Fendi L’Acquarossa ~ perfume review

Fendi L'Acquarossa perfume advert

A very long time ago, March over at Perfume Posse wrote a line about perfumes that fill your head "with a deep, profound, Zen-like nothingness", and despite the fact that I can hardly remember my own phone number these days, that line stuck in my head. I quoted it at least once, also a very long time ago, and I think of it whenever I smell a new fragrance and my only reaction is well, yes, smells like perfume.

So you can probably already see where we're headed with Fendi's new L'Acquarossa, aka the "red elixir of passion". I had sort-of-middling hopes for L'Acquarossa — I do keep waiting for Fendi to do something as gorgeous as Theorema, and then put it in a bottle as lovely as Palazzo. But no, all we've had lately is Fan di Fendi, a fragrance that so thoroughly filled my head with a deep, profound, Zen-like nothingness that I cannot remember it at all, although I know I've smelled it more than once.1

Except now we have L'Acquarossa, too, and its bottle, while not so lovely as Palazzo, is reasonably attractive, and considerably nicer than Fan di Fendi — that bottle, I think, is nice enough, if rather Gucci-ish, but perhaps you could only love it if you were, indeed, a fan of Fendi. Anyway, L'Acquarossa is a woody floral. It's bright and citrus-y / berried in the opening, then a clean rose-y blended floral, not sheer really, but very much in the modern style: it's loud enough, but has none of the depth of a classic floral (the notes: mandarin, bergamot, plum, lantana, rose, orange blossom, magnolia, red cedar, white musk and patchouli). The lantana adds a bit of spicy almost-green to the later stages, and to my nose is the only real point of interest. The base is a middling-pale woody musk, and it's pretty clean too but I've seen worse. It seems to give out entirely far sooner than it should; it isn't short-lived, exactly, but it isn't very lively after the first hour either.

Verdict: there is nothing wrong, really, with L'Acquarossa, and it did not bother me to wear it. You could do worse. Then again, it did not call up any strong emotions either way (much less the color red, or any other color an elixir of passion might hope to be), and there's just something rather dispiriting about the far dry down, as though they got worried at the last minute and toned it down for mass consumption. "A fiery temperament illustrating the triumph of passion"?2 No, I think you'll have to look elsewhere for that.

Have a perfect fragrance in mind for a fiery temperament illustrating the triumph of passion? Do comment.

Fendi L'Acquarossa, perfume packaging

Fendi L'Acquarossa was developed by perfumers Delphine Lebeau (who also worked on Fan di Fendi) and Benoist Lapouza. It is available in 30, 50 ($83) and 75 ($98) ml Eau de Parfum.

1. Mind you, Fan di Fendi has some glowing reviews at MakeupAlley, even though only 38% say they would buy it again. But apparently my sentiments were with the reviewers who called it "just below mediocre", "some kind of generic Disney perfume that gets worse as it wears" and "like those 'Designer Imposter' style scents".  Or maybe not, I really can't remember. Apologies, as always, to all of you who love it.

2. Quote via Macy's.

Shop for perfume

Parfums Raffy


Leave a comment, or read more about commenting at Now Smell This. Here's a handy emoticon chart.

  1. Chicago Belle13 says:

    I smelled a strip in a magazine and thought it was intriguing! Then I tried it at the Duty Free in Cancun on my way back from a recent vacation and it smelled quite sharp, lab-created and…synthetic. I want to try it again just to make sure…Who else has smelled it?

    • Robin says:

      Never hurts to give it a second try!

    • Dachshundista says:

      I tried it in September in Italy. The scent is nice.. in a friendly, meaningless, “easy to forget”, harmless way. But I have to admit that I feel pretty lost these days. I’m surrounded by more and more new scents per minute, an army of flankers from scents that didn’t smell finalized in the first place. They all smell as if they don’t really mean it.. I miss the times of true perfume Icons. These “love it or hate it”-scents. No lukewarm nothingness. Scents that you could not mix up with any other one. Daring, bold, in your face scents. True Statements in scent! Perfumes that make memories. I’d guess most of us will remember the perfume of a loved one, like Grannys Aromatics Elixier or Dads Halston Z14. I have my doubts that L’Acquarossa is in this league.

      • Robin says:

        We still get scents like that, but I’d say only a handful a year…which is probably the number we always got, only now there are 1200+ meaningless scents every year as well :-)

      • SmokeyToes says:

        This new release sounds ‘meh’ to me, I was hoping for a bit more umph…. But my basis of comparison is the original Fendi, Asja, Theorema, Life Essence and Uomo. I also loved their beautiful bottles.
        Robin-I have several bottles of the vintage original Fendi, including perfume. Let me know if you’d like a smidge.

        • Robin says:

          Seriously, several bottles? Sure, I’d try a smidge if you can think of something I could send you in return.

  2. Bejoux says:

    I hoped the red cedar /lantana thing might be interesting but I thought it was rather thin overall and the woody notes went kind sour on me pretty quickly. Not passionate and not at all sensual – too clean and fresh for that. Disappointing really.
    For passion I will stick with my Habanita vintage edt or ‘new’ edp – it’s truly fabulous!

  3. Merlin says:

    Daphne is the first that came to mind! It certainly does not believe in turning it down:)

  4. bastet says:

    My favorite fiery and passionate fragrances are Ungaro Diva and Chanel Coco. Or how about the original Opium?

  5. austenfan says:

    Well it doesn’t sound interesting. A pity, Chiara Mastroianni deserves a more outspoken fragrance.

    • Robin says:

      I don’t care for her dress, either, although visually I do think it’s a great ad.

  6. monkeytoe says:

    Red scents, hmm. Jubilation 25, EL Cinnabar, and vintage Poivre all spring to mind, but I think I could make a case for CdG Harissa; all fiery passion up top and then warm, coziness next to the fire at the end.

    • monkeytoe says:

      I forgot one, Ta’if.

    • Robin says:

      Hey, fantastic collection — good job. I keep forgetting about Harissa, such a great scent.

  7. Oakland Fresca says:

    Totally random comment of extremely questionable relevance:

    “with a deep, profound, Zen-like nothingness” … reminds me of my best friend’s comment when she described the movie based on Kundera’s novel as “the unbearable longness of movie…” so fitting, so fitting, so fitting! (Sorry to fans of the movie!) In addition to scents of deep, profound, Zen-like nothingness, I have also suffered through unbearable longness of scents (a recent revisit with an old fragrance flame had me doing a Lady Macbeth…”Out, damn’d spot! Amarige is murky!”).

    • Robin says:

      LOL — excellent random comment! That book was hard going but still a great book (so not quite the same as L’Acquarossa maybe), now I can’t even remember if I saw the movie, but doubt I would have sat through it.

    • Dilana says:

      Clever quip, but I loved the movie. That hat scene was one of the sexiest ever.

  8. irisfreak says:

    If I had a fiery temperament and demanded passion, I’d wear Tubereuse Criminelle. But because I’m pretty namby-pamby, I don’t even own a bottle.

    • Robin says:

      I don’t own a bottle either, because I’m cheap :-)

  9. kaos.geo says:

    Its all over the Galerias Pacifico shopping center where I usually go for lunch here. Big cardboard signs with the spooky statue and the spooky model. It truly smells like “background noise”… nothing stands out.
    I think the bottle is distinctive, but not outstanding either. From the packaging and marketing (polished) to the generic smell (innofensive), this could certainly be a Carolina Herrera frag.

    • nozknoz says:

      I find that ad spooky, too, kaos – it would be weird to have big cardboard signs of it all over a mall. Hope you get something more appetizing soon! ;-)

    • Robin says:

      LOL…I like the ad, but I’m only going to see it for a day, and at 200px ;-)

    • Dachshundista says:

      WOW! Smells “like background noise” is exacly the right description. Love it!

  10. egabbert says:

    I’ve smelled this in a magazine at least once and also on a blotter in a store. Both times I thought “Hm, could be nice,” and then completely forgot what it smelled like. So I think your review sums it up! Incidentally, I wore Theorema tonight. Also love the original Fendi, which is kind of in the same ballpark as Coco.

    • Robin says:

      It’s definitely more interesting on skin than on paper, because the lantana doesn’t show up for a bit. But it’s only marginally more interesting that way…

      I never got to try the original Fendi, although Theorema is probably more my sort of thing anyway. It’s amazing the shelf life of Theorema, no? Mine is holding up great.

  11. nozknoz says:

    The ad is striking, but there is something so hilariously anti-passionate about it! So fitting, too, since the perfume sounds like it conjures up all the fiery passion of pretending an awkward cold stone statue is your boyfriend. Such boring times for mainstream perfume!

    What immediately comes to my mind for “a fiery temperament illustrating the triumph of passion” is Samsara. It’s so over the top, and it reportedly worked for Jean-Paul Guerlain, who created it to seduce someone based on her favorite notes.

    • solanace says:

      Great (and funny) observation!

    • Robin says:

      Oh, I’d agree w/ that too…on the other hand, glad they didn’t stick a sexy male model in there.

      Nice choice!

      • nozknoz says:

        You’re right, Robin, we could have had another Marc Jacobs Bang situation to deal with!

        I guess they were trying to follow on that classic Fendi ad with a woman and a Roman statue (female). That one worked.

        • Robin says:

          Ah, good point…that was a nice ad, had forgotten about it. They’ve used statues in a fair number of their fashion/handbag ads too.

        • austenfan says:

          It may actually have been a nod to her father’s role in La Dolce Vita by Fellini which has a scene in it with a statue being flown over Rome.

  12. solanace says:

    Rumba, a truly red frag.

  13. chandler_b says:

    Habit Rouge ultimate male red scent.

  14. eminere says:

    Sorry but that’s a really creepy looking ad.

Leave a reply