Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo in Arancia di Capri : Breathe in the scent of sun-ripened oranges

by Paris B on · 21 comments

in Fragrance,Product Reviews

Bella Italia!

A while ago, I was taken on a tour of the Aqua di Parma flagship counter at Parkson Pavilion KL. I was quite keen because you see, I am slowly but surely leaning towards wearing fragrances from the niche perfume houses – proper perfume houses. Acqua di Parma started out in Parma, Italy as a little perfume house and still remains a perfume house, albeit having spread out to encompass other lifestyle elements that one associates with luxurious fragrances – spas, candles, bathrobes even leather goods! Their signature scent is Colonia and harkens from 1916! Like many niche perfume houses, they don’t segregate their scents into male and female scents. Just wear whichever catches your fancy! I love that icon biggrin Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo in Arancia di Capri : Breathe in the scent of sun ripened oranges

acqua di parma4 Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo in Arancia di Capri : Breathe in the scent of sun ripened oranges

One of their younger lines, the Blu Mediterraneo or Blue Mediterranean range recently got a face lift to standardize the design of the bottles with the rest of the line. I used to wonder why the bottles looked different (uglier in my view) but they now sport that sleek slightly trapezoid cylinder shape that we see in all AdP bottles. There are 5 fragrances in the range symbolic of the scents of Italy – oranges, figs, cypress to just name a few; of which Arancia di Capri is one of my faves because of the lovely citrus note that opens the fragrance.

The bottle is a translucent deep blue that evokes the blue of the Mediterranean sea. The bottles come in nestled in round cardboard cylinders wrapped with paper, which are apparently still hand wrapped, and the labels still hand pasted in a perfumery in Parma, Italy. I’m not very good with talking about notes and base notes and the nuances of the perfume so I’ll just tell you what this evokes for me.

Arancia di Capri at first spritz makes me think of  bitter orange peel.

acqua di parma3 Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo in Arancia di Capri : Breathe in the scent of sun ripened oranges

That doesn’t sound too lovely unless you have peeled an orange or a grapefruit and smelled the zest that sprays from the peel to perfume the air. That is the sort of note that first hits my nose. It isn’t sweet, but bitter and tangy and orangey all at once, and that’s how I like it. I happen to really love eating grapefruit so that should give you an idea of the scent I like icon biggrin Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo in Arancia di Capri : Breathe in the scent of sun ripened oranges

In our warm weather I find that the initial orange scent dissipates quite quickly. Yet, it lingers. What an oxymoron.

But yes, I find the scent isn’t too obvious after a while, but lingers around; wafting to hit my nose as I turn my head, catching a whiff of it when I least expect it. And by this time, I find it takes on a slightly musky yet sweet note. The base scent has been likened to caramel but unlike the sweet smell of creme brulee that really makes me feel too cloying, this is the slight bitter scent of burnt sugar.

I don’t know. I just love it because I did not expect all that bitter musky notes! It must be noted that most fragrances will react to your skin in different ways so this is how it reacted with mine. It eventually makes me smell of slightly burnt caramel with a tangy note. Quite an interesting scent.

I like it. The scent makes me happy and really, when a perfume does that, its a keeper!

Another top seller is the Iris Nobile which too starts out with a citrus note. I liked the heavier scent which became more markedly floral as it dried out, although I’m not usually fan of iris scents. I find it too sweet. But somehow, the scents of Acqua di Parma never quite hit that “Oh Lord! This is so sweet I’m about to puke!” level. They tend to have a slightly more musky center, so although this one is a bit powdery, it is never too much.

acqua di parma6 Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo in Arancia di Capri : Breathe in the scent of sun ripened oranges

I took a whiff at the counter and am toying with picking this up some day. I wasn’t too taken with Colonia, the signature scent but I was strangely, rather taken by Colonia Assoluta a much stronger version of Colonia that I’m told is favoured by men. Ooh err…. icon razz Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo in Arancia di Capri : Breathe in the scent of sun ripened oranges

Whilst the fragrances aren’t segregated into male and female lines, some scents are quite clearly female – light, smelling sweet or citrusy – and some markedly male – musky, woody and heavier. Yet, if you gravitate towards male scents, you could easily get the scent you want.

acqua di parma5 Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo in Arancia di Capri : Breathe in the scent of sun ripened oranges

Candles! I love them an these are luxury ones to the max. The scented candles come in the regular jar versions (jars are reusable once all the wax melts) or in these block versions. The candles apparently burn a hole down the middle so you can use the block as a display item.

Someone I spoke to who went for a press trip for Acqua di Parma to Italy (lucky duck!) said that the gardens were fully fragranced with these candles set every few steps. Would that I could have that sort of atmosphere – sitting under the stars, warm breeze wafting the scent of Acqua di Parma perfumes in the air, blue Mediterranean sea in the distance. Dried apricots and figs on my plate to pick at… ahh!

acqua di parma Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo in Arancia di Capri : Breathe in the scent of sun ripened oranges

Personally speaking, I don’t think the scents of Acqua di Parma are for everyone. I find them in general, a little strong, with strong elements of wood and musk woven between the sweetness. If you like a straight sweet floral scent then you may not like what you smell here. But if you are after something a little different from what everyone else around you wears, then its worth taking a look.

At the prices they go for (RM350+ and up a bottle I think) these aren’t your run of the mill fragrances. It is something you savour. And if you do go to the counter, please stop and sniff at Arancia di Capri and tell me if it makes you feel as happy as it makes me icon smile Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo in Arancia di Capri : Breathe in the scent of sun ripened oranges

Have you tried an Acqua di Parma fragrance before? Do you have a fave to recommend?

I actually like the deep blue of the Blue Mediterranean bottles. It looks so refreshing next to the regular deep yellow and black of the signature bottles icon smile Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo in Arancia di Capri : Breathe in the scent of sun ripened oranges

Paris B

Acqua di Parma flagship store is at Parkson Pavilion Kuala Lumpur. Prices start from RM116 but fragrances will start from RM350+ and up

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[ 21 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

Jyoan August 16, 2012 at 8:47 am

wow, sounds good. Haven’t seen it or heard of this before though. But I am quite adverse towards fruity scents because of practicality, they don’t last.

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Paris B August 20, 2012 at 5:22 pm

Yup! That’s the problem with citrus scents – they go off so quickly! But smell so fresh and lovely :D

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Tine August 16, 2012 at 8:47 am

Oooooh Acqua di Parma! I love the fragrances. So deliciously manly, yet suitable to use on a woman. I’ve been eyeing the Colonia for a while now, and really want to get one (unfortunately it’s pretty darn expensive here). Someday, someday :)

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Paris B August 20, 2012 at 5:23 pm

Yeah the price is pretty off putting but that’s par for the course when it comes to niche perfumes brands I think :) Woe betide my pocket if I ever get into perfumes :P

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LeGeeque August 16, 2012 at 8:54 am

I love how complex this perfume sounds. I’m a little tired of conventional run-of-the-mill perfumes which smell the same on everyone. A nice and complex perfume should smell different on everyone. And when you described that it dissipates quickly and yet it lingers on – I personally think that it’s a sign of a well-designed perfume! Now, I’m really curious :D

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Paris B August 20, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Try to catch a sniff at a counter? ;) I liked how I’d catch bits of it throughout the day especially if I turned my head – I spritz it on the side of my neck and it surprisingly lasts albeit not as tangy as it is when it starts out

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Stacey August 16, 2012 at 11:22 am

argh… I am on a perfume ban! as I have bought a few fragrances that I have yet to open and I swore to myself that I have to finish using one before opening the new bottles… let alone buy any more new bottles..

the candles looks so luxe! I suppose I could get candles.. :P

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Paris B August 20, 2012 at 5:25 pm

Haha yes, candles don’t count as perfumes ;) They are super luxe but pricey as heck >.<

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gio August 16, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Sounds like a really nice scent. The bitter musky note really intrigues me, so I’ll try to give it a sniff asap. I’m not a big fan of the bottle though. It looks kinda cheap.

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Paris B August 20, 2012 at 5:27 pm

Yes the bottle is very plain and not as elaborate as many others. I do find that the more niche fragrance houses tend to go for very simple packaging though :)

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Makeup Morsels August 16, 2012 at 1:49 pm

The Acqua di Parma garden sounds like a heavenly place. I want to live there LOL. You make the perfume sound ever so delicious. I really want to try the fig version :)

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Paris B August 20, 2012 at 5:28 pm

I would too MM! I found the fig one a little sweet but if you like fig scents I think its something you’d really like.

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Becca August 16, 2012 at 4:11 pm

I’ve actually never smelled anything from Acqua di Parma–but you make it sound so lovely and interesting! I used to be a straight floral girl, but recently I find myself wanting to experiment a bit more. I think it’s because I’ve recently gone through a big change in my personal life, and I tend to (unconsciously) change my scents after something big like that happens.

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Paris B August 20, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Smells have a way of jogging our memories, so if you don’t want to be reminded of nasty potholes in life, it would be a good time to look into new and different perfumes :) I like the more woodsy feel of this range if you like a slightly more masculine scent. Its always worth taking a look or a sniff anyway – its so hard to tell if someone will like a fragrance or not :)

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Natasha August 17, 2012 at 12:26 am

Acqua di Parma is such an amazing perfume house! I’m happy to see it that its getting some attention. I love profumo the most. An amazing chypre.

When perfume notes contain iris, it could perhaps be referring to either the iris flower itself or the iris root, called orris root. The scent of the iris flower is more floral and sweet, while orris root is dry, dirty, a bit floral ,powdery and not very sweet. You should give orris root scents a try. They are very interesting. However since orris butter is expensive, most department store brands use lower quality synthetic orris butter. Good ones are hard to come by. For good orris scents that are available in Malaysia, try Prada Infusion d’Iris (pretty and soft like a cotton dress), Hermes Hiris (cold, poised and elegant), or Chanel no 19 edt (its known in perfume circles as an ice queen, aloof and haughty). I believe Iris Nobile is an iris flower scent not an orris root perfume, hence its a little sweet and floral.

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Paris B August 20, 2012 at 5:34 pm

Ah Natasha you really know your perfumes *humbled* ;) I only usually sniff to see if I like it or not but I must say that the quality in a good perfume from a good perfume house is so markedly different from a commercial scent that we get bombarded with so often. I’m trying to explore more of them with only the price being the biggest barrier :P Thanks for sharing about the use of the Iris in perfumes – and you actually made me curious to go and sniff at the Prada, Hermes and Chanel ones now! :D

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Tracy August 18, 2012 at 8:47 am

HAHAHA not too sweet that it makes you puke haha! That’s how I feel when a scent is so sweet! Love it.
I’ve always wanted to try one of their scents, but I’m turning into a Tom Ford fragrance girl! And i like the more masculine scents too, like Tobacco and Leather. :)

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Paris B August 20, 2012 at 6:19 pm

Oh Tracy, I’m so glad you knew what I mean! Often I come across scents people love (especially of creme brulee) and I can’t take it because its just too sweet! Now that you mention Tom Ford, I actually checked out his fragrances on my last trip to Hong Kong and I actually found them a bit masculine for my liking although there were one or two that caught my nose – We don’t get them here though so I really should have indulged when I could :P

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Bryan August 18, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Been reading some good reviews of this brand on Internet and I was so happy to see it available at Pavilion. I was lucky enough to grab a bottle of Arancia Di Capri (120ml) for RM180…in the old bottle design cause it was stock clearance.

I am a big fan of juicy fresh citrusy scent. The scent of peeling an orange is what you get. It’s a more fresh and citrusy version of Hermes Concentre d`Orange Verte, which has a more woody base note and one of my favourites too.

Now, let’s see when Estee Lauder gonna bring in Jo Malone to Malaysia :)

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Paris B August 20, 2012 at 6:23 pm

Hey Bryan, a reader mentioned to me on Twitter that we’ll be seeing Jo Malone at Pavilion soon! I am looking forward to it because I am enjoying the layering kit I got and am keen to try some of her other scents :D Its great to know too that you like the Arancia di Capri scent – I just like that its not cloying like how come citrus scents can be :) Thanks to you I’m going to check out the Hermes one you mentioned :D

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Bryan August 21, 2012 at 9:02 am

Thanks Paris for the news!

I already have a long list of to buy for Jo Malone to mix with my existing collections :-p

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