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With Christmas just around the corner, I found myself in my local John Lewis department store searching for inspirational gift ideas for my husband. He is really good at finding just the right presents for me every year. He never asks me what I would like, yet whatever he gets me turns out to be just what I have always wanted. This puts a certain pressure on me to find him some thing equally perfect, and as he is the type of guy who will happily buy himself something he desires, it poses a problem when it comes to finding that one thing he didn't realise he really wanted.
Perusing the beauty and fragrance aisles, I paused at the Chanel counter and considered buying his favourite Bleu de Chanel aftershave, he loves the smell, I love the smell, but it's a bit predictable. Then a woman approached me with a tester of Aqua di Parma cologne. I had heard of the brand before and knew that it was Italian, but the smell was a revelation. It was quite simply the most wonderful smell my delighted nostrils had ever encountered and I realised that it was familiar. Just before I met my husband I was dating a rather gorgeous man called Antonio, who was from Milan and was a student at Oxford University. He always smelled incredible but I never thought to ask him what fragrance he was wearing. It was instantly obvious that it would be one of the most famous colognes to come out of Italy.
The bottle is simple and classic, with a gold edged lid and feels nice and solid in your hands. The packaging is both understated and striking, in iridescent gold with regal lettering. It looks classy and expensive, of which it is both. A 100ml bottle is £72, but the sales woman offered me a gift set in a beautiful round box containing the cologne, body wash and lotion for just an extra £2, and I didn't hesitate. The scent is unisex and I would happily wear it, as I'm sure will my other half. At first it is quite strongly citrus, boasting of Sicilian lemon, jasmine and verbena but after about an hour it mellowed and I could clearly pick up rose and ylang-ylang. I had to keep sniffing my wrist as the smell changed all the time and lasted for hours. It might be a little floral for some men but it is also slightly spicy and fresh and unlike anything else I can think of. If you are looking for something special to give to your loved one this Christmas, it might be just the thing.
I paid quite a fortune for this perfume when I was in Italy earlier this year- but so far, I've had no regrets with it. One thing which I truly despise is splurging out on a rather expensive perfume only to find that it barely lasts, therefore encouraging constant re-touches. That's not to mention the fact that this is an Eau de Cologne- and it's therefore very hard to retouch on cologne when you're on a date! This might not be as handy as a perfume spray but this cologne can be used both under and over clothes, without staining or running the fabric. I've had some cologne that caused havoc when I tried to dab a little bit on my clothes in the past- and this is thankfully not one of them. Moreover, I have a tendency to dab a little bit of cologne on my wrists and neck and like I mentioned in a previous perfume review, my skin usually burn like hell. I was therefore extremely pleased to note that there was absolutely no burning/tingling sensation with this one- it seems quite okay to be used on sensitive skin like mine.
As usual, it was the packaging which caught my eye first: Believe me when I say that the dooyoo picture above certainly does no justice to the marvellous and extremely elegant packaging of this cologne. It comes in a beautifully rounded gold box that instantly inspires elegance and class. The bottle itself is quite simple, but just as elegant- large, round and transparent in order to show the gold cologne inside, and is topped by a simple large silver cap. I think that it was the simplicity of the bottle that first caught my eye: I've rarely seen such elegance despite the simplicity of it all. Moreover, I also tend to see how easy it is to hold the bottle because I tend to be quite clumsy, and this one is really very firm to the grip- I don't think there's much chance of me dropping this bottle! The large neck also allows quite a liberal flow of the cologne, a bit too liberal if you ask me since it also encourages you to use more cologne than you really need.
This cologne is supposedly aimed at both men and women- but I personally wouldn't find it suitable for men, at least not according to the way I like men to smell! There's a very, very strong whiff of citrus which emerges as soon as I open the bottle and I have to admit that the very powerful scent initially put me off. It was too heavy and intense for me but I noticed that after I dab it on my skin, the heaviness tends to lighten up and gives way to other fragrances. The citrus smell is still there, and followed by rose and other fruity and flowery smell. While citrus remains the dominant fragrance, the cologne blends fruity with flowery and I would say that there's just a teeny tiny bit of musk. This is also supposed to contain sandalwood but frankly speaking, I failed to recognize it under the fruity-floral smell- it just wasn't powerful enough. Like the packaging, even the smell is simple yet elegant and I truly feel like a million pounds when I wear this. There's also something a bit satiny about the smell which only enhances the elegance of it all. I have to say, however, that when I first dab it on my skin, it feels a little bit powdery, but this also wears off after a few minutes. In the whole blend of fruity-flowery smell, the ones that remain most prominent after a couple of hours are definitely iris and citrus. There are also faint hints of ylang-ylang and vanilla.
Like I said, I found that one generous application of this cologne is enough to last for quite some time. After a few hours, the cologne does not fade away but rather lightens to give way so some secondary fragrances that are included. I tend to favor this perfume for evening wear since it's a little too heavy for me to wear during the day. It's not as heavy as the initial scent but just a tad too intense for daylight, according to me. Actually, it's not the kind of perfume which I would feel comfortable with for something formal or job interviews or the likes- as elegant as it might be, there is a hint of sexiness, fun and just a tad intimidating about the scent. There's nothing subtle about this cologne, which is why it's rather something I would prefer when going out with my friends, parties or on dates.
Overall, this is certainly one Eau de Cologne which I would recommend if you want to indulge yourself. There are cheaper colognes out there but this one is really long-lasting and provides an extremely elegant smell. It's not overpowering, but not that light either so be careful where you wear it to. I checked Amazon but the cologne is currently unavailable on there. You can, however, purchase this on this American site for $148.00 and free shipping to the UK:
Very highly recommended!
~Thanks for reading~
The Acqua di Parma Colonia Eau de cologne spray is a fragrance for both men and women / It is a refreshing and contemporary blend of Sicilian citrus, jasmine, verbena and Bulgarian rose with base notes of oriental woods such as vetiver, cedar and ylang-yla