Another one joining its ranks if not kicking Calligraphy Rose to ‘le kerb’ and de-throning it from its premiership title is Acqua di Parma’s lavish Colonia Intensa Oud. Yes, I know, I know, I hear you say, “not another one'” but believe me girls and boys, to bypass any releases of esteemed perfumer Acqua di Parma would always be foolhardy. To omit this superior, intense, super-sexy and refined Oud with depths of Oceanic proportions would only be madness. And you’d miss out on one of the best Ouds aimed at the gentlemen amongst you. Not the cads. It would only serve to be a lethal weapon in their hands. And women have quite enough trouble with those types as it is.
For a start, Acqua di Parma’s Oud is a rush of luxury testosterone. Like being seduced by a Bottega Veneta clad Signor in a Venetian palazzo, drunk on ‘Harry’s Bar’ Bellinis, this number is a whoosh and sweep of concentrated flirtation. Not so much a come-hither as walloping ‘coup de foudre’. Assertive and strong, Colonia Intensa Oud wears its international cosmopolitan richness on its sleeve. A world traveller and bon viveur, Signor Oud is but a trifle away from devastating some unsuspecting woman with his aristocratic nonchalance. He seems to blend both worlds – of old Italian Noblesse Oblige counteracted with a mysterious, dark, Middle-Eastern heritage that ‘shush, he just doesn’t talk about’ but it’s always there, obviously apparent.
A precious blend of the pure Italian freshness of Colonia (bergamot and orange) and the warm and vibrant notes of intense Agarwood oil (also known as OUD), Acqua di Parma’s new release also has an assertive heart of coriander and Amyris wood. The mix is succulent and hugely provocative. It practically roars with raunchiness. Colonia Intense Oud doesn’t so much as dull down with wear as reveal another level of sensuality. Sandalwood, Cedarwood, Patchouli and musk all make for a rich, woody mulch that teams with pheromones. It could almost get too, too much if it wasn’t for Acqua di Parma’s cultural heritage and over-riding good manners.
And then we have the presentation. Colonia Intensa Oud comes in the most beautiful, deep mahogany packaging – all bronze coloured satin interiors and typically discreet branding. The 30ml leather travel spray is just that. An extremely intense bolt of fragrance in an iconic and impactfully designed Art Deco brown glass bottle. The case, coated with soft brown calfskin, carries a dry-stamped logo and is completely hand made by the best Italian craftsmen. The practical snap opening and ad hoc size allow to spray the fragrance without removing the bottle.
The Oud shampoo and shower gel act as wing men to the fragrance, intensifying and prolonging the effect but if the gentleman-who-can wants to impress, he can invest in the Cubo Colonia Intensa OUD candle. A style statement in itself, this cubist piece of fragrant wonder is the result of the craft and skills of Italian master candle-makers applied to a 24-hour process. The logo is embossed and the wax surface is hand-smoothed to remove each and every flaw and obtain a completely polished and even texture – it relays Acqua di Parma’s craft and style while alluding to gentlemanly taste.
Acqua di Parma’s Colonia Intensa Oud ensures a putty-in-their-hands approach. Take heed ladies and be on guard. You may just succumb or even self-purchase for the thrill of it yourselves.
Acqua di Parma’s Colonia Intensa Oud is priced £154 (30ml leather cased travel spray), Candle (£97), Shower Gel (£34) and Deodorant (£30). All products are available from Acqua di Parma’s website and stockists including Selfridges, Liberty, Fenwick, Fortnum & Mason, Harrods, Harvey Nichols and John Lewis.