Once I fell down the perfume rabbit hole one of the first brands I focused a lot of energy on was Acqua di Parma. There was a classicism to the way this Italian brand made perfume that appealed to my developing palate. One of the earliest ones I tried was Colonia. I own almost all the ancillary shaving products from this. There is something about it that just gives my morning routine a jumpstart. Throughout the years they have updated the Colonia with multiple flankers. For 2020 Acqua di Parma Colonia Futura returns to its origins for a new future.
What that convoluted sentence means is the brand is reformulating Colonia with all-natural sustainable replacements. The press release talks about the number being 99% of these types of ingredients. It is an interesting exercise to see what effect newer materials will have on a fragrance first released in 1916. Perfumer Francois Demachy is one of the best to attempt something like this. The advances in over 100 years are tremendous. Colonia Futura displays how they impact a classic formula.
The original is citrus top leading to a lavender, verbena and sage heart, finishing on vetiver and woods. It remains a perfectly balanced recipe. Colonia Futura plays out identically but for one very important substitution.
The top notes are the same brilliant burst of lemon and grapefruit which I am familiar with. If there is a difference to natural sources, I would characterize it as bit softer on the edges. Not direct sunlight but hidden behind some high clouds. The big change happens in the heart as baie rose replaces verbena as the partner to lavender and sage. This pairing has become quite prevalent over the last ten years because they go together so well. The herbal natures of all three and the subtle fruitiness of the baie rose goes with the floral character of lavender. The natural sources of baie rose have added to its nuance and it seems like a high-quality version has been used here. The vetiver has a very green presence early on before turning woody to greet the cedar in the base.
Colonia Futura has 8-10 hour longevity and average sillage.
As I compared Colonia Futura to its predecessor what I notice most about the use of natural ingredients is the softer quality. If I use Colonia in the morning for a bracing start to the day; Colonia Futura would be what I turn to at the end of the day to soothe me. It is a fragrance which has brought the past to the present as it looks to the future.
Disclosure: this review is based on a sample supplied by Sephora.