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Speed Sniffs are a way to bring you ‘to-the-point’ fragrance reviews that are quick and easy to digest. They are perfume reviews without the faff.

Acqua di Parma always strikes me as a really stylish brand. Their fragrances have mass appeal but also a finesse that puts them above much of what the mainstream has to offer. Their Colonia is a perfumery icon and it has seen many interpretations over its 100 year life span, most notably in the Colonia Ingredients Collection which sees the classic cologne reimagined with new signature ingredients from the likes of leather to oud and amber. With this collection, Acqua di Parma remixes the effortless refinement of Colonia and presents it in

Created exclusively for luxury retailer Harrods, the latest scent in the Ingredients Collection is COLONIA VANIGLIA, an ode to the exotic spice of Madagascan vanilla. Created by Perfumer François Demachy, COLONIA VANIGLIA is an exotic oriental that is evocative of tropical islands. Acqua di Parma refer to it as having an “olfactory roundness” which just hints at how smooth this fragrance is. Anyways, that’s enough of me waffling on, you want to know what it smells like.  OK, here goes…

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Candy Crush: Blu Mediterraneo La Collezione by Acqua di Parma
Candy Crush: Blu Mediterraneo La Collezione by Acqua di Parma

I’m always crushing on something scented or other. My nose knows no limits. Candy Crush is where I showcase the beautifully scented things I’m crushing on right now so you can hopefully develop a crush too. 

I bloody love Acqua di Parma. Everything they do is so refined, so luxurious and well, so Italian. They have a nose for beauty, presenting gorgeous, uncomplicated scents in handsome packaging. So yes, I always have time for Acqua di Parma’s many offerings, including the summer holiday tones of the Blu Meditteraneo range which celebrates the wonders of Italy via a series of citrus-centric haikus inspired by the Italian countryside. They are bottled sunshine and they are lovely.

The Candies 2016 - The Very Best (and Very Worst) Perfumes of the Year
The Candies 2016 – The Very Best (and Very Worst) Perfumes of the Year

Here we are then, at the very end of 2016. It feels, especially after the losses of George Michael, Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher, to name but a few, within the last week, a very bittersweet year. I say bittersweet because it’s not just the loss of the huge number of great talents this year, the likes of Bowie, Prince, Victoria Wood… (the list is endless), but also because the world seems to be a much harsher place than it did one year ago. Whatever your politics, I think we can all agree that 2017 is the year that we all need to work together to make our world a better place.

From a fragrant perspective, 2016 has actually been a pheomenal year. I’d be lying to you if I said that it was easy for me to pick out my very favourite scents of the year because I really did like a lot this year, and it feels like there certainly was a huge amount of good stuff, whether that be unique and interesting new things, or familiar styles that were executed very well. But you will be pleased to know that I was able to narrow down my choices and pick out the winners of The Candies 2016. I do need a stiff drink after all that work though…

If this is your first time attending The Candies, I shall explain how things work. Firstly, you may attend in your pyjamas and you do not need to worry about drinking too much and making a fool of yourself, in fact, such actions are encouraged. We have a number of awards to give out, each of which is split out by Mainstream and Niche, and then by gender. There are also awards for Best Top Down Design and even a Sour Candy Award, which names and shames the worst perfume of the year. This year we also have the addition of the Best Scented Product Award which celebrates the best smelly product for your body or home. It’s a full programme, so let’s get started!

Acqua di Parma Peonia Nobile
Acqua di Parma Peonia Nobile

You may remember that one of my favourite fragrances from 2014 (a little while ago, I know) was Acqua di Parma’s Rosa Nobile. In fact, in The Candies that year, Rosa Nobile was one of my honourable mentions for Best Mainstream Feminine and it also found its way into my Guide to Rose as the ‘Straight-Up Rose’. Why? Well it presents a glassy pink rose in its most pure and perfect form, not to mention that fact that it simply smells so darn pretty I want to marry it.

This year, Acqua di Parma are continuing their Nobile Collection with the launch of Peonia Nobile – yet another ode to one beautiful flower. Without giving too much away, this noble peony is just as gorgeous as its rosy sister and it serves as further proof that Acqua di Parma really do know how to take the simplest of things and present them with a beautiful flourish. Click here to head on over to Escentual to read my full review of Peonia Nobile.