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Acqua di Parma - Worth the Price? Review

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When you're in an indulgent mood and your favourite cologne has a matching shaving product (less 15% on a store 'special'), it's sometimes really hard to resist! And so that's how I came to spend £39.95 ($51) on the Acqua di Parma Colonia shaving cream tub (125g) from a major London store. For me, this is a very expensive spend and one I did not make lightly. I simply love the classic Colonia fragrance and given my fascination with shaving products, I just had to have it. The key question is obvious - is this worth the super-premium spend? As we know, price and value are largely subjective. Some might be horrified at this spend while others would take it in their stride. From a review perspective, the cream performs really well. It's more like a croap and is not runny in any way. Perhaps the tube version is softer, but the tub necessitate a few swirls of my Simpsons Chubby Synth and then a solid face lather to produce a very protective, soapy coating of my face. You really don't use much product to get a sufficient coating for two passes so there is some value in that for sure. Lathering was very easy indeed. Shaving performance was also very good. Lovely and slick for a croap/cream. I found the blade glide excellent and the residual slickness (which I love) to be better than average when compared to other premium creams and many soaps as well. So technically, I found the shave rates very highly. It also seemed a very close shave - perhaps closer than average too and very protective as well. Now, the really pleasing bit for me was the Colonia scent. Ahhh - that's why I paid so much for this. It's a stronger than the average scent - and that is precisely what I wanted. Clearly, the product is there to satisfy the olfactory aspect for Colonia fans. While the scent is pretty powerful, it does not linger too long - but much longer than the average cream. Pared with the matching balm, this is simply outstanding and you barely need the actual cologne if all you want is a subtle whiff of fragrance for a few hours. So, was it worth the price? Yes - if you love the fragrance. But, if you are ambivalent about the fragrance, it's surely a superior cream/croap but performance-wise, you can get equivalent from the likes of T&H, Castle Forbes et al. Fragrance aside, I could barely tell any performance differential from T&H Apsley or 1805 for example, although I did think this cream was superior to the likes of TOBS. Finally, I have been using this cream alongside an old Cella red tub that I unearthed from under my washbasin. Acqua di Parma doesn't beat the Cella - in fact, the old Cella is a slicker product all round. But then again, its all about the Colonia fragrance with a performance certainly way good enough to warrant this spend, at least IMHO!
 

Steve56

Ask me about shaving naked!
Agree with most of this, but mine (tub) is more of a cream, I wouldn’t try loading a brush on it. My old Cella went rancid, but AdP beats the current Cella in brick (which I keep in the fridge) but significantly so in PSF.

You’re a lucky man @polanalyst, the new AdP tub in the states, if you can find it, is more like $80. Worth it? If you like the real deal Colonia, there are lots of imitations but only one AdP Colonia. Guaranteed to brighten up the morning.
 
Sir polanalyst, thanks for your interesting AdP shave cream review!!

I tend to agree with you; AdP aftershave is great while the shave cream is ok.

IMHO, the similar citrusy-cologny Trumpers GFT cream is equal or superior.

acqua di parma fatip omega september 2 2015.jpg

Trumpers GFT muehle joris january 23 2019.jpg
 
Agree with most of this, but mine (tub) is more of a cream, I wouldn’t try loading a brush on it. My old Cella went rancid, but AdP beats the current Cella in brick (which I keep in the fridge) but significantly so in PSF.

You’re a lucky man @polanalyst, the new AdP tub in the states, if you can find it, is more like $80. Worth it? If you like the real deal Colonia, there are lots of imitations but only one AdP Colonia. Guaranteed to brighten up the morning.
Interesting that your tub is more creamy. You make me think that mine is perhaps old stock although it was bought from such a major store that there should be a good turnover of product. My consistency is ideal for loading from the tub itself. Thanks for responding.


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Thanks for the review. I have to settle for my $12 RazoRock XXX soap paired with my Fine Italian Citrus AS, before spraying on my AdP Colonia.
 
The newest stock of AdP cream is scent-less. I have some. Good performance, but lost most of its charm.


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I think it’s the slightly older version that is unscented while the later version is the classic Colonia. I always felt that the unscented was dull and never bought it - until the Colonia emerged more recently.


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Steve56

Ask me about shaving naked!
AdP Collezione Barbiere in the brownish tub is not unscented, it’s a light aquatic scent but not scentless. The latest version in the yellow tub is Colonia scented.
 
Thanks for the review. I sniffed ADP somewhere in Spain a few years ago and passed due to the heavy fragrance. Might have to revisit. I figured that at the price it would lather well. Enjoy it!
 
I think it’s the slightly older version that is unscented while the later version is the classic Colonia. I always felt that the unscented was dull and never bought it - until the Colonia emerged more recently.


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Good to know. I may buy it again if it has the smell:)


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i use this stuff myself. the hand soap, shaving oil and the foam can. they seem to work prettry well. smell is nice too. but nothing special. i seen better performance from other stuff like MDC, ABC, and panama 1924. i had the shave cream a while back. seemsed ok but i was a rook at that time and was not qualified to say if its good or not. i used it a few times, until it went bad and i tossed it. i always try to keep a oil and foam on deck for a quick shave, but i think im gonna look for cheeper or better stuff after i finish my current batch
 
I haven’t had the opportunity to try the new version in the yellow container, but I found the previous generation with the brown lid to be a fantastic lather. Top shelf. Managed to find a seller on eBay who was unloading several tubs and got them for a little over $20 per tub.

The original with the gold top is still some of the finest smelling croap I’ve ever had the pleasure of using. Not as nice of a lather as the brown top, but still fantastic. I still have one tub left here that I use on special occasions. Always on the hunt in case one pops up on eBay, but I haven’t seen any in a couple of years now.
 

Steve56

Ask me about shaving naked!
I haven’t had the opportunity to try the new version in the yellow container, but I found the previous generation with the brown lid to be a fantastic lather. Top shelf. Managed to find a seller on eBay who was unloading several tubs and got them for a little over $20 per tub.

The original with the gold top is still some of the finest smelling croap I’ve ever had the pleasure of using. Not as nice of a lather as the brown top, but still fantastic. I still have one tub left here that I use on special occasions. Always on the hunt in case one pops up on eBay, but I haven’t seen any in a couple of years now.
The new version is the best of both, maybe better. It’s the true Colonia scent as the first version, lathers like the second version or better, and is more concentrated as best that I can tell. If you liked the fragrance of v1 and the performance of v2, you’ll love v3, though maybe not the price.
 
I know this is an old thread, but just FYI, if you are in the UK, bonnyleaf has the full-sized ADP shave cream tubs on sale currently for £26.99. If you sign-up for their email list, you get another 10% off, so then you can get it for £24.30 (~$33). No affiliation, just thought I'd mention. I placed an order myself.
 
As @Steve56 pointed out in another thread. You can get a 3-pass shave with 0.5g of AdP cream, maybe even a little less (using a small brush of course, don’t try it with a Simpson’s Chubby badger)

this brings the cost per shave down to $0.20-$0.25. While not a bargain, this is on par or cheaper than what you get from any US artisan selling 4oz croaps for $20-30

This AdP v3 is top notch. I’m not sure it’s better than the old v1 barbiere, but it seems to be more concentrated, and the packaging / presentation is a lot better
 
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