Acqua di Parma Essenza di Colonia

Colin Murchie


Written by guest blogger, and fragrance enthusiast, Colin Murchie. Find out more about Colin.


Essenza di Colonia is the fourth and latest in the Colonia line, which dates back to 1916. Essenza is a surprising beast. The top starts off in the same way to the original, a beautifully smooth and classic cologne – then it takes on a new twist. As it settles on the skin it gets deeper and deeper and after 15 minutes or so, leaves behind its cologne top notes and starts to develop into something much more complex. A woodiness starts coming through, fighting its way to the top for attention. No woods are listed in the note structure supplied by Acqua Di Parma, but my nose tells me different! Pure patchouli and white musk are said to be in the base, but the patchouli doesn’t dominate I’m glad to say, as I feel this would ruin this fragrance. Instead, it mingles with the citrus of the grapefruit and tangerine in the top to give the effect of wood.

This is the deepest and most complex of the four fragrances in the Colonia line. The original Colonia is a beautifully constructed cologne, one of the best ever made. The Assoluta has a more masculine twist with oakmoss and vetiver in its composition.  The next is Colonia Intensa, the first fragrance from Acqua Di Parma that was marketed toward men. Again the classic cologne elements are there but this time they are ‘butched’ up with accents of leather and woods and ginger. I still feel this is also very suitable for women to wear.

Getting back to the Essenza: to sum up, for me this is the most modern in the line. Acqua di Parma makes use of white musks, and to my nose a little fizz of pepper, to bring this beautiful classic roaring into the 21stcentury. Don’t get me wrong, not one of the fragrances in the line smell dated; instead, they are all beautiful scents constructed in a wonderfully classical way. Essenza brings to the Colonia family a more contemporary twist, adding depth and a modern character without taking away from the beauty of the classic. Although all from this line are suitable to wear anytime, for an evening fragrance I would suggest the Essenza is best suited, purely due to its extra depth and modernity.

Yet another winner from this superb house. The quality of composition shines through!

Acqua di Parma Essenzia di Colonia, available from

Shop this post

  • Dusan

    Thanks for the great review, Colin! Not having tried all the fragrances from this line, I find your side-by-side comparison very useful. Keep up the good work!

  • Joao Pacheco

    I love Aqua di Parma…di parma is one of the most luxurious brands, like Louis Vuitton, Channel , Boca do Lobo, etc great brands.