Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Acqua di Giò Absolu Instinct by Giorgio Armani

Total Reviews: 11
Simply put this is an aquatic freshy toned down with a bit of spice from patchouli and wood.
One spray on my chest lasted for hours. Amazing. More like an extrait.
Smells better on my chest than on the back of my hand.
Wife went nuts over it. She likes my New York Intense, loves my Bois Belize Intense, really likes my B683 EdP and Extrait, blows hot and cold about the daddy (my French Lover) but swoons over this pipsqueak!
I like it as well its my new hot weather freshy if only Fine Accoutrements made a high quality EdP version of their Fine Fresh Vetiver.
So Instinct smells great, projects and lasts. Good value all things considered. Armani just made me go FBW. And I did!
14th September, 2021
Finally an Acqua di Gio that I love!!!!! This scent reminds me of Escada pour home. I tried some on and WOW!!! I was in heaven. It has the dark amber and patchouli smell that I love. On me the scent lasted about 12 hours. I will be saving up for this gem. You can count on it!!!
24th June, 2021

Orangy cream over powerful woody ambers.

28th February, 2021
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

One of the better recent AdG flankers, but seriously failing in longevity.

The opening instantly reminds me of Polo Double Black, which is crazy, i had to do a double take to look at the notes, when I thought this. The notes are nothing alike, but it is what it is. I get a creamy mango sort of opening. As it fades, it becomes more citrusy and woody, with an aquatic touch. At which point, it reminds me of a weaker version of Beckham Instinct Intense. One that probably nobody reading this has tried, because it didn't have much time on the shelves before going extinct.

While this smells nice, it's still too expensive, and doesn't last long. It projects ok for an hour, and then stays pretty close, but I wouldn't call it a skin scent until hour 4, by which point, I don't smell it at all. It's one of those "here and gone" performers, because one minute, I smell it in the air, the next, I smell nothing. To clarify.. not that it's legitimately here and gone, time wise, but here and gone performance wise.

I saw a guy on here showing a pic of having like 5 back up bottles of this, which is really what got my interest. Then again I thought..well.. isn't this the same guy who's obsessed with Aventus. Needless to say, I bought a sample, because that's a drop in the bucket in this hobby. I wish the sample was cheaper too, but hey.. it's still a pretty expensive fragrance, so people selling samples have to make it back, I understand. What I'm saying is, i don't think it's worth the price.

Overall, it's a pretty subtle, simple, safe, but a little unique (by what's out today, not by past discontinued stuff). It can probably serve well as a gift for someone who just sees "Armani" on the bottle and loves it, lol. A good signature scent for someone who isn't into fragrances, and wants something subtle but will still garner compliments. It's a creamy citrus/woody fragrance, and it's well executed, but again, just overpriced.
01st January, 2021
I think this is a bit of an overlooked flanker. To put it simply, it’s a very nice spicy fragrance with a soft sweetness woven throughout and a noticeable touch of AdG’s trademark aquatic notes leaving a subtle, watery trail. I’ve smelled its spiciness before, perhaps in Hanae Mori’s HiM, or some other cinnamon influenced, safely resinous and warm designer scent. Anyway, while Profumo gets all the accolades, Instinct seems largely ignored or written off as superfluous. But it’s nice! I’m much more impressed by it than the regular Absolu and more recent, Profondo release (which is nice, but at times synthetic and uninspired), and what I like most about it is that it brings something very different to the AdG line while still managing to hold onto and portray some of the original’s DNA (unlike Absolu, which I like, but feels like an altogether different fragrance). Perhaps its most glaring flaw is its performance. While it projects well, I don’t think it lasts very long. Though I’ve only worn it a few times, it seems to disappear after about 5 hours, maybe 6. But I can live with that, especially since it seems more of an evening fragrance than the daily workhorse variety. Final rating: A solid 8/10, possible 8.5 if its performance improves over time.
12th August, 2020
I know what they were trying to do here, but it's a major failure on Armani's part. This follows the recent trend of aromachemical bombs. They take the original formula and ramp up various aspects until it becomes harsh and screechy. I was a fan of the original. Was being the operative word. "Look how they massacred my boy!" Once I smelled this flanker, and all those synthetic elements were pointed out to me, I can't help but smell them in the original. If you like the original, avoid this.
16th October, 2019 (last edited: 15th December, 2019)
Has the DNA of the former versions. I actually like this one very much. Even though it's kind of generic, there's something about this one that catches my attention. Maybe it seems slightly more matured than the previous flankers. Might even get a bottle when the price goes down. 7/10
19th September, 2019 (last edited: 19th November, 2019)
Giorgio Armani has gone down the dreaded "flanker of a flanker" route yet again with Acqua di Giò Absolu Instinct (2019), which is a flanker of the youth-targeted Acqua di Giò Absolu (2018), a scent that sought to cash in on the sweet craze of the 2010's. Acqua di Giò Absolu wasn't horrible, but a super by-the-numbers flanker that was just too similar to Emporio Armani Stronger With You (2017) for its own good, and banked on 2000's fruitiness to boot. Acqua di Giò Absolu Instinct seeks to make things paradoxically more mature by adding some stuff to "dirty up" the accord of the previous iteration, accomplishing this feat with some really abrasive synthetic woods that have appeared separately within tolerable levels in other designer or niche fragrances over the years, but are all together here. The result of this cocktail is a half-baked idea of a scent that didn't entirely suck as it was on its own, turned into a total disaster of annoying proportions, making another "industrial cleaner" accord but of an even higher magnitude to what I'm already adverse towards. This "mixing of singularly strong aromachems into modern powerhouse fumes" trend seems to be emerging to carry over from the synthetic oud bombast of Tom Ford into yet another "volume war" in the 2020's, and if so, I intend to sit it out because this stuff literally makes me unable to breathe. I'm dead serious. I was only able to suffer this stuff long enough to get a review of it by taking periodic breaks and ultimately lean on my rescue inhaler. I've literally never had a fragrance give me that kind of a reaction in my life, not even the strongest powerhouses I own from the 80's.

There's trace DNA of the original Acqua di Giò Pour Homme (1996) in the opening of this monstrosity, with dihydromyrcenol and bergamot swaddled with a salty marine aspect and persimmon. The heart of denatured white patchouli and cardomom adds the modern mall take on oriental spice this seems to goes for, then the Ambroxan-powered base of the first Absolu comes in almost on cue. The total transition time between all this is less than 5 minutes by the way, so I'd say we have yet another linear wonder sauce, and before you know it, the synthetic woods attack with a fury I have never seen until this review. Similar to but even stronger than Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle "Monsieur." (2016), or any host of Tom Ford ouds featuring a similar "Comet cleanser" scratchiness, a miasma of norlimbanol, amber xtreme and "ebony wood" (also see: incense, sandalwood, and a few others this note gets labelled as by other houses) comes in like a wrecking ball to literally induce an asthma attack on the wearer (this happened to me). Akigalawood smooths things enough for me not to wretch, but it just adds to the volatile lung-upsetting stew of this odorous stank so it does little to save my impression of it. Wear time is overbearingly long and sillage is horrifically strong. The stuff is so tenacious that after I had finished sampling, I had to wash my arm, then wash it again, then wash the hands that washed it when I got home, and continue to wash them until they were parched from all the soap. I still had trace smells of the base under my fingernails afterward. If you dig this kind of kill-or-be-killed vibe in your signature scent, I suggest use in winter for casual occasions because this is just too brusk for civilized company.

I don't really know "what is up" with this trend of jamming a base full of this caustic asphyxiating cocktail of "wood" notes, but it creates almost an instant scrubber to my nose especially when it dominates the composition in short order like it does here in Acqua di Giò Absolu Instinct, then goes on to literally dominate your senses, your pulmonary system, then you. Inane flankers are one thing, and even more inane flankers of flankers are another, as it's just a hallmark of the accountant-driven mainstream perfume market these days, throwing out a ton of spaghetti and discontinuing everything that doesn't stick to the wall; but this here suffocating little ditty isn't just offensive, it's actually dangerous to the wrong person because of how sloppily thrown together and deliberately overcharged on aromachemicals it is. People think Dior Sauvage (2015) is toxic waste, but it is a pocket full of posies compared to the Godzilla-sized dose of Firmenich's finest chemical warfare found here in this ghastly creation. I don't think it's possible for me to more emphatically give this disapproval than I am here now. This stuff is more than bad, it's literally better used as a self-defense weapon a la a can of pepper spray than as a fragrance worn for enjoyment. Trust me on this, I don't often speak in hyperbole unless the situation truly warrants it, and this is one such situation. Acqua di Giò Absolu Instinct is downright noxious waste passed off as a designer fragrance. My first "instinct" was to escape it ASAP. Test this one at your own risk. I'm not joking. Thumbs way down.
04th August, 2019 (last edited: 15th August, 2021)
Prefer the original Absolu and find this one repulsive.
16th July, 2019
Blind bought from a retailer in Europe. Very nice! Much better than Absolu, this is what Absolu should have been as it smells more like Acqua Di Gio, And is like Profumo with Woody notes instead of the incense, while keeping the fresh signature Acqua Di Gio opening that can be found in the Original, Essenza, and Profumo (I find Absolu to be much sweeter to the point where it isn’t clear that it’s an AdG flanker, and I think Absolu should have been the flanker to this).

After you spray it and as it dries down you can smell the woody notes slowly appear as if the Woods were submerged in the aquatic opening, and you get the slight touch of amber and ebony woods and patchouli fills in the scent creating a very comforting yet freshly invigorating scent. The woody scent almost makes it feel like you have the sun shining on you with the aquatic freshness making this an experience. (I can’t stop smelling myself as I’m writing this)

The sillage and projection on first spray is very good, and it for me, has very good longevity. I sprayed it on my hand and arm before going to sleep and it was still there when I woke up.

This is just in time for summer, and with the woody notes and in my opinion is extremely versatile (might even be more versatile than Profumo) and could be worn year round even in the winter. Highly recommended, especially if you are a fan of the Acqua Di Gio Family, and particularly Profumo. When this comes to North America go and try it and snatch it up if you can, because this fragrance is going to be huge.
06th May, 2019
For the original flanker AdG Absolu, it was just okay. A very sweet take on the Invictus Aqua, Legend Spirit, whatever is in a blue bottle at Zara these days. This flanker of a flanker, Absolu Instinct has a little more depth to it.

It's still fresh and very sweet, but the sweetness is dulled with some sea notes and some powdery herbalness. I don't get any old or smelly scent from this Patchouli that's listed in the notes, so don't shy away if that note usually gives you trouble. This is clean, sweet and modern but again, with some extra character that I quite frankly wasn't expecting.

My biggest gripe is how fast the nice opening fades away. Projection is good during the first 2-3 hours and then it gets to be really hard to detect unless your nose is right on skin. Maybe 8 hours later there is a faint woody-amber, but that's it.
12th April, 2019