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  1. #1

    Default My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    A few years ago, if you would have told me I'd like it at some point (I now consider it "great"), I would have laughed and not thought twice about the possibility. One “strength” I think I possess is the willingness to reconsider my opinions, though it takes me some time to work through things (I’m definitely not as “quick” as some of the people on the “Jeopardy” TV show, for example, not that I necessarily think this is a “good thing” in the world of fragrances). Obviously, one needs to consider what “great” means in this context, but let’s leave aside its “bestseller” status (because I’m simply not interested in that). I used to dislike this one as a newbie, but I’m not sure why. I don’t think I gave it a fair chance, and instead took the word of others that fragrances such as Unbound for Men were very similar. When I gave Unbound several chances, I disliked it every time. Same thing for Voyage by Nautica and the other “aquatics” I’ve tried. Now I realize that these fragrances are very different from AdG, at least to me. I’ll explore why I think this is the case below, after I explain my position on AdG.

    First, why do I think this is “great?” It’s related to what I seek in a fragrance: balance, dynamism, note contrast and separation, naturalness, depth, and richness. Basically, if a fragrance has those elements to a sufficient degree I always like the fragrance, it seems. Even if it barely manages all of them, I think I’d still consider it great. The Fragrantica.com “blurb” for it, which I assume came directly from the company that now owns it, states that it is “full of scorching Mediterranean sun.” That’s the kind of thing I laugh at, because it’s more of a visual representation than an olfactory one, and to me is more likely to mislead the newbie if it influences the person at all (other than to get him to purchase a bottle).

    Secondly, I’d like to point out that AdG’s greatness is relative even to fragrances such as Millesime Imperial, Erolfa, and the rest of the Creed’s men’s lineup that is readily available today. AdG simply has better note contrast and dynamism, and while Creed may smell a bit more natural, AdG smells natural enough. Creed gets “blown away” by AdG, however, in some of the other categories. Green Irish Tweed does succeed in creating an “abstract” quality but because it is somewhat lacking in the dynamism and complexity areas, I have to really be in the mood to wear it. Again, this is my criteria, and I don’t expect everyone or even a majority to agree with me. However, if you disagree but can’t explain why in detail, then I can’t really take you seriously, to be perfectly honest (that is, if you claim to be some kind of “expert”). Most likely, if you prefer the Creeds, it’s probably due to stronger and more natural smelling top notes, because Creed drydowns (again, I’m talking about the common men’s ones) are generally nothing exciting.

    With AdG, I get a fruit element that isn’t too sweet (which often unbalances a fragrance), an element that is somewhere between herbal and powdery, florals (jasmine being obvious but not overbearing, as I often find it to be), and the “hard” marine note (which isn’t like the fragrances I’ve tried that seem to have a huge amount of calone in them). No element is too strong or too weak, and there is excellent dynamism, yet it’s not “muddy,” as is the case with many of the complex “power” fragrances of the 1980s. The most obvious one for me to compare it to is Horizon (that is, among those I’ve studied in some detail), which is more complex and aromatic. The problem is that it’s muddled and too sharp. In fact, I’d say there is a muddle underneath the strong, sharp notes (grapefruit, lavender, and the marine accord). And then there is the strong patchouli, which is a real “love it or hate it” note, and seems totally out of place here. Horizon is a good example of a fragrance with clashing notes (rather than contrasting ones), though of course some people may be seeking just such an olfactory experience.

    As to Unbound for Men, Luca Turin pointed out that it has a weird “cod liver oil” type of note, which I dislike, whereas Voyage comes across as a “chemical mess” (perhaps due to reformulation). I do like Burberry’s Sport Ice for Men, which features a similar marine note, but that one doesn’t possess the interesting soft versus hard contrast I perceive in AdG. Because of that, I think, Sport Ice seems to “flatten out,” though I still like the smell, it’s dynamic, has good note contrast and separation, and it’s reasonably natural smelling. It’s rich but lacks the depth of AdG. And again, I’m not saying AdG has great depth, but at least enough to prevent me from perceiving a clear lack of depth. One thing I’ve learned in life so far is that if you can figure out how to avoid doing anything major wrong, you are usually “in good shape” (as my father liked to say). Woody Allen once said (in a movie) that 90% of success is “just showing up” (or something along those lines) but that definitely does not work in the world of fragrances (there were over 1000 new releases in 2011, for example).

    Additional points (added later): In Turin’s and Sanchez’ “Perfumes: The Guide” book, Sanchez describes AdG as “citrus rosemary,” and views it as “…ho-hum: an aquatic citrus with woody notes and a dash of cooking herb.” That’s on page 56. I would likely agree if there were no floral notes. Did Sanchez not detect the obvious jasmine? This seems like a good example of my recent idea that if you can’t detect notes well you may mislead people with your reviews. I’ll also mention that I have a feeling Voyage was reformulated terribly (others seem to share this view) and so it may be that the original version was quite good. Finally, AdG does not use lavender, which I think may be part of the reason for its great balance (lavender is used in a huge percentage of “men’s” fragrances yet has a tendency to dominate and unbalance a fragrance).
    Last edited by Bigsly; 4th October 2012 at 06:08 PM.

  2. #2
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    Always felt it was a fine scent.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    Quote Originally Posted by hednic View Post
    Always felt it was a fine scent.
    Yeah. That has always been my position. AdG's only crime is its overwhelming popularity but you can't deny it is a well-constructed fragrance.

  4. #4

    Default

    Bigsly - well said, couldn't agree more.

    Have you had a chance to sample the new AdG Essenza? Thoughts?

  5. #5

    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    No haven't tried that one yet.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    i love the stuff just wished it loved me it doesnt last on my skin
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  7. #7

    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    I agree with you Bigsly. Acqua Di Gio is perfectly balanced and after almost 3 years on basenotes still my no.1 choice for summer weather. Fortunately I smelled it just once on another person so popularity is non issue here.

    Its sweet without being too sweet, floral without being too feminine and fresh without being too sharp or sour. Most of other aquatics/sport fragrances smells good on top but then quickly loose their magic and have generic woods + musk drydown. Acqua Di Gio has synthetic smelling top notes but its better over time. Complex and developing with good sillage and great longevity.
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  8. #8

    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    Interesting "thread"...lol
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  9. #9

    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    I remember first smelling it about 10 years ago and fell in love with it immediately. Yes, it's a great fragrance, no doubt. But I swear, 7 out of 10 guys have it on. SA's and places like Sephora love to tell prospective buyers that it's the best selling frag on the market and that in itself is a big determining factor for sales.

  10. #10
    Dependent mesaboogie's Avatar
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    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    It's nice to see an ADG appreciation thread. It didn't get to be the #1 selling men's fragrance for nothing. It's very well blended and is perfect for casual or dressy occasions. I got a compliment every time I wore it. I never once got told that I smell like somebody else. I just got told that I smell great. No other aquatic can top it...except for itself. The new ADG Essenza is superb. It's so smooth. It has a little bit of a fruitier top and projects even louder than the original, which was certainly no slouch itself. It's very similar to how my first bottle of ADG smelled 4 years ago, but much better. It's definitely worth a smell.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    I like the Essenza version far more

  12. #12

    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    I like AdG and it's great in the heat.

  13. #13

    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    Only reason it's hated is because it is so popular. Only reason it's popular is because it so loved...wait a minute...

  14. #14
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    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    It certainly is praiseworthy. AdG is not really my kind of scent, but it is one of the best in its genre, IMO, and continues to reside in my collection.
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  15. #15

    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    Cheers to you, Bigsly. It's all too easy to fall into the trap of convincing yourself that a scent is bad because the snobs say so, or to convince yourself a scent is amazing because the snobs say so.

    AdG is excellent. Sales numbers consistently prove it. Women love it on a man. It is more than just a hit. It is a phenomenon, and with good reason.


    Quote Originally Posted by MikeJ View Post
    Only reason it's hated is because it is so popular. Only reason it's popular is because it so loved...wait a minute...
    True. It's funny how there is always a backlash against something being popular. Those who hate AdG tend to be the same group who would have adored it when it was new. The pattern is the same as it is with an indie band. "OMG! BEST! THING! EVER!" But then, once the masses agree that the new indie band is, in fact, amazing, the original fans think they're too cool to like something the masses like. It's all so silly.

    It's one thing to say "AdG is great but I won't buy it because it's worn by so many men." But to hate it because it's popular? That's just silly.
    "Follow your nose. It always knows." -- Toucan Sam

  16. #16

    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    One day I will try it. And 1 Million and Armani Code. Though I'm sure I must have smelled them at some point on someone.

  17. #17

    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    my minds not changed i still think its shit..

  18. #18
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    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    Nothing wrong with AdG and nothing wrong with a frag being popular. But some people like myself don't want to necessarily smell like someone (or some-thousands) else. More specifically, if I'm on a date and I smell of a common cologne that she already associates with a previous boyfriend who crushed her heart...well...

    Quite simply, I'm just wary of colognes found in 500 stores nationwide. Not that they're bad and that I'm anti-popularity.

    To be completely honest, most scents sold in common department stores are going to be pleasing to at least half the customers. That's the point of being in a mass-appeal department store industry.

  19. #19

    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    I think it is great also. I need to buy another bottle after reading this thread. I haven't owned since 99

  20. #20

    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    I posted this in another thread but Chandler Burr sums this up brilliantly...

    A perfume’s becoming a wild financial success seems to engender the assumption that it is inferior. This is snobbery.
    It's a fine scent!

  21. #21

    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    ADG is a synthetic aquatic citrus mess... when your nose experience very fine fragrance.. ADG is a mess in a bottle
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  22. #22
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    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    yeah my tastes change as well. i own adg and like it. some days i love it and other days i'm not really into it.

    it's a good fragrance for what it is, and when i wear it, i dont enjoy it (i dont care if other people wear it to). im sure everyone doesnt keep tabs of what every stranger they meet wears.

    adg is good in a diverse collection, though.

  23. #23
    Basenotes Junkie
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    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    AdG was the scent that got me into cologne. I smelled it and thought, "This smells awesome, I need to find more great smelling colognes to buy."

  24. #24

    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    Same here I think its wearable, so much so that its gets abused, nonetheless to me its kind of like a glass of lemonade with a good contrast of sweet and sour.

  25. #25

    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    Quote Originally Posted by change1 View Post
    ADG is a synthetic aquatic citrus mess... when your nose experience very fine fragrance.. ADG is a mess in a bottle
    Thanks for the tip. I guess I missed something in my 20+ niche bottles and 100+ niche samples. LOL.

  26. #26

    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    What I really want to know is: Does AdG Essenza have as much appeal to women as the standard AdG does?
    "Follow your nose. It always knows." -- Toucan Sam

  27. #27

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    It's very similar but I find essenza a little less synthetic and smoother whilst improving sillage and longevity. Between the two I will gladly pay the small premium. Only had positive comments. Highly recommended!

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  28. #28

    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    Definitely a great frag, and one I will never forget my first sniff of. It was one of those rare "WOW" moments in perfumery, where I was immediately blown away.

  29. #29

    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    I don't dismiss it because it's popular; I just don't like the way it smells.

    While I don't own or wear it, I smell it all the time on others, and I just don't enjoy it. I'd rather be around someone not wearing fragrance than someone wearing AdG.
    Just because it happened to you doesn't make it interesting.

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  30. #30

    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    Aquatics really aren't my thing. But as far as Aquatics go, AdG is very nice. It smells good, it just doesn't suit me. (And longevity is rather poor.)
    Snarky is as snarky does.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    Funny, AdG is what I put on this morning...I like it, It isn't as complex or evolving as some niche frags, but it holds it's own, and yea, it does well in the heat. Seems the roaming masses aren't wearing it as much these days as a few years ago, so that is good too.
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  32. #32

    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    Quote Originally Posted by Possum-Pie View Post
    Funny, AdG is what I put on this morning...I like it, It isn't as complex or evolving as some niche frags, but it holds it's own, and yea, it does well in the heat. Seems the roaming masses aren't wearing it as much these days as a few years ago, so that is good too.
    I hope like Cool Water the masses forget about it...I never smell Cool Water anymore. I'd love to rock ADG without every guy wearing it.

  33. #33

    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    If you could only pick one bottle would it be the original ADG or ADG Essenza ?
    The sense of smell, like a faithful counsellor, foretells its character.

  34. #34

    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    Another thing about AdG is that it can be worn more frequently than most other frags, though of course that's just in my experience.

  35. #35

    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    I have determined that Acqua di Gio, the first designer fragrance that I ever owned, is a lot like one of my favorite bands, My Chemical Romance. (You'll notice that my new avatar has the new MCR logo, and my new signature has a line from one of their songs.)

    Even though we are talking two different arts (perfumery and music), there are many similarities between AdG and MCR.
    -Both were very popular in the 2006-2008 timeframe.
    -Both get dissed by the other side; AdG becomes "Acqua di Watermelon" while MCR was renamed "My Chemical Toilet".
    -Both got their influence from others: AdG was influenced by Issey and Escape while MCR was inspired in part by Black Sabbath and The Smashing Pumpkins.
    -Both continue to come out with new releases (AdG Essenza and MCR's "Conventional Weapons").
    -And both don't deserve the criticism that they get.

    Oh, and I listened to MCR's "The Black Parade" today during a workout where AdG was my SOTD. The two can intertwine just fine.
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  36. #36
    Dependent mesaboogie's Avatar
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    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    Quote Originally Posted by inc0gnito View Post
    If you could only pick one bottle would it be the original ADG or ADG Essenza ?
    ADG Essenza without a doubt. I may never use my bottle of original ADG again b/c of Essenza.
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  37. #37
    Super Member Erok32's Avatar
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    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    It's arguably top 5 of all the fragrances i've ever smelt. However, I own it, but rarely wear it because of the popularity factor.

    Quote Originally Posted by MFfan310 View Post
    I have determined that Acqua di Gio, the first designer fragrance that I ever owned, is a lot like one of my favorite bands, My Chemical Romance. (You'll notice that my new avatar has the new MCR logo, and my new signature has a line from one of their songs.)

    Even though we are talking two different arts (perfumery and music), there are many similarities between AdG and MCR.
    -Both were very popular in the 2006-2008 timeframe.
    -Both get dissed by the other side; AdG becomes "Acqua di Watermelon" while MCR was renamed "My Chemical Toilet".
    -Both got their influence from others: AdG was influenced by Issey and Escape while MCR was inspired in part by Black Sabbath and The Smashing Pumpkins.
    -Both continue to come out with new releases (AdG Essenza and MCR's "Conventional Weapons").
    -And both don't deserve the criticism that they get.

    Oh, and I listened to MCR's "The Black Parade" today during a workout where AdG was my SOTD. The two can intertwine just fine.

    Somehow I don't follow whatsoever.

  38. #38

    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    Quote Originally Posted by MFfan310 View Post
    I have determined that Acqua di Gio, the first designer fragrance that I ever owned, is a lot like one of my favorite bands, My Chemical Romance. (You'll notice that my new avatar has the new MCR logo, and my new signature has a line from one of their songs.)

    Even though we are talking two different arts (perfumery and music), there are many similarities between AdG and MCR.
    -Both were very popular in the 2006-2008 timeframe.
    -Both get dissed by the other side; AdG becomes "Acqua di Watermelon" while MCR was renamed "My Chemical Toilet".
    -Both got their influence from others: AdG was influenced by Issey and Escape while MCR was inspired in part by Black Sabbath and The Smashing Pumpkins.
    -Both continue to come out with new releases (AdG Essenza and MCR's "Conventional Weapons").
    -And both don't deserve the criticism that they get.

    Oh, and I listened to MCR's "The Black Parade" today during a workout where AdG was my SOTD. The two can intertwine just fine.
    I don't follow either, but this is where I think it's crucial to explain the criteria you are using to assess frags in detail. Also, there's no watermelon note in AdG.

  39. #39

    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    Quote Originally Posted by L'Homme Blanc Individuel View Post
    Cheers to you, Bigsly. It's all too easy to fall into the trap of convincing yourself that a scent is bad because the snobs say so, or to convince yourself a scent is amazing because the snobs say so.

    AdG is excellent. Sales numbers consistently prove it. Women love it on a man. It is more than just a hit. It is a phenomenon, and with good reason.





    True. It's funny how there is always a backlash against something being popular. Those who hate AdG tend to be the same group who would have adored it when it was new. The pattern is the same as it is with an indie band. "OMG! BEST! THING! EVER!" But then, once the masses agree that the new indie band is, in fact, amazing, the original fans think they're too cool to like something the masses like. It's all so silly.

    It's one thing to say "AdG is great but I won't buy it because it's worn by so many men." But to hate it because it's popular? That's just silly.
    Couldn't have said it better myself.

  40. #40
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    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    Not a big fan, but it I can certainly agree it's much better put together than really any creed frag I can think of. I definitely don't think natural vs unnatural is something that should be worried about in perfumery. The whole point is being unnatural.

  41. #41

    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    Yesterday I wore Halston Unbound, the day before Eternity Summer, the day before Gant Indigo (the weather is warming up down here). I still think I greatly prefer them and Paris Hilton's Just Me and L'Eau par Kenzo and Jill Sander's Pure Man to Aqua di Gio any day.

    I'm not sure why you include oceanic/marine scents like Erolfa and Nautica Voyage into comparisons to ADG, as they have very little in common to my nose.

    But who knows? Maybe in 10 years or so, ADG may start to grow on me like it has on you.
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  42. #42

    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    Also, there's no watermelon note in AdG.
    I know, I know. But a lot of people get a watermelon vibe from AdG.
    Top 5 for Fall:
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  43. #43

    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    Quote Originally Posted by MFfan310 View Post
    I have determined that Acqua di Gio, the first designer fragrance that I ever owned, is a lot like one of my favorite bands, My Chemical Romance. (You'll notice that my new avatar has the new MCR logo, and my new signature has a line from one of their songs.)

    Even though we are talking two different arts (perfumery and music), there are many similarities between AdG and MCR.
    -Both were very popular in the 2006-2008 timeframe.
    -Both get dissed by the other side; AdG becomes "Acqua di Watermelon" while MCR was renamed "My Chemical Toilet".
    -Both got their influence from others: AdG was influenced by Issey and Escape while MCR was inspired in part by Black Sabbath and The Smashing Pumpkins.
    -Both continue to come out with new releases (AdG Essenza and MCR's "Conventional Weapons").
    -And both don't deserve the criticism that they get.

    Oh, and I listened to MCR's "The Black Parade" today during a workout where AdG was my SOTD. The two can intertwine just fine.
    Uhm... what? AdG was a monster hit from 1996 through the late 90s. And it has grown considerably since then. Initially, it was THE club scent, as new fad scents often are, but instead of remaining a fad, it grew into an everyman sort of appeal by the end of the 90s. AdG has been on top of the men's fragrance world for 16 years and is still going strong.
    "Follow your nose. It always knows." -- Toucan Sam

  44. #44

    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    Quote Originally Posted by Possum-Pie View Post
    Funny, AdG is what I put on this morning...I like it, It isn't as complex or evolving as some niche frags, but it holds it's own, and yea, it does well in the heat. Seems the roaming masses aren't wearing it as much these days as a few years ago, so that is good too.
    I hardly ever smell aquatics on anyone around here.

  45. #45

    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    I don't use it myself only because it's too popular. But. It was created in 1996. It's the number 1 seller in 2012. That's 16 years. Let me repeat. 16 years! You don't get there unless you're superior, as simple as that.

  46. #46
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    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    ADG is one of the far better summer fragrances. Thank goodness it is not just another citrus, grapefruit opening summer mess.

  47. #47

    Default Re: My change of mind on Acqua di Gio.

    Quote Originally Posted by MFfan310 View Post
    I know, I know. But a lot of people get a watermelon vibe from AdG.
    I do understand the idea. When I first got "serious" about frags I would often think that one smelled like a food item. I often didn't pick up on things like wood notes, for example. Also, the sweetness of a frag didn't really register much at all, whereas now I hate frags that have more than a moderate amount of sweetness, though even in those cases I have to be in the mood for the sweetness.

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