You only have to say the name Acqua di Parma to most men of taste and they’re salivating. It’s one of the few niche brands I know that all men of a certain standard seem to drool over. A bit like Charlize Theron in fragrance form.
There’s the irresistible and distinctive Colonias in differing degrees of concentration (Original, Assoluta and Essenza) and then there’s the beautiful Blu Mediterraneo range that draws inspiration from the beauty and subtle differences from destinations along the Mediterranean coastline.
Acqua di Parma’s current release, Ambra, is part of the extensive Colonia range. Ambra is the latest addition to the fairly new extensions of Colonia; Colonia Leather and Colonia Oud, which are much deeper and more rugged than the lemony-herby zest of the heritage Colonia.
Ambra’s strength lies in its Herculean beauty, with its soul and gentle depth as its sensual subtlety. All at once it manages to combine two competing elements of fragrance – Agarwood oil, known for its make-up in Oud ranges alongside the uplifting citrus (lemon, orange and bergamot), herb and floral (lavender, orange blossom and the magnolia jasmine smelling hedione) and musky mix that is the mainstay of the original Acqua di Parma’s super elegant and ultra fashionable Colonia.
Now these two competing elements should pull and push at each other like two opposing forces. But as we know in life, like clashing star signs, often opposites attract. And what makes no sense to most, is that it’s often the headiest mix that defeats all odds.
Ambra’s secret weapon is its rare ambergris.* (*That’s literally whale vomit that is as rare as finding a washed up four leaf clover). Oh la! Ambergris. One of the rarest, most coveted ingredients that smells of a rare mix of ozone, wind and sweetened salt tinged elements. It’s no wonder it’s catnip to fragrance writers. Or, indeed, to anyone with a taste for the finer things in life. It is mixed, here, with bergamot, orange oil and petit grain of heritage scent, Colonia. Then, strewn with beautiful rich woody accents of cedarwood and rosewood, ending with a hefty doze of patchouli and a dash of vanilla, Ambra’s force is swoon-worthy and unstoppable.
Ambra appears like a sweet smelling vision with strong arms and a touch of cad despite the depth to his soul and his good intentions. A combination of opposites with all the sophistication of a Brit in Brioni or an Italian in Gieves & Hawkes. Sold – to the lady in the corner wearing vintage.
Ambra is priced at £150 for 100ml and £195 for 180ml and available exclusively from Harrods and www.acquadiparma.co.uk from mid May 2015.