intensa (2007)
- Colonia Intensa Oud/ Colonia Oud (2012)
- Colonia Leather (2014)
- Colonia Mirra (2017)
- Colonia Pura (2017)
- Colonia Quercia (2016)
- Colonia Sandalo (2016)
- Colonia Vaniglia (2018)
- Essenza di Colonia (2010)
- Gelsomino Nobile (2011)
- Gelsomino Nobile Edizione Speciale(2014)
- Note di Colonia I (2016)
- Note di Colonia II (2016)
- Note di Colonia III (2016)
- Note di Colonia IV (2017)
- Note di Colonia V (2020)
- Signatures Of The Sun: Ambra Eau de Parfum (2019)
- Signatures Of The Sun: Camelia Eau de Parfum (2019)
- Signatures Of The Sun: Leather Eau de Parfum (2019)
- Signatures Of The Sun: Osmanthus Eau de Parfum (2019)
- Signatures Of The Sun: Oud Eau de Parfum (2019)
- Signatures Of The Sun:Quercia Eau de Parfum (2019)
- Signatures Of The Sun: Sakura Eau de Parfum (2019)
- Signatures Of The Sun: Sandalo Eau de Parfum (2019)
- Signatures Of The Sun: Vagnilia Eau de Parfum (2019)
- Signatures Of The Sun: Yuzu Eau de Parfum (2019)