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The 12 Best Aquatic Colognes for Men in 2021
Hitting the market in the late 80s and early 90s, aquatic colognes quickly became the front runner in the fragrance scene, making way for more fresh, sporty, outdoorsy aromas to take center stage. Who knew that the smell of water could be so interesting?
Aquatic colognes (like their name suggests) use water as their major source of scent-spiration. Though many draw their inspiration from the fresh, complex depths of the sea, aquatic colognes don’t always have to be oceanic. They can be inspired by a clear lake, cool pond, gentle rain, or the luxury of a pool on a hot summer day. Coupled with other crisp notes of citrus, musk, or wood, aquatic colognes leave long-lasting, subtle impressions for all-day wear.
Take a dive and explore the best of the best in aquatic fragrances. We’ve gathered our top 12 favorite aquatic colognes below, each of which is fresh, unique, masculine, and (of course) water-inspired.
1. Baxter of California Pacific Cannabis
What’s better than the fresh smell of the ocean? The fresh smell of the ocean and cannabis, but not as you know it. Baxter of California Pacific Cannabis combines pink pepper, rosemary, and bergamot with tempered cannabis (more commonly known as hemp in the cologne world) with lavender and sage at the heart – now that doesn’t sound like something you want to roll up and smoke, does it? To bring it all together, patchouli, tonka bean, and the mineral character of driftwood complete the cologne for a uniquely fresh fragrance.
2. Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris Aqua Celestia
If you’re a cologne bottle collector, you’ll want to add Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris Aqua Celestia to your collection. In a beautiful ocean-colored glass bottle, you’ll find a fruity, fresh scent featuring bergamot, blackcurrant, jasmine, and mimosa that captures the feeling of stepping onto a tropical beach. With this aquatic cologne, you’ll leave footprints in the sand (and a fresh ocean scent) everywhere you go.
3. Nautica Voyage
Say bon-voyage to your last cologne and set sail for Nautica Voyage. This cologne’s fragrance combines the spirit of the sea with water lotus and invigorating top notes of fresh fruit – sliced apples, to be exact. To give you a boost of confidence, Nautica Voyage is finished with a woody base and masculine scent of cedarwood. No matter what your plans are, this aquatic cologne is fit for the occasion.
4. Ralph Lauren Polo Blue
We couldn’t talk about aquatic colognes without mentioning Ralph Lauren Polo Blue. This fresh, iconic aquatic cologne transcends the status quo with its oceanic take on the classic Ralph Lauren fragrances.
Carried by notes of fresh basil, verbena, and clary sage, these citrus waves lap into deeper, woodier scenes of smooth suede, velvety moss, and alluring musk for a balanced, fresh aquatic cologne that goes deeper than the ocean. Not to mention, the luxurious, frosted blue bottle reminds you that you can be anyone you want to be. All you need is a spritz or two of Polo Blue.
5. Murdock London Avalon
For the jetsetter who wants an aquatic cologne that smells just as cool and well-traveled, meet Murdock London Avalon. This cool, carefree aquatic cologne takes you on the Mediterranean holiday that dreams are made of, with notes of orange, neroli, Sicilian bergamot, and Calabrian lemon floating on a base of musky cedarwood and tonka bean. End your stay in the French Riviera with fresh rosemary and lavender from the Alpes de Haute Provence that adds the perfect balancing note for this citrus, aquatic cologne.
6. Giorgio Armarni Acqua di Gio Pour Homme
No one knows the luxurious nature of cologne like Giorgio Armani, so there’s no doubt you’ll feel like your most confident self with Acqua di Giò pour Homme. Inspired by the Mediterranean’s balance of cool freshness and pure warmth, this clean, aquatic cologne effortlessly blends the two vibes creating a scent that is fresh, relaxed, and ready for whatever life throws your way. Enjoy the sparkling, citrus scent of Calabrian bergamot, neroli, and green tangerine balanced with the warmth of Indonesian patchouli and marine notes that make this a classic ode to the ocean.
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7. BVLGARI Aqua
Aqua, Latin for “water” and reminiscent of the turquoise waters of the world, perfectly embodies this aquatic cologne by Bvlgari. This mature, masculine fragrance is powered by the subtle, sexy scents of amber, Santolina, petitgrain, Posidonia, and mandarin to keep them guessing. This fresh aquatic cologne is one of our best picks for casual wear and embracing the sophisticated, bossman you are in your day-to-day life or whenever you’re on the go.
8. Prada Luna Rosse Ocean
Dive into the mystifying depths of the ocean and feel the power of its waves with Prada’s Luna Rossa Ocean. This intensely masculine fragrance is a leathery fougère – a combination of fragrances that most commonly include bergamot, lavender, vetiver, coumarin, oakmoss, and geranium. In this case, you’ll find Prada using notes of bergamot, iris, sage, vetiver, tonka bean, suede, and saffron, to create a curated cocktail of sensuality and masculinity that is about as sexy as swimming naked in the ocean.
9. Chanel Allure Homme Sport
Sensual and sporty with a hint of fresh seawater and crisp ocean air – what more could you want? Chanel’s Allure Homme Sport is one of the best (and most fresh) aquatic cologne experiences on the market, thanks to its vivacious, energetic scent that could be all the pep you need for a workout at the gym.
Enthralling notes of Italian mandarin and crystalline accord blend flawlessly with cedar, tonka bean, and white musk to create an enveloping scent of adventure and style. This aquatic cologne is ideal for the outdoorsy, bravura types who want a scent that complements their carefree, invigorating lifestyle.
10. Jack Black Blue Mark
Blue marks the spot, and the treasure to behold is Jack Black’s Blue Mark Eau de Parfum, and – like a ship in a bottle – the beauty of this treasure lies inside its bright blue bottle. Top notes of watermint, cilantro, and bergamot infuse with Japanese juniper, ginger essence, patchouli, and white driftwoods to immediately take you back to a vacation in the sand. This unique and refreshing scent is perfect for everyday wear and receiving lots of compliments on the cologne you’re wearing – because who doesn’t like their ego being stroked.
11. Yves Saint Laurent Cologne Bleue
Cologne Bleue is a fresh, aquatic take on YSL’s iconic L’Homme signature fragrance. The aquatic cologne was made as a personification of a cool attitude and a dip in the pool. Its marine accord is uplifted with bright citrus notes of blood orange, grapefruit, and mandarin, which don’t hesitate to add some complexity and sophistication to base notes of cardamom, cedarwood, black pepper, and sandalwood. This fresh, layerable scent dries down to its woody base, which is inherently good at attracting all the right kinds of attention.
12. Montblanc Explorer Ultra Blue
Embrace all that nature has to give with Montblanc Explorer Ultra Blue. Crafted for the bold and the brave, this aquatic cologne combines citrus, woody, marine scents into one epic fragrance that celebrates all of the blue found throughout the earth.
In this ode to nature, you’ll find bright top notes of lemon, bergamot, and pink peppercorn infused with middle notes of marine accord, violet leaf, and Ambrofix. This fresh aquatic will dry down to reveal a woody, balsamic base of Indonesian patchouli, tonka bean, and leather accord. It’s creamy, fresh, cool, and deserves a spot in your suitcase for all of life’s adventures.
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Aquatic Cologne FAQs
Aquatic fragrances or aquatic colognes are inspired by water, most often the ocean. Because of this, you’ll often see aquatic colognes described as “oceanic” or “marine” fragrances. To create these fresh, sporty, outdoorsy scents, you’ll find notes that focus on fresh flavors like citrus, marine notes like sandalwood and driftwood, and woody scents like cedarwood and leather.
Yes! With fragrances, there is such a thing as too much. Excessive amounts of cologne and other fragrances will not only deter people away from you, but it can also cause migraines or allergic reactions in yourself and others.
Don’t know if you’re wearing too much? You’ll usually know by the reactions of those around you. You do want your cologne to be just slightly noticeable when you’re near someone; you don’t want your cologne causing any nasal emergencies. It’s always best to avoid a heavy hand and start light; you can always add a few more sprays if needed.
You also don’t want to spray every inch of your body. Choose one or two spots like the wrist, forearm, lower jaw, or neck to make sure the scent is impactful and long-lasting but isn’t overwhelming.
The good news is that you can wear cologne every day if you want. Though which fragrance you choose could change depending on whether that cologne is best for casual wear or is more intense, luxurious, and better suited for special events.
The best way to apply cologne for all-day freshness is by following a few fragrance rules. First, always remember that less is more. Second, always apply your cologne directly to dry skin (spraying three to six inches away from the skin).
Don’t walk through a cologne cloud (it’s wasteful) or spray the cologne onto your clothes. Applying cologne to your clothing prevents the fragrance from mixing with your natural oils and allowing each of the notes to shine through.
Apply cologne to hot spots on the body to help the scent last longer. For men, that’s your lower jaw, neck, or shoulders. You can also apply to warmer areas on the body like the chest, inner elbow, forearm, or wrist.
Lastly, don’t rub the cologne into the skin as this breaks the fragrance’s molecular bonds and weakens the scent. Instead, you can lightly dab the scent into the skin.