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Acqua di Gioia: Not Quite an Acqua di Gio for Women, Sadly

Giorgio Armani announced the June 2010 release of Acqua di Gioia. For perfume fanatics around the world, this move seems overdue about… hmm… 14 years. But if Aqua di Gioia is a true aquatic along the lines of zesty 90s releases, then it will have been well worth the wait.

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Emily DiDonato for Acqua di Gioia Perfume.

Emily DiDonato for Acqua di Gioia Perfume.


In 1996, Giorgio Armani released a fresh cologne that would knock all other aquatic colognes off their high-perched pedestals. Filled with the best of every perfume genre—citrus, florals, woods, and aquatics—Acqua di Gio was the answer to every man’s cologne-related prayers. Grappling a best-seller’s slot ever since its debut, this cologne quickly became an aromatic force to be reckoned with. Bright, breezy, perfectly complementing the fleeting beauty of summer—what more could a man want in a warm weather perfume? Nothing, right?

Well, that was the problem, really. Men had a beautifully orchestrated aquatic cologne that could stand the test of time. But women were left with a middling selection. Tommy Girl, too sweet; Clinique Happy, too floral; CK One, too 90s. So what was a girl to do? Abandoned in the minimalist 90s without a long-lasting aquatic for her own, she could only steal a spritz of Acqua di Gio every now and again.


Fast forward to 2010: Giorgio Armani pronounces they will end this injustice and fill the aquatic void with Acqua di Gioia, which is reported to be a feminine celebration of nature. Notes will include mint, lemon, spring blossoms, jasmine, cedar, brown sugar, and labdanum.

Sounds perfect, right? But wait, something’s wrong here! A review of Acqua di Gioia’s notes has thrown a kink into dream! Brown sugar, labdanum and jasmine don’t exactly add up to buckets of fresh rainwater and sea spray. These notes seems suspiciously warming, comforting, and dare I say, calming.

While other perfumers are jumping aboard the back-to-nature campaign, in rebellion against the current dominating trend of syrupy gourmands and ostentatious orientals, these notes have me doubting Giorgio Armani’s commitment to the fresh-and-clean concept for this Acqua di Gio revival.

Rather than intending a full-on resurrection of the 90s citrus-laden oceanic trend, I suspect this light-hearted female fragrance’s main purpose is to draw attention back to the waning classic, Acqua di Gio, while adding a completely different twist on light perfumes.


Before I start mourning Giorgio Armani’s missed opportunity to release a truly great aquatic perfume, what are your thoughts, hmm? As we wait to see whether Acqua di Gioia will prompt a fresh oceanic revival or merely add numbers to the forecasted trend of light perfumes, which will lean towards cashmere warmth and cuddly light florals, what do you predict?

Acqua di Gio Vote

Acqua di Gioia Predictions

Chrissy on May 13, 2013:

Armani sells it online

Monica on January 25, 2013:

Agree, acqua di gioa is a solid perfume, yes. But gio is a true gem, classic, up there with the tops. A real classic. I will miss it, I bought 4 bottles to stock up. But I'm still young. Won't last me for long.

Armani, just one question, WHY?

Carrie on November 04, 2012:

Hate the Aqua di Gioa. Miss the Aqua di gio. It was my favorite. This new one is too close to the mens scent. If I want to smell like a man I will buy men's cologne.

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rose on July 02, 2012:

Smelled ordinary too me. I don't claim to be a perfume connoisseur but maybe the fact I'm not just lets me smell it as it is as say it's rather boring. I prefer something unique but not repulsive. The initial spray is good, but it just doesn't mix well with my skin afterwards at all. It's not clean

Holly on June 04, 2012:

I'm allergic to almost everything. The original Aqua was all I wore. I hate the new version. It made me sick!

sjm on May 05, 2012:

My bottle of Gio broke last week. Went to replace it immediately.....NO GIO only Gioia.


Gio was in a pantheon of colognes on par with Diorissimo and Joy. WHERE CAN I STILL GET IT?

I will muddle through with La Prairie's Silver Threads until someone finds a supply somewhere.

Grace on February 29, 2012:

Nothing but nothing can ever come close to the original GIO fragrance, which was followed by aqua di gio and now this other weak attempt at a perfume....aqua di can you take it as a serous fragrance.....the original GIO was they ever bring back a fragrance......? So sad that neither of these fragrances are available.....

perfumelover (author) on January 16, 2012:

Yes, they were really made pretty nicely back in the day!

Tina D. on January 06, 2012:

don't normally post comments but just had to. didn't even know of this perfume until i went into a ladies room and thought my mother was visiting. asked the lady what she was wearing as it reminded me to the point of Most Precious Moment (pyramid like bottle with baby blue cap) and then White Shoulders followed for this perfume company -- can't remember the name. exact frangrance, smell WOW --- what a blast from the past. I would purchase it as Most Precious Moment was light and beautiful and obsolete before Macy's bought out Liberty House in HI. Hey --- anyone remember Tuxedo, too. Those were the perfumes and why not change the name out.....they were beautifully made back in the day! Peace/Aloha!

Lisa on December 22, 2011:

My husband bought me this new aqua gioia. Agua gio was my my favourite scent. He thought he was buying me the originial. I told him to take back to store. Bring back Aqua Gio! Please.

Lisa on November 16, 2011:

I really dislike the new Acqua di Gioa, It is horrible compared to Acqua di gio. I Always used to wear this perfume and cant believe they have discontinued it. Please bring it back. I have switched to Chanel Cristalle, but would happily return to Acqua di gio if it was brought back. Armani you are losing sales to your competitors because the new fragrance just does not compare.

Kim on October 01, 2011:

I tried Acqua di Gioia on a whim while trying several other fragrances and I fell in love and bough it on the spot. Despite being a perfum junky, I have worn nothing else since I bought it. It is intoxicating. I think it stands on its own.

karen on September 17, 2011:

Has this writer been living on the moon? The original Aqua di Gio was a killer. Bring it back!!!!!!

Still mourning the original female fragrance and the memories involved.

Hawys on May 26, 2011:

Totally gutted to find out Acqua di Gio is discontinued - the new smell is nothing like the original. PLEASE bring back the original as it's the only perfume I wear :-(

Maya on May 02, 2011:

I had no idea that Aqua Di Gio was discontinued and I am heartbroken...It has been my summer scent for 6 years...Please bring it back..

Anne on April 04, 2011:

I recently had the pleasure to try out Armani's Acqua di Gioia, and I must say that it is one of the best scents my nose has ever been introduced to. I find it light, intriguing, yet bubbly, as if one would have added sparkling water to it. It constantly reminds me of the commercial, which I believe, is a pleasant thing, thus I find it incredibly astounding and marvelous. But then again, it is a matter of personal taste.

In all honesty I would ask all of you to back off just a tad. I know that many women find it beautiful, and mind you, feel quite protective about it.

Acqua di gio on January 24, 2011:

Acqua di gio actually smelled like summer, Acqua di gioia just smells like a normal, floral woman's perfume. Not what Armani was aiming for.

de Gio on December 25, 2010:

I agree with the headliner. de Gioia is not up to par with its precedent.

Acqua Original on December 08, 2010:

Acqua di Gio is a classic...bring it back!!!

Mika on June 29, 2010:

What happened to the original Acqua Di Gio for women and why is nobody mentioning it in any reviews? Is this fragrance the same as the discontinued women's fragrance or a completely new release?

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