Perfume Reviews

Positive Reviews of Essenza di Zegna by Ermenegildo Zegna

Total Reviews: 29
An uplifting citrus and cardamom bomb that plays with the concept of being an herbal aquatic but never really goes there 100%.

Instead, it stays well-grounded in the fresh woody/spicy territory and smells all the more attractive and refined for it albeit a bit one-noted. Kind of reminds me of Hermes perfumes. I have to admit this one was a definite compliment getter for me but also let me down a bit with the linearity as well as the 2-3 hour mark longevity even on hotter days.

Since it's discontinued, I'd definitely recommend grabbing a bottle while you can because it's one of the better and more minimally pleasant summer frags I've tried.

Sillage: moderate
Longevity: max. 4 hours
04th August, 2017 (last edited: 08th August, 2017)
Fresh, woody, classically-Italian scent. Not nearly as sharp as the "intense" version of this scent, but it gets the job done without fuss.

Clean, simple and pleasant; Essenza di Zegna is not unpredictable and is just plain nice to wear.
17th March, 2017
Essenza di Zegna perfectly shows what I would personally expect from a contemporary citrus-woody niche scent. I think of “niche” because it smells... different: it’s classy, cozy and versatile, but has just the right “twist” to smell creative and peculiar. Basically I would define Essenza a woody-exotic and slightly aquatic scent, with a cardamon-fruity twist and a thick, slightly damp musky base; it reminds me quite much of Fendi Theorema for Men, but smelling way more quality – deeper, thicker, smokier, more natural, far more refined. Say, something halfway Declaration and Theorema. With that myrtle accord which adds a touch of “Mediterranean exotism”, with its peculiar sort of leafy, musky, kind of “olive tree” flavour. Essenza smells so well blended it’s kind of hard to describe it, but I feel that “tremendous quality woody-exotic-spicy-aquatic fragrance” can sum this up quite well. Just a tad too much linear for me, but highly creative and elegant.

29th April, 2015
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great fragrance very natural an ahead of his just dosent get old..women looooove it an is always great when ur wearing a fragrance that hardly no one knows about..funny that people compared it to acqua di gio but way better when zegna was released but it seems armani him self was a big fan of essenza di zegna now he released acqua di gio essenza with the same perfumer of essenza di zegna an similar tones..but zegna is way Better
17th December, 2014
One of my favourites from 2003. What a fragrance this was! Superb bergamot and citrus opening that dries down into a luscious, soapy and powdery vetiver, amber and musk base. Very nicely blended. I was so gutted when this was discontinued, but alas all good things come to an end. They don't make them like this any more... RIP Essenza di Zegna.
09th January, 2014
I found a bottle of this on one of my thrift store runs and since it was only a couple of bucks, and after a quick sniff, I brought it home. It was very light. So light, in fact, that it seemed to evaporate from the mind as soon as it was sprayed. And yet, it was compelling enough to keep me coming back for reassessments. Zegna is the purveyor of fine suits, and this scent lent itself well to fine suit wearing; especially in warmer weather. Outside of a suit, it was a bit too formal due to those spicy midnotes. Spicy notes always put me in mind of winter.
I guess I was sort of in limbo regarding Essenza Di Zegna (although I love that name! It rolls off the tongue with such elan). This failure of mine to commit to Mr. Zegna led to my giving the bottle to my BF for his briefcase cologne. One of the most important elements of the "briefcase cologne" is the flacon. It must be sturdy and lend itself to easy transportation and access. The scent, of course should be good, but is more or less an afterthought. The briefcase cologne is motored through rather quickly; which is alarming when he gets his hands on my Chanel Pour Monsieur. But smelling the EdZ on him grew on me. I realized the fragrance was rather intricately composed after all, and certainly was redolent of fine perfuming ingredients. I find it interestng that it was composed by Msrs. Jacques Cavallier and Alberto Morillas-- who have been hitting my radar screens a lot lately. They've composed many of my favorite recent scents...and strangely, many of my least favorite recent scents. I guess that qualifies them as LOVE/HATE perfumers. But that's good, because it means they know what they're are doing. They are creating scents with character and originality...quite a feat nowadays in the heady world of perfume.
25th March, 2012
This is no aquatic. But, I do agree that it bears a strong resemblance to Aqua de Gio, which I dislike. Confusing? No, and here are the reasons why. Aqua de Gio is what happens when you get a quality fragrance like Essenza and then strip it down and add cheap ingredients while tampering with the settings of what was a fine-tuned piece. Where Gio goes awry with high-pitched, cloying notes, Essenza grows into a complex citrus-wood fragrance. The middle notes is where this frag excels. The herbal notes balance out the lemony top notes and the wood base notes. It has at least four layers whereby the fragrance changes as you wear it. Is it original? Not really. But, it is a quality scent for work and summer. It has quality ingredients and will only get you compliments at work. If you want a super original, come-and-look-at-me fragrance, get M7 or Angel. But if you want to be taken seriously at your place of work, get Essenza.
*****Update: This is in my top five now (out of well over 50 bottles of fragrances). This has to be memorialized as a classic. It is a masculine, elegant fragrance fit for an Italian Count or Baron. And a great value. I wake up and can still enjoy this fragrance from the previous day. Bravo.
09th May, 2011 (last edited: 15th April, 2012)
I absolutely love this stuff! I don’t get any kind of aquatic vibe from this at all. It’s really very green and fresh with a hint of fruity sweet & sour thrown into the mix.

It’s perfect for daily office use and is extremely unlikely to offend even the most sensitive nose. In my opinion it’s also a versatile scent that can be used for almost any occasion and at any time of the year.

As far as the sillage and longevity go, it does stay fairly close to the skin but I use the EDT with the shower gel and after shave balm; so it pretty much lasts the whole day on me.

FYI; before I purchased this, I first tried it on paper. It was quite a pungent sharp green with almost no hint of the fruity sweet/sour notes. Then when I tried it on my skin, I got a totally different vibe from it. I guess this one has a lot to do with body chemistry, so a friendly word of warning: try before you buy.

17th April, 2011

I feel really relaxed and peaceful when I wear this. Like a summer's day in Andalusia. Maybe this isn't an aquatic scent, but it got that cucumber note that normally makes me nauseous. Love it here, though! The scent remains interesting during it's life span...around 8 hours. Never dull. Extremely comfortable to wear as someone mentioned.

31st March, 2011 (last edited: 02nd April, 2011)
this is a great cologne. perhaps the best from this house. i initially thought this was more expensive than z since z is the diffusion line but i guess it doesn't work that way with cologne. also luckily i saw a bottle on sale and paid $30 for mine. well worth it. essenza is the perfect match to their super 120's grey wool suits. highly recommended.
20th August, 2010
shamu1 Show all reviews
United States

Let me start by saying that THIS IS NOT AN AQUATIC FRAGRANCE. To call it one would be an insult to this superb scent.

I look at Essencia di Zegna as a modern take on the traditional Italian styled eau de cologne, but with much better longevity than the old school Italian colognes. What starts off as a bright citrus scent becomes a dark and very dry woody fragrance. As the citrus in the opening fades, you can smell pepper notes emerging, and evenutally the vetiver becomes dominant. The vetiver is what gives this scent its dryness, darkness and austerity. The fragrance has an over all dark, tea-like smell, kind of like brewed Earl Grey tea.

No, this is not the most unique scent in the world, because lord knows the whole woody fresh masculine thing has been done countless times before. But few if any do it anywhere nearly as well as Essencia di Zegna. Where most fragrances of this type end up smelling metallic, harsh, boring, poorly balanced or synthetic, Essencia di Zegna manages to smell completely natural, extremely comfortable to wear, and perfectly balanced. With this fragrance, Zegna nailed this tired genre, and produced what I consider to be the perfect woody citrus scent.

07th August, 2010
JMang Show all reviews
United States
One of the better aquatics citrus aquatics available. Overall, the fragrance isn't as synthetic as many others and the opening is rather unique. Many summer colognes have lemon/orange/bergamot in their topnotes but Essenza is different (I guess thats the mandarin speaking).

Drydown adds a sweet/slightly powdery wood base. Nice impression overall, even though its not very exciting, I give it a positive because unlike many other summer colognes, it doesn't reek of calone and is more unique.
23rd March, 2010
Every statement I made in my original review remains the same, but I have revised my rating for Essenza di Zegna to a Thumbs Up. The quiet power, and unique flavor of this fragrance remains with me over the 15 months I have not used this creation. In that time I have tried many acclaimed fragrances, and my experience has proven to me that for my personal tastes, and not as a universal recommendation, this fragrance suits me very well. On my skin, Essenza di Zegna is distinctly unique, assured, refined, elegant, and subdued in a most alluring combination.

My original review from November 2009:

Essenza di Zegna is a refined and quiet fragrance with an evocative note that presents as comfortable, familiar, but indefinable. To me this pleasant creation does not echo any other cologne. It has one great advantage over many similarly restrained but unique fragrances: it can be found online at shockingly inexpensive prices. I wore this fragrance as my primary cologne for more than a year, switching to Angel Men when I felt more outgoing, or aggressive.

Like many fragrances which project refinement and strength, this Zegna is not completely beautiful in its initial impression. And its lasting quality is more of quet depth, and interest, than excitement or delight. Angel is exciting and delightful, but a bit bright; I am not sure I would want to shower daily in Angel soap.

Essenza di Zegna milled soap is a wonderful, rich, and fine smelling product which lasts for ages and keeps on giving uniformly fine scent until the very last. Sillage for the cologne is polite but firm, and the scent lasts well close to the skin.

Everyone will not appreciate this creation's primary accord, and some may feel the total experience is too subdued. And may not be complex enough for the practiced. Others will smell the richness. This idiosyncratic scent releases a pleasant depth of accords that come gently through.
27th November, 2009 (last edited: 19th February, 2010)
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When it comes to ESSENZA DI ZEGNA, do not trust your first impressions or you'd brush this off as yet another bland Armani woody citrus clone. Yes, it has the same Italian feel but not quite as synthetic, at least not to me. But what sets this apart is the use of cardamom to accentuate the scent's greener aspect, with a sharpness that recalls the cut of Ermenegildo Zegna suits. While I had expected a little more complexity from the likes of Alberto Morillas and Jacques Cavallier, I must say this is a pretty good workhorse fragrance which proudly bears the Zegna signature.
14th November, 2009
Well-suited to the line of Zegna clothes for men - classic cut with excellent tailoring and modern sleekness; for discriminating men Zegna is unrivalled for quality when buying off-the-rack. The scent is a good one for everyday, business wear. Refreshing top notes, with a little leatheriness that adds masculinity (particularly as there are no floral elements that stand out). My only objection is that it dries down to a powdery note which I am not a fan of (the same is true for Guerlain's Vetiver, among many others). The packaging is sharp. I admit that I was on the fence whether to buy this or not, but what finally decided for me was my long-standing admiration for Zegna as a fashion house for men.
16th February, 2009
The opening is awash with wet pine,flora and citrus but it recedes exceptionally quickly.I agree with the previous reviewer who noted the similarities with Bulgari, but in my opinion this has a little more depth and sophistication. It will not blow you are away, but it settles into a fine summer fragrance. It is nowhere near the top of my favourites list, but I could easily live with this.
24th December, 2008
I bought this fragrance on sale and it took me a little while to develop a liking to it.
Partly because it is quite strong and long lasting.

I do now enjoy it , its masculine in a fairly subtle way and will last the whole day or night.
07th October, 2008
Not very long-lasting. Try Kouros Sport. It smells identical but has longer staying power. Don't pay a lot for Essenza di Zegna, when Kouros Sport is probably 1/2 the cost but TWICE the potency. That about the only difference, Kouros Sport lasts longer!
19th May, 2008 (last edited: 21st December, 2012)
Nice fragrance! Much better than Z, this one definetely has character. A great combination of refreshing notes (that seemed to me more like cypress/aloe vera/pine) with a bubble gummy sweet note (maybe watermelon). Versatile and has a good staying power!
12th December, 2007
Essena di Zegna is a competent and at times quite pleasing scent. It is in the modern fresh style, but it has more character and natural-smelling ingredients than many of that type. EZ has a fresh, crisp opening of citrus and bergamot. The middle is its real strength: myrtle gives lovely green herbaceous tones, and cardamom yields pleasant wood and spice. Later, vetiver emerges with controlled grassy notes. The scent is well designed and develops well, getting bigger but not too big. It projects a cool European elegance. At times it seems a bit sweet, a bit like Bvlgari pour Homme but more green and without the tea aspect of BpH. It is a good summer and daytime scent. On a related note, I tried the Essena di Zegna Intenso and was quite disappointed. It is NOT an improvement on the basic scent in any sense!
16th April, 2007
Well there are similarities to Aqua Di Gio but there is a 'bitter' note in there which gives this a greater earthiness (Corsican Myrtle I think).
It certainly grabs your attention!
18th August, 2006
At first I was skeptical of this cologne. The first few days I was wondering if I actually liked it or not. In about a week or so, BAM! I thought to myself "I really enjoy this cologne." And it was true. It is similar to AdG but a bit more spicey and lasts longer. Overall, this cologne deserves more respect. Not to mention I've received numerous compliments already... which is a plus!
18th March, 2006
incedal Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Pretty nice, starts of fresh and drys down to something spicey.
04th December, 2005
Fresh, woody, classically-Italian scent. Not nearly as sharp as the "intense" version of this scent, but it gets the job done. Clean and pleasant, not unpredictable and just plain nice to wear.
05th October, 2005
One girl is was with said it smelled like "A crazy italian guy trying to hit on you in a club." However, I personally like the smell, and find it to be warm and long-lasting.
01st September, 2005
Essenza di Zegna smells like Bvlgari pour Homme with less prominent tea note and a bit more citrus. Minty and citrusy, Essenza di Zegna has a fresh, clean, sporty feel to it. It smells like a type of scented dryer sheet I tried recently called "spring fresh" or something like that. EdZ smells a little generic, but it's nice. But if you're in the market for a fresh, clean fragrance, Bvlgari pour Homme is much better.
26th February, 2004
Essenza is a wonderfully uplifting scent that harmonizes woods, mint, and myrtle with ease. It is smooth and sophisticated with a hint at sensuality. A total triumph!
01st September, 2003
Dennis Show all reviews
United States
Essenza de Zegna is a superbly dry, woody composition with a citrus undertone. Light yet distinctive and long-lasting, EdZ is a great anytime, anywhere men's fragrance. Highly recomemnded!
06th July, 2003
A very light and pleasant aroma similar to Acqua di Gio but smoother and not as "biting". The myrtle note that is dominant is very soothing and soft. The fragrance lasts without being strong or overpowering. The bottle is very tactile, slim and flattened. The cap is thick and heavy. A great everyday scent!
10th June, 2003