What do Acqua di Parma’s new fragrance Bergamotto di Calabria La Spugnatura and beloved cartoon icon Spongebob Squarepants have in common? OK, I admit that this is probably not the question you expected to be asked in this review, but bear with me, it’ll make sense, maybe. The answer is simple: they’re both made from sea sponges. What do you mean that doesn’t make sense? Surely it’s obvious? Surely?!

OK, I’ll clear things up for you. La Spugnatura is actually a limited edition version of Acqua di Parma’s popular Bergamotto di Calabria fragrance, which sits within their Blu Mediterraneo collection. What makes this edition different is ‘La Spugnatura’, a traditional and labour-intensive method of extraction which involves, you guessed it, our good friend Spongebob. OK, not Spongebob, but actual sponges. In this process, bergamot fruits are cut and separated from their peel, the peels are then pressed (very carefully) onto sea sponges, which absorb the fruit’s essence. These sponges are then squeezed into terracotta jars. The result is beautiful, brilliant bergamot.

Bergamotto di Calabria La Spugnatura is a limited edition fragrance that features this special bergamot material and because it’s so exceptional, it’s also housed in a gorgeous vessel. For this edition, Acqua di Parma has created a handmade porcelain bottle, adorned with a white and gold bergamot pattern. It’s absolutely beautiful and it really does add to the special feel of this unique, limited edition. But does it smell extraordinary too? Let’s sniff!

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.

Blu Mediterraneo: A Vibrant Taste of Italy

Up until very recently, Acqua di Parma’s Blu Mediterraneo collection came under the category of things that I had sniffed in passing but had never paid too much attention to. Quite unfairly, I might add. A few weeks ago my friends at Escentual sent me some samples of the line to try and I must admit that I was really impressed with the quality and diversity of fragrances within the collection. Smelling them really does take one away to the sights, smells and sounds of the mediterranean.

For my column this week, I have reviewed each of the six fragrances in the Blu Mediterraneo collection, including the brand new addition – a bracing take on the note of Sardinian juniper entitled ‘Ginepro di Sardegna‘. So if you fancy a little olfactory trip to the seas, skies and smellscapes of Italy then please click here to head on over to Escentual to discover Acqua di Parma’s Blu Mediterraneo. If you tried the perfumes, don’t forget to let me know your thoughts!