Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia Essenza review

I can state this like a fact ‘cos it is; Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio is one of the most beautiful male fragrances on God’s green earth. I have loved it since the dawn of time – or at least from when I first smelled it on my highschool bestie’s boyfriend back in ’98.

Still, when I sniffed the female version, Acqua di Gio for women, I wasn’t as impressed. It was more floral than it was aquatic and I wanted it be a lot more like its male counterpart; a blend of salty seawater and citrus orchards gone hazy from too much Mediterranean sun. Fortunately, Armani’s latest female fragrance, Acqua di Gioia Essenza, gets a lot closer to the mark.

Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia Essenza EDT

To me, Essenza smells a lot fresher, more aquatic and breezy than the original female fragrance as well as all the flankers. In a way, it reminds me a bit of Davidoff’s Cool Water Woman, but actually has a soul. (Wearing Cool Water Woman is a little dangerous, I reckon, as it skips a little too close into car air freshener territory and every girl I’ve ever met who wears it just looks dead in the eyes.) There’s also something about it makes me think of Gucci’s Envy. God, do you remember that?!

Notes-wise, you’re looking at a mix of amalfi lemon, pink pepper, mint, jasmine, cedar, cashmeran and sugar. To my nose, I get water, water, water with bits of lemon and mint floating in it and a gentle woody dry down. I don’t pick up a drop of sugar. To me, it’s the kind of scent that’s perfect for a hot summer’s day as it’s the epitome of fresh and clean. At first, I wasn’t too sure if I’d keep it in my collection as I have several other ‘go to’ hot day scents, namely Arden’s Green Tea and Clarins’ Eau Dynamisante. Still, every time I’ve put it on I’ve gotten so many compliments that there’s no way I can let it go. Even a super sweet little old man in a lift stopped to give me his approval. ‘I like your perfume young lady. You smell nice and fresh’. Ag soet man!

Keen to give it a bash? Acqua di Gioia Essenza is in stores as I type and available in two sizes; 50ml for R819 and 100ml for R1 039.

Water for Life

If you didn’t know, Armani run a campaign called Water for Life with the aim of providing access to clean drinking water across the globe. If you buy a bottle of any of their Acqua di Gio fragrances until the end of April Water for Life ‘donates’ 100 litres of clean drinking water. To help out, register the purchase of your bottle on their Facebook page. You can also ‘like’ the page to donate an additional 50 litres. Very, very cool.

Oh! And get this; Armani worked with Pantone to create a brand new ‘official’ shade of blue for their catalogue:

Acqua for Life BLUE
Acqua for Life BLUE

I hope that one day I’m fabulous enough to create my own damn colour. Currently, I’m torn between ‘A Love-leigh New Lime’. Or maybe ‘Van den Berg-undy’…

Love, love


Posted by

Editor of South African beauty blog Lipgloss is my Life.

9 thoughts on “Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia Essenza review

  1. Acqua di Gio for men takes me from zero to hump-mode in about 30 sec 🙂
    Don’t raise your eyebrows, I meant it as a figure of speech 😉 LOL
    I love love it on a man, still my favorite male fragrance.

    1. Sorry for the slow reply, only saw this now. I was told it would be in stores like Edgar’s, Red Square etc. I’m sure the V&A and Canal Walk branches would have it. It’s so pretty, you have to smell it.

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