Etihad and ACQUA DI PARMA amenity kit

Image via Buzz Products

APEX Insight: Research has shown that scent is closely tied to memory. Etihad has partnered with Acqua di Parma, inviting customers to associate the airline with the luxurious Italian fragrance brand.

Etihad has worked with its amenity supplier Buzz Products to forge a new partnership with Italian fragrance brand Acqua di Parma. While the airline has offered Acqua di Parma toiletries to passengers in The Residence (three-room suites on the airline’s Airbus A380 aircraft) since 2014, this agreement includes a range of new amenity bags and toiletries for passengers in The Residence, as well as passengers in first and business class on long-haul flights. A selection of Acqua di Parma toiletries will also be available to guests at the airline’s First Class Lounge & Spa in Abu Dhabi.

The new first-class unisex amenity kits consist of cylinder bags in Acqua di Parma’s sunflower yellow brand color, containing a miniature bottle of the brand’s Colonia scent, a 40 ml body lotion and lip balm. The business-class unisex amenity kits are convertible wallets / valet trays in yellow and black and contain a Colonia sample and hand cream.

“This partnership showcases refined Italian style and Arabian hospitality and we know it will prove very popular with our guests,” said Celestino. “It also highlights cross-cultural similarities and the importance of the sense of smell throughout everyday life, which can elevate the mood, and links fragrances to memorable experiences. The original Colonia was sprayed onto gentlemen’s tailored suits as a finishing touch, just as Oud would be anointed onto the Farokha tassel of an Emirati Kandora, or sprayed onto the Abaya.”

The original fragrance, which was developed in the city of Parma in 1916, owes its global popularity to Hollywood royalty. It was the favorite cologne of actors including Cary Grant, Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn, David Niven, and Ava Gardner, and continues to appeal to a new generation of celebrities including Kate Moss, Sharon Stone and Jude Law.

“Acqua di Parma is universal in its appeal, effortlessly combining traditional know-how, craftsmanship and innovation with a modern Italian, yet very international flair,” said Linda Celestino, Etihad Airways’ vice-president, Guest Experience and Delivery. “We could think of no better brand partner who stands for the same understated elegance, focus on design, luxury and warmth associated with Etihad as a world-leading airline.”

While scent is closely tied to memory and can elicit emotions, it can also be an irritant to some. Offering a distinctive perfume in an amenity kit can be a welcome gift, as it leaves the decision of whether to use it up to passengers.