There are only three things you need when going away on holiday; passports, pants and perfume. I call them the ‘three P’s’ and each is just essential as the other. Now, it wont surprise you to know that when it comes to the third P, namely perfume, I do not pack light, no Sir. It’s not my fault though, one has to pack for every eventual scenario, for example, one needs a smart fougère for dinner at that fancy coastal restaurant they booked, a simple eau de cologne for every day wear in the heat, a spring floral for a visit to the national garden, and let’s not forget something comforting for A&E just in case you hit the booze on that booze cruise just a bit too hard. Anything can happen, you know, so it always pays to be prepared.
On my most recent holidays I’ve always packed away a cheeky little bit of Acqua di Parma to accompany me on my travels. For Japan it was the freshly cut pink roses of Rosa Nobile, packed for a trip to the Meiji shrine in Tokyo. Whilst in Amsterdam I had to have the salty-fresh, minty-clean tones of Colonia Club to wash away the sinful exploits of a fun-loving city and finally, in Sardinia I chose the classic eau de cologne of Colonia because, well because in Italy it’s very rude to wear anything else. So in short, Acqua di Parma make the perfect easy breezy wears for trips away, especially their Blu Mediterraneo line, which is full of wonderful exotic treats inspired by the fair isles of Italy.
The latest addition to the Blu Mediterraneo collections is Cedro di Taormina and it celebrates the island of Sicily, specifically the lush and volcanic nature of the landscape. The fragrance is an aromatic citrus composition that is described as a “sparkling aroma” that is a “fusion of breathtaking contrasts”. That sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? And with this recently pleasant turn in the weather, Cedro di Taormina may just be the perfect thing to kick start the summer fragrance wardrobe.
Top: Citron, Petit Grain and Basil
Heart: Black Pepper and Lavender
Base: Cistus Labdanum, Vetiver and Virginia Sandalwood
How Does it Smell?
Cedro di Taormina opens with a veritable solar flare of citrus. It is bright and sparkling, with a wonderfully fresh feel that is not unlike being splashed in the face by a bucket of lemon juice. The citrus has a wonderfully acerbic and sour quality to it that is gorgeous and bracing, and one really can imagine spraying it on during an exotic Mediterranean heatwave just to refresh. Basil adds a herbal quality to the top notes, underpinning them with a leafy warmth that brings complexity and added vibrancy. There’s also a floral touch too, thanks to the petit grain, which makes Cedro feel just that extra bit sunny and exotic.
Lavender really is Cedro di Taormina’s star and it is utilised in an interesting way. Usually, the note brings a caramel-like sweetness to proceedings but here, it’s almost as if the colour has been washed out, leaving behind a grey lavender that is fully medicinal and herbaceous, but devoid of sugar. When painting the picture of a rocky landscape, this is perfect and it really adds a sense of isolation – of sole blooms poking through the cracks of the rocks. It’s a beautiful impression that gives a sense of depth to the cologne-like feel of the opening.
In the base, Cedro gets warmer still, moving away from the freshness of citrus and the medicinal nature of lavender to the reassurance of soft woods. There’s a subtle vetiver inflection that provides a salty, masculine touch, but for the most part the base consists of one half plush, but dry sandalwood and the other half fuzzy labdanum. Some of the sour citrus notes are retained, roasting warmly in the base like a distant sunset. It’s all rather pleasant from top to bottom, I must say!
Cedro di Taormina feels like the most classic of the Blu Mediterraneo fragrances, evoking the brand’s legendary Colonia in the process. It works well as a unisex fragrance, but I can’t help but feel that it would be perfect on a suave Tom Hiddleston type as he sails his yacht down the Amalfi coast. Perhaps I’ll pack this for my next holiday, wherever that may be, and I shall channel some exotic Night Manager realness. Whatever the results, at least I will smell damn good!