Joey Lisk is a shady wholesaler of luxury goods. A brand of stockings he sells (Le Minou Noir) is very important in the plot, but Endeavour Morse (Shaun Evans) notices something’s wrong from another detail. Lisk sells Acqua di Palma perfumes, a fake version of the historical Acqua di Parma. Morse knows the name of the product should be spelt with an R and not with an L.
The whole episode is filled with references to Italian culture and history. Morse is an opera fan, so he often listens to Italian music, but here we also have an Italian character, Luisa Armstrong, Thursday’s former love interest. She brings back memories from World War II and from the Italian resistance movement. In such a context, the presence of a counterfeit Italian perfume adds consistency to the plot.
Acqua di Parma is a brand founded in 1916; Colonia, a light and fresh scent, was its original perfume, which became hugely successful in the 1930s/1950s. The line now includes several products, but Colonia still has the trademark yellow packaging we can also see in the tv show.