New Perfume Review Acqua di Parma Chinotto di Liguria- Another Winner

Every year as the weather gets warmer a little row of blue colored cylinders form a line at the front of a shelf. Every year I am reminded at the success of the Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo collection at producing compelling fresh, often citrus-based, colognes. Over the next six months or so all the eight bottles I own will allow me to wear something in the heat of the summer that refreshes without boring me. When I made my trip to Bloomingdale’s a month ago to pick up my samples from the fragrance counter I noticed a box with the familiar blue packaging and a new name on the label; Chinotto di Liguria.

Francois Demachy

One of the things I like about this collection is having such a Mediterranean-style focus it doesn’t lend itself to overwhelming exploration of the aesthetic. Since its inception in 1999, Chinotto di Liguria is only the ninth release in almost twenty years. They have also used one of the great perfumers for the last four, including Chinotto di Liguria, Francois Demachy. The Blu Mediterraneo perfumes he has composed all display his ability at finding two-note accords defining top, heart, and base. Chinotto di Liguria is another example.

The note being explored is a rare Mediterranean citrus called Chinotto. To be honest it smells like a greener version of bergamot. I have never encountered the fruit in real life so this might be an accurate description of it. This has more sweetness for the green to contrast. Matched to it in the top accord is a marine note capturing the crashing sea spray on the beach. This is a typical Mediterranean accord M. Demachy uses with a detectable shading on the citrus. The heart accord is a continuation of the green through cardamom and rosemary with jasmine. My favorite part of this perfume is as the cardamom and rosemary intertwine they ride on an expansive bubble of jasmine. It is airily beautiful. This is where it feels like a beach walk between ocean on one side and orange trees and jasmine vines on the other. The expansiveness remains as white musks do the same to the patchouli in the base.

Chinotto di Liguria has 8-10 hour longevity and average sillage.

I returned to Bloomingdale’s to buy a bottle after wearing through my sample. It would have been a surprise not to add to my row of blue bottles. There is nothing groundbreaking here but if you want excellently designed warm weather colognes you can’t make a bad choice within this collection including Chinotto di Liguria.

Disclosure: This review based on a sample provided by Bloomingdale’s and a bottle I purchased.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Acqua de Parma Cedro di Taormina- Underneath the Volcano

When I was writing my Perfume 101 on Acqua di Parma I had my little collection all sitting in front of me. As I was looking at it I realized that I had neglected the little collection of blue bottles with Blu Mediterraneo written on the label. As I reacquainted myself I was once again struck by the nice balance this set of fragrances strike hovering between an eau de cologne and eau de parfum concentration. I was also reminded of what a nice job these do with the title note. It was funny when a few weeks later I received the latest Blu Mediterraneo release Cedro di Taormina. I was excited to see what could be teased out of cedar.

The Blu Mediterraneo series is meant to not only feature a note but also capture a place in the Mediterranean. In this case we are in the Sicilian beach town of Taormina on the east coast of the island. Taormina features Mt. Etna rumbling off to its west while you look out upon the Ionian sea. Perfumer Francois Demachy wanted to capture some of the fire of the volcano along with the freshness of citrus and cedar. In the end Cedro di Taormina takes you from shore to caldera and back again.

francois-demachy

Francois Demachy

When M. Demachy is working at his best he takes specific pairs of notes to create memorable chords. The opening and heart accords of Cedro di Taormina show this ability. The opening is the lighter citrus feel of citron paired with basil. Because citron is a lighter less tart version of lemon it allows the herbal aspect of basil a little more traction. M. Demachy keeps this opening as light as a Mediterranean breeze. Not so as we move into the heart as lavender and black pepper capture the heat of Mt. Etna. The heart is mostly black pepper and the lavender is pushed into the background. Even though it only exerts a minor presence it is an important modulator keeping the black pepper from being too strident. The lavender also pulls the basil in with it to help keep the pepper well behaved. This volcano is not quite ready to erupt. The base is the promised cedar but it once again picks up a breeze of cistus and vetiver to help cool down the warmth from the heart.

Cedro di Taormina has 8-10 hour longevity and moderate sillage.

After having found my Blu Mediterraneo collection I know I will be wearing these a lot for my weekend morning jaunts. Cedro di Taormina is going to go right into that rotation.

Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Acqua di Parma.

Mark Behnke