Based on many threads singling this one out as one of the exceptional values in fragrance, I bought a bottle and gave it a thorough test drive. I had previously experienced Nautica Blue, a complete disaster, and Nautica Oceans, a very pleasant aquatic but a joke in terms of longevity and sillage, so I was skeptical.
Initially, Voyage lives up to the hype. There is a bracing tart apple scent that is original and smells plausibly real. There is a hint of salty ocean breeze, but just a hint, working with the apple. The two notes do not really blend so much as co-exist. Gradually, a darker, lusher lotus floral note appears with the green apple. This is by far the best part of the scent, occurring about 15mins from initial application. Sadly, though, this stage is very short. The shortness of the floral phase is hardly surprising, especially at this price point.
Things evolve to a conventional cedar/amber/oak moss accord, but with a nifty ocean vibe to it. While many aquatics play up clean and fresh notes, this one dares to be a little it dirty and earthy with the oak moss (or more likely, some equivalent-ish chemical concoction). I like the slight animalic quality. While there is an ocean vibe, it's not really very prominent and it dissipates rapidly, leaving only the more basic set of standard male frag notes to do the bulk of the work.
The frag is not very powerful or long-lasting. It's a skin scent after an hour and, on me at least, gone completely in 4 hours. Maybe that's to be expected from an aquatic, but I had hoped for more, given some of the quotes about it being a "beast" in this regard.
At the end of the day, there is nothing wrong with this fragrance. It has some high notes, but lacks the "hook" of a really compelling fragrance. It's just kind of meh. Worse yet, I got this in part to please my wife, who dislikes my choice of complex frags like Bulgari Black, preferring aquatics instead. I had really hoped that, even if I thought it was a bit dull, I'd score spousal points for the choice. But no. Her reaction, and I'm quoting, "It's completely meh."
Compared to things like Encre Noire, Bulgari Black, or many others that can be had for around $25, I don't think this offers exceptional value at all. Indeed, I wouldn't rate it much, if at all, above Curve, which is about the same price. Thumbs middle for a few high notes, but nowhere near a thumbs up, even at the cheap price of around $10 I paid for it.
Does it smell good? Ya
Does it last long? Ya
Does its price tag justify a purchase? Ya
Is it high quality? Ya
The typical things I look for in a fragrance, and it passes in everything, yet for some reason I just can't wear Nautica Voyage. I've tried over & over, and I just can't stand something about it. It has like this fruity vibe that reminds me of jelly, that's just too potent of a fruity note to wear. I wish it were lighter, not in projection and longevity, but in scent itself. I'm almost tempted to give it a thumbs down, but I do enjoy smelling it in the air, or on others, just not on myself.
This reminds of CK One, CK Euphoria Men, and Chrome Azzaro, and it might be my favorite of the four. There's no CK One in the house at the moment to compare. Chrome Azzaro doesn't work for me, but this Nautica Voyage and the CK scents work great for me This would make a good signature scent, but for me it's one for the rotation for a scent that makes me feels younger. I now have this and CK Euphoria Men, and I really don't need both. They're just small bottles though, so there should be enough days to make use of all this good juice.
Coming back to this review after several more wearings: The longevity is very good I've now realized. I've had this last over 24 hours. Other fragrances that linger for a long time can be annoying, but this one smells better and better to me.
20th October, 2014 (last edited: 01st December, 2014)
Five minutes into testing Nautica’s Voyage, and I was fully expecting to nod off. Blue liquid? Check. Aquatic top notes? Check. Fresh fougère structure? Check. But before my head had a chance to fall forward and my eyelids droop, something interesting happened. Where most aquatic fougères hum along through a Calone and woody amber midsection, Voyage veers off into an aggressively sweet tropical fruit and floral accord that could have come right out of a contemporary women’s fruity floral. What’s become tiresome in women’s fragrances is a novelty in the realm of men’s scents, and I perked up unexpectedly when it arose. At its heart Voyage smells remarkably like a pineapple-passion fruit juice blend that’s served at my favorite resort on Maui. It’s impossible to take seriously, but it’s undeniably bright, happy, and at the same time strangely luxurious. I can’t shake the beach and palm trees imagery, and so can’t see wearing Voyage on anything other than a hot summer day or an island vacation. (In that respect I guess the name is apt.)
Voyage’s drydown sadly reverts back to standard “clean,” with blatantly chemical synthetic woods, laundry detergent, and a too-generous helping of Calone for base notes. Had it gone to a warm musk with quality woods, or even a synthetic ambergris, it would have been a better end. Yet even with its disappointing exit, Voyage is far more interesting than most scents in this genre, and if you have to have an aquatic fougère fragrance, this one is at least worth investigating.
This is a hybrid of Dunhill Fresh and Joop Nightflight. It also reminds me of YSL L'Homme Libre.
It smells nice but does not last long. I don't regret owning it but I think both Fresh and Nightflight have a bit more character individually than the combined effect I smell in Voyage. I can't see myself buying this again. For a clean aquatic-type fragrance I'd prefer to wear Cool Water, Silver Shadow Altitude or Bvlgari.
The overall vibe is crisp yet powdery which, I I think is at odds with its description as an aquatic. I don't pick out any fruity or apple notes. Will it get you compliments? Yes, all the girls where I work love it!