Fragrance review: Santa Maria Novella Acqua di Colonia

Santa Maria Novella Acqua di Colonia

Santa Maria Novella's Acqua di Colonia is also known as "The Queen’s Cologne", and was reputedly created for Catherine de Medici. Some sites list it simply as "Santa Maria Novella". The (vague) notes are: bergamot, citrus, white flowers and spices.

The top notes are very sharp, and heavy on the bergamot. It settles into a nice citrus-floral with lots of orange blossom. It is not at all sweet, but it is less bitter (and less herbal) than Acqua di Parma Colonia. It is a bright scent, and has a sparkling quality, with just a tiny spicy kick.

This might be my favorite of the 15 or so scents that I have tried from the line so far. Like many of the Santa Maria Novellas, it has mediocre lasting power. Bear in mind that these are colognes, not Eau de Parfums, so it is to be expected that you will need to splash it on at regular intervals.

Other favorites from Santa Maria Novella: Acqua di Silicia, a citrus blend; Zagara, (more on that tomorrow); and Fieno, a lovely flower meadow scent with notes of fresh hay. I also love the witch hazel bath gel, which is very refreshing and does a better job than most at removing old perfume. And last year, while browsing in Aedes, I was struck by a temporary moment of insanity and purchased the almond hand cream, Pasta di Mandorle. Thankfully I can no longer remember what I paid for it, but it was a lot for a little tub of hand cream. It is really wonderful stuff. I hear the iris toothpaste is fabulous too, but that will have to wait for my next trip to Florence.

For buying information, see the listing for Santa Maria Novella under Perfume Houses.

Tomorrow: more orange blossom. 

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Morning Robin!

    My personal favorites from SMN are the Iris and Violet fragrances. It was the SMN Iris that jumpstarted my love for the note. I really want to try Fieno from the line. I imagine it is like La Base meets the hay notes of Barbara Bui.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Annie, Fieno is much softer than La Base. It reminds me strongly of something else that I can't place. My sample is gone so I can't try it again :-(

    What did you guys find on your shopping expedition? Hope you had a great day.

  3. Anonymous says:

    My favorite SMN is Melograno, which I'll probably purchase for this summer. I already have the dusting powder in Melograno and just adore it! My other favorites in this line are the Gold Musc, Vaniglia and Iris.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I have heard the musks are really nice. I need to get more SMN samples!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I love Santa Maria Novella, too. Is there a source for buying in North America other than Lafco?


  6. Anonymous says:

    Oooh tell me more about Fieno. I love hay and that whole fresh meadow thing seems very interesting!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Wow, I”m over a year late on answering your comment. Huge apologies, although you'll probably never see this. I don't know how I missed it.

    Anyway Lafco is the official US distributor, but you can also buy from aedes or eluxury. Neither of them have such a large collection though.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Ack, haven't smelled it recently so don't know what I could add. Maybe check basenotes or makeupalley to see if they have reviews? Sorry I'm not more help, although I do remember really liking it.

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