Just the Sea & Me, Parfum d’Empire Acqua di Scandola

Going back to the ocean of perfume, you might notice how many different creatures dwell in this submarine world of scent. They come in different shapes and sizes and behave quite differently. Many fish swim in schools and they go with the current, seldom some swim against it. Only a handful follow their own path. A bit like Parfum d’Empire – not the biggest one, not the most flashy and colorful of them all, moving at its own pace. But it’s exactly those brands that have a vision and creativity, that in the end is the most memorable thanks to the fragrances they offer.

Acqua di Scandola invites you to its Mediterranean world with a satisfying and wholesome citrus note that to my nose is an orange. (though some sources say lemon) A perectly round orange with a slightly grainy peel. It’s not completely ripe, still having a delicate green blush in some places. It smells photorealistic, just as if you could grab the fruit by reaching up with your hand. The scent it exudes is complex, made up of several citrus elements. There’s a zest of peel, sweetness of the pulp and juiciness of the flesh. Hints of orange tree leaf and twigs too. It simply is a whole fruit.

There’s also something dry-ish humming in the distance, like hay or tarragon. Whatever it is, it immediately lights up the ‘it smells familiar’ button in my head. The opening of Acqua di Scandola brings the idea of our old friend, Azemour – a perfume that is widely loved and considered a role model for the family of citrus fragrances. But the fragrance gradually evolves, developing its own identity instead of relying on its predecessor. Juniper berries with a thin layer of aldehydes underneath create a cold impression of metallic freshness, like gin & tonic served at the beach.


Even though I said that juniper introduced a cold element, orange gives enough of a Mediterranean sunlight to Acqua di Scandola, so that the perfume feels warm and embracing. Over time we take a dive into tourquoise waters. A charming accord of seaweed emerges, giving a new quality to this scent. It’s green and fresh in a very unique way and there’s something quite elegant yet carefree about the saline smell of the sea spray. On my skin this algae & salt phase never feels overpowering. It’s quite the contrary, its a perfect harmony of well-handled ingredients.

Over the next hours the smell becomes lighter, airier, blending with the skin. Acqua di Scandola is, simply said, a summer charm, a promise of a lazy day at the beach. In its later development stage it becomes more mineral, crystalline – just imagine droplets of the seawater drying in the sun and leaving some white marks of the salt that crystallized. There’s also a nice, moist facet evoking wet rocks, and the smell of green – a little bit of basil, geranium and oakmoss, an emerald blanket on top of the rock. The picturesque imagine is now complete, inviting you to visit the very place.

Acqua di Scandola was developed by Marc-Antoine Corticchiato, owner & perfumer at Parfum d’Empire. Among other novel marine compositions, like Acquasala (Gabriella Chieffo), Un Air de Bretagne (L’Artisan Parfumeur), Acqua di Scandola sits perfectly in this theme, at the same time offering a little bit of something else than the rest. It’s a beautiful perfume, a very dreamy one. And it comes from one of my favourite brands which is quite a recommendation already. The perfume is a part of L’Heritage Corse collection and comes in 50 ml bottles of eau de parfum.


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18 thoughts on “Just the Sea & Me, Parfum d’Empire Acqua di Scandola

  1. Jillie says:

    An evocative review – I can almost smell this and feel the seaspray on my arms!

    I think that I might have a little difficulty with the marine note, but I have to say that an orangey gin and tonic is appealing (I like a slice of tangerine in my gin, rather than lemon). I like the fact that this house is creative and thoughtful.

  2. MMKinPA says:

    Ooh ! This sounds like something I would love. Definitely going on my sampling list for after my no-buy. Especially this winter I have been obsessed with all varieties of oranges – vitamin C deficiency maybe? Great and evocative review!

  3. Holly says:

    Like Jillie, I might have some difficulty with certain notes – seaweed in particular. However, I am open to trying it since you painted such a beautiful picture of it, and I like the house a lot. It has also occurred to me that a Mediterranean-influenced sea accord is most likely very different from an Atlantic Ocean one. Thanks for another lovely review!

    • lucasai says:

      It would be still good to test if it sounds nice in general to you.
      It seems like you might have a point, warm Mediterranean sea is quite different than the ocean.

  4. hajusuuri says:

    Sounds intriguing and I love me some citrus ! I’ll have to look for a sample! Great review, as always.

  5. Undina says:

    Great review! Really. As much as this genre is not one of my favorites, you make me want to try this perfume.

    And I’m glad to see that they are back to 50 ml bottles: of course, I would have preferred 30 ml, but even 50 is much better than 100 ml to which they switched years ago.

  6. rickyrebarco says:

    This sounds like a really good citrus fragrance. I will have to try it. I like a good fresh citrus for summer.

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