Rejoice in the glory of generic, aquatic colognes and the pleasure they bring us. Who of us has not enjoyed them at some point? On your own wrist, on your father’s clothes, on your lover’s neck… they’re an integral part of modern fashion. A statement that says, “I’m here, I probably like beer, and I’ll never disappear.”
Seriously, though, I sometimes feel bad for trashing scents that are just ‘cologne-y’. Deep down I know that no two scents are the same, but… it’s so FUN!
Acqua di Gio is the great grandfather of modern fresh men’s fragrances. Boys as young as ten know it both by name and by smell, and I’d dare say it’s a classic that will probably be around when I have kids of my own.
I had the pleasure of meeting it properly for the first time when I got FragranceNet.com’s Designer Fragrance Sampler for men, a set of five samples that lets you try the classics without leaving the comforts of your own home.
Acqua di Gio – not to be confused with its younger female counterpart, Acqua di Gioia – was released in 1996 from the house of Giorgio Armani. Perfumer Alberto Morillas from France is the nose behind this ode to young masculinity. This olfactory genius also worked on classics such as Tommy Hilfiger’s Tommy, Givenchy’s Pi, and Pleasures from Estée Lauder.
For those of you not familiar with Acqua di Gio, I have to ask, how? In our era of perfumes from the drugstore and everybody conforming to the ‘norm,’ every high schooler and college student knows the scent in question. Acqua opens with a brilliant but short lived watery cucumber note, and quickly moves towards a spicy lime that turns sweet within minutes. It then turns rather dusty with a bit of musk and patchouli that really turns it in a whole different direction, and then turns right around back to the lime. The dry down is a very woodsy citrus.
Verdict: Like a true classic, Acqua di Gio has withstood the test of time (19 years and counting!). As for me and it, our relationship will be strained. While I appreciate its initial freshness, I must admit that it is both too light for my taste and that the dry down turns me off. Instead of a really fresh cologne, Acqua leaves me with the impression of a whirlwind of ideas. Definitely a must-try for all, though.
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