I haven't written about Men's fragrances until now but that's because there are truly so few that move me enough to write about. Acqua di Gio Pour Homme (for Men) is one of them. You have to try it on your skin to see if it smells good on you, of course, but Acqua di Gio is the fragrance that I tend to recommend when asked which Men's I think someone should buy. It's very light and sporty, nothing complicated. I also like L'eau d'Issey or Creed Silver Mountain Water on some guys but Acqua di Gio (Gio sounds like Joe) is my long-standing Marine fave. It's fresh and aqueous but it doesn't seem to dry down terribly ozonic and obnoxiously perfumy like many other Men's colognes.
There are so few perfume duos that I think are well done but here is a perfect couple of soul mates: Acqua di Gio donna (for Women) is also really nice, although I smell lots more warm base notes in the Women's which register as being heavy when the fresh top notes fade (at that stage, it reminds me of the original Gio). Still, I would call it a fresh and clean type of scent, pretty in a humble way without being a total silent wallflower. It's still got enough sex appeal to go from day-into-night and fits into any urban landscape. I think it has romantic flair as well; it has some florals in it and doesn't seem too-too sporty to me.
Acqua di Gio has family on both sides. The body products (I've only tried the Women's) are also fun to experience, although I'm not big on using scented body products on the whole, only because I like to get squeaky clean when I bathe and these products tend to leave residue on skin. But once in awhile, scented soaps, gels, lotions and scrubs can spice up an otherwise routine and boring bathing ritual. I have the Acqua di Gio body shampoo and exfoliating gel. The exfoliating gel is my fave because the sandy texture of the gel brings the "I'm at the beach getting friendly with nature" fantasy right to the ceramic tub (it's better to use in the shower, though, not a bath).
Now, I know these scents are beyond popular--they are so popular that they're considered new classics by many people. I admit I've bought Acqua di Gio at drugstores in the suburban boroughs of NY. However, it's clear to me why these are the Marine classics that they are: they smell rather good from first sniff and don't disappoint as they evolve warmly on skin like the beach air and summer sun.
On Sephora's site:
Acqua di Gio Pour Homme (M) 1996
Marine Notes, Mandarin, Bergamot, Neroli, Persimmon, Rosemary, Nasturtium, Jasmine, Amber, Patchouli, Cistus.
Jan Moran's notes:
Acqua di Gio (W) Fresh Floral 1995
Top: Sweet pea, sea spray
Heart: Jasmine, freesia, Muscat grapes, white hyacinth
Base: Musk, woods