It seems sort of impossible to dislike Acqua di Parma. For over a century, the brand’s “Colonia” fragrance has been a staple of perfumery—its “frutti d’oro” (golden fruits) emanating a fresh, bright, and clean scent that’s universally beloved. When you factor in everything from the soaps to lotions to body wash to candles that it’s been packaged in, that universality becomes undeniable.
Earlier this fall, though, Acqua di Parma unveiled a whole new look—eight brand-new fragrances with black labels and a golden logo—as part of their “Signatures of the Sun” collection. Described as “the sublime expression of the art of perfume,” the more limited capsule explores the finest (and rarest) ingredients known to perfumery, like oud (“the wood of the gods”), osmanthus (the “flower of happiness), and sandalwood.
But there’s one new fragrance from the range that feels closest to the original. Quercia will smell instantly familiar to devotées—the sparkling top notes similar to those found in Colonia. But unlike Colonia, which is deliberately and wonderfully ephemeral, Quercia may begin nice and light, but over time, it evolves into a woodsy, aromatic experience, easily making it the most multifaceted scent of the range.
Quercia gets its unique qualities from “oakmoss absolute,” which Acqua di Parma claims is “one of the most highly-valued ingredients in high-class perfume production.” The ingredient, which bestows the right blend of woody and green notes, eventually gives way to reveal the spice of patchouli and the warmth of tonka bean. This is the kind of scent that will smell a little different—and a little better—as the day goes on.
Now that it’s gifting season, there’s a good chance the universal appeal of Acqua di Parma will appeal to any number of people on your list (particularly for the guys who don’t know how to select fragrances for themselves). Quercia is the luxury surprise they don’t even know they’ve been waiting for.