As far as fresh aquatic perfumes go, Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia is fairly tolerable. I tend to dislike this genre immensely, but Armani's 2010 addition to their feminine line is free of the melon, marine, and ozonic notes that usually turn my stomach. Acqua di Gioia (composed by perfumer Anne Flipo) seeks to be a perceived as a clean and cool fum fragrance, the olfactory equivalent of a refreshing drink
Armani Acqua di Gioia boasts a mojito-inspired accord that's sweet and minty. The mint note is very toned down and lacks life and color. It's too pale and too sheer to keep my attention. If this is a mojito or any kind of drink, really, we're looking at a watered-down version you get at a cheap open bar. It will do, but it's too unmemorable and week to give a good buzz. The watery flowers are also quite boring. We've smelled aquatic jasmines too often, and truth be told, that's not a real jasmine. Not even close.
The core and the base of Armani Acqua di Gioia, despite the promises of labdanum and cedar, is sugar water with a chemical strength. It doesn't smell like much at first, but the tenacity is mind-blowing. One shower is not enough to get rid of the aftertaste the fragrance leaves behind. Neither does one washing cycle. Don't get me wrong: it's far from unpleasant (and the sugar water thing might be my favorite part of Gioia), and since this Armani is so clean and "approachable" (their word), there's nothing aggressive about it, but it's just there. All the time. Like a low static hum.
As I said, the low-key sweetness that holds Acqua di Gioia's base smells nice enough on my skin. I can wear it, if I have to. I can also see why so many people like this fragrance. It just doesn't do anything for me.
Notes: mint, brown sugar, lemon, aquatic jasmine, peony, pink pepper, cedarwood, labdanum.
Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia ($39.50, 1oz) is available at most department stores, Sephora and the company's website. Until the end of the month there's also a limited edition 10ml rollerball priced at $15 (available from giorgioarmanibeauty-usa.com). 100% of its retail sales price will be donated to support the UNICEF Tap Project that aims to provide clean water for children worldwide.
This review is based on samples and a mini bottle that I received at various beauty and media events. I also got a rollerball from the company's PR, which I tested for comparison (it's the same as samples from 2010).