100 Anniversary
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Acqua di Parma is 100 years old and is celebrating its Centenary with an exclusive edition of Colonia created by Damiani, the prestigious Italian luxury jewellery company. An exquisite limited edition of only 100 pieces, reflecting 100 years of the brand’s existence.
Colonia Edizione Centenario is an elegant interpretation designed for Acqua di Parma by Damiani, the prestigious Italian luxury jewellery brand. The maison has designed and produced a stunning sterling silver 925‰ piece which fully encases the unmistakable Art Déco Colonia bottle. An authentic jewel, its design is inspired by the décor of the Teatro Regio in Parma and by the noble history of luxury perfumery. The purity of the glass can be glimpsed through the elegantly interwoven metal spiral decorations. Each individual piece in this limited edition is crafted with artisanal mastery by the maison’s highly skilled goldsmiths. Silver ingots undergo a lengthy process of lamination to obtain a thin sheet which is then laser cut to obtain perforations. Embellishments and decorations are elaborately embossed. The delicately and artfully decorated openwork silver sheet is then manually wound around a cone with the same dimensions as the Colonia bottle, just like a made to measure suit. The final stage is to create a completely invisible seam, typical of high-end jewellery creations. Even the stopper is welded to the body of the bottle holder using the same careful craftsmanship. The royal shield is elegantly engraved in the centre of the piece. The final touch is the surface work. Burnishing and a special anti-rusting procedure that gives silver added protection. The piece is now almost finished. The master goldsmith stamps the sterling silver hallmark and the mark identifying Maison Damiani at the front of the bottle holder and engraves the Acqua di Parma and Damiani trademarks on the stopper. Lastly, a number is engraved on each bottle, making each one even more unique.
An exquisitely fresh and elegant fragrance, right from the crisp citrussy opening of lemon and sweet Sicilian orange, together with Calabrian bergamot. Its subtle sophistication continues in the aromatic heart that combines lavender, damask rose, verbena and rosemary. Unmistakable woody bottom notes of vetiver, sandalwood and patchouli create an unforgettable Eau de Cologne. Colonia Centenary Edition extols the values of Italian craftsmanship, noble elegance and exclusivity. Acqua di Parma has entrusted the creation to Damiani, a synonym of excellence and the best Italian jewellery tradition, with whom it shares an affinity with a world that, for generations, has valued all-Italian tradition, beauty, good taste and savoir faire.
 

THE ORIGINS

  • 1916-2016. Acqua di Parma is a hundred years old

    A century of history which, now more than ever, has seen the brand become a world ambassador for Made in Italy thanks to the enduring values which are part of its origins and its DNA. A hundred years of savoir-faire and understanding of quality of the highest level. A hundred years of strictly Italian craftsmanship during which Acqua di Parma has always employed the most careful manual production techniques. Every one of its products is crafted in individually selected Italian workshops where the secrets of the trade are passed down through the generations. Every single item is created with patience, time and dedication according to the spirit of the oldest master craftsmanship, using only the most valuable materials. Rare essential oils, the purest waxes, woods and precious metals, beautifully tactile and visually appealing leather, quality fabrics. The greatest care is taken in the smallest details and finishing touches, starting with the craftsmen creating the most refined fragrances to those who mould precious perfumed candles and leather accessories, from those who make elegant accessories intended for the shaving ritual to the artisans who prepare the boxes by hand and attach every label by hand.
  • Timeless creations which convey an innate elegance and a unique exclusivity

    It is by following these traditions that, for a hundred years, the brand has been able to bring out ever new classics. The purity of the design, the care taken in every detail, the most exquisite taste and perfection, a modern and evolved conception of luxury which has no need for ostentation but which is recognisable by its eternally understated refinement. For one hundred years Acqua di Parma, as well as craftsmanship, has supported the priceless heritage of Italian art and culture in the role of patron. An intense activity which ranges from prestigious publications, sponsorship of famous Italian artists and partnerships with important cultural institutions, to actually putting on art exhibitions. A commitment motivated by its link with this heritage in which the brand immerses its roots and from which it has absorbed its own values.
  • Acqua di Parma is celebrating its Centenary

    Even in its very name, Acqua di Parma demonstrates the close bond it enjoys with the city in which it originated. Parma, capital of theatre and music, figurative arts and architecture. The city of Giuseppe Verdi and Arturo Toscanini, and celebrated by Stendhal. It is from here that our passion for Italian art and culture is born. And it is to honour this sense of belonging that Acqua di Parma is celebrating its Centenary with an abundant programme of initiatives aimed at promoting the expression of Parma’s art and culture. A series of events which confirm the brand’s patronage and further reinforce its links with the city in which it originated. The Centenary is a unique opportunity to give the city new international exposure, promoting its vast array of architectural attractions, art works, theatres and music venues.
  • Colonia Acqua di Parma, the first truly Italian cologne

    At the beginning of the twentieth century, Baron Carlo Magnani, the educated, refined heir to one of Parma’s oldest families, lived in Parma. His grandfather, Girolamo Magnani, was a “painter, director and set designer” in the mid-nineteenth century at the Teatro Regio – the royal theatre – and his set designs were Giuseppe Verdi’s favourites. The elegance of his mannerisms and habits, his sensitivity to art and culture, that all-Italian savoir-vivre of the true gentleman, were for Carlo Magnani a heritage that was innate in him. But the fragrance in which he could be fully recognised did not exist. Therefore, driven by the desire to be able to rediscover his world in a fragrance, he commissioned a skilful master perfumer to create it, and it was from his exact instructions that, in 1916, a hundred years ago, an exceptionally fresh and modern fragrance was born. Colonia Acqua di Parma, the first truly Italian cologne.
  • Colonia Acqua di Parma, the first truly Italian cologne

    From then on, the brand itself, synonymous with excellence in craftsmanship and with an awareness of elegance and beauty, became part of the heritage and history of the city, with a deep affinity which grew and strengthened over time. Straight away, the brand’s image found its conventions in the place where it originated. The unmistakeable Parma yellow which has characterised the aristocratic houses of the city since the baroque era and represents its symbolic shade became Acqua di Parma’s iconic colour. The royal shield became part of the logo and recalls the coat of arms of the Dukes of Parma at the time of Marie Louise, the enlightened sovereign who, more than any other, brought splendour to the city by cultivating its arts and culture. It was she who opened the Teatro Regio, established the Conservatory and restored the University.
  • 1930-1950

    With its fresh and elegant blend, which has remained unchanged in a century, Colonia established itself in the 30’s as the “fragrance” of the era, gaining international success in the 50’s. Hollywood actors, invited to Italy by the great masters of Italian cinema, discovered it in historic bespoke tailors’ shops where a puff of the fragrance would be squirted by the tailor before handing over a made-to-measure suit. A tradition which has linked Colonia from its inception to the word of male bespoke tailoring and makes it a sought-after accessory. Its art deco bottle, with its unmistakeable black cap in bakelite, is now iconic.
  • 1990-2000

    Drawing inspiration from Colonia, Acqua di Parma creates a whole world of style. In the 90’s three renowned Italian businessmen, loyal admirers of the fragrance, sensed the brand’s potential, giving life to new creations. In 2001 the brand was acquired by the LVMH group and increased its success at international level. Acqua di Parma expresses the true Italian lifestyle, developing an increasingly extensive range of product ranges in a variety of sectors, from fragrances for men and for women to travel and business accessories, Home Fragrance and the Home Collection.
  • TODAY

    Every new item continues to be an expression of the all-Italian elegance of its origins and the most Made in Italy craftsmanship. Throughout this first century of history and tradition, Acqua di Parma has continued to move forward intelligently into the contemporary world, keeping intact its link with its roots and its DNA. It is the milestone of the first hundred years of this genuine Italian art of living that the brand is proudly celebrating today. A way of life which, as much nowadays as in the past, has fascinated and engaged a following from all over the world: well-informed and civilised men and women who have held the same shared values for a hundred years.
 
 

INTERVIEW WITH GABRIELLA SCARPA

Celebrating a centenary means speaking to history with a story of one’s own.The story of ACQUA DI PARMA is Parma. The Colonia of Acqua di Parma was born as an expression of style, refined and discreet elegance, the passion for culture of an aristocrat in Parma, who found no scent in the world that he felt as his. For this reason, Colonia is more than just a perfume: it’s a lifestyle. Just as Parma is much more than a place: it’s a way of being.
It’s the ability to create beauty, taste and culture with intelligence and in the elegant way that only the ancient tradition of modes and culture can do. Parma is the synthesis of the values that make Italy and Italian style admired around the world and the extraordinary skills of the hands, the creativity, the talent of Italian artisans for which the world envies us. Parma is the Italy of which we are proud, the Italy that teaches the world elegance, culture, style. Acqua di Parma has brought all this to the world and won it over.
I thought long and hard about this. Parma is such an extraordinary place that it requires an extraordinary point of view. Something never done before: this is what Parma deserves.Walking through the elegant streets, falling in love with the frescoes in the magnificent churches, the discrete palaces painted a yellow that in the color palette of the world bears the name “Parma,” breathing the flowery air arising from the smiling countryside surrounding the sumptuous glory of the city, I began to understand. Parma is not a city.
Great, powerful Italian culture permeates every brick, every stone, every prospect of Parma. Parma has known how to live in its time while simultaneously projecting itself into the future. Parma had the most sophisticated court in Italy, and also the smallest. Parma shines in the paintings of Correggio, Parmigianino, in the fabric of its façades, in the enchantment of its statues that dance in the sky, rising from its roofs the color of roses, on ledges, balustrades and terraces. But it has also succeeded in creating the revolutionary marvel of modern technology, VisLab’s selfdriving car, which SiliconValley itself bows down to. Parma is the pulpit of great music, the triumph of Verdi, the splendor of a theater whose grace and elegance eclipses of the world’s most famous opera houses. But it is also a stage for works of contemporary architecture that have proved seminal: the single span bridge, the Teatro Due, the headquarters of the EFSA, the European Food Safety Authority. Parma flourishes with monumental churches, from the early Middle Ages to the romantic masterpieces of 19th century decoration.Yet it has succeeded in transforming one of them, beautiful as it is, into a Sound Engineering Laboratory unmatched in the world. Parma gave its name to an artist in the pantheon of the greatest, Parmigianino, but it has asked a contemporary artist like Claudio Parmiggiani to reveal its mysteries by commissioning installations that have shaped the history of art in the third millennium.
Hence, in order to celebrate Parma, it took two special talents.Two names that create elegance and culture, of people who themselves embody elegance and culture. In an interplay of mirrors that multiplies and reflects the charm of this city which brings to the world the message of our Italy, creator of beauty and culture. I chose without hesitation. Giovanni Gastel has for many years been the magnificent creator of the image of Acqua di Parma. He has brought the hallmark of his elegance and culture into our communication, perfectly embodying in himself the core values of our brand.We asked Giovanni Gastel, an artist even before he is a photographer, a celebrated master of the gaze, to show us what Parma looks like. A fascinating line between Past and Future. A history that is linked together and rediscovers lineaments and architectural elements through the centuries with the force of his inspiration.We could have asked Antonella Boralevi, an authoritative and passionate writer, to write our history. Many brands have done so: they have published a book that told the story of the creation and development of the brand.
So, we asked Antonella not for a story but an emotion.We have commissioned a novel.A similar operation to that with which the great patrons of the history of Parma, kings, abbots, princes, monks and the Grand Duchess Marie Louise gave the city, Italy, the world, the splendor of this extraordinary and still secret city. The photographs by Giovanni Gastel and the novel by Antonella Boralevi are a single volume and a uniquely special exhibition. They have a single title: Essere Parma (Being Parma). What Giovanni and Antonella have succeeded in achieving is a miracle of inspiration and the genius loci. It is proof of a complete harmony between two artistic voices that, each with a special talent, have come together and created beauty. In reading the fascinating pages of Antonella’s novel, the reader experiences on his skin and in his heart the emotions that the extraordinary, powerful photographs by Giovanni bring to our eyes. It is both a twofold and a single journey, guided by the hands of two artists who, from different but complementary standpoints, have recreated for us the wonderful experience of elegance and culture embodied in Parma.

PHOTOGRAPHIC BOOK 
BY GIOVANNI GASTEL

The acclaimed international photographer Giovanni Gastel has taken a series of shots that play on the idea of dualism. Characters, architecture, works of art: examples of excellence past and present displayed alongside one another at will. A visual journey in which analogies between great tradition and dynamic modernity come to light. Images that invite us to guess at the common themes and shared values underpinning the different eras.
 

ROMANCE BY 
ANTONELLA BORALEVI

Antonella Boralevi, eclectic, learned writer, a lover of words and their power to open new doors and meanings, winds the plot of her novel, written specially for this occasion, through the city of Parma, offering tantalizing glimpses of its architecture and ambience. Here is a book that vibrates with emotions, conveying to the reader the light and peacefulness of the city and of those who understand the ways to experience it and love it.
 

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