In 1916, master perfumers created a new fragrance in a small perfumer’s laboratory in the old town centre of Parma. It was unusually fresh and modern compared to the perfumes of German origin, stronger and more intense, that were then so popular. This was the first real Italian eau de cologne, and it expressed a new sensibility. The most striking thing was the purity of the fragrance produced exclusively with natural ingredients. To this day, its composition has never been changed.
Over the years, the popularity of Acqua di Parma continued to grow. The iconic Art Deco bottle known and loved today was created in the 1930s and instantly saw Colonia become the perfume of the era. For Acqua di Parma international success came in the 1950s, when Hollywood film stars travelled to Italy and discovered Colonia in highly exclusive tailor shops, where it’s unmistakeable Italian style and elegance was heightened. By the 1960s, Acqua di Parma had become an exclusive, high society perfume house.
In 1993 Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, Diego Della Valle and Paolo Borgomanero, worldwide known among most successful Italian entrepeneurs, invested in Acqua di Parma out of their desire to safeguard an ancient Italian tradition. Growth was rapid: the opening of the first Acqua di Parma boutique in 1998, in via Gesù, Milan, alongside better known names of high fashion and prêt-à-porter, was followed by numerous counters in the most exclusive stores around the world.
Meanwhile, the success of Colonia led to the launch of a wide range of Acqua di Parma products, all true to the characteristics that had made it a byword for Italian sophistication over the years. were launched, new product lines were created; such as a feminine fragrance, Profumo, Blu Mediterraneo fragrances, and a refined home and leather collection. This evolution gradually widened Acqua di Parma’s horizons, enabling it to grow into a successful lifestyle brand.
An important new chapter in the history of Acqua di Parma arrived in 2001, when LVMH bought into Acqua di Parma. This enhanced the brand’s international appeal and led to a translation of its values into new lines and products expressing an original concept of contemporary luxury. A new feminine collection was introduced (Le Nobili) and the world of Blu Mediterraneo increased its range with a specific skincare line, the Blu Mediterraneo Italian Resort. In 2008, Acqua di Parma diversified further, into the world of luxury health spas.
All the lines continue to be produced strictly in Italy and are distributed in 36 countries worldwide.
It all started with this fragrance, created in 1916 in a small perfumer’s laboratory in the heart of Parma. Master perfumers devised an unusually fresh and light composition compared to the perfumes of the day: Acqua di Parma Colonia, the first true Italian eau de cologne.
The iris is the most regal of flowers. Its purple has enormous personality: deep, female, intense. It is the emblem of Florence, cradle of the Italian renaissance. Its velvety perfume fascinated Florentine noblewomen, such as Caterina de Medici, who used it to create her own personal fragrance, dubbed “Acqua della Regina”. Its aristocratic elegance graced Italy’s noble gardens and villas, the ideal environment for majestic and characterful femininity.
Collezione Barbiere, an exclusive range dedicated to the art of shaving designed to appeal to the elegant, refined man. A collection of shaving essentials that combines high-performing products, delicately perfumed with the Colonia fragrance, with extraordinarily innovative, elegantly designed accessories.
COLONIA DESIGNER EDITION
Colonia Designer Edition is a limited edition for true lovers of Colonia. A creation originating in a sophisticated play of cultural and artistic references. A new interpretation – original yet deeply rooted in tradition – of Colonia’s famous Art Deco bottle (180 ml version) commissioned by Acqua di Parma from Luca Scacchetti, a leading supporter of contemporary Italian design and architecture. The result is a small masterpiece of taste, sensibility and imagination. A bottle of intense expressive energy in which art and design meet in a dimension of dreams.
Standing out against the Acqua di Parma yellow of the glass bottle are sinuous black strokes looking almost like whiffs of perfume in the air, producing a strong effect of harmony. This highly evocative work shows a fluidity and inventiveness typical of Luca Scacchetti, whose design of architecture and objects often involves drawing and watercolours. In this case, it is a play of cultural and artistic associations, from ancient Greek vase painting to the surrealism of Salvador Dalì. The most striking influence is undoubtedly the Art Deco style. In the ‘30s, Acqua di Parma understood the innovative force and allure of this artistic movement and drew inspiration from it for the lines of its iconic Colonia bottle with its unmistakeable bakelite top and simple elegance. Unique, a collector’s item.
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