• Dan Naughton

A Perfect Citrus Fragrance! Acqua di Parma Colonia Essenza (2010)

Acqua di Parma’s Colonia Essenza is one of my favourite fragrances. It was one of my first non designer purchases and has stayed at the core of my collection as a go to scent for all occasions.

The fragrance – first released in 2010 – is a citrus aromatic with a layer of depth and persistence rarely found in the genre. Reminiscent of the citrus fruits and sun kissed coastline of Italy, this is a clean, crisp, effervescent creation which never quite surrenders to the spectres of transparency and weakness that haunt so many citrus colognes.

These are the notes:

Top Notes:

Lemon, Orange, Bergamot, Grapefruit, Mandarin, Petitgrain

Mid Notes:

Rosemary, Jasmine, Rose, Lily of the Valley, Cloves

Base Notes:

Patchouli, Musk, Amber

The opening citrus melange is mouthwatering indeed, but somebody forgot to add neroli to the note listing! There is definitely neroli in this scent and fans of Tom Ford’s Neroli Portfofino looking for an amped up alternative may want to bypass Neroli Portofino Forte and head for the Acqua di Parma corner of their local department store.

Although Essenza is undoubtedly citrusy, it is much more. The floral notes and aromatics in the mid really seem to be plucked from a wisp of Italian spring air on an implausibly perfect May evening.

In the base the patchouli, musk and amber give a warmth and tenacity to the scent that makes it as perfect for evening wear and dressed up occasions as it is for sitting outside a cafe with your morning espresso. (I never go to a cafe for a morning espresso but I really should start!) A picture with my afternoon tea will have to do.

A clean, crisp, aromatic citrus scent with depth, character and complexity – Essenza is classy, unisex, versatile and sophisticated.

Prices are as follows:

50ml - £73.00 100ml – £100.00 180ml – £133.00 (Acqua di Parma website)

I love Creed and Xerjoff’s citrus fragrances but this is as good as any of those and much less expensive.

Performance is very good. Colonia Essenza is long lasting with a nice sillage and projection that are above average but not irritatingly so. The “Colonia” concentration is deceptive and this is more like an Eau de Parfum in my opinion.

If you’re looking for a great performing Italian citrus scent at a reasonable price Acqua di Parma’s Colonia Essenza should be top of your list.

Oh and the aftershave balm is great too!

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