Well, nothing more and nothing less than one may expect from an “oud” take on Acqua di Parma Colonia. A wannabe-posh, soapy, sheer, very smooth (and very synthetic) sort of citrus-floral-musk blend infused with a dark, rubbery, bitter yet overall quite tamed down and exceedingly artificial woody accord of oud and birch, becoming drier and muskier as hours pass. I must say that somehow, the initial “fizzy-soapy” frame which comprises the oud accord works, and makes Colonia Oud smell as a fairly pleasant sort of “bright oud” with a laundry vibe. There’s a tangy sort of citrus-geranium accord which fits in surprisingly well. Given the bitter rubbery dirtiness of the synthetic oud note, it creates quite a pleasant play of contrasts – which will eventually fade away and leave the stage mostly to rubber and synthetic woods, but until it’s there, it’s nice. Still though, even considering that, it’s all really too cheap and ultimately uninspired to sparkle some interest. The “Colonia” side is just as flat and artificial as in the Intensa version (I’m still wondering how the Colonia line can comprise gems like the Assoluta next to utter garbage like the Intensa), and the oud accord is for me nothing different from any drugstore oud accord you can find anywhere these days. The price and the “luxury” packaging would let you think we’re in the same ballpark of something like, say, Dior Leather Oud, but truth is, we’re more close to Ferrari Oud, or Versace Oud, a Montale imitation dupe or whatever other lower-key designer ouds. Just a matter of quality: flat, synthetic, as much generically refined as completely “muted”. Nothing against that class of scents by the way, but there’s a reason if they cost three or four times less than this.
Not sure why (or well, reading what I just wrote until now, I can see why actually), but at the very first sniff my mind just came out with a spontaneous association – “what an airport fragrance this is”. Out of the blue, I just imagined a mid-level manager waiting for his plane. Not a wealthy businessman snorting fine complimentary cocaine in some vip lounge, just some ordinary businessman playing with an empty cracked bottle of water, boring the hell out of himself, probably needing a shower after a two hours taxi ride to the airport. Think of focusing your nose on some details – the citrus musky cologne he wore before leaving the motel now mixing with sweat, the cheap smell of his ready-to-wear laundered suit, the rubbery smell of his trolley bag and of the airport seats, the overall sense of suspended, depressing boredom which fills such “non-places” like airports. That’s the mood of Acqua di Parma Oud, basically somehow a sort of slightly more pretentious “office scent” with a professional look (not refined, not sophisticated, just “professional”) and a subtle dirtier vein. And by that I don’t mean something “sexy” , just literally dirty, sweaty and rubbery. It’s all filled with a nondescript, quite deep feeling of restrained, unemotional “nothingness”. And well, it smells a bit more cheap than it should anyway. Not blatantly cheap and not completely tragic, but definitely unworthy the price tag. Kind of similar to Indonesian Oud by Zegna (and just as much dull as that).