As the best-selling fragrance of all time, Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio (pronounced “Aqua Dee Geeoh”) is without a doubt the most iconic fragrance that has ever existed. It is true that its competition for the title is fierce, but since its release in 1996, despite extensive competition, it has reigned supreme over the world of fresh fragrances ever since.
The Acqua di Gio line of cosmetics was created by Alberto Morillas in 1996. According to the story, Alberto came to the house of Giorgio Pignatelli in Sicily, Italy, and said they wanted to create a perfume that would capture the essence of the Mediterranean sea. If you ask us, Alberto definitely hit the bullseye with this fragrance.
In the recent years, flankers like Profumo and Profondo have emerged, but they all have the same DNA as the original AdG wave.
It is for this reason that we are going to review Acqua di Gio by Giorgio Armani in this article in detail – what it smells like, how it performs, and if it is worth the price, even after 20+ years, is it worth it?
It’s important to note that this review focuses on what you can buy today rather than on the multiple formulations I had over the years. This is the review of Acqua Di Gio I bought in 2021. As soon as we get our hands on the new Acqua Di Gio, which will be out in 2022 (after almost 30 years), we’ll be reviewing it in detail as soon as we have it in our hands.
What Does Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio Smell Like?
In our opinion, Acqua Di Gio smells like a watery, aquatic, fresh breeze hitting your face as you sit on the beach watching the sunset with your white shirt on and straw hat on, and the guitar is playing in the background as you enjoy the sunset.
Since imagination is such a huge part of our reviews, we’d also put it this way – when you smell Acqua Di Gio, you can actually smell citrus fruit combined with salty air that carries a bit of that old tree odor from the beach.
There are approximately 25 different notes in Acqua Di Gio, but they are perfectly blended together, which is why it is one of the world’s most popular fragrances.
Notes used in Acqua Di Gio are:
- Mandarin Orange
- Sea notes
- White Musk
This combination of notes together gives this perfect fresh scent, but let’s take a moment to step back and think about how it smells chronologically when you wear it.
The moment you put Acqua Di Gio on your skin, you feel the punch of citrus in its opening, which is known within the fragrance world as one of the best openings ever made, since as soon as you apply it to your skin, milliseconds after, you feel the punch of citrus in its opening.
As with any other fragrance, the opening lasts a short period of time. However, we believe that Alberto Morillas really wanted to leave a strong first impression with this fragrance – trust us, he succeeded.
It starts to smell more like the sea as it dries down to the heart, but due to the abundance of floral notes, jasmine is the most dominant one that dominates the heart. As the citrusy scent fades away, you are left with an almost completely fresh floral scent that is combined with seawater until the scent completely dries down to base notes.
We believe that the best part of this fragrance happens right when the heart starts to fade away from the peak notes to the base notes, and based on our experience, that is when you start to receive the most compliments when wearing this fragrance!
There are woody and musky notes that come to the fore as it dries down to the base, making it a perfect combination with dominating notes of jasmine and sea as well. Musk and woods give a clean and calming feeling to floral scents, and it is just impossible to resist the smell of this fragrance.
As a whole, Acqua Di Gio is a true masterpiece when it comes to the smell tones and it is no wonder that it has been a favorite for over 25 years as well.
What is the shelf life of Acqua Di Gio?
Acqua Di Gio is one of the best perfumes on the market, but there is a small downside to it: it does not last very long, going from 2 to 6 hours on average, depending on the type of skin you have.
Despite numerous reformulations, Armani has not been able to make this fragrance last longer over the years despite the fact that it has been in production for many years.
Additionally, Acqua Di Gio was always known as a fragrance that was more “private” due to its moderate projection and sillage. People who are close to you will be able to smell it as the projection is 2-3 feet away from you. As far as sillage is concerned, it lingers in the air in a moderate fashion, but the best part of sillage and project is the first 30 to 45 minutes of the application. After that, it is fading out and getting weaker and weaker.
Those who used this fragrance in the early 2000s and in the first half of the decade remember that its longevity, sillage, and projection were better, mostly around 5-7 hours in length. Maybe Armani is trying to slowly take down his own golden goose so he can put up his newer fragrances. But that’s up to you to decide.
When To Wear Acqua Di Gio?
In the summer, you should definitely wear Acqua Di Gio. Not only is it a scent to be worn in the summer, but it also is a perfume that is made to remind us of summer, a time of the sea, sand, sunshine, light winds, and warm temperatures.
However, if you are wondering if Acqua Di Gio is better suited to a day fragrance or a night fragrance, Acqua Di Gio is better suited to the day time. Summer nights are amazing for more musky, aggressive, vanilla fragrances, and that is something that the perfume is most definitely not suited for.
Despite the fact that you can wear it at night, it will suffocate in the ocean of other perfumes as it is not strong and aggressive enough to compete with other night fragrances.
What is the right amount of Acqua Di Gio spray to apply?
Acqua Di Gio is not a very potent fragrance, so you can basically go over the top with it – 5 to 6 sprays should do the job. Two sprays on the shoulders and one spray on either side of the next, one spray on the front of the neck, and maybe one on the back.
The Acqua Di Gio perfume is one of the more delicate fragrances on the market, and even though some perfumes will nose-rap everyone around you, including you, if you put over the two sprays, it’s not the case with this perfume.
It is a great way to test it out, see what works best for you, and pick up compliments along the way! One thing is for certain – no one will ever tell you you’ve put in too much effort on this one!
Check out this article if you are interested in learning how and where to properly apply perfume for best results? Make sure you check it out!
Would I benefit from wearing Acqua Di Gio? Is it right for me?
This is where it gets difficult as this fragrance is 25 years old. This scent has been worn for a very long time, and so even if you are hearing about it for the first time, there is a good chance that you already know how it smells.
Having worn Acqua Di Gio extensively over the last few years, we can say with confidence that every man should wear it at least once in his lifetime. It has become the signature scent of men, and women just love it, which is why we recommend it.
On the other hand, if you are going to use this fragrance on your date, there’s a good chance that you will smell like her ex, or like her dad, or like her best friend, and that’s not a good thing. You don’t want to receive the comment, “You smell like my dad!” if you don’t need to.
There are, of course, a number of occasions when this perfume would be a good choice, so keep those in mind.
No matter if you are 20 years old or 50 years old, and it doesn’t matter whether you are a barista or director of the company, you should definitely wear Acqua Di Gio as your everyday fragrance or even as the fragrance in the office.
It is basically for anyone who is looking for a fresh, clean, and a good smelling product, whether they are running errands during the day, working, or simply going out with friends on the beach.
It is true that there are better options when it comes to dating.
The Best Way to Spot a Fake Acqua Di Gio
The fact that Acqua Di Gio is one of the best-selling fragrances of all time has led to a lot of people out there wanting to take a piece of that cake by making a fake version of it.
When purchasing perfumes, it is very important that you be extremely careful and you should always buy them from authorized resellers or stores that sell them brand new. The danger of wearing fake fragrances is not just in the fact that it doesn’t smell like the original one, but the fluid that you’re putting on your body is not medically tested and it can cause a lot of trauma to your skin.
These are the main differences between fake and original Acqua Di Gio fragrances.
Original fragrances come in white or light yellow packages, in a transparent wrap around them, while most fake versions come in plain packages without a wrap around them
It is common for fakes to have a more yellow tone of the package whereas the original is a standard bright color that hasn’t changed since 1996, which indicates that it may be a fake.
Fakes usually have their writing centered on the back of the package, whereas the original usually has its writing covering the entire backside of the fragrance – from edge to edge – on the back of the fragrance package.
An original package will always have a barcode with writing on it, whereas a fake one will not have a barcode at the bottom of the package.
There is a clear stamp on top of the package stating “Giorgio Armani Parfums”, however replicas will not be able to be read and may look messy. It is more likely that the fake may be poorly built and poorly made.
It is quite common for fake packages to have written on the inner side of the top of the package when you open the top of the package, often a warning is written in the form of a warning. As far as the original package is concerned, there will be no writings on the inner side of the top, but it will have the same “Giorgio Armani Parfmus” stamping as it does on the outer side.
Different types of bottles
Generally speaking, there is not much difference between a real Acqua Di Gio bottle and a fake one but generally speaking, what you can find is the following:
The dark black letters printed on fake fragrance bottles are much harder to distinguish from the lighter black letters printed on the original fragrance bottles.
Compared to the original bottle, which has a lot more white tones and is a lot brighter than the fake bottle, which is more yellow.
In the bottle of the fake, the sprayer is beige(ish) mat, while in the original, the sprayer goes more towards the white mat color, rather than beige(ish) mat
The original cap on the sprayer was thick, narrowing down towards the top to fit the sprayer perfectly, while the fake cap was thin and simple, with no narrowing down to the top like the original cap.
Differences in liquids
The good news is, if your Acqua Di Gio passed all the tests above, you’re likely to enjoy the original liquid very much, but here are a few things to keep in mind.
It is common for fake liquids to have a yellower color than the original liquid, which tends to be more transparent.
There is also a good chance you got yourself a fake perfume if your perfume does not last longer than an hour or an hour and a half after applying it.
Sizes and packaging of products
There are six different sizes of Acqua Di Gio, and it comes in a beautiful white/light gray cardboard package:
- 0.67 oz / 20 ml
- 1.0 oz / 30 ml
- 1.7 oz / 50 ml
- 3.4 oz / 100 ml
- 6.7 oz / 198 ml
- 10.2 oz / 300 ml
If you just want to try it out, get the 0.67 oz package, you’ll have lots to see if you like it, how it feels on your skin, and whether it’s for you. On the other hand, if you’re a veteran and Acqua Di Gio is your signature scent, anything below 10.2 oz will be too small!
Throughout history, Aqua Di Gio has been the best-selling perfume and continues to do so thanks to millions of fans who continue to wear it on a regular basis. The fragrance was launched in 1956, and it is still the best-selling perfume of all time. A powerful opening will leave a strong first impression and a beautiful heart that will nourish that feeling, followed by a dry-down where meditation and calm rule.
It’s made for everyone, but it’s not really for dates. If you are a man, then you should definitely give it a try at least once. However, you should also keep an eye out for counterfeits, as there are quite a few available. Our goal at Fragrance Republic is to ensure that we are providing the most original fragrances on our website by triple-checking resellers before referring our readers to their websites. That being said, feel free to check out Acqua Di Gio!
While I am passionate about perfume, I live in a rural area of the Bronx, New York, far from any perfume stores that are close by. It is straightforward: I do not have any credentials to provide as the author of this blog. I just love perfume, that’s all I have to offer.
In addition to wearing male, female, and unisex fragrances, I also enjoy wearing perfumes containing woods, incense, citrus, flowers, spices, vetiver, and green notes. As well as chypre perfumes, I enjoy fragrances with oakmoss, especially chypres. Patchouli and amber are not particularly appealing to me, and with some notable exceptions, perfumes that smell very clean, oceanic, or are too sweet are not particularly appealing to me.
I also have an addiction to expensive chocolates and teas, and I spend a great deal of time browsing the Internet, reading blogs primarily written by others.