“What’s old is new again.” Surely, you’ve heard this old saying.
I recently discovered a bottle of Aqua di Parma Colonia pushed back behind a bunch of samples on a Van Cleef & Arpels tray on the small table at the top of the stairs while doing some spring cleaning. I dabbed some on my wrists thinking that the fresh scent would help offset the brutally hot and humid temperature. The fresh citrusy scent was the antidote to the debilitating humidity.
Intrigued by what I assumed was a storied backstory, I consulted with a fragrance expert to learn more about this classic fragrance. I called up Cafleurebon’s Managing Editor and Fragrance Critic, Mark Behnke, to get his take on Aqua di Parma.
Mark’s voice rang with enthusiasm over the phone.
“The cologna dates back to the early 1920′s. In the 1990′s they revived the brand and have really reinvented themselves over the course of the last 10 years. Il Porfumo is one of the best 10 women’s lines out there.”
Great! Time to add on to my Aqua di Parma collection. I put a stop at MiNNY, a wonderful old world style apothecary in Soho, on my list to check if they had any body cream or shower gel in stock or maybe something else…
A week later -
After a blissful hour wandering into the shops on Mott Street in Manhattan’s Little Italy, stopping her and there to watch handsome Italian waiters set the outdoor tables for dinner, I ended my journey as planned, at MiNNY. Despite being located in New York, where purportedly, no one has any patience, the MiNNY shopping experience is entirely different. Once inside, you have the sensation of being transported back to a slower, statelier time, perhaps the early Sixties, when walking into your favorite boutique meant being assisted by welcoming knowledgeable staff you got to know by name and who in turn, remembered you and your preferences. It truly lives up to its claim of providing bespoke service.
Mindy wasn’t there [I'm crazy about her pinterest - Godolcevita] but Holly was. She was as always, incredibly helpful. I selected a scented Aqua di Parma Deodorant stick. This is a wonderful item to have on a fragrance line, as it is an extremely practical one and tends to be on the lower end of the price scale. I sometimes forget to apply fragrance in the morning. There’s no chance though, of forgetting to brush one’s teeth and to applying deodorant, first thing in the morning, after rolling out of bed.
Holly sent me off with some more colognes to sample this summer, including two from Czech & SpeakE of Jermyn Street London: No.88 Cologne and Neroli Cologne. I’m still in my Aqua Di Parma phase, but am keeping an open mind and look forward to discovering exciting new fragrances at MiNNY.
Endnotes: Now is a wonderful time to visit MiN New York as they’re having their summer sale! If you can’t make it to the actual apothecary at have a look at what’s in stock online at MiN New York.
ATELIER HOURS & ADDRESS:
117 CROSBY STREET, [BTW. PRINCE & HOUSTON], NYC
- SUN & MON: NOON – 6PM
- TUES – SAT: 11AM – 7PM
- PLEASE CALL 212 206 6366