Ever since it was first released in 1996, Acqua di Gio by Giorgio Armani has remained one of the most beloved fragrances by people of all ages. Its timeless charm of bright citrus fruit coupled with cool oceanic vibes and a woody, earthy base makes it an extremely versatile fragrance for any occasion. If you’re looking for a bottle of this classic scent or you’re trying to find something similar, you’re in luck. I’ve compiled a top ten list of dupes and alternative fragrances you have to try if you love Acqua di Gio.
What We Are looking for in Acqua di Gio
Acqua di Gio smells like walking alongside a pristine sandy beach on a warm summer day. This iconic fragrance opens up with sunny citrus notes and bright floral jasmine before revealing a deep oceanic heart. You can almost smell the salty ocean air as you move through middle notes of peach, freesia, mignonette, and calone notes. As it settles into an earthy, musky base of amber, patchouli, and cedar you can see why this fragrance has remained a best seller for over twenty-five years.
When we are looking for a suitable dupe or alternative for Acqua di Gio we want to see bright citrus notes at the opening paired with aquatic middle notes that linger as it dries down. Green notes can be present throughout the top and middle accord along with white florals or even rose and violet notes. As it matures it should settle into a musky, amber base with warm woody notes of cedar or patchouli. The overall vibe should be fresh and carefree, as though you’re enjoying a day along the Mediterranean coastline.
Now that we know exactly what we are looking for let’s go ahead and get started on my top ten list of alternatives and dupes for Acqua di Gio.
10 Clones Similar To Acqua di Gio
1. Oil Perfumery – Our Impression of Armani Acqua di Gio
First on my list of dupes similar to Acqua di Gio is Our Impression of Armani Acqua di Gio by OilPerfumery. While the opening is sweeter than the original, I think that OilPerfumery did a good job formulating this dupe, especially as it dries down. While citrusy top notes linger a bit longer than those in Acqua di Gio, it dries into a similarly warm base of musky amber and earthy patchouli notes. It leaves a pretty significant scent trail which you should keep in mind if you prefer lighter fragrances with less projection. For this reason I think this dupe might be too strong for the office. In other words, a little bit goes a long way. I did notice it has stronger sillage than Acqua di Gio, and it smells sweeter and more citrusy in warmer weather. Give this fragrance a try if you’re looking for something stronger than Acqua di Gio, however, remember not to overspray this one.
2. 360° Red for Men Perry Ellis for men
If you’re looking for something with a spicier opening be sure to check out 360° Red for Men by Perry Ellis. Upon first spray I immediately noticed bright citrus notes intermingled with spicy cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, which is different than the floral citrus opening you get with Acqua di Gio. As it moves through middle notes of lavender and coriander there is a soapy dry down that gives it a fresh vibe that is comparable to Acqua di Gio. The longevity is decent and the projection isn’t too bold, which makes it a good option for the office. The one thing that I noticed missing with this fragrance are the aquatic notes that Acqua di Gio is known for. However, if you enjoy the opening and love the warm musky, earthy base of Acqua di Gio you might want to give this one a try.
3. The Dua Brand – Acqua Di Dua
Acqua di Gio has been reformulated several times over the years, with each version being slightly different than the original. Acqua Di Dua is The Dua Brand’s version of the original formulation that’s like a trip down memory lane. After opening with citrus notes of bergamot, mandarin orange, lemon, and lime it quickly evolves into middle notes of peach, freesia, and hyacinth before revealing an aquatic heart that lasts throughout the day. As it settles into a musky, oakmoss base, sea notes continue to evolve and remain at the heart of the fragrance before it softens into a skin scent and fades into the background. Overall, I think this is a good “all around” fragrance that’s fitting for a dinner date or a weekend at the beach. It’s projection is moderate and the longevity is decent. To my nose, the sillage is quite low, so you won’t have to worry too much about it transforming into something completely different than what you’re expecting. If you’re a fan of the original Acqua di Gio and you’re looking for a dupe that does a great job recreating that vintage vibe then be sure to check out Acqua Di Dua.
4. Blue Homme Armaf for men
If you enjoy the citrus opening of Acqua di Gio as well as the oakmoss dry down but wish the aquatic notes were a bit more subtle then check out Blue Homme by Armaf. To my nose Blue Homme opens up with a tanginess that is not overtly apparent in Acqua di Gio. I think it’s due to the bold notes of juicy grapefruit that dominate the lemon and lime notes. As it moves through middle notes of lavender, rosemary, and jasmine it softens up quite a bit and becomes more of a soapy scent. The dry down is somewhat sweeter than Acqua di Gio featuring subtle notes of vanilla that mingle with amber, musk, and patchouli. It’s sillage is minimal, however I don’t believe it lasts nearly as long as Acqua di Gio. I also don’t think this fragrance projects nearly as well, but it does capture the essence of it without becoming too aquatic which some people may appreciate. Overall, it may be worth a try if you’re looking for an option with a similar vibe.
5. Just Me for Men Paris Hilton for men
If you’re searching for something a bit greener with a similar opening and dry down then you might want to try Just Me for Men by Paris Hilton. I must note that when I initially sprayed it I noticed a strong, alcohol scent that took quite some time to settle. After it started to fade a few minutes later the first notes I detected were lime and tangerine. Shortly after the initial spray I also noticed the scent of freshly cut grass which gives this fragrance a brighter opening than Acqua di Gio. Oceanic middle notes are the next to take shape, and they do smell a bit saltier than those in Acqua di Gio. Sage and nutmeg give the middle notes a spicy twist that settle nicely as it dries down into a musky skin scent. The mahogany, incense, and amber notes are pretty subtle and do eventually fade altogether. Overall, I think Just Me for Men is a decent and affordable option to throw in your gym or beach bag on the weekend. Aside from the strong alcohol opening, I do think it features very similar vibes as Aqua di Gio. While it doesn’t last long, you can definitely afford to reapply this one throughout the day.
6. Dossier – Aquatic Lime
For something juicier with a similar aquatic vibe and warm base you might want to see if Aquatic Lime by Dossier is right for you. Upon first spray I immediately detected juicy watermelon notes which balance the lime and bergamot out quite well. Not long after the opening sweet, fragrant jasmine and herbal rosemary combine with marine notes which linger for a while before moving through the rest of the accord. Finally, Aquatic Lime settles into a cedarwood and vetiver base before softly fading away. While this fragrance gives off a very similar vibe to Acqua di Gio, it is a much softer, more subtle fragrance that doesn’t project very well. However, its lack of projection lends to its versatility. I think you could even layer it with something more floral and feminine to create your own signature perfume similar to Acqua di Gioia. If you’re looking for something much more subtle that you could experiment with and layer with other fragrances then check out Aquatic Lime.
7. Unbound For Men by Halston
If you’re looking for a fresh, aromatic fragrance with a lighter aquatic vibe than Acqua di Gio then Unbound might be just what you’re looking for. Unbound lacks that salty oceanic vibe and instead opens up with fresh cut greens, black currant, tomato leaf, and palm leaf, which give it a very fresh fruity opening. To my nose it becomes somewhat synthetic as it moves through spicy notes of pimento and cardamon followed by birch, violet, and sage. The dry down is grassier than Acqua di Gio and I notice sweet hints of tonka bean as the base notes begin to emerge. The dry down is quite earthy and musky as sandalwood, nutmeg, and oakmoss settle closely on the skin. I think the aquatic freshness is much lighter and fades pretty quickly at the opening, revealing a much more fruity, floral vibe than Acqua di Gio. I must note that the synthetic vibes within this fragrance don’t ever really disappear, so keep that in mind when checking this one out.
8. Zara Lisboa Colombo Avenida do Colegio Militar Zara for men
If you’re looking for a fragrance option with a very simple accord that is fresh, light, and perfect for the summer be sure to check out Lisboa Colombo Avenida do Colegio Militar by Zara. This fragrance completely omits the salty aquatic note from its formulation and instead opens up with bold citrus notes and tangy grapefruit. It moves through the accord quickly as it transcends into fragrant jasmine middle notes before settling into a woodsy base. The longevity isn’t that great and it lasted about two hours on my skin before fading completely. However, I did notice that it tended to last a bit longer when I sprayed on my clothes. It also projects much better when you use it in warm weather, so keep this in mind when you apply it. Overall, this is a decent casual fragrance to have on hand for lazy summer days or a quick refresh after a long gym session.
9. Blue Touch Franck Olivier for men
For an affordable cologne similar to Acqua di Gio that isn’t nearly as aquatic be sure to try Blue Touch by Franck Olivier. Upon first spray I do notice a similar opening with citrus and green notes, however there is a hint of pink pepper that adds a slightly spicier vibe that is quite invigorating. An unexpected fruity hit of melon appears as it moves through a middle accord of earthier notes like galbanum, patchouli, and vetiver. To my nose these notes transcend seamlessly into a base of musk, amber, and oakmoss that is pretty close to that of Acqua di Gio. The longevity is quite strong and one application of Blue Touch will easily last you throughout your workday. Overall, I’d say this is one of the closest alternatives you’ll find to Acqua di Gio that holds up in terms of longevity, projection, and performance. While the formulations are quite different in terms of notes (specifically the lack of sea notes and the addition of melon) I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by this fragrance.
10. DIVAIN-159 inspire by Acqua Di Gio from Armani
The final fragrance on my list of dupes and alternatives to Acqua di Gio is DIVAIN-159 inspire by Acqua Di Gio. This fresh, masculine take on the original has a similar opening, but the heart is a bit spicier with hints of juicy peaches and fragrant roses. I did notice a slight hint of cilantro which might be off putting to some people. As it settles into a base of oak moss, amber, cedar, and patchouli, I do feel it becomes somewhat more synthetic and not as well formulated as Acqua di Gio. Overall, it lacks longevity and completely fades within an hour, unlike Acqua di Gio which tends to last all day. I think DIVAIN tends to do well when it comes to dupes, however, this one might need a few tweaks, especially on the dry down.
On a Final Note
Keep in mind that not all fragrances with aquatic notes will have the same vibe. Some project much more than others and some are also saltier and more oceanic. You’ll want to make sure that citrus notes are apparent at the top of the fragrance accord, however, make sure they don’t linger too long into the dry down or they may overwhelm the woody, earthy base notes that make Acqua di Gio so versatile and timeless. Keep this advice in mind and you’re sure to find the right dupe or similar fragrance to Acuqa di Gio that works for you.