Saturday, 7 May 2016

Remembering Aqua Manda

Now that the long, hot days are upon us once again, the whiff of an orange cocktail the other evening sent me on a Proustian trip, a heady recollection of a scent from the Seventies called Aqua Manda, made by a company called Goya – ah! Aqua Manda was a sublime concoction of orange and flowers, of spices and other, more mysterious ingredients contained within a dark glass bottle, trimmed with gold and topped with stopper decorated with a fruity relief. The Aqua Manda experience was a pleasure from start to finish, from running a finger over the said relief to the opening of the gold-trimmed flask and applying the cologne, to spending the day in a cloud of the glorious aroma. Then, I discovered the accompanying products, including talc, soap and a foamy Aqua Manda bath lotion, a long soak in which was akin to spending a thousand nights in a floral bower. Never did I scratch my head when asked about a birthday or Christmas gift; I had but one mantra on my tongue: Aqua Manda. Challenges were not for me; any lass who longed for a vial of Charlie or Rebel or Tramp could stick it in her backpack and go hike – this teenager wanted to wallow in Scherezade-type fantasies of oriental palaces and adoring oil millionaires queuing up to do my bidding. Time changes everything and one birthday brought not Aqua Manda, but lemon-based Aqua Citra. Just for a change, Mum said. Talk about striking a sour note in a girl’s dreams – what was Goya thinking of? I went off the scent after that and on discovering that life brings bills rather than mills, it faded from memory. But I do have my Proustian moments and following the most recent one, a quick Google revealed that the Aqua Manda Perfume Company relaunched the products in 2013. The Seventies are back...

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