Skip to main content

Acqua di Colonia – Oh, brother what a great summer fragrance!

Some people are suckers for nice packaging, some are drawn to pretty bottles, and while I have sometimes succumbed to such marketing tricks, the thing I’m a sucker for is a good back story, which brings me to Santa Maria Novella’s Acqua di Colonia

Across from the train station in Florence sits Santa Maria Novella – the first great basilica to be built in Florence. Assigned to the Dominican Order, work was started on the church in 1221. The fathers grew herbs in the gardens of the church, which they used in the balms, and ointments they made for the infirmary. They must have known what they were doing cause in 1612 the fathers got permission to open their ‘pharmacy’ to the public and so the Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, was born.  Soon their creams, potions, lotions and fragrances were internationally known and the fathers never looked back.

A pharmacy is still there today and it’s a beauty, a real temple of beauty – frescoes, marble columns and inlaid tables – the store has its own fascinating history…but that’s another blog, let’s get to the juice.

I am a huge fan of the line, and Acqua di Colonia is one of their great fragrances. It was created for Catherine de Medici’s wedding to Henry ll of France and came to be known as "Acqua della Regina" (Water of the Queen).

I love the idea of tracing a scent back in time and I love the whole romance of the wedding perfume thing and I admit I would have bought the bottle just for that, but I wear Acqua di Colonia because it smells so good.

Like all colognes, this one is citrus based. Lemony citrus combined with a heavy hit of bergamot at the opening give this scent a fresh start. Then after a few minutes, white floral notes appear, along with a hint of rose, and temper the citrus so that it evolves into a lovely soft floral. Spice notes show up at the base to give it warmth and depth. It’s a beautiful combination of freshness and warmth – never bitter and not really green. Perfect for hot summer’s day anytime, anywhere.

And, while I don’t necessarily want to smell like CdeM, I don’t mind wearing her cologne and smelling divine as I go about my day.
 
Acqua di Colonia is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $4.00 for 1 ml.