A long time ago (in a galaxy far far away?), I got to try a sample of this one following the whole Sauvage / body wash craze and found that it worked well on my skin. At that time, people were condemning Aqva Atlantiqve (AA) as just another Dior wannabe, and I can see why that is. Personally, I always felt that it was a little closer to Luna Rossa Carbon (minus the lavender) due to the slight powdery / gunpowdery feel, but it wasn't until I compared it side by side with Dylan Blue that I realized what it was really trying to copy.
Atlantique opens up with a rather sweet, fruity blast of bergamot, benzoin and that classic Aqva accord of green neptune grass and synthetic ambergris. To me, it's an obvious combination of the fruity top of Versace's Dylan Blue and the original Aqva (albeit stripped-down versions of both), and the whole accord initially reminds me of a watermelon flavoured candy. To the trained nose, the juxtaposition can be quite jarring though, almost as if the creators decided to take the original green core and dump some sugar gel on top to appease the young buyers. But you won't hear me complaining. I always enjoyed the original, but couldn't ever seem to stomach the twingy saltiness on my skin. This one seems to hit all the right notes without becoming cloying or offensive.
It's a pretty simple scent though and remains linear throughout. The only difference from the opening to the drydown is that the sweetness simply fades into the background over time. Only....I do remember once remarking that it sort of reminded me of the smell of chlorinated pool water only a few minutes into the intial blast. It was one of the first sprays out of the bottle, and may have been a total aberration, because it never happened again after that. Just another reason not to dig your nose in too early I suppose...
Overall though, I have to concede that it's an uber synthetic smelling composition - that part is true. Perhaps not a chemical mess, but more like a chemical harmony. Luckily, that's good news for performance - on me, it lasts well into the 8 hour mark with very good projection for the first 3. That's WELL above average for any aquatic. And positive attention? You bet. There's a reason 'blue' fragrances sell so well and are almost universally appreciated - the average consumer can understand them; and although not everyone is going to appreciate the salty greenness up close, the sweetness in the sillage adds a nice contrast that really makes this stuff intriguing. Addictive even.
Anyway, after years of reflection, I definitely think it's a worthy flanker and probably the most versatile of the line. Whereas Marine basically took the original core and covered it with grapefruit and white cedar - and Amara smouldered it with neroli incense - Atlantique merely sweetens it up and rounds off the edges. If Bvlgari was going for a modernized version, I think it's a success. But they should've just called it Aqva Blue, because that's what it is - you know, Dylan's next door neighbour. The surfer. ♫ I'm blue da ba dee da ba daa, da ba dee.....♫