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 brand.

Acqua di Parma Colonia Poster

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.


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 perfume connoisseurs.

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’.

While the label continues to reside at the forefront of beauty and fashion, Acqua di Parma also holds true to its original roots and production practices: the essence is still distilled entirely by hand, and the packaging is still hand designed and crafted by skilled craftsmen and experts using the same tried and true methods as in the past.