I have been a fan of Acqua di Parma for many years now, so I was super excited when invited to the launch of their Home scent collection in Milan.
If you are new to Acqua di Parma, then let me give you a little introduction : It’s a scent that was conceived by Carlo Magnani, heir of one of Parma’s aristocratic families in 1916.
The first and original scent was called Colonia, a fresh citrus signature classic which up till today, has a loyal and growing fan base, amongst which are many famous A-listers.
Acqua di Parma has always been synonymous with luxury and sophistication. It’s one of those scents which will instantly transport you to the warmth of Italy. I stayed at the beautiful Principe di Savoia, part of the Dorchester Collection hotels in Milan.
Here’s a look at my elegant room, and unsurprisingly, there were Acqua di Parma products in the bathroom too.
I could seriously get used to this luxury lifestyle. Before the evening’s festivities, we went for a short walk to soak up the Milan vibe and have coffee. Can’t go to Italy and not try their delicious coffee right?
On our way to coffee, we stumbled upon Acqua di Parma’s store. I didn’t go in, as I would be back there the next day to interview Acqua di Parma’s CEO Laura Burdese and product development and innovation director Paola Paganini. Now, to the party. It was a spectacular event.
I just adore that yellow, the colour of Acqua di Parma’s packaging. The colour was a homage to the beautiful yellow houses of Parma, a city that I would love to visit one day. This imposing arch of peace was our view at the party venue in Dazi arco della pace.
It’s so impressive and steeped in history, just like the Acqua di Parma brand itself. The beautiful yet subtle scent from the new Home collection pervaded the event space and greeted us as we entered.
So, I can finally reveal that Acqua di Parma has launched 10 new scents for their Home range in candles and scent diffusers. Five of the new fragrances were developed to capture the typical moments of Italian living and they are called Luce di Colonia, Buongiorno, La Casa sul Lago, Caffè in Piazza and Oh, L’amore. The other 5 Home scents were inspired by Acqua di Parma’s Blu Mediterraneo line that recreates the feel of the Italian mediterranean. They are Arancia di Capri, Fico di Amalfi, Bergamotto di Calabria, Chinotto di Liguria and Mirto di Panarea. It was fascinating to talk to Paola Paganini, the product development and innovation director of Acqua di Parma Home range.
I learned that it could take up to at least 2 years from product conception to production with many fine tuning along the way.
She said the paper label took many trials, as they had to find the right quality paper that could withstand the heat from the glass.
The Luce di Colonia scented candle above is a light and sunny aroma that celebrates Acqua di Parma’s classic scent Colonia.
There are citrus notes of orange and lemon, combine with delicate floral and wood notes that evoke the sun drenched landscape of Italy.
They decided to keep the wax as natural as possible, so coloured the glass yellow instead.
The wax is a mixture of soy and paraffin and the glass moulded in the signature shape of the classic Colonia scent bottle. These candles are called Buongiorno, a scent to reflect a sunny Italian morning.
Acqua di Parma describes it as the first rays of sunlight coming through the windows, as the breeze rustles against the light curtains.
It brings with it the scent of mint, lavender, Rosemary and newly cut grass.
Sounds divine right? In fact, this is one of my favourites.
The Buongiorno scent diffuser now sits proudly in my living room, injecting a dose of happiness each time I enter. This is Oh L’amore and it’s all about Italian passion and emotion, a part of Italy’s DNA.
I love its intense spicy notes of black pepper, cloves, and amber, just perfect for a romantic evening. Here’s the La Casa sul Lago scent diffuser, a scent to evoke an Italian villa sitting by the silent rippling waters of a lake.
I was keen to relive those happy memories from our family holiday at Lake Como, and its calm floral and musk fragrance didn’t disappoint. These Mirto di Panarea candles inspired by Acqua di Parma’s Blu Mediterraneo range, are a restorative blend of myrtle, basil, lemon and bergamot.
It was such an honour to meet and interview her.
Laura has worked in roles from L’Oreal, to Swatch and later as CEO of Calvin Klein watches and jewellery.
She joined Acqua di Parma in 2016, a return to her roots in the beauty industry.
She brought with her a fresh and innovative approach to Acqua di Parma.
I asked her why the Home scent market?
She told me that it was an opportunity to bring into people’s homes those unmistakable moments of Italian life.
I asked if the home scent market was any different to the beauty fragrance market?
Laura alluded to the Home scent market being a slightly different target market.
She said candles were more for gifting, whereas perfumes were a more personal choice.
I guess women who already love the Acqua di Parma perfumes would be the natural purchasers of the home scents.
However, those who don’t buy perfumes for themselves may be that untapped market with the home products.
She told me that a typical Home scent buyer is a woman, who loves to decorate her home.
Laura told me that contrary to the belief that the brand was male centric, buyers were mainly women. In fact users were a balanced 55% men and 45% women.
Finally, no interview ends without asking what’s next on the horizon.
Hot off the press, Laura told me that there will be an upcoming new Signature collection. It will come in stunning black and transparent bottles with a gold finish. Sounds amazing! I can’t wait to see that design element.
I was also excited to learn that they will also be adding 5 new Asian inspired scents such as Yuzu, Sakura, Vanille, Camellia and Osmanthus. ( Bearing in mind that the Chinese market for Acqua di Parma is huge and growing, this is a brilliant strategy). Anyway, the evening drew to an end after a fabulous Acqua di Parma inspired 3 course menu.
I had a brilliant time in Milan. It’s always wonderful to learn about what goes on behind the scenes.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this post on the Acqua di Parma Home range. I will be showing you more of the Acqua di Parma candles in my next post. This time you will be seeing it in my home setting.
Have a wonderful week ahead.
( All photography are by Geraldine Tan, editor of Little Big Bell. The Acqua di Parma Home launch event was part of a press trip).