If you asked a group of women to draw up a list of beauty icons, Audrey Hepburn is a name that would undoubtedly appear time and time again. From her elegant style, bolstered by her longtime collaborator Hubert de Givenchy, to her iconic doe-like eyes, Hepburn is one of history’s premier glamour girls. And it’s no surprise that we’re still captivated by the Hollywood beauty all these decades later.
Though much has been written about her style and beauty favorites, we still can’t help but wonder, “What was Audrey Hepburn’s favorite perfume?” While there are a handful of fragrances she’s been associated with over the years, there’s one standout that’s still on the market today: Acqua di Parma Colonia ($63-$194, Nordstrom).
Founded in 1916 by Italian baron Carlo Magnani, Acqua Di Parma has a legacy as rich as its many fragrances. Designed to be worn by both men and women, its unisex fragrances gained cult status in the 1950s when Hollywood stars like Ava Gardner, Cary Grant, and, yes, Audrey Hepburn first discovered the scent while visiting Italy for an exhibition on Italian cinema.
So, what does Acqua di Parma Colonia smell like? The inspiration for the perfume first came about when Magnani, longing to take a piece of his beloved city with him on his travels, set out to create a fragrance that captured the scent of Parma, Italy, in a bottle. Inspired by the crisp, aromatic air of the Italian countryside, this fresh perfume is filled with fragrant natural ingredients like Sicilian citrus fruits (lemon, bergamot, sweet and bitter orange), lavender, Bulgar rose, rosemary, sandalwood, and verbena, all packaged in a gorgeous art deco bottle.
I liken this perfume to the perfect day. When you first spray it, the golden citrus opening notes immediately awaken your scent buds and transport you to a crisp summer morning where the sun has just risen. As it sits, it transforms and those warm floral scents peek through, bringing to mind a sunny stroll through an aromatic hillside. Then finally, the balmy, woody base of sandalwood and verbena sets for the night, delicately mixing with your natural scent for a light, powdery finish. If one simple spritz takes you on a journey like that, it’s easy to see why one of history’s most beloved figures found herself enamored with this dreamy scent.
Where to buy: $63-$194, Nordstrom
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