MILAN — After taking over the Caruso restaurant nestled in Milan’s Golden Triangle for a temporary café last year, Italian fragrance house Acqua di Parma is to replicate the experiential format by setting up a temporary dining kiosk in the city’s central Via Palestro, next to Casa Cipriani.
The LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-controlled company will run Acqua di Parma Il Chioschetto from May 11 to 21 to mark the launch of its new limited-edition fragrance Arancia La Spugnatura, which is part of its Blu Mediterraneo collection of scents.
Drawing inspiration from the Sicilian origins of its star ingredient, the Arancia Vaniglia orange, harvested in the city of Ribera, the kiosk will be themed after the Italian island, offering local delicacies from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., encompassing breakfasts, lunches and aperitivos.
In addition to drinks and a special Arancia Vaniglia-flavored ice cream, a bespoke menu curated by renowned Sicilian chef Filippo La Mantia will echo the olfactory notes included in the scent.
Created by master perfumer François Demachy, the fragrance features top notes such as mandarin and citrus, a heart of bitter almond and black pepper and a woody base including cedarwood and musk.
The key feature of the scent is the traditional sponging technique “La Spugnatura” deployed in the manufacturing process. Generally used for bergamot, the manual extraction procedure is performed by few artisans in Italy, who have been involved by Acqua di Parma as part of the company’s ongoing mission of preserving and enhancing traditional and valuable techniques.
In particular, in the sponging extraction, artisans cut each fruit in two equal halves and use a special utensil to separate the skin from the pulp, before rubbing and pressing the orange peel on sea sponges, which absorb all the essence. In the final phase, they squeeze the sponges with precise movements into a terracotta container to collect the citrusy elixir, while the other parts of the fruit are repurposed so as to not generate any waste.
Retailing at 165 euros for the 100-ml size, the Arancia La Spugnatura fragrance comes in a handmade porcelain bottle in Blu Mediterraneo’s signature shade of blue, capped off by a matching lid and embellished with white, orange and golden motifs inspired by the ingredients in the perfume. A label made from scrap powder from marble quarries finish off the flacon, while Acqua di Parma’s distinctive cylindrical box that makes for the brand’s secondary packaging is made from FSC-certified paper.
To enable visitors to discover the craftsmanship behind the scent, a series of open-to-public experiences will be offered upon pre-booking and registration at the Acqua di Parma kiosk. These will include “The Art of Perfume” workshop deep-diving into the olfactory notes of the fragrance; the “Crafting Ceramics” session, inviting participants to practice painting techniques on ceramic tiles, and the “Little Perfumers” creative laboratories dedicated to children and curated by Kikolle Lab.
As reported, the Acqua di Parma Caffè last year also staged similar activities, as it coincided with the launch of the Colonia CLUB fragrance, an acronym for Community Life Unique Bond. The scent further built on the brand’s successful Colonia pillar, which boasts more than a century of history. To wit, in 1916 Baron Carlo Magnani was in search of a different fragrance and commissioned a perfume artisan in the Italian town of Parma to create a cologne, which resulted in the original Colonia.
Offered in an Art Deco glass bottle, the fragrance rose to popularity in the ’30s and gained international success in the ’50s, when bespoke tailors used to spritz the fragrance on made-to-measure suits before handing them to their high-end clientele, including Hollywood actors of the time.
The label’s aristocratic heritage was strengthened through the years as the company started to build on its Italian lifestyle proposition and luxury image with new products, including the Collezione Barbiere line of shaving products; the Blu Mediterraneo and Blu Mediterraneo Italian Resort fragrances and cosmetics inspired by exclusive locations on the Italian Mediterranean; home fragrances, and leather accessories.
The Colonia fragrance remains at the core of key developments and special projects by the company, including the most recent collaboration with A-Cold-Wall’s founder Samuel Ross and its design studio SR_A.
As reported, Acqua di Parma recently named Giulio Bergamaschi its new chief executive officer. Taking the helm of the brand after an 18-year career at L’Oréal and a stint at Loro Piana, Bergamaschi succeeded Laura Burdese, who at the end of 2021 left her post as president and CEO of the Italian beauty company to join fellow LVMH-controlled firm Bulgari as vice president of marketing and communication and member of the executive committee.