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.