• Dan Naughton

Acqua di Parma - Colonia Leather (2014)

It would be a ludicrous oversimplification to claim that Colonia Leather is a cross between Acqua di Parma Colonia and Tom Ford’s Tuscan Leather but I’m going to say it anyway!

This citrus leather combo from the Italian masters of freshness takes the distinctive modern “inside of a new car” suederol accord found in Ford’s beastly scent and gives it a more delicate and dry assortment of supporting notes, resulting in a delightfully well balanced masculine, fresh, woody leather creation.

These are the notes:

Top: Orange, Lime

Mid: Rose, Petit Grain

Base: Leather, Atlas Cedar, Guaiac Wood

The opening has a healthy dose of the typical house citrus freshness but it’s obvious from the start that this one is in a different category to Acqua di Parma’s original citrus aromatic Colonia or my favourite Colonia Essenza. This fragrance, with its brown bottle, comes from the higher priced “Ingredients” line, the first of which was the widely lauded Colonia Oud from 2012. The freshness in this scent is overshadowed by a leather note which is quite strong and that is combined with a dry, almost ash like woodiness. Some have compared Colonia Leather to the smell of boot polish and they are not far wide of the mark. If boot polish mixed with rose and citrus fruits appeals to you then you’ve picked the right bottle!

Flippancy aside, this is a really complex and sophisticated scent that definitely feels like a niche perfume with the requisite “challenging” element that often goes with that tag but not always with Acqua di Parma’s crowd pleasing fresh products. You have to be in the mood for Colonia Leather and there are many occassions when I reach for it and sniff the atomiser and say “perhaps not today”. The dry, leathery, woody aura of this one can feel a little austere when compared to Tuscan Leather’s brazen, almost narcotic (they say it smells like cocaine) sweet, sexy pungency. However, Colonia Leather is a little more refined, has more delicacy, and can be worn with less fear of causing offence than Tuscan Leather.

As the fragrance develops, the potentially off putting shoe polish aspect fades leaving the delicacy of rose and a smooth, manly, woody base. Longevity is very good and it seems to get better as time passes, leaving a classy, well put together aura about the wearer.

Overall, I really enjoy the balance between citrus freshness, a delightful rose note and the woods and leather base. This is a very grown up perfume for those who enjoy the art of fragrance and seek a leather scent with decent but not ridiculous performance and an air of sophisticated masculinity. A definite must try for Acqua di Parma fans and leather fragrance lovers alike.

Prices: 100ml - £175.00 150ml - £224.00 (Acqua di Parma website)

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