Acqua di Parma x Clym Evernden

The Italian fragrance house and the British artist have collaborated to reinterpret the iconic Colonia scent

Style 8 Nov 2018

Founded by Mr Magnani in Parma in 1916, Acqua di Parma’s Colonia fragrance was originally distributed by tailors, who would spritz it on custom made suits before they were collected. By the 1950s, Colonia had become iconic thanks to its popularity among Hollywood actors, who were captivated by the scent of the “Frutti d’oro” – lemon, orange and bergamot – all carefully chosen, handpicked and distilled. 

With more than a century of history, Acqua di Parma has always expressed a passion for craftsmanship and for items created with patience that, through their imperfections, convey an honest vitality. In order to tell this story in a bright, elegant and more contemporary way, the brand has recently collaborated with artist Clym Evernden, known for using fluid and graphic black ink lines in his drawings, as well as for his vibrant use of colour.

Having worked with some of the world’s most prestigious luxury brands, Evernden has created a delicate and elegant visual story for Acqua di Parma that covers the entire Art-Deco bottle of the Colonia Artist Edition line, with a little bird as the main protagonist. The naturally flowing illustrated stories feature the bird shopping, looking out of the window to admire the view, skiing and sitting atop a cloud.

‘I’ve always been fascinated by nature,’ says Evernden. ‘I was particularly interested in birds when I was younger, and the reason I chose a bird for this project was because I wanted to create a character that could embody a flair, atmosphere and attitude that related to the brand, but I didn’t want a human.’

‘The first drawings I did revolved around the idea of palazzo windows opening and presenting yourself to the world – it’s a fragrance you put on before you go out and it’s a feeling of freshness. That’s the introductory point and then the bird flies out and discovers things.’

Acqua di Parma CEO Laura Burdese was instantly drawn to Evernden’s work and loves how he has embodied the lifestyle and values of Colonia, conveying a subtle yet profound sense of joy and playfulness through his illustrations. ‘We represent first and foremost a very sophisticated Italian lifestyle, and I really wanted to find a way to inject life and personality into the communication,’ she says. ‘I wanted something alive, not necessarily a person, but I wanted to bring dynamism and motion into the whole story. Evernden has managed to capture the spirit of the brand with an extremely authentic and modern energy.’

From £27;