Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Acqua di Giò Essenza by Giorgio Armani

Total Reviews: 36
I was looking forward to it as I heard it's better than the original, but was a bit disappointed. It smells nothing like the original to me and after a while when the base notes kick in, it's kinda boring scent "like any other".
10th January, 2018
It is certain that being among the first to explore an olfactory trend is a risky thing - especially because what we imagine might fall in public taste may be something very innovative at the time it was released. However, if the bet is right you gain the advantage of working in new lands and develop something that will become the model to be followed/ copied. It happened with the scent Acqua di Giò, which although was not the first aquatic fragrance was one that explored the trend early on hit very well the combination of aquatic freshness with a fruity fresh touch and a transparent musky base, a lightness that had a satisfactory performance for the genre and a lot of consistency from the beginning to the end.

After 16 years of success of what become one of the pillars of the aquatic family, the eau de parfum version comes at a time where the masculine market is not only less prejudiced with eau concentrations parfum, previously seen as feminine, but also demanding perfumes that have better duration and projection, thus able to stand out more. There is not much to reinvent or change in the aquatic trend and Essenza is not because of that a paradigm shift or a radical change from the original. Instead it is, as proposed by the brand, a refined and deeper version of the original, lowering the acquatic aspect but without doing it in order to compromise the original identity.

As a long lasting version, Acqua di Giò Essenza decreases the focus on water and fruity aspect of the output to put more emphasis in conveying the oceanic freshness in a mineral and slightly woody base of good duration. Thus, it opens with the aquatic and fruity departure from the original, less evident in the marine and metallic aroma. As it evolves one perceives another fresh aromatic chord, slightly floral, that gradually leads to the aforementioned mineral and woody base. Sometimes you can see flashes after all the evolution of the aquatic aroma of the opening in contact with the mineral aroma of the base, passing a very serene and refreshing feeling.

Essenza shown even without any surprises to be an acquatic more mature and better worked from beginning to end, with a good technical performance of sillage and longevity, which makes it an excellent candidate for daily use or even as a night perfume, with a good performance for summer nights or hot and stuffy night environments.
10th July, 2016
Like this one. Slightly greener with more wood (as compared to the original).Projection and longevity is great.7/10
03rd February, 2016
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For a long time, I've noticed a heavenly waft of a gentleman's cologne when I've been out and about. For the love of mother's milk I couldn't figure out what in the world it was. I've though, analyzed, tested, tried, and made failed purchases. The sillage I'd catch smells of an amazing green, musky undertone with very light spice that was articulate and not muddy. The composition seemed lively. I've even tried to follow the gentleman around the store for a minute to give me more time to analyze and figure out what it was. Even thought of asking but wasn't sure it was radiating from that specific person.

Well long story short, that fragrance was sitting in my armoire all along. I analyzed all the components and narrowed it down to a possible two. I knew with the frequency I have encountered this it couldn't be some obscure niche and must come from the department stores. I also crossed all my failed attempts off the list and before I knew it, I have arrived that it was indeed Essenza. I hadn't worn it in a while and so I pulled it out to spray it in the air. Yes!! I got the same citrus, musky green undertone with light spice. Amazing!!
04th January, 2016
It's all in the bottle. The original was foggy though piercing if you overspray (which too many people did). This bottle is clear and the jewelry shiny rather than matte. The jus is the same. Brighter than the original.

I like these flankers better than the original. The Profumo in the dark bottle is the one to get though.
18th August, 2015
bigbz Show all reviews
United States
I used to really love the original, so when everyone said this one was even BETTER I blind bought a bottle of it. Big mistake...this scent was gross on me. I didn't mind a stronger woody base, but it had a weird smell that would come and go at times. A bit of a rotten egg like of Mr. Morillas worst IMHO. Oh and the claim of better longevity than the original?! Not against my 2007 and 2008 bottles of ADG it wasn't!
01st July, 2015

AdGE is a fantastic fragrance for hot weather. It's cool and fresh and perfect for a Florida summer. Great tart citrus opening that settles with some soft pepper and spice. A jasmine-floral note appears and works in concert with the citrus and spice and is mainstay of the fragrance for several hours. I also got hints of cedarwood and musk underneath, which create a very masculine yet, fresh scent. Longevity was a good 5 hours with a light application. What I like most is AdGE's notes compliment one another and nothing fights for attention or fades away too quickly. Perfect to wear almost anywhere during spring and summer. I received a compliment first thing this morning in my office elevator. Definitely a Thumbs Up.
07th May, 2015 (last edited: 20th May, 2015)

.For a fashion house as interesting and high class as ARMANI,I feel this fragrance is a supreme sign for ever.It is still number one than anothers cold scents. Lovely,Summery,Aquatic,Invigorating, Uplifting,Inspiring,Elegant and Woody.

New GIO is a crisp and strong woody aquatic fragrance.,Cool notes of citruses and basil mix with a masculine blend of exotic woods,and clary sage to make for an outstanding and striking scent that is more mature than original version.yes A wonderful scent for the more matured male that It never fails to elicit comments of "You smell great".

ACQUA di GIO ESSENZA is a crisp and classical woods fragrance designed for the modern and confident urbanite.Great perfume, not too strong or overpowering, just subtle enough to grab the attention of others.It is suitable to walk with your lover in the summer day.A EVERGREEN fragrance indeed.however original GIO is still the best for me.


Longevity?About 8 hours on my skin.

16th December, 2014
I gave this one four stars. It's harsh on the top, but as it settles it gets better and better.

That type of performance is different than anything else in my rotation, so it's an especially interesting scent for me. It's big, powerful juice that's provocative, memorable, and doesn't smell too bad.
27th October, 2014
del Show all reviews
United States
AdG Essenza smells really nice, fresh, and pleasant, which is not really a surprise because of the familiar name. However, I find Essenza as the smooth version of the original AdG, which was sharp for my taste when I had it back in the 90’s. Generally speaking, Essenza has a citrusy-aquatic feel, floral (jasmine), with a touch of spices.

Essenza has an above-average performance on my skin. Lasts all day, with moderate projection. A little pricey ($90 for 2.5 oz), but worth it, considering it is an EDP concentration.
09th October, 2014
Wow, I can't believe after this has been out for 2 years, nobody has made the comparison of this to Bellagio for men. To me, this smells a little like the original Acqua di Gio in the opening notes, but becomes more floral, sharp and powdery. I'm immediately reminded of Bellagio, or maybe even L'Eau D'Issey.

I'm really not much into this one at all, but I do enjoy the cedar note in the dry down, it adds a certain character to it, not the typical cedar note, not very sharp or peppery.
15th July, 2014
My girlfriend bought this for me as a birthday present and when I saw the all too familiar "acqua di gio" written on the box, my heart sank. After then noticing the word "essenza" I realized it was a flanker which lifted my spirits a bit but I still wasn't expecting anything fantastic. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised, I didn't really see any similarities between this and the original. To me ADG smells cheap and boring whereas ADGE smells original, expensive and just really gives off a sense of quality.
25th June, 2014
What to say? On me, AdGE begins with citrus and acquatic notes, with the grapefruit seeming to be the strongest of the citrus notes. The heart of the fragrance is flowers and herbs, jasmine, basil, and some soapy note or something a little out of place almost. I didn't have a big enough sample to get a handle on it, but there was something unusual in the heart of this fragrance that kind of wafted in and out at certain times. At the end of the day Essenza closes with some sage, cedar, patchouli and vetiver.

It's nice enough. I don't remember AdG enough to name the similarities and differences, but I do know this is kind of standard fare for citruses of the day. This reminds me of Ferragamo's Acqua Essenziale. They might not smell exactly the same, but in terms of quality, they're pretty similar. AdGE has better longevity, however. Anyway, AdGE would probably go well on your shelf if you're in need of a citrus/acquatic or a good summer fragrance.
10th June, 2014
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This fragrance is absolutely delicious (EDP). The initial spray is fresh and citrusy and I love it. It smells like pure summer to me. IMO it can be worn both in the daytime and night time. I am so glad I bought this fragrance because it makes me very happy.
21st May, 2014
My first bottle of AdG was upon release in 1996 and I was blown away. I used to sell cars for a living back then and I'll never forget the first time a woman smelled this on me. I was going over the figures and paperwork with her and she got this look on her face and wanted to know what I was wearing and wear she could drive her new car to get it. Unfortunately after a couple of years everyone was wearing this, but for the first couple of years this stuff was straight up magical. I stopped wearing the original around 1999 and have maybe worn it a handful of times since. 2012 and they release Essenza EDP which I bought also the first chance I could. This update is exactly what it needed and probably one of the best updates to a fragrance in the last 10 years or more. It takes everything the original was known for and refines it to perfection. This is a fragrance made for the loyal fans that have made AdG one of if not the best selling fragrance ever made. It's a bit on the pricey side, but I believe that now you can get this for basically the same price as AdG which is a real bargain. I can't say enough about this and if you don't own AdG then do yourself a favor and buy this. Essenza is a home run in my book.
02nd May, 2014
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
The top notes lack the peachy pineapple character of the original, but otherwise is quite similar compared to the original. The green-floral middle notes appear to be blended better and a are a tad less generic, but the base is as unexciting as the original version. Adequate silage and projection on my skin, and a somewhat better longevity of about five hours. In the end I prefer this flanker to the original.
07th March, 2014
I never really liked Aqua di Gió. For me it was too sharp and manly in a generic kind of way. Slumping Essenza and EdP on a heavier bottle was a very good marketing gimmick but that says nothing about the quality of the juice really. So Essenza is similar to the original, to me it’s still too sharp and commonplace manly. On my skin it mellows down after 10 minutes but the accord is thoroughly unpleasant. The dry down which is evident after 30-40 minutes of application is sweeter, softer and rounder, in a way more pleasant than the opening. I don’t know what exactly in Essenza I react badly to. All I know is that this is one of the few perfumes that I needed to wash off. And of course being an EdP this means that it doesn’t wash off that easily. Essenza is the kind of perfume that makes me more aware of the difference between designer and niche perfumes. It has above average silage and longevity and if you are fun of Aqua you will appreciate Essenza. But for me it is thumps down.
08th February, 2014
Natural, a step up, but still......

While some people may want to "hate" on this fragrance, as some posters suggest (I frankly hate the expression " to hate on"!), just because it is the flanker of such a popular fragrance, I really wanted to love this. I have been wanting something that is aquatic with some "umph"- an aquatic with some additional intensity. That said, I just don't love this. It is a nice fragrance, but just leave me a bit cold. It is natural smelling, and the longevity is solid, but I just don't find myself wanting to enjoy the fragrance on my own skin. That for me, is the bottom line.

05th October, 2013
It has a soft menthol touch like Issey Miyake Bleue but it is softer and calming. Also de ozone in this one smells more natural and better than the original. Lasts the whole day.
02nd October, 2013 (last edited: 15th September, 2014)
AdG's brilliance
Pulled out, amped up, and put back
In a clear bottle.

Original Review 28 August 2013

The EDT's Popularity Explained in EDP Language

I was struck by this the very first time is sniffed it in Macy's. Essenza is fully worthy of being the EDP of the incredibly popular Acqua di Giò EdT. A fail here would have been hard to live down. Instead, I think this was a huge success. I have not been so taken by an "aquatic-style" fragrance in ages - probably five years.

AdG EdT always had a certain beautiful complexity in the background - I likened it to rocks under a cool, clear mountain stream. It wasn't in focus, but it added beauty. Touches of green, pine, smoke and mineral.

Now - imagine that beauty turned into the front, core, and center of an EDP fragrance, with an aquatic background behind it. THAT is Essenza.
It takes every subtle beauty of AdG EdT and raises it to a main accord.

The fragrance is versatile, and easily worn year-round. I expect many Christmas sales, even in cold climates. It is compelling - I wore it in a sidewalk café in Spain - not too strongly, either - and several women were looking around to see where it was coming from. It is gorgeous stuff. My wife loves it, too.

I suppose that one day, like AdG EdT, it will be ubiquitous. So buy Essenza now, and get the compliments in while nobody knows what it is.

Pros: Beautiful, complex, lasting, balanced, comforting

Cons: Will probably become commonplace someday
28th August, 2013 (last edited: 12th December, 2017)
Better than the original

Considering just how much love there is for the original Acqua di Gio, the fact that this essenza version has genuinely improved on the original means it should be very popular - but so far it seems to have remained fairly under the radar.

The essenza takes the original ADG and rounds off the screechy citrus, making it sweeter and deeper, and they've also improved the longevity. This sweet soft lemon and spicy woods also brings ADGE really close to the smell of Bleu de Chanel, which for most won't be a bad thing considering how popular Bleu is too.

This fragrance is very pleasant, has good longevity for a citrus scent, is very versatile and very popular with ladies. I much prefer it to the original.

Pros: smoother, sexier, longer lasting...
Cons: not a big change in direction from the original scent"

12th August, 2013
Solid aquatic that trumps the original

This is a must-have if you are a big aquatic fan. I generally don't care for very many summer fragrances so this definitely keeps me going through this season.

Personally, I think it is much better than the original. I wasn't able to smell the vintage version of the original but I heard it is similar to this. Its longevity and projection are outstanding even during a heat wave. I also think the sprayer on it is fantastic compared to most sprayers. It gives a nice even spray that really covers the points on your skin you want to emphasize.

The bad news is it won't be found on the grey market. You'll basically have to buy it at a retailer for their retail price. The price is pretty ridiculous for a designer fragrance (niche range). A 2.5 oz will run you over $100 easily. Another bad part about this fragrance is it was more similar to the original than I anticipated. I sprayed both on a piece of paper to compare and they were totally different so I basically bought the bottle without trying it. My first wearing showed more similarities to the original than I had hoped for but the good news is it took the great parts of the original and took out the bad.

Overall a great scent and I do not regret my purchase.


Pros: 1. Better than the original with the same backbone 2. Longevity and projection are outstanding 3. Sprayer is fantastic
Cons: 1. Won't be found on the grey market 2. Might be too similar to the original from a casual sniffer 3. Very pricey for the amount received"

19th July, 2013
nyguy Show all reviews
United States

I dislike the original AdG, always have because of the bitterness and strange orange synthetic note. The Essenza after one wear won me over, smooth opening, soft woodiness once it settles down. Longevity is decent, projection is AMAZING. Bought myself the biggest bottle available on eBay for around $100, so much cheaper than the retail price for $180. If you like the original then you should most likely love this scent!

Pros: Smooth scent

19th June, 2013
Smells nice, reminiscent of the regular Acqua di Gio. This has better longevity (but that doesn't say much). It's also a bit more mature smelling.
12th May, 2013
Acqua Di Gio Essenza and Ralph Layren Polo Blue are as identical, as two cans of Coca-Cola. Just like that. So make your own conlclusions.
12th May, 2013
This is one of the best colognes I’ve ever owned. The fragrance is outstanding, great longevity, and projection. Not as sharp as ADG original, which is nice, but a bit better in longevity / projection and dry-down. I’ll be wearing this one all spring and summer long!
07th April, 2013
I am a Tom Ford fan, and find it difficult to adjust to new scents on my husband. When he wears something else, I often end up with a headache or nauseated by the end of a day spent entirely near him.

This Acqua di Gio is remarkable smooth. Potent, but not overpowering with an "eternal" staying power.. it just doesn't quit!

Upon initial application, I was immediately drawn to the citrus and bergamot blend - interesting. It seemed to settle in, intensely, to my husband's being - and by the night' end, I couldn't help but want to nuzzle into where-ever this scent was sprayed. I'm not usually a patchouli fan, but I sensed it here, not the usual pungent patchouli but much more sable and modern mixed with the musky/woodsy aromas.

Definitely a thumbs up.
11th March, 2013
I have never tried AdG (gasp!) so I can't compare this to the original. However, I really like this! It smells like a salty ocean, with some spice and woods thrown into the mix. Most fragrances give you a headache if you spray too much or smell it up close too often, but so far I have not gotten tired of smelling AdGE.

Longevity on this one is good though projection is so-so.
10th December, 2012
I first noticed this on my fragrance freak friend and I thought that he was wearing a new intenser version of Ralph Lauren Polo Blue, but he told me that I was the new version of Acqua Di Gio. He told me that he bought it because it smelled like Ralph Lauren Polo Blue and we both thing that this is much finer version of it. Polo Blue is much light/aquatic, but Essenza is a bit spicy and long lasting than Polo Blue. I was fond of Polo Blue, but I always thought that it could be a bit long lasting, actually not long lasting, Polo Blue was long lasting too, but it was a bit weak, could be just a few degrees intenser. You would understand what I mean if you compare eau de sauvage normal and extreme or EDP of it. That is what I feel when I compare RL Polo blue and ADG Essenza. I guess this makes it a bit spicier. I guess I'll be given one as a present with Christmas.
30th November, 2012
Unlike the original AdG, this one is thick, dense, not actually fresh and the story it tells is much more meaningful to me than the story that the original tells. Acqua di Gio Essenza is a story of a complete, mature guy whilst the original is just some "cute guy" seen on the street by girls. Original is fresh and airy, widely accepted and overworn. This will not be the case with AdGE and I'm also quite sure that, despite the fact that is much better and more refined, it'll not be overhyped and maybe, just maybe, it might get discontinued and forgotten, which is a shame. I'd compare the case of Dior Fahrenheit and Fahrenheit Absolute and JPG Le Male and Le Male Terrible. Now, Fahrenheit Absolute is not better than Fahrenheit, it's just different and tells a story of its own and a good story. Despite the fact Fahrenheit Absolute was not as much accepted or reviewed as much, same goes for JPG LMT, despite its good qualities and depth and that's what I'm expecting to happen to AdGE.
21st November, 2012