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  1. #1

    Default Acqua di Gio: Initial Impressions

    Ah, good old AdG. A fragrance I'm sure I've smelled a million times, but yet to this point - never worn. I had found Basenotes before ever sampling it and became a bit of a fragrance snob (albeit such was not warranted as my experience was lacking and taste still undeveloped) and always thought myself above such a 'plebian fragrance.' Later, after I'd come to realize that most frags have some merits and are at least interesting in some way, even if I'd never consider owning them, I still managed to avoid sampling it - not intentionally per se but simply because there were always things I wanted to sample that seemed more interesting than it.

    Well, I ran into a really nice (and cute ) SA not long ago and after a bit of talking asked if she had any samples of Gucci PH 2. She went rummaging through a drawer chock full of samples, which I leaned over the counter to view, and despite being unable to find any of the Gucci, she provided me with a handful of other samples that I viewed and subsequently made my interest in known. I spotted AdG samples and asked, sheepishly, if I could have one. She laughed and said "You know everyone wears this, right? This is what I recommend when I'm not in the mood to deal with people. It almost always works."

    I laughed and told her that yes, I was aware of such, but despite having been interested in frags for so long that I'd never actually properly sampled it. And so, years into the game, I'd finally got my hands on this ubiqituous frag.

    I've had the sample for awhile now and again the same feelings struck everytime I looked at it - "Eh, I'd rather try that instead" glancing at some other - any other - frag I had yet to sample. And so it's been a few weeks since I've gotten it, and I finally decided to wear it tonight.

    I knew that this scent wasn't a sillage monster, and many have had issues with longevity, so I applied a healthy 7 sprays (2 to each arm, 3 to the chest). I was expecting to be hit with the overly synthetic vibe I've gotten from so many other mainstream fresh scents. Almost all of them either begin as or soon deteriorate into this sort of harsh synthetic freshness that is rough and slightly uncomfortable in the same manner as running your hand over a rough and splintery piece of freshly-sawn lumber. Hugo XY starts amazingly fresh and minty but falls apart as the basil enters and lends a stale edge to the scent. Le Roy Soleil has a sharp and synthetic citrus opening that is interesting but slightly irritating. Gucci PH 2, from my brief sampling, became a linear accord of an irritating synthetic note on my skin somewhere in the heart of its drydown. Live Jazz is great after the cilantro note fades, but the first 30 minutes are a bit uncomfortable because of it. Sanguine Muskissime's ethereal opening is one of the best I've ever experienced, until the sharp and flat (oxymoronic, almost) musk heart note overwhelms the fragrance, 10 minutes into its development. Too many other designer fresh and summery scents were too non-descript to leave an impression that lasted outside the door of the department store that housed it. And I suppose, because of that, I've avoided testing most aquatic fresh scents (including some of the more loved ones around here, such as Bulgari Aqua.)

    All of that being said, I was expecting to be disappointed by AdG. Maybe it's because of those low expectations or maybe it really is a step above, but I was extremely and pleasantly surprised by the initial whiffs. Sweet and fresh, with hints of melon and a sweet citrus. No perceptible harshness. The melon accord amplifies over the next 30 minutes and the frag becomes sweeter, teetering on the verge of becoming cloying but managing to restrain itself just before reaching said point. An hour into it and the melon scent is still strong and fresh, like a mix of watermelon and sweet cantaloupe, freshly sliced, the succulent juices still fresh on your fingers. A hint of woods is peeping through now, I'd say it's cedar although an abstract representation of cedar with the depth of it removed, cedar painted in a light ochre instead of its more typical saffron red renditioning.

    I'm curious to see what the next few hours bring, and to see just how long it will last. It may not be wildly interesting. It may not take any risks. But AdG is clean and fresh and never overbearing while remaining quite natural smelling - and based on those traits alone coupled with the American sterlized-sanitized take on hygiene, the only thing that surprises me about the ubiquity of this fragrance is its slightly feminine leaning. Of course, it seems that women generally like the sweeter and slightly feminine frags on men, so perhaps it is no mystery at all why this is the mainstay of most high school and college aged men.

    It's nice to be pleasantly surprised like this. I don't know that I'll pick a bottle up, but I will undoubtedly use the rest of my sample while the warm days still visit me here in Wisconsin.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Acqua di Gio: Initial Impressions

    It is way under rated, the opening is great and drydown even better. On the other hand L'eau D'issey is too sharp and chemical in comparison IMHO.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Acqua di Gio: Initial Impressions

    This is a nice read. Thanks.

    The only time I tested AdG was 7 months ago, when I was purchasing my first bottle. It was the first fragrance I ever tested with the intention of actually buying something for myself, after I read all the positive reviews on the internet. I did not like it then, but my tastes have developed very much and I have smelled so many fragrances, so it should be interesting to go back and sample something I know I did not like when I first started.

    The question now is, will you feel comfortable wearing AdG knowing it's probably the best selling fragrance in history?
    Looking for a sample of Gucci Envy Me.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Acqua di Gio: Initial Impressions

    AdG is a great fragrance, a citrus that takes a sour dive into the woods.
    It's easy to like, lasts long and gets great compliments.
    Only problem,some feel it's too mainstream.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Acqua di Gio: Initial Impressions

    Well, further into the drydown and I'm still enjoying it. As the woods begin to poke through the melon accord, it actually smells like the rind of a cantaloupe. In fact, the whole olfactory experience is something like being trapped inside a cantaloupe and slowly clawing your way out. Eventually you've dug your way out and are resting on the rind, surrounded by its woodiness, but the sweetness from the cantaloupe flesh still lingers on your skin.

    As to whether or not I'd feel comfortable wearing it? Well, I wish I could say I would - as I wear fragrance first and foremost for myself, but I'm more concerned about the associations it will trigger in others. For that reason I wouldn't buy a bottle, but as I said I'll definitely use my sample and if was gievn a bottle for free, would wear it from time to time.

    Tomorrow I test Lacoste Essential. That is, if I can remain resolute and force myself to sample it instead of grabbing a much loved fragrance instead.

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Acqua di Gio: Initial Impressions

    What bothers me about AdG is that it is pushed by every female SA in North America as "the scent that drives women crazy". This accounts for its high sales figures.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Acqua di Gio: Initial Impressions

    It might have something to do with the commission they get. Sales commissions are not the same across the board. I was at Macy's a while backtrying to fidn a bottle of Aramis JHL for my father, and the sales lady (probably newly hired) said we do not have JHL but we do have ADG. She tried her best to push it on me- to the extent that her manager had to come and calm her down. I told her my father is almost 60 and not 16. She even said now is the time to change his tast and get him ADG. I confirmed with a friend who has worked as a SA before that ADG earns you one of the highest commissions in department stores. Thats the reason for "the scent that drives women crazy"! :-)


    Quote Originally Posted by samplermike View Post
    What bothers me about AdG is that it is pushed by every female SA in North America as "the scent that drives women crazy". This accounts for its high sales figures.
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Acqua di Gio: Initial Impressions

    I wore Acqua di Gio for years. I still like it although I only ever wear it on a hot summer's day now. Its fresh, meloney scent (which lasts fairly well on me) never really loses its appeal for me even though I usually prefer oriental fragrances. Always have a bottle of this kicking around. I'm not too bothered by its mainstream appeal--it's simply difficult to argue that this one smells anything other than pleasant.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Acqua di Gio: Initial Impressions

    Granted 7 sprays is more than I'd normally wear, but I did get a good 5 hours of sillage and about 9 hours later, when I hopped in the shower, there were still traces of it left on my skin. Best of all, there was no trace of it left after the shower! I can't stand a frag that won't wash off! Talk about overstaying its welcome.

    So I'd have to rate its longevity as medium to long, which is perfect to me (and to indicate relativity, I'd point out almost any Montale's longevity as too ridiculously long.)

  10. #10

    Default Re: Acqua di Gio: Initial Impressions

    SoS, thank you for this thread and everything you said rings true for me.
    I mentioned in another thread on the Female board (discussing "opening up the mind to new possibilities, etc."). AdG is a scent I normally would not be attracted to. I prefer woody/spicy and orientals but as MissBehaviour said it, it's hard to argue that it smells anything but pleasant.
    I tested AdG, Issy, etc. sometime ago too and always felt there are better things out there for my teste and stopped even flirting with the idea. Buying it was (still is) absolutely out of the question. Even the better ones like you mentioned Bulgari, etc. have no appeal for me. Even to test, there are far too many to ever get back to the aquatics.
    Recently, I was given a gift of AdG (a large bottle!) almost by mistake. The person knew that I liked Eau Pour Homme and I'm sure was confused by the SA who probably pushed the AdG as soon as the word Armani came up at the counter.
    The moment I opened the gift, a thousand thoughts (laughter, terror, adventure, disappointment, you name it) went through my mind. I maintained decorum while I was asked to spray it on immediately! I sprayed it (expecting nothing unpleasant). At that moment, I decided to open up my mind to this possibility and decided that I was going to keep it and continue to wear it. After all, if I was going to have an aquatic in my rather large collection, what better example is there?
    I use it liberally (chest, arms, neck) and have no problem with longevity. Sillage is moderate. I wear fragrances strictly for my own pleasure but let me tell you that this is the only fragrance I get compliments on! This makes it obvious to me why it's so popular and you have to give the nose the credit for it. Morillas did a fine job.
    I have so many fragrances that I rarely end up using one twice in a row. So I seldom visit this one too and it is reserved for muggy and hot days. Yes, it gets boring after a few uses but can't deny that it's refreshing even in small doses. It's easily unisex and I'd like to know how different and feminine the original pour femme is.
    So I still have a slightly disdainful view of it and consider it a teenage/college student scent but will keep it just for the fun of it.
    In the end, it did open up my mind to at least considering more mainstream scents but it will not change my buying habits. I go for scents that are much less common than that. It's just a part of the experience I seek in fragrances.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Acqua di Gio: Initial Impressions

    My brother was the first person I had ever smelled wearing this and it's just awesome. ADG is a great fragrance for summer being that it's very fresh and citrusy. I got my first bottle of adg when I traded a bottle of probiotic multivitamins to my best friend (He got ripped off lol).Funny thing to trade for cologne.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Acqua di Gio: Initial Impressions

    I really enjoy Acqua di Gio, and I wouldn't have a problem with it being mainstream if it were more popular among grownups. Or should I say "less popular among children?" I live next to a Middle School, and when I'm working in my front yard and dozens of teenage boys are standing around my fence waiting for their moms to pick them up--well, let's just say the place REEKS of Acqua di Gio.

    Maybe they should make it illegal if you're under 21? Then I could enjoy it with less association to skateboard boys and their soccer moms.
    Snarky is as snarky does.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Acqua di Gio: Initial Impressions

    I like it, but I'm in college, so I cant really wear it. I'll smell like pretty much everyone else. There are too many other colognes that smell good that no one else wears, plus when I'm on a date, I'd rather not smell like her last 3 dumb jock boyfriends who probably bathed in the stuff.
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  14. #14

    Default Re: Acqua di Gio: Initial Impressions

    She laughed and said "You know everyone wears this, right? This is what I recommend when I'm not in the mood to deal with people. It almost always works."

    So the truth is finally out.

  15. #15

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    Default Re: Acqua di Gio: Initial Impressions

    AdG smells like someone farted lemons. That may be a good or bad thing.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Acqua di Gio: Initial Impressions

    I wore the stuff in Rome during the middle of the summer and it was a godsend. I think the original point about it not being synthetic-smelling is key. It gives one that artificially clean aqua/fresh smell that gives the illusion of just having showered, yet it does so without giving one an artificial smell (for comparison, see the hyper-synthetic CK Crave, which was discontinued).
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  17. #17

    Default Re: Acqua di Gio: Initial Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by mudassir View Post
    I confirmed with a friend who has worked as a SA before that ADG earns you one of the highest commissions in department stores.
    This is simply not true. I've given a very detailed exposition in my blog about commissions and why certain lines can feel like they are being pushed upon you. My sister, my mother, my wife and I have all worked in the industry for a combined 35+ years.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Acqua di Gio: Initial Impressions

    It's probably the most overrated cologne in the history of colognes. There are far better citrusy colognes out there...Issey Miyake, D&G PH, and Burberrys classic to name a few.

  19. #19

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    Default Re: Acqua di Gio: Initial Impressions

    Went to a movie last night and the kid in front of me had on AdG. After awhile I simply stood up in the back for the entire movie since the place was packed. The sillage claws at you like nothing else. It's like playing a cd with the treble turned all the way up. Terrible stuff.
    Last edited by samplermike; 26th July 2008 at 06:53 PM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Acqua di Gio: Initial Impressions

    Acqua di Gio is the best mainstream male scent ever. It's pleasant to all, and it smells fantastic. The only, only MAJOR gripe with this fragrance is its ubiquity.

    I used to have a big bottle, but after I smelled it for the 6th time on 6 different persons within 3 hours in public transportation I sold my bottle.
    Last edited by Stereotomy; 26th July 2008 at 07:23 PM.
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  21. #21

    Default Re: Acqua di Gio: Initial Impressions

    It is a very good scent. I've seen many women buy this for their husband/boyfriend. As far as it being pushed, a store like Macy's would have representatives from, say, Armani, Calvin Klein, Etc. They are not payed by Macy's anything, but are payed by the company that sent them there, and are payed commission...That is why they will just push a certain brand, and if you want some other brand, they will refer you to someone else.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Acqua di Gio: Initial Impressions

    Any time someone sprays something and gives it to you as you're walking by the fragrance area, they almost always are a representative of the company that they're trying to sell.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Acqua di Gio: Initial Impressions

    It was my staple marine scent till bvlgari aqua came along and really dunked ADG in terms of longevity and nice dry down. ADG is def lighter and saltier. Guess what it also has a rather poor quality bottle, just couple hours in my cooler and the cap and the ring came off. for the record i got them from armani frag counter and it was only about 8-10deg cels in my cooler. though i still enjoy the scent, just not as much as bvlgari aqva(not marine!!!)


    sadly i have to agree with samplermike that they are popular with the ladies....
    Last edited by MFJ; 27th July 2008 at 02:37 PM.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Acqua di Gio: Initial Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by samplermike View Post
    What bothers me about AdG is that it is pushed by every female SA in North America as "the scent that drives women crazy". This accounts for its high sales figures.
    Quote Originally Posted by afraafra View Post
    It is way under rated, the opening is great and drydown even better. On the other hand L'eau D'issey is too sharp and chemical in comparison IMHO.
    honestly i feel adg has a more plastic touch to it compared to issey, then again, im issey over adg, just backed up my 5th 125ml LD Issey bottle. I find issey to be metrosexual(very passe term now) It makes a very floral based scent uniquely male specific.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Acqua di Gio: Initial Impressions

    I too am a latecomer to AdG and woah, what a disappointment I found it.

    I think it's horrible. Plain and simple, horrible. It smells dreadfully synthetic and has a kind of nasty chemical smell to it. Will never wear it.

    I have plenty of other fragrances which I would prefer to wear if I want something fresh, like Castile for example.
    In a world where people smell bad, it is the personal responsibility of every Basenoter to improve the world one SotD at a time...

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