If you know me well enough or just happen you read any of my reviews, you know that I don't believe the hype and rather test and review any scents by myself. In my humble opinion, this is the best Aqva spin-off I've ever got, I really didn't expect to love it, but I do. After loving and wearing the original Aqva pour Homme, which in my opinion was one of the best marine and aqueous scent out there, I got a bit harassed by Aqva pour Homme Marine, which I have fallen in love initially but kind of sickened then since there were too much synthetic seaweed, marine grass, and salty things in there, and purposely did buy neither the two Toniq flankers nor the most recent Atlantiqve, which is not that bad per se yet too much closely akin to Dior Sauvage that I've got in many shapes and dupes, no need for another one in my wardrobe.
But Aqva Amara is a different story... This is a must-have summer fragrance, a really nice one with no more seaweed, yet sourer and interestingly flavored... The master perfumer Jacques Cavallier did a great job here, and I like the way it has been conceived, it doesn't feel like an ordinary aquatic at all. Quite weird to say, Aqva Amara has been stored in my closet for more than 3 years now, it miserably never took part to the summer rotation, but this year it deserved it.
Hence, this morning I woke up feeling like wearing it, and here you're my first impression. Allegedly made with just 5 main motes, namely mandarine orange, neroli, water accord, olibanum, and patchouli, the initial burst is made of a bright and salty mandarin orange, full and fresh citrus peels with a light neroli and a hint of patchouli from the base, which creates that pleasant minty vibe. Aqva Amara, or Bitter Water, is the accurate name of it. It's notably pleasant at least to my nose and smells like an orange sprinkled with salt. Very powerful, with somewhat of an ocean and salty watery accord, but it is not an aquatic. I'd say more like a fresh saltwater drenched in citrus and white sands vibe... Marvelous and vigorous.
The heart is all about orange blossom, or neroli, with a musty, salty mineral note, so wet and ozonic without being too aquatic. The neroli note here is bitter, slightly green, and not as sweet as in other scents with a dominant indolic white flowers tone. The synthetic molecules meant to reproduce the watery accord create an evanescent coolness akin to spring water in summer.
On the dry-down, I do get hints of the typical seaweed accord as in the original Bvlgari Aqva, yet not dominant, mixed with smoky frankincense and modern patchouli. But the great thing about this fragrance is that the tart orange note lasts throughout the whole life of the scent, and the olibanum in the base really balances the oceanic citrus extremely well.
When it comes to performance, the sillage is strong while longevity is above average, about over 8 hours. The longevity far exceeds the original Aqva and is one of the strongest for a citrus based cologne. Overall this is a wonderful iteration of the orange and neroli note, mixed with an aquatic ambiance that is rare, try to imagine Terre d'Hermés in its watery shape, Eau d'Hermés with wet seawater in place of mineral pepper. A rare summer gem in my opinion. the strength of the ocean. I'd dare to say it's currently one of the best summer fragrances for men. Long Lasting, compliment getter, unique smelling, and is best suited for mega high heat daytime casual, as well as office wear.