Weekly Fumes: Alvarez Gomez Agua de Colonia Concentrada

John Preston

South London based music obsessive with strong opinions about most things. Doubts Madonna has another good record in her but would love more than anything to be proved wrong.
John Preston

So colognes are not really my thing but with only a few more weeks of August left and then the transition to autumn beginning I thought I’d feature a fresh but assertive, cooling scent that I enjoy wearing whilst there’s still a hot day left to fully enjoy it.

My friends who live part of the year in Spain have bought me back a bottle of Alvarez Gomez Agua de Colonia Concentrada, a long-established family run business based in Madrid, every year now for over five years and it is finally relatively easy to find in the UK.

On application Alvarez Gomez Colonia is like sitting in a kitchen in front of a pitcher of iced lemon cordial with some sprigs of Rosemary thrown in and with the smell of potted lavender blowing in from the open window. You have your nose right in the pitcher and the lemon is tart and mouth watering and some spices, probably the germanium note, are there but don’t overwhelm. It’s refreshing, straightforward without being two dimensional and hits that hot spot perfectly for about 50 minutes.

After two hours my wrists and arms smell like I’ve washed with a good citrus soap at the beginning of the day and all I’m left with is a pale, faint lemony and very close-to-the skin scent. The point, and joy, of a cologne is that you reapply it frequently and generously throughout the day and small decants of Colonia are in my home and work fridges for just that purpose.

Unlike some similar scents from the same fragrance family such as Chanel (their Eau de Cologne will set you back £105 for 75 ml), Acqua Di Parma or Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino, you can throw this stuff on and not worry about starving yourself for the remainder of the month, £27 will buy you a very handsome 220ml bottle.

Not exclusively for summer – a generous spritz of a sharp citrus and herbal scent on a dark and cold winter’s morning can be a miraculous mood changer – colognes are plentiful indeed and can vary massively in quality and style (and price!). Experiment with them and find your favourite but Alvarez Gomez Agua’s bright and crisp Colonia is the only one I’ll wear when the weather demands it.

Alvarez Gomez Agua de Colonia Concentrada – £27 for 220ml

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