Acqua Di Parma: An Italian Tradition
Acqui di Parma began in Italy in 1916, in the town of Parma. Like many perfumers, it had a small beginning, offering scents for the handkerchiefs of men of a certain social status. It grew over time until its “Colonia” had become a symbol of the elegance and charm of Italy. It grew particularly in the United States, starting in the 1950s, and certain stars from Cary Grant to Humphrey Bogart, to Ava Gardner were devoted fans. Even today, Sharon Stone, Woody Allen, and Kevin Costner are devoted customers of this uniquely Italian brand.
The Spread of Colonia
Master perfumers in the town of Parma created something entirely new in 1916. Many of the popular scents at that time were made by Germans, who made subtle and light fragrances. These fresh fragrances of Parma were something new – powerful and intense, without being overwhelming. These were the first real Italian colognes, and many would try to follow in their footsteps over the years, but none of them were the original Acqua di Parma.
The perfume-buying public could not get enough of this new line of colognes, and Colonia, as it was often called, became the great perfume of the day. Hollywood stars would travel to Italy, fall in love with the scents, and bring them back with them to America, creating worldwide fame for the stylish and elegant brand. Acqua di Parma was a major perfume house for the elite of society by the 1960s.
Big changes came when the family-owned company got new management. Diego Della Valle of Tod’s, Luca Di Montezemolo of Ferrari, and Paolo Borgomanero of La Perla bought the company and took it in new directions, putting the unique fragrances into home items like candles and potpourri, or creating scents for aromatherapy. It was their wish to keep Acqua di Parma as an Italian company, safeguarding its long tradition while expanding it to better serve the modern world. It was only five years later when the first Acqui de Parma boutique opened. Since then, the popularity of the name has only grown, much of it due to the exquisitely elegant fragrance lines the company has to offer.
The success of the original Colonia was just the beginning. Variations on Colonia were made, including more feminine fragrances, and other scents for every occasion. Acqua di Parma has evolved with the changing times, but it still maintains the traditions and classic feel of the 1916 originals.
One of these originals is Acqua di Parma itself. This is a natural scent, one of those rare perfumes that can be worn by men or women. It is seductive, refined, and utterly unique, with touches of citrus.
One of the newer scents, a variation on the aromatherapy line of products, is Blu Mediterraneo. This fragrance inspires feelings of joy with the freshness of citron and Italian Bergamot. Notes of cedarwood, vetiver, and red ginger add a certain lively spark.
Perfumo was one of the early perfumes made specifically for women, back in the 1930s. This is a complex, yet intriguingly natural, scent made with the exotic touch of ylang ylang, three types of jasmine, the May rose, and the Florentine iris, among hundreds of other ingredients. It is perfect for the woman who is not afraid to let the world know how beautiful she is.
These fragrances are still the heart of Acqui di Parma, the very essence of what made it one of the premiere Italian perfumers in the world. Even today, the brand continues to grow and expand, appealing to new generations in fresh ways.
A New Chapter
LVMH bought into Acqui di Parma in 2001, in order to enhance the international image of the company. New lines of fragrance were introduced, like Le Nobili, while other lines were expanded, like Blu Mediterraneo. Acqui di Parma even stepped into the world of luxury health spas, further defining itself as a name that means refined luxury.
Acqua di Parma, for all its changes, has never diverted from its origins – to bring the beauty, elegance, quality, and creativity of Italy to the world. Even today, there is a rigorous process of choosing which ingredients go into each product, and a good deal of handcrafting in just about every design. Even the new products have that classic timeless look and feel. Much has changed, much – the very best -- has remained the same. There is just something classic about Acqui di Parma, and there always will be.