Giorgio Armani. Acqua di Gio. As it sounds. Giorgio Armani. It's music to my ears. Basically italophilically tinged, Giorgio Armani is for me the grandmaster when it comes to Italian nonchalance, but never negligence. No one else breathes so much style into a simple sweater, no one else manages to make suits look so formal and yet so casual at the same time. Often I am hung on the shop windows of the boutiques, but unfortunately, at least for me, the prices are out of reach.
So it is best to come to terms with it quickly and be content with what is financially presentable. In the case of Giorgio Armani, that's my fragrance creations.
In the last century and millennium, at the end of the 80s, beginning of the 90s, I always had a bottle of Eau pour homme above the sink. What a fantastic scent. And what a great bottle, with the corrugated black base. Some of you here may still remember it. For me, it was one of the best fragrances of all time, perfectly suited to Giorgio Armani, casual yet equally elegant, never intrusive yet always present. It's a shame that it no longer exists. The good old days.....
Then, at the end of the 90's, my legitimate successor, Acqua di Gio, moved in, a less citric but more aquatic fragrance, which felt at least as successful as its predecessor. Although there are so many manufacturers in the aquatic league, it simply had a unique selling point, you could always smell it among others. Unfortunately, from my point of view it became a real mass product and for me it became less and less interesting.
Then one day I was given Acqua di Gio Essenza as a gift. And so Giorgio Armani found me a sequel. The question, when such a Flaker comes on the market, is of course always what makes it different from the original. I would like to make a comparison with a car that some of you here may still remember, and this too is from the last millennium. We are talking about the Opel Kadett GSi. One of the most successful series of the manufacturer. In 1989 the Opel men decided to add a GSi 16V to this model, hoping to attract a little more attention - and sales, logically - with a pimped version. Here, too, the question first arose as to where the differences to the basic model lay.
Let's start with the exterior. Whereas on the Kadett GSi a thin exhaust pipe underneath the rear end bent down almost bashfully, on the 16V two arm-thick mufflers protruded horizontally to the rear, almost screaming the power of this vehicle. 16V insignia at the front and at the rear made clear to other road users that there is something special on four wheels. Similar to the appearance at Acqua di Gio. If the base is an unagitated flacon, the Essenza lies full in the hand, the makers gave it a heavy bottle, equipped with a cap that clicks into place with the help of a magnet, full and cheering.
Well, the optical appearance is convincing in both cases, but, as they say, now comes the fiver for the phrase pig, it's all about the inner values :-) Let's start with the cadet here as well. The GSi 16V was not only visually a power, also the driving performance was exorbitant for those times. For the regulars' table it was important that the Thunderbolt had 11 hp more on paper than its eternal adversary Golf GTI 16V (irrelevant in practice), but the thing went like the proverbial hell and at 225 on the motorway, 7-series BMWs were in your way, whose drivers couldn't believe what they saw and experienced when looking in the rear-view mirror.
The Essenza also makes a powerful impression, starts a little less citric but no less fresh, but then takes a slightly different course than the "basic model". While the classic one is somewhere between fruity and aquatic-woody, the Essenza first becomes mountainous, then a bit softer from my point of view, I can hear my tea notes, only to end after hours in a mix of wood and patchouli. All in all, a fuller, more perfumed appearance of the Essenza.
In both cases, car and fragrance, you may like the upgrade versions or not. In either case, both are characterized by a certain independence, which is (or was) within reasonable limits in terms of price and which leaves everyone the choice between two good products.
If I take stock of the Essenza, we have the reinforcement of Acqua die Gio, which goes along with a clearly higher sillage and durability. An independent bottle underscores the independent character, but one that never leaves the base or even denies it. While Acqua di Gio is perhaps one of the most suitable everyday fragrances, Acqua di Gio Essenza is the refined version for the evening, more perfect for a summer dinner under the open sky, for a lounge on the beach or lake when the sun sinks glowing red on the horizon. A beautiful fragrance, 100% worthy of the name Armani.
Even though I will continue to reminisce about the Eau pour homme and the Opel Kadett GSi 16V...as Ben Zucker sang: What a great time...