On paper a citrus and oud combo might seem bizarre. However, in the case of Acqua di Parma Colonia Oud Eau de Cologne Concentrée it works a treat.
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Ever since it was founded in 1916 in Parma, Italy, by the super-dapper Carlo Magnani, Acqua di Parma has been synonymous with luxury and the good life, Italian style. All serious perfume-lovers know Acqua di Parma Colonia, a 20th-century citrus classic.
From the Colonia versions to the Blu Mediterraneo collection, Acqua di Parma has built a thriving business on high-quality variations on the citrus theme.
Perhaps the most intriguing of these is Acqua di Parma Colonia Oud Eau de Cologne Concentrée (launched in 2012) from the Ingredient Collection, with its contrasts of refreshing citrus and deep oud.
Rich and pungent, oud has been a staple of Middle Eastern perfumery for centuries. The last decade has seen an explosion in Western-style interpretations of this very expensive ingredient.
The trademark Art Deco-influenced bottle and cap come in a suitably dark brown shade for Acqua di Parma Colonia Oud. The label in bronze adds a glamorous touch.
This is a luxury fragrance with a price tag to match, so packaging is premium level. It’s presented in a hand-crafted box lined with brown satin.
Scent Notes (according to acquadiparma.com)
Calabrian bergamot, Italian orange (top notes), agarwood, Haitian amyris, Russian coriander (heart notes), Moroccan Atlas cedarwood, Indonesian patchouli, sandalwood accord and musk (base notes)
“With the Colonia Oud Eau de Cologne Concentrée, Aqua di Parma offers you a charismatic and intense fragrance, merging fresh vibrant scents of Colonia with warm deep notes of Agarwood. A unique and elegant eau de cologne for men!” --
Despite much research, the perfumer is unknown. It’s a pity that Acqua di Parma frequently doesn’t list its perfumers, especially when they produce such good work.
The citrus notes of Calabrian bergamot and Italian orange open this fragrance in typically uplifting Acqua di Parma style. We’re in familiar fresh territory here.
The oud comes through quickly after that. Warm, sensual and smooth, without being overwhelming, it’s a refined take on the oud theme.
The oud is accompanied and complemented by a strong and silky leather accord, which, for some reason, is not listed in the official notes. But make no mistake, it’s a big part of this fragrance. The coriander note adds a nice spicy touch.
The base adds to the feeling of warmth with the notes of Moroccan cedarwood, Indonesian patchouli and sandalwood accord in perfect harmony.
Harmonious is a good way to describe Acqua di Parma Colonia Oud. Before you try it, you might think that the combination of citrus and oud will be a total mess. When you wear it, you will see how all the elements work together to produce a scent that’s eminently elegante.
As a concentrated cologne, it delivers good performance, which is not always the case with colognes.
Who would like it
If you want a smart oud fragrance with a difference and that’s not too in your face, Acqua di Parma Colonia Oud is the perfect choice. Discerning men who want their fragrance to make a sophisticated statement should add this to their collection pronto.
Where to wear it
It’s fairly versatile, so wear it from the office to a cocktail bar. As it’s pricey, for many men, this will be a special occasion fragrance. It can be worn through the warmer months with ease, but is at is best during fall and winter.
Other oud fragrances to consider
Gucci Intense Oud EDP, Tom Ford Oud Minérale EDP and Maison Francis Kurkdjian Oud Extrait de Parfum.