Searching for the best aquatic cologne for men? We’ve got you covered with this curated list of easy, breezy, beach-ready fragrances. By the time you’re finished reading, you’ll have a clear idea of which aquatic cologne best suits your style and budget.
In this guide, we’ll be covering everything you need to know about our top five favorite aquatic colognes. With notes on the full aromatic profile of each fragrance, as well as suggestions for when and where to wear each scent, you’ll come away with a great idea of which cologne is right for you.
5 Best Aquatic Cologne For Men 2021
Aquatic colognes are a relatively recent addition to the fragrance making world — but that doesn’t mean you’ll be at a loss for choices. We’ve done the hard work for you, and brought you this list of the five best aquatic colognes for men.
Since its debut in 2007, Dolce & Gabbana’s Light Blue has been a favorite of both crowds and critics alike. And as the winner of the FiFi Fragrance of the Year award for Men’s Luxe cologne in 2008, it has the accolades to back that popularity up. A citrus aromatic cologne with a strong aquatic tone in its heart, it receives our recommendation as the best all-round aquatic cologne for men.
Three citrus fruits make up the bulk of Light Blue’s top notes, with grapefruit, bergamot, and mandarin orange given extra freshness through the addition of juniper berries. Notes of the open ocean are subtly present throughout much of the composition, and accented beautifully by rosemary, rosewood, and cracked black pepper in the heart. Grounded by incense, musk, and oakmoss, it’s a refined yet modern scent that’s a joy to wear
With its moderate intensity and moderate longevity, Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue is ideally suited to become your go-to cologne. Wear it year-round to the office, on dates, or for special occasions — it really is that good (it’s our top pick for the best Dolce & Gabbana cologne for men).
Top notes of grapefruit, bergamot, mandarin orange, and juniper
Middle notes of black peppercorns, rosemary, sea notes, and rosewood
The most classically masculine of the aquatic colognes featured here, Calvin Klein’s Eternity for Men Aqua brings in subtle aqueous notes through the addition of fresh cucumber. Debuted in 2010, it’s a woody aromatic style cologne that’s great for warm weather wear.
Fresh, green, and watery cucumber is the primary top note in Eternity for Men Aqua, supported by a blend of citrus peels and fragrant lotus flower. Rich plum heart notes give it greater depth when paired with resinous cedar, while the entire composition is built on a foundation of precious sandalwood and guaiac wood balanced by patchouli and musk.
Overall, Calvin Klein Eternity For Men Aqua is our favorite aquatic cologne for summer. Its friendly, approachable intensity and moderate longevity make it a great choice for daytime wear anytime of year, though.
Top notes of cucumber, citruses, green notes, and lotus
Middle notes of plum, szechuan pepper, lavender, and cedar
Base notes of sandalwood, patchouli, musk, and guaiac wood
The most recent addition to the Giorgio Armani family of colognes, Acqua Di Gio Profondo is an aromatic fougere that builds on the hugely successful base of the original Acqua Di Gio. Released in 2020, it’s a fantastic addition to the cologne collection of anyone looking for great colognes to wear to work.
Aquazone, a bright and aquatic synthetic molecule, is the primary top note in Profondo, where it is supported by bergamot and green mandarin for greater freshness. Rosemary and lavender play nicely against cypress and mastic resin in the heart, giving way slowly but surely to the base with its heavy mineral components. A classic trio of musk, patchouli, and amber rounds out the rest of the composition.
A long lasting cologne with a moderate intensity, Acqua Di Gio Profondo is a fantastic choice for wearing at the office, or a great go-to cologne for everyday wear. It’s the most intensely aquatic of all the colognes we’ve featured here.
Top notes of sea notes, Aquazone, bergamot, and green mandarin
Middle notes of rosemary, cypress, lavender, and mastic
Base notes of minerals, musk, patchouli, and amber
The only unisex fragrance to grace this list, Creed Virgin Island Water is a citrus-heavy fragrance with tons of tropical notes. Released in 2007, it carries much of the same theme as the original aquatic cologne, Davidoff’s Cool Water — but has been updated to reflect more contemporary tastes.
Creamy coconut is joined by juicy lime, bergamot, and mandarin orange notes in the introduction to Virgin Island Water, all of which remain present throughout much of the duration of wear. The heart is filled with exotic ingredients, focusing on a combination of ylang ylang, jasmine, and hibiscus. Anchored by sweet and animalic base notes of white rum and musk, it has a surprising depth of character.
Creed Virgin Island Water is fairly long lasting, with a moderate intensity that helps to balance its rather complex heart notes. It’s an excellent warm weather cologne, and a great option for freshening up after hitting the gym, too.
Top notes of coconut, lime, white bergamot, and mandarin orange
Middle notes of ginger, ylang ylang, jasmine, and hibiscus
A true aromatic aquatic cologne that debuted in 2010, English Laundry Royal Aqua is a fantastic value cologne that offers a complexity far beyond its price range. If you’re on a budget and looking to add a new cologne to your collection, it would be hard to find a better option than Royal Aqua.
A trio of herbal scents is the main introduction to Royal Aqua, where lavender, mint, and basil are joined by spicy black pepper and ginger. Cedar and burning incense make up the bulk of the heart notes, with hints of coriander and lotus as accents. Grounded by sandalwood and musk, you’ll also find base notes of violet and iris that give a slight oriental style to the composition.
With its moderate intensity and moderate longevity, English Laundry Royal Aqua is a versatile cologne that’s great to wear anytime, anywhere. It’s great to give as a gift, or to add to your collection for a little day to day variety.
Top notes of lavender, mint, basil, black pepper, and ginger
Middle notes of coriander, cedar, lotus, and incense
Aquatic colognes are a subset of the aromatic cologne category — a style that leans heavily on the use of citrus peels and herbs in its compositions. Aquatic fragrances take this template and modify it with ingredients that are distinctly reminiscent of water, with both fresh running water and salty seawater included. This is opposed to the smell of something like vetiver, which is much more woodsy or even smokey.
Each of these aromas is achieved by the addition of a synthetic aromatic molecule, which is why aquatic colognes have only been produced in the past 30 years. These days, you can find aquatic scents in both solid cologne and spray cologne.