Perfume Reviews

Neutral Reviews of Acqua di Giò Absolu by Giorgio Armani

Total Reviews: 6
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
A fresh opening based on bergamot, with a fruity layer underneath - not very specific the latter, but a bland sort of fruity sweetness. Additional freshness is provided by a marine/sea breeze component that is also present right after the opening blast.

The drydown adds a floral interlude, a floral basket that is fairly traditional and predictable: lavender, a standard floral, geranium and touches of peony at times. White florals mainly.

The base adds - not overly sweet - vanilla as well as a soft and fairly light patchouli impression. There is a nonspecific woodsiness intermingled with the vanilla that gradually fades out towards the end.

I get moderate sillage, good projection and six hours of longevity on my skin.

A pleasant scent for daytimes in the transitional seasons of spring and winter, which follows traditional pathways. The drawbacks are the distinct unexciting synthetic character of the ingredients as well are the overall generic nature of the mix. 2.75/5.
15th April, 2019
Lightning rarely strikes twice, and it certainly didn't for Giorgio Armani, who decided to release another eau de parfum variant of the venerable Acqua di Giò Pour Homme (1996)created yet again by Alberto Morillas (who has penned the previous two EdP variants so far), hot on the heels of the fabulous Acqua di Giò Profumo (2015). At least with Acqua di Giò Essenza (2012), a cult following developed around the greener and sharper take on the old formula despite the overall commercial failure of the scent, but with Acqua di Giò Absolu (2018), it seems Armani aren't even trying anymore and just falling in line with 2010's "ambroxanbomb" trends. What's more startling is Acqua di Giò Absolu not only feels uninspired, but also like an edit of a Cecile Maton's Stronger With You (2017) for the upper-tier Emporio Armani line, with only a distinct lack of violet leaf or cardamom making any difference between them both. It's as if they decided "oh this did well in our executive brand, so let's try it with the standard line too" in the most cash-grubbing way possible. The only real redemption here is Alberto Morillas knows his way around a commercial piss take, as he's made a career out of composing them in between actual strokes of genius. I'm almost certain this rides on the coattails of scents like Paco Rabanne Invictus (2013) and Azzaro Wanted (2016), it really just does nothing to stand on its own two legs outside of sharing that commonality with other scents in this style, making it a "me too" scent in the magnitude of some 80's and 90's Avon masculines, just with a higher budget.

The smell of Acqua di Giò Absolu is instantly recognizable as the same kind of "fresh, sweet, and warm all at once" opening that is so pervasive in 2010's masculine perfumery, as if they're trying to lean back towards the unisex styles of the late 90's and early 2000's but without the funky fruity ozonic pizazz of the era. It's a defanged dynamic fruit accord which resembles not a smidgen of classic Acqua di Giò Pour Homme outside the marine dihydromyrcenol, with the bergamot of Acqua di Giò Profumo making a return. The "fruity notes" here I just refer to as a "pectin" note because pectin has no real flavor of its own but adds fruity body to whatever you dump it in, which is what this aromachemical basically does for Acqua di Giò Absolu. I'm thinking some descendant of calone 1951 is to blame, but I am no chemist so I can't be sure. The rest of the scent goes from the geranium rosemary barbershop vibe of Acqua di Giò Profumo, adding French lavender to replace the clary sage so the scent feels rounder and softer. The base is right in Stronger With You territory, and is almost copy/paste chesnut, vanilla, ambroxan, and norlimbanol, with patchouli, tonka, and labdanum added to smooth the edges and blur the lines a bit more. Stronger With You wants to still be considered an oriental, while this toys with even having a genre at all, which are the key differences. Wear time is nice and long because this is an eau de parfum, but sillage is actually very quiet, which is one saving grace since usually anything loaded with ambroxan or norlimbanol radiates like a cloud around the wearer. I guess this is a romantic take on the Acqua di Giò Pour Homme formula due to the sweetness, but it does little to resemble the original entry besides share an aquatic note and packaging motif.

I don't hate Acqua di Giò Absolu, but neither do I see this necessary in a modern wardrobe already stocked with the likes of older (and far better) examples of the 2010's "fresh amberwoods" style. If you already own Bleu de Chanel (2010), Prada Luna Rossa (2012), Versace Eros (2013), Dior Sauvage (2015), Gentleman Givenchy (2017), or Coach for Men (2017), your bases are more than covered already and this is a redundant purchase for you. Furthermore, if you love Acqua di Giò Pour Homme, and particularly enjoyed the Acqua di Giò Profumo (or even Essenza) flankers, you will NOT like this at all because it really is just "emperor's new clothes" in an Acqua di Giò bottle. The best part of this scent is the smooth clear glass and wood cap that adorns it, etched with a stylized logo, and not the scent itself. If you have a raging love affair with this style, maybe Acqua di Giò Absolu is for you, and honestly it isn't terrible, nor offensive in any way, being a simple stupid grab for the guy who really doesn't actually care what he smells like so long as he smells pleasant. I'd stay away from summer use on this, which is the only instance it could be cloying due to the sweetness, and obviously this is too bland for anything more sophisticated than a night at the mall, so keep Acqua di Giò Profumo for the formal occasions. I do see some club-worthiness with Acqua di Giò Absolu, and maybe that's the intended marketing angle with it, but I'm just so indifferent about where this fits that it's a stretch of the imagination. Easily a neutral for me, but like I always say, go see for yourself before making any premature conclusions as your thoughts may vary.
13th January, 2019
Longevity was not the strong suit of Aqua di Gio Absolu. What I could get out of the 2 hours of wear before it disappeared on my skin was a generic aquatic/marine and wet docks vibe. It's not bad, on the contrary, but nothing special made it stand out either.
28th December, 2018
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Reminds me of most of Armani Code Colonia and other super-sweet modern male scents. Very sweet, fresh, synthetic, screechy and modern. Very pleasant but can be cloying if over-applied. Has that cheap-everyday-dumb-reach feel to it. Smells good but nothing to get excited over.

Good projection and longevity. Lasts all workday and you can smell it.
17th August, 2018
Tried Acqua di Gio Absolu at a local Lord & Taylor way back in February. The tester had listed the fragrance notes as: "Marine Notes - Patchouli - Labdanum." I went ahead and sprayed a LOT of this new scent on the back of my hand, and I went ahead and noted how this potion evolved on my skin throughout the day.

Opening is very restrained, on a skinscent level. I smelled a definite marine note, reminscent of sea salt and ocean. There is a general presence of fruitiness, not pointing to anything specifically, kind of a fruitbowl filled with grapes and citrus. The DNA of the original Acqua di Gio is not perceivable in this mix, but rather this one smells like the result of repeatedly distilling the original and ending up with a ghostly echo forging its own path.

The heart unfurls like a curtain and starts to open up and reveal the spices within: Lavender, geranium, and rosemary definitely pop out and speak their peace. Ahh, maybe this will start to rise above skinscent level and increase in sillage; but not at all, it feels like it's being held in check by some invisible barrier, keeping the fragrance laid back even still. I really want it to blossom into something similar to the original, but....

....the resultant homestretch quality is akin to the Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb fragrance, and ending up smelling like what I call the "modern melange" of typical scents like Paco Rabanne 1 Million & Invictus, Salvatore Ferragamo Uomo, YSL "Y" + L'Homme Ultime, Armani Stronger With You, etc. etc. Disappointing, as I expected more from this gorgeous-looking EdP.

Maybe this is Armani's way to put its hat into the "modern melange" type of similar scents that seem to be ubiquitous now. In the end, I much prefer all of the other prior AdG versions - original, Essenza, Profumo, and Profumo Special Blend - than this one. I WANTED to really like this one, but in the final estimation I think it's an okay, albeit overhyped, Armani scent worthy of test spritzes and decants - but you be the judge.
05th August, 2018
I find this one quite redundant in the ADG range. Some might get disappointed as well. It’s as if the original was mixed up with the trending scents of today like Le Male Eau Fraiche or Invictus Aqua. It does not smell bad, but the original and profumo is enough for me.

For someone without the experience of the other ADG:s - go ahead, it’s nice. I did not get the best performance though but it is enjoyable.
09th July, 2018