The History of Acqua Di Parma
Acqua Di Parma is a fragrance, grooming and lifestyle
brand steeped in history and tradition, which maintains
a modern, chic and sophisticated image. They produce
some of the finest quality colognes, perfumes, body
products, bath luxuries, male grooming items, candles,
room fragrances and leather accessories available, each
made with the attention to detail, luxury and style
that has become to be synonymous with the Acqua Di Parma
Acqua Di Parma has been established for
nearly 100 years. Acqua Di Parma was created for the
distinguished court of the Gonzaga family in Parma in
Italy in the early twentieth century, as an Italian
response to the German dominated cologne market and
was an instant success due to its uniquely refreshing,
Mediterranean tones and use of sparkling citrus fruits.
Since this launch Acqua Di Parma has maintained its
relationship with the rich and famous and has been quoted
as the fragrance choice of distinguished individuals
such as Cary Grant and Ava Gardner, today it is still
one of the 'best kept secrets' of the fragrance connoisseur.
A Rich and Distinguished History
Acqua Di Parma was born in Parma, Italy. An enticing
cultured, aristocratic and elegantly simple and rustic
city that seamlessly and enviably managed to melt the
past into the present. Acqua Di Parma begin in 1916,
when the last echoes of the Belle Epoque could still
be heard, conjuring up the whirl of high society, the
Can-Can, evenings of dance and theatre and the last
luxurious horse drawn carriages.
It was also created against a backdrop
of a German dominated aftershave and perfume market.
These German fragrances were powerful, intense and often
heady compositions and lacked refinement and creativity.
Acqua Di Parma Colonia took the perfume making culture
of the German brands and blended it with the cultural
and vivacious essence of Parma, to create this zesty,
effervescent and distinguished cologne.
The Rise of Colonia
As soon as Acqua Di Parma Colonia made its appearance
it rapidly spread through the highest echelons of the
city, its esteemed reputation carried by word of mouth.
These individuals wore the scent like the finishing
touch on a garment, the vital element that completed
their evening’s attire. From the start it the
Acqua Di Parma brand had a perfect symbiosis with that
elite world where high class tailors and seamstresses
were a fundamental point of reference for style, along
with perfumes, leather accessories and other extraordinary
hand crafted objects.
The 1930’s and 1950’s were
a golden age for Acqua Di Parma. By the 1930s, the cologne
had become so popular that its production had to be
increased in order to meet the market's demands.
During the 1950’s Colonia became the perfume
of choice for men and women of discerning taste and
sophisticated elegance, Hollywood's biggest names included.
The Best Kept Perfume Secret
Amongst its faithful devotees in the acting community
were suave actors such as Cary Grant and David Niven,
along with timeless sex sirens such as Ava Gadner and
Lana Turner. Later Audrey Hepburn joined the elite galaxy
of stars that had a passion for Acqua Di Parma. Unfortunately
during the 1960’s the vast array of aftershaves,
colognes and perfumes on the market challenged Acqua
Di Parma’s supremacy, though its long standing
reputation for elegance and quality ensured that it
became the ‘best kept’ perfume secret amongst
In 1993, three friends who happened
to be in the Italian luxury goods industry, Luca Cordelo
di Montezemolo, Presidente of Ferrari, Diego Della Vante,
founder and owner of Tod’s S.p.A and Paolo Borgamenero,
shareholder with the La Perla Group, joined forces and
embarked on an exciting new venture Acqua Di Parma SRL.
These three men were determined to safeguard this Italian
Classic and preserve its name for quality and sophistication
but also enhance the awareness of this beautiful crafted
brand; this philosophy has ensured that Acqua Di Parma
has gone from strength to strength.
The first Acqua Di Parma Boutique
The first Acqua Di Parma boutique opened in 1998 in
Milan and by 1999 Acqua Di Parma could be found in the
world’s most exclusive department stores and boutiques.
It’s attention to style, detail and sophistication
was once more widely noted and the brand began to attract
a loyal, elite and celebrity clientele.
Acqua Di Parma Today
In 2001 the final chapter in the history of Acqua Di
Parma was opened as LVMH, the worlds leading producer
and distributor of luxury goods acquired the brand.
The decision was made that Acqua Di Parma should be
one of the worlds first class providers of luxury products
and LVMH started the process, developing the extension
of existing product lines, increasing distribution amongst
select retailers and furthering the relationship in
people’s minds between Acqua Di Parma, elegance,
quality and sophistication, ensuring that Acqua di Parma
became a ‘modern classic’.