Peonia Nobile by Acqua Di Parma

A perfume that proves there's nothing wrong with a bit of "pretty"

There are dark and haunting scents, unusual characters with rich notes packing a smokey punch. But sometimes you want something pretty and uplifting to last you the final few days of summer. Especially if you’re a newcomer to perfumery and don’t want to be bowled over with a hefty oudh or rich gutsy vetiver, as much as I love them, for some they’re an acquired taste. It might seem if you read my past articles that I’m anti “pretty” scents – but that’s not true. I love a bit of pretty – so long as it’s done well. I’ve been writing about make-up and other such things for a long time, so I wouldn’t do that if I didn’t like a bit of prettiness once in a while.

Scent doesn’t always have to be “heavy going” in the same way not all books have to be “literary”. There’s a book I really love called Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day – not what one would call a literary classic, but it’s one of those books I can read countless times and never fails to cheer me up. (There’s a brilliant scene where the heroine mistakes cocaine for Beecham’s powder...)  

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I imagine someone might feel the same way about the new scent from Acqua di Parma - Peonia Nobile is a treat to wear and totally accessible for fragrance newbies and picky perfume fans alike. Peonies have always been my favourite flowers – although they often get overshadowed by the rose, there’s something slightly less serious about this blousy, chirpy bloom. In this scent, the main peony note is given a jazzy overcoat of raspberry notes, while amber and patchouli add depth. If you’re looking for a scent to add a touch sparkle, this is the type of scent to wear with a marabou feather gown or to brighten up tailored office suit.

Acqua Di Parma Peonia Nobile is £76 for 50ml at Escentual.com

You can buy Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day from Persephone Books for £12