Some fragrances linger like that house-party guest who suggests first breakfast, then lunch, then ends up crashing a second night. Others are the kind who arrive, drop a few dazzling anecdotes, then swish out, leaving everyone else to mourn how soon they left. Acqua Di Parma’s latest falls firmly in the latter, a summer scent that evokes sun-dappled beaches infused in the scents that rush down from the mountains.
The brand’s Blu Mediterraneo fragrances have always been island hoppers, bouncing around the Med and bottling different locales. This restless approach has produced a stable of distinctive scents, each built around an area’s key note – Calabria’s wild bergamot, the oranges of Capri, or the almonds of Sicilian cuisine – but which are all tied together by a lightness of touch that befits a trip around fragrant coastlines.
The seventh in the series, Cedro di Taormina is, as the name suggests, inspired by the town of Taormina, which is nestled on Sicily’s Italian-facing coast. As a destination, it’s breathtaking – namechecked by Guy du Maupassant as the island’s jewel and ablaze with flowers almost year-round. In its markets, you’ll discover the citron, locally known as the cedro, a fruit that resembles a gnarled, oversized lemon, and which when you slice into it is more pith than flesh.
Normally it’s used in cooking, but Cedro di Taormina proves it’s no slouch leading a fragrance, either. It comes accompanied with a hint of orange sweetness, an opening akin to a breeze blowing through citrus groves, but disappears quickly, replaced by the woody notes of cedar and vetiver. There’s a touch of black pepper and basil in the mix, too, but so subtle as to be near unnoticeable unless your nose goes looking for it.
In fact, it’s a scent that settles down fast, the opening freshness dissipating quicker than your holiday tan. It’s the kind of scent that evokes visions of linen-clad wanderings along beaches lapped by cerulean waves. It’s just a shame that, like any jaunt abroad, it’s all over too soon.
Available from John Lewis, priced £61 for 75ml of eau de toilette.
Bottle: Acqua Di Parma’s art deco flacon, in the Blu Mediterraneo series’ sea-emulating blue.
Head notes: Citrus, petitgrain, basil;
Heart notes: Lavender, black pepper;
Base notes: Vetiver, cedar wood, labdanum.
Best for: Whisking your mind to the Med, even if your body’s still trapped at work.