1916-2016: Acqua di Parma celebrates a century of savoir-faire

Perfumes & Cosmetics

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The historic brand Acqua di Parma celebrates a century of elegance, craftsmanship and pure Italian savoir-vivre.

© Acqua di Parma

Since its beginnings in 1916, Acqua di Parma has called upon the most meticulous handcrafted excellence. All its products are crafted in small Italian ateliers, whose secrets and expertise have been passed down from generation to generation. Acqua di Parma artisans use rare essences, waxes, leathers, wood and refined metals to created fragrances, scented candles and sophisticated leather accessories. To celebrate its first century of existence, Acqua di Parma naturally chose the city of Parma, where in 1916, Carlo Magnani, a man of great refinement and elegance, heir of one of Parma’s aristocratic families, commissioned the creation of an unusually fresh and modern fragrance as an expression of his own lifestyle. Colonia Acqua di Parma was the first real Italian Cologne, a new classic fragrance destined for timeless success. To honor the intimate ties between the brand and the city, and its commitment to Italian art and culture, Acqua di Parma celebrated its centennial via a rich artistic and cultural program.

Architecture, artworks, musical and theatrical venues were lit up for the festivities that animated the city in late May. Events and activities included a journey to the heart of craftsmanship in the workshops recreated at Palazzo della Pilotta, a stage performance at the Teatro Regio featuring the principal dancer Roberto Bolle in the ‘Roberto Bolle and Friends’ performance and theater and lyrical performances at the Teatro Farnese. In the elegant setting of the Palazzo della Pilotta, Acqua di Parma also displayed the book Essere Parma, published in a joint edition with Mondadori Electa. The prestigious publishing initiative consists of two publications. A book of photographs taken by internationally renowned photographer Giovanni Gastel, which create interesting parallels between Parma’s past and present. A novel penned specifically for this occasion by the well-known author Antonella Boralevi, set against the stupendous architecture and atmosphere of Parma. The wonderful images and evocative passages found in Essere Parma was displayed in an open-air exhibition under the vaults of the Palazzo del Comune, in the attractive Portici del Grano.

Acqua di Parma has also celebrated its Centenary with a new collection of fragrances, “Note di Colonia”, whose design gets back to the original 1916 bottle and draws inspiration from the world of opera and an exclusive edition of Colonia created by Damiani, the prestigious luxury jewellery company, an exclusive edition of only 100 pieces, reflecting 100 years of the brand’s existence. An authentic jewel, its design is inspired by the décor of the Teatro Regio in Parma and by the noble history of luxury perfumery.

© Acqua di Parma

Architecture, artworks, musical and theatrical venues were lit up for the festivities that animated the city in late May. Events and activities included a journey to the heart of craftsmanship in the workshops of the city, a stage performance at the Teatro Regio featuring the star dancer Roberto Bolle, and theater and lyrical performances at the Teatro Farnese to accompany the presentation of the book Essere Parma. Released by Acqua di Parma on the occasion of its anniversary, the book celebrates the atmosphere of Parma, with photos by world-renowned photographer Giovanni Gastel and text by the writer Antonella Boralevi.

Acqua di Parma also marked the hundred-year anniversary of Colonia, the first Italian cologne and a symbol of Italian elegance. While the formula of the iconic fragrance has remained unchanged for a century, its case has been revisited for the occasion. Colonia Centenary Edition is a limited edition designed by the Italian haute jewelry brand Damiano to evoke a stunning jewel. The House has crafted only one hundred examples of this exclusive design, reflecting one hundred years of savoir-faire that resonate with Acqua di Parma’s reputation today.