For such a best-seller, it’s taken a long time for Giorgio Armani Acqua di Giò to be released in an EDP concentration. The original EDT was released in 1996 and, like it or not, came to epitomise the decade’s trend for aquatic fragrances.
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Along the way, it generated a succession of flankers, including Acqua di Giò Essenza EDP (2012), Acqua di Giò Profumo EDP (2015), Acqua di Giò Absolu EDP (2018), Acqua di Giò Profondo EDP (2020) and Acqua di Giò Profondo Lights EDP (2021).
All variations on the sophisticated sun-and-sea theme. See our mini guide at the end of this review for a rundown of the flankers.
Giorgio Armani Acqua di Giò EDP was released in 2022 and with the popularity of the franchise and a mega marketing budget to match, we tell you all you need to know about this latest addition.
Interesting to note that while the Italian luxury brand released relatively few flankers in the fragrance’s earlier life cycle, it seems to have increased the frequency in recent years to maximise its profitability.
Green mandarin from Calabria*, marine accord (top); clary sage heart from Provence*, lavandin, geranium bourbon heart from Madagascar (heart); patchouli from Guatemala*, Atlas cedarwood essence, vetiver from Haiti* (base).
*These ingredients have been sustainably sourced, according to the brand.
Born in Seville, Spain, in 1950, the master perfumer has notched up an impressive CV of classics with his finely tuned instinct for commercial success and knowledge of natural and synthetic ingredients.
There’s a good chance you’ve worn one of his many creations in his career that spans more than five decades (he’s worked for Firmenich, the Swiss fragrance and flavour company, since 1970).
If you want to know why Morillas is still so in demand, look at this list of achievements: Calvin Klein cK One EDT (1994), Estée Lauder Pleasures EDP (1995), Tommy Hilfiger Tommy EDT (1995), Givenchy PI EDT (1998), Carolina Herrera 212 Men EDT (1999), Kenzo Flower by Kenzo EDP (2000), Mugler Cologne EDT (2001), Yves Saint Laurent M7 EDT (2002), Marc Jacobs Daisy EDT (2007), Bvlgari Man EDT (2010), Versace Pour Homme Dylan Blue EDT (2016), Salvatore Ferragamo Uomo EDT (2016), Penhaligon’s The Tragedy of Lord George EDP (2016), Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Eau Intense Pour Homme (2017), Gucci Guilty Absolute EDP (2017), Gucci Bloom EDP (2017) and Kilian Dark Lord EDP (2018).
There’s a good reason why uber-vlogger Jeremy Fragrance worked with him to create his own range, Fragrance.One.
The Spaniard was awarded the Prix François Coty in 2003 and The Fragrance Foundation (USA) Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013, and launched his own perfume brand Mizensir in 2015.
“A new interpretation of the iconic Acqua di Giò fragrance that looks to the future. With an awareness of the environment woven into its creation, Acqua di Giò Eau de Parfum is a fragrance for the future.
“Since its introduction in 1996, Acqua di Giò has established itself as a modern classic of men’s fragrance with an enduring appeal, capturing the essence of water and man’s connection to this element.
Now, Acqua di Giò Eau de Parfum pays a new, contemporary tribute to the relationship between man and sea.” – brand website
Who Would Like It
Anyone looking for a powerful, crowd-pleasing aquatic with a timeless and elegant feel will enjoy this one.
If luxury brands doing their bit for the planet is important to you, even better.
Where To Wear It
The Giorgio Armani Acqua di Giò range has always been popular due to its versatility. The EDP version is no different. From gym and the office to after hours, it will do the trick.
It works best in summer, for obvious reasons, but no reason why you can’t wear it in the cooler months too for a reminder of warmer times to come.
Packaging & Presentation
The transparent bottle and juice, dark wood cap, and cardboard box are elegantly minimalist, but what stands out most are the eco credentials, according to the brand’s website.
All sizes of Giorgio Armani Acqua di Giò EDP (40ml, 75ml, 125ml) can be unscrewed and refilled at home with the 150ml refill bottle sold separately. The wood cap means less use of plastic.
Various reforestation and conservation projects in Brazil, Madagascar, Peru and Zimbabwe contribute to the company’s carbon neutrality target by 2025.
The opening brings on a wave of Mediterranean citric freshness, thanks to Calabrian green mandarin. Its slightly sharp with a tinge of sunny floralcy.
There’s no missing the marine accord after that. It’s been amplified with Yodanol, a Firmenich captive molecule that enhances freshness with a velvety aspect. This should please those who found the original’s freshness faded too quickly.
Provencal clary sage heart gives the scent aromatic muskiness (the herb is a good substitute for ambergris, as the real stuff from the sperm whale costs a fortune and is rarely used nowadays), with floral assistance from notes of lavandin and geranium.
The drydown is in typically masculine woody territory via a combo of patchouli, cedar and vetiver notes.
With its long-lasting freshness, Giorgio Armani Acqua di Giò EDP is certainly stronger and more focused than the original EDT. It’s easier to detect the listed notes in it. In the process, perhaps it has lost some of the complexity and appeal of the original. There’s no doubt, it’s going to sell very well.
Similar Fragrances To Consider
The life aquatic…
For posh interpretations, there’s Creed Erolfa EDP, Dior Eden-Roc EDP and Nishane Ege Aigaio Extrait de Parfum.
Tom Ford Costa Azzurra EDP has become more accessible since it was re-released as part of the Signature Collection.
Bvlgari Aqua Pour Homme EDT and Issey Miyake L’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme EDT are more affordable designer classics.
We can’t recommend Heeley Sel Marin EDP enough if you’re looking for a moodier niche aquatic.
And of course, there’s the one that started it all: Davidoff Cool Water EDT.
Best Versions of Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Giò: A Quick Guide
Armani Acqua di Giò EDT (1996)
Strange times call for something familiar and reassuring. And you don’t get more comfortable than Giorgio Armani Acqua di Giò EDT. Launched in 1996, it remains a classic of the genre.
Perhaps it’s the citrus-drenched opening of Calabrian bergamot, tangerine and neroli notes that makes it so appealing? Or the delicate display of florals (jasmine, freesia) splashed with marine notes that follows? Or the fact that all the elements are so well balanced?
Whatever it is, this creation still smells so good after all these years.
Acqua di Giò Essenza EDP (2012)
Super-refreshing and more of a floral vibe. Discontinued, with much teeth-gnashing from its fans. Going for crazy prices online, so shop around. It’s good, but not that good.
Acqua di Giò Profumo EDP (2015)
Probably the most popular flanker. With its seductive smokiness and spicy depth, it has been known to please even the most ardent niche snobs. The black and silver bottle is the stuff of sexy sophistication.
A warm and woody presentation with a patchouli emphasis. Recommended if you want something slightly fruity and sweet.
Acqua di Giò Profondo EDP (2020)
Clean and green, with pronounced aromatics of rosemary and lavender. The 2021 follow-up, Acqua di Giò Profondo Lights EDP, is big on the cool spice of cardamom and balsamic herbaceousness of lentisque.
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Richard Goller is a fragrance and grooming blogger. His blog is called Fragroom. A senior editor with 20 years' experience, his blog allows him to combine two of his passions: engaging content and the always-intriguing world of fragrances. When he isn't blogging, you'll find Richard indulging in his newly found passion for balcony gardening.