How It’s Made: Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio Profumo Special Blend


Twenty years ago, Giorgio Armani envisioned a fragrance that embodied the indescribable sensory freshness of an island called Pantelleria in Italy, located just southwest of Sicily. The man for the job was perfumer Alberto Morilla, who encapsulated that mineral freshness and gave it a distinct masculine power. The result was the iconic Acqua Di Gio, released in 1996.

Now, the brand has reunited with Morilla once again to create Acqua Di Gio Profumo Special Blend, an homage to the original Acqua Di Gio, with a warmer side. Its olfactory signature? Patchouli. Here, the ‘nose’ behind the best-selling fragrance talks about how he created the new iteration and how one should wear it every day.

What was the process of making Acqua Di Gio Profumo Special Blend from the beginning to end?

I always focus on a base, which will be the signature of the fragrance. If there are too many ingredients you can easily lose your core idea. I chose patchouli because of its complexity, which brings contrast and depth to a fragrance. The overall process was then to create a fragrance that remained faithful to the Acqua Di Gio original. Its breathtaking sea scent is now enhanced with patchouli and other new ingredients.

How do the unique combination of ingredients work together to create the final scent? Why did you choose these specific ingredients?

The new Acqua di Gio Profumo Special Blend is more textured, unveiling a spiciness mixed with salty minerality. The top notes of bergamot combined with elemi and pink pepper create a surprising, spicy freshness. A wave of Cascalone®, a fantastic aquatic molecule, ensures Acqua Di Gio Profumo Special Blend retains an essence of the sea. The heart of the fragrance is rich with fir balsam and patchouli, which gives the fragrance sensuality. It was really important for me use ethically sourced patchouli: we chose a unique origin of patchouli, selected and harvested in Guatemala.

How has technology and innovation impacted your work?

Today, perfumery would not exist without innovation, especially at the service of nature and your emotions. I like to combine the ingredients offered by nature together with olfactive molecules that are isolated and synthesized. While natural ingredients bring nobility and signature, synthetic ones allow greater creativity by multiplying the possibilities and the olfactory facets of a fragrance.

Where do you think fragrance fits in the life of a modern man and woman today?

The power of fragrance is very underestimated. A fragrance is a mirror of your personality – it’s a part of you, and a concentrate of emotions. You have to feel good in the fragrance when you wear it.

What is the proper way of wearing a fragrance? How do you like to wear yours?

I mainly apply perfume on my neck. I would also advise spritzing perfume on clothes and on key points like the hair, the chest, and wrists. Spritz the bottle like a cloud around you, or apply directly to your skin.