Italy is synonymous with high fashion and world-class perfumery. Some of the most loved and renowned fragrances of all time have come out of the Italian powerhouses of Prada, Gucci, and Bvlgari. And it’s true: these houses definitely made our list with good reason, but we also included the house of Atelier Cologne, Bottega Veneta and Acqua di Parma. While house doesn’t matter as much as what is in the bottle, you don’t want to miss these top picks for the best Italian perfumes. Let’s take a walk into the lush landscape of Italian perfumery. Meet scents inspired by the coasts, the ocean spray mingling with the soft, powdery petals of orange blossoms…it’s enough to make you want to book a flight tonight. Read on for the best Italian perfumes.
Blue Mediterranean by Acqua di Parma
Blue Mediterranean embraces the delightful weather on a warm, but not sweltering day. It opens with the slight bitterness of bergamot that swirls with Sicilian mandarin orange and lemon, which is paired with a musky base and a heart of spicy, warm cardamom and petitgrain. Blue Mediterranean is ideal for tropical climates. If you need something rejuvenating that won’t sit heavily on the skin or in the air, this is it. The crisp oranges and light musk are juicy, bright, fizzy, and calming.The first spritz is fresh and slightly salty, and unmistakingly citrus heavy. As the musk base develops, it isn’t offensive or cloying, but rather light and fresh. It stays linear and clean, and it is also short-lived. Longevity is enough to smell clean, and the projection is average. In essence, each of these traits is good but not incredible, which is a desirable trait in an everyday perfume for the office.
Bottega Veneta Knot Eau de Parfum
Bottega Veneta Knot is a young fragrance released in 2014. Another heavy hitter with a citrus opening of lemon, orange, and lime, the tartness is reigned in with neroli and orange blossom. The drydown is a delightful blend of light florals that develop from the heart notes of lavender, white roses, and peonies. It is very summery, and if Knot was a sound, it would be fresh linens snapping on a clothesline in an Italian city. Sillage and longevity are average in that it isn’t too strong and lasts an average timespan (about six hours, depending on skin chemistry). You won’t offend anyone with Knot; it is perfectly pleasant, spirited, and fun, and the bottle is luxurious and unique.
Grand Neroli by Atelier Cologne
Atelier Cologne is known for their legendary and powerful citrus perfumes coupled with longevity and strong projection. Grand Neroli opens with a powerful blast of the purifying, honeyed blossoms of its namesake combined with Atelier’s signature citrus notes of Amalfi lemon and zesty bergamot. The neroli continues throughout the drydown, which also gives away to an interesting mix of earthy and damp oakmoss, a breath of galbanum. Warm amber and sweet vanilla in the base still aren’t enough to silence the neroli completely; the name “Grand Neroli” is truly an appropriate name, as it is indeed grand. And with good projection and extensive longevity, fans of neroli don’t want to miss this one, as it is the pinnacle of this beloved floral.
Infusion d’Iris Eau de Parfum by Prada
On the spur of Italy’s boot grows the Iris bicapitata, a beautiful and fragrant flower that comes in hues of blue, purple, white, lilac, and even yellow. Couple that with the fact that iris essence is one of the most expensive, but exquisite, perfumery ingredients out there, and you have the picture of elegance that Infusion d’Iris diffuses. Like many other bright and zesty Italian scents, this perfume opens up with a hearty dose of citrus with mandarine orange, orange blossom, and neroli. Interestingly, the opener brings a tea vibe to the table, as though it were green tea sweetened with a touch of sugar and lemon. Iris and galbanum beat at the heart and are propped up by a hint of spicy incense, cool and minty vetiver, and rich earth. The notes are radiant, but the delicate veil of powdery iris sits close to the skin all day long. Make no mistake, Infusion d’Iris is expertly blended and pleasantly clean, plus it is versatile. Dress it up or down, wear it to work or the ball. It is a classic for any occasion.
Omnia for Women by Bvlgari
Omnia opens with a bright and fizzy mandarin orange and some unexpected accords of ginger, cardamom, and pepper. This combination sinks into a milky tea at the heart with notes of nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, chai, and lotus. Yes, it sounds like a latte, but base notes of sandalwood coupled with gourmand white chocolate and tonka bean make Omnia an unforgettable spicy oriental. It smells warm and sweet like a delectable white chocolate candied treat waiting to be devoured alongside a creamy cup of chai sprinkled with orange zest. If you prefer to wear your scent close, Omnia is like a hidden secret. It is lovely for winter in that this fragrance is perfect for cuddling close to someone else, or to wear as a secret all of your own. This wears as a skin scent rather than something with loud and bold projection. Because of that, it is office appropriate, but also charming enough to practice the art of seduction and not be let down. It’s like keeping a secret treasure and revealing it when ready. Longevity is fair, but for most a midday refresher will need to be applied.
Bloom Nettare di Fiori by Gucci
Imagine yourself spending the day wandering around the streets of Milan. You’re dressed in high fashion, ready to indulge thousands at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II right next to the Duomo. It’s quietly raining, but not enough to need an umbrella. There is a slight chill in the air. You may have stepped out of a postcard from the 1960s or 1970s. Bloom Nettare di Fiori is a bold white floral drenched with richness. It is a sexy woman entering the room. Everyone turns to look at her. The floral femininity is knocked out of the park with spicy ginger and heavy rose on the first hit, followed up by the crispness of changing seasons in the heart, with tuberose, jasmine, and honeysuckle playing tag. The basenotes (musk, patchouli, osmanthus) linger in the background for fun. This is pure white florals. There is vintage emotion in Bloom Nettare di Fiori. Although launched in 2018, it has the wisdom of generations before her. You may even wonder where you have smelled it before, possibly on an aunt from the past. Fans of white florals will love this version of Bloom, as will those who enjoyed the original. And people looking for stellar longevity and projection will be happy to know that this is a heavy hitter. Only a few spritzes are needed to leave a trail of an Italian shopping reverie, and it will most likely last you the entire workday. This scent is definitely appropriate for year-round enjoyment depending on the locale; in the summer the florals might be too intense in humidity.