Bulgari's Aqua line has, IMO pretty much played itself out. There really hasn't been anything innovative in the aquatic genre in years and the Atlantique version isn't anything original by a long shot. I will give credit to it not being as harsh or synthetic as most of it's line mates, but it's all been done before.
Atlantique to me smells very reminiscent of Nautica Voyage or perhaps a calmer Polo Blue, especially when you get the opening apple-pear like top notes. It's got a laundry fresh base with good longevity and average sillage. However, it's easily replaceable/interchangeable with a dozen other scents that sell for half the price. I'd pass on this one.
Thankfully I don't detect even the slightest hint of anything remotely fishy in this. But then again, I have never detected anything fishy in any of Bvlgari's Aqva line (where other people clearly have). I also don't sense much resemblance to Dior's Sauvage (which I happen to like). In my opinion this is much more similar to Bvlgari's Aqva Tonique & Aqva Marine Tonique. It's a bit sweet and a bit salty.
While it's undeniably an 'aquatic' style of fragrance, there is a sweetness to this (like the definite and clear pear top note in Tonique) that the note pyramid listed doesn't seem to support. A combination of sandalwood and benzoin could possibly produce the sweetness, but these are listed as base notes and I'm detecting the sweetness from the very top notes.
If the note pyramid is correct, then it's an odd mix of notes that unsurprisingly comes across as a bit of an oddity on my skin. Combining earthy notes like patchouli and vetiver, with creamy sandalwood and benzoin, then unspecified 'water' and 'sea' notes just doesn't seem like it would work. Yet to some degree I think Bvlgari and Mr Cavallier have pulled it off. I like it well enough, but I don't think I'll grow to love it, like I do the original Aqva or some of the other Aqva flankers.
I don't find this to be particularly synthetic or cheap smelling (compared to other similar fragrances in market). While it performs well enough, it doesn't match the longevity of the original Aqva or even the more recent Amara (which is a powerhouse on my skin).
As this was a gift and didn't cost me anything, I can live with my mediocre feelings towards it and I'll definitely get some fair use out of this bottle. I'd give it a solid 3 out of 5.