Acqua di Casta welcomes us with an "O'Driu'esque" herbal aromatic, somewhat dusty and sparkling/edible spicy geyser. The general initial atmosphere is by soon gingery for sure, almost anisic and really really peppery. I suppose to detect myrtle (may be thyme, bay, saffron or sage) and "fizzy" ginger while the peppery prickliness starts powerfully stimulating your nose in a couple of minutes. This is the most interesting part of the evolution in my opinion since in a while a stout minimally soothing lime-orange/ylang-ylang/chestnut accord takes the way as lingering vibe in order to envelop and "civilize" the following woodiness (yes managing to tame a bit the usual stark/dry austerity of the woods). I don't agree this accord is utterly un-sweet since I perceive a barely (yes minimal) mild exotic undertone a la Leva (from ylang-ylang combined with minimal hints of nuts, florals and balsams I suppose) but in a drier way of course. Frankly my nose fails to detect the rose since an almost fleshy (or anyway slightly soothed) hesperidic/exotic woodiness starts rising in the air till this characteristic herbal, barely orangy (at least in perception), barely "fleshed out" (still peppery but for sure not extremely dry in my humble opinion) cedarwood/vetiver dry down accord. The latter (with its dominant fluidy/dry but yet slightly earthy vetiver- a dry vetiver but not the driest around for sure, I mean) appears to my nose effectively almost un-natural as overecharged by a still insistent mild peppery undertone, with few traces about the initial dusty fluidy aromatic and fresh greenness. In this final phase the vetiver beauty is in substance a bit overshadowed by weird (pungent and denser) elements and I tend to appreciate a bit less the aroma finding it slightly "insistent". Anyway, I can't deny this is a well appointed and valuable scent though not properly something I would easily purchase. Frankly too much expensive in my opinion, the longevity on my skin is not the top. I will affix a balanced medium rating.
20th February, 2014 (last edited: 01st May, 2015)
A complete disappointment to my nose. There is actually a slight hint of Marron but its embedded in so many other notes that make the scent smell more close to a cleaning agent than a fragrance.
I think its a catastrophe and I don't think I'll can become friends with it.
Aqua di Casta opens with a sharp ginger note that is slightly bitter with even an almost salty quality, with a cedar wood undertone that grows over the scent's progression. The ginger and cedar hang around well into the heart, combining with just the faintest supporting rose and an almost effervescent vetiver rising from the base, giving the scent even more zip. In the dry-down the vetiver and cedar remain, now joined by very dry sandalwood as the backbone. Projection is above average and longevity is average.
I am sold on both this scent and Testa Maura in general. Aqua di Casta is supposed to be a scent revolving around chestnut water, but I confess I have no idea what that smells like. What I *do* know is Aqua di Casta smells incredible and is an excellent representation of a dry cedar wood and sparkly vetiver scent with a very different relatively stark take on sandalwood to boot. I guess that is what continues to impress me with the house in general... Testa Maura approaches their entire line with providing unique takes on ingredients that I thought I knew well through sampling many other scents that present them the same way as all the others. Here, it is the sandalwood that is the standout, in others the immortelle. Aqua di Casta is another relatively minimalist composition that is far from inexpensive at $140 for a 50ml edp bottle, but I definitely recommend trying it out as it may change your perception of what to expect from prominent sandalwood compositions. Aqua di Casta earns an excellent 4 stars out of 5.
I'm sold. Aqua di Casta gained its place among the most interesting fragrances of the past few years. First of all, let me tell you that in order to appreciate this fragrance, you've to be into extremely dry woody compositions. There's nothing sweet here, nothing smooth...
Aqua Di Casta opens with a shockingly pungent/piquant pepper and ginger combo immediately joined by a beatiful accord of woody vetiver. If this brings to mind of modern masculines a-là Bang, be advised that the Testa Maura it's, both in concept and execution, very distant from these types of fragrances. The central vetiver note is refined by a desweetened rose/ylang-ylang accord that while being surely remarkable, it doesn't drive the fragrance towards the floral. This is more intended to slightly soften the general austerity while a bold and extremely dry sandalwood base emerges from the back turning Acqua Di Casta into a nutty and woody vetiver/sandalwood drydown.
Overall I would recommend Aqua di Casta to both sandalwood and vetiver lovers as one of the most natural smelling examples of these notes. Anything but sweet.