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101 Guide To Acqua di Parma

The Acqua di Parma’s Bergamotto di Calabria Eau di Toilette sat on a tabletop with oranges, lemons and ceramic jugs surrounding it.

Synonymous with Italian savoir-faire, Acqua di Parma was born out of a vision to share its native’s soul, style and sunshine through the art of fragrance. Discovered in 1916 by baron Carlo Magnani, it’s renowned worldwide for its expert nose and unique olfactory offerings. Located in the heart of Parma, the brand emulates the la dolce vita lifestyle with its selection of signature scents that pay homage to life’s simple, yet sweet pleasures. Think: the infinite sky, blue seas and the sultry sensation of sun-kissed skin.   

With that in mind, it’s time to escape to Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region with just a single spritz, courtesy of Cult Beauty’s ultimate guide to Acqua di Parma… Now, that’s what we call pure bliss! 


Founded in 1916 by the heir to one of the oldest families in the province, Acqua di Parma’s story began on the cobblestoned streets of (you guessed it) Parma. Passing his time experimenting with different notes, Carlo Magnani created something unique to the fragrances that were on the market at the time. Inspired by his motherland’s Italian flair and the expressiveness of its population, this concoction went onto become Acqua di Parma’s original scent. Yes, we’re talking about Colonia, of course.  


Renowned worldwide as the first Italian Eau de Cologne, Acqua di Parma’s original fragrance – Colonia – was never intended to be marketed. Instead, Carlo Magnani created it for himself and his inner circle of friends and family. For decades, Colonia remained a well-kept secret, available only in the shops of discreet tailors, who would spray it on their suits as a finishing touch. But, in the 50s it all began to change. Hollywood stars who were invited to Italy became infatuated with its alluring scent – with actors like Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn becoming fans of its refined notes. The rest, as they say… is history. Blending the natural ingredients that honour the vibrant, joyous and zesty citrus fruits grown in Italy, Colonia’s classic yet current fusion is designed to express sunny elegance all year around. Powered by the golden fruits (lemon, Calabrian bergamot, and orange), its aroma is amplified by the aromatic notes of lavender, rose and vetiver, sandalwood, and patchouli undertones.  


A reincarnation of the brand’s original scent, Acqua di Parma’s Colonia Essenza Eau de Cologne is primed to take centre stage in your fragrance wardrobe. A woody wonder that epitomises modern sophistication, the olfactory offering opens with a fresh fusion of lemon, orange and bergamot before blending rose, jasmine and clove with vetiver, soft musk and amber for a distinctive yet daring sign off. 

Top notes: lemon, orange, bergamot, mandarin, grapefruit, neroli, petit grain 

Heart notes: rosemary, lily of the valley, rose accord, jasmine accord, cloves 

Base notes: vetiver, patchouli, white musk, amber 

Transporting you to the sun-drenched cliffs of the Amalfi Coast (no air miles needed), Acqua di Parma’s Blu Mediterraneo Fico Di Amalfi Eau de Toilette pays homage to its native’s flourishing fig trees. Evoking the softness of the Italian fruit, the fan-favourite fragrance fuses fig nectar accords and notes of green leaves with hints of pink pepper, and jasmine petals. Plus, housed in the brand’s iconic blue bottle that mimics the transparency of the sea, it inspires you to book your next trip – pronto.  

Top notes: Italian lemon, Italian bergamot, grapefruit 

Heart notes: fig nectar, pink pepper, jasmine petals 

Base notes: fig wood, cedarwood, benzoin

Sending your senses on an invigorating journey, Acqua di Parma’s Signatures Of The Sun Oud Eau de Parfum captures the warmth of agarwood’s rare essence. Renowned for its artistic concoction, it unseals zesty citrus notes of bergamot and orange, before unveiling a heart of Haitian amyris, Russian coriander and agarwood. Finally, defined by its woody undertones, this signature scent is grounded with cedarwood, leather accord and sandalwood.  

Top notes: bergamot, orange 

Heart notes: Haitian amyris oil, Russian coriander, agarwood oil (oud) 

Base notes: cedarwood, leather accord, patchouli oil, sandalwood, musk 

Capturing life’s celebratory moments with its vibrant and uplifting aroma, Acqua di Parma’s Colonia C.L.U.B Eau de Cologne personifies your most joyous moments. Starting with a sparkling surprise of bergamot and lemon, this invigorating fragrance moves through notes of pink and black pepper before reaching a heart of aromatic shiso and rosemary. Evoking the inner bliss of making memories with loved ones, it signs off with the comforting base of cedarwood and musk for everyone to enjoy. 

Top notes: bergamot, lemon, pink pepper, black pepper 

Heart notes: shiso, rosemary 

Base notes: cedarwood, musk 

Steeped in tradition, Acqua di Parma’s Blu Mediterraneo Bergamotto di Calabria Eau de Toilette is a tribute to the Calabria region – where the colours and scents of the coast meet. Honouring the beauty of the bergamot fruit, the aptly named fragrance encases its eponymous ingredient with the fresh notes of cedarwood and relaxing red ginger. Rounded off by the woody accents of vetiver, it will have you dreaming of crystal-clear waters in no time.   

Top notes: bergamot dop, citron 

Heart notes: cedarwood, red ginger 

Base notes: vetiver, benzoin, musk 


Trifonia Asmar

Trifonia Asmar

Senior SEO Copywriter

Cult Beauty’s Senior SEO Copywriter, Trifonia started out in the industry when bold brows were just becoming a ‘thing’, and shares a passion for all things fashion and beauty. Currently embracing her curly girl journey (after endless years of straightening her strands), she is finally reverting to her natural ways! When Triffy isn’t busy testing out the latest curl-saving solutions, you’ll find her binging the latest reality TV show or on a long walk listening to her ever-evolving country music playlist.