I’ve been a fan of Acqua di Gio for years now. This summer cologne captures the essence of the Mediterranean, of energizing citruses carried by the salty oceanic breeze.
But unlike some of the brighter warm weather fragrances, it still retains a streak of masculinity through a woodsy base and interesting herbal nuances.
It’s a perfect marriage of carefree breeziness with an undercurrent of confidence and maturity.
The best Acqua di Gio clones capture this same sense – and can even improve on the original.
If there’s one area that Acqua di Gio lets itself down, it’s longevity. The original only lasts 3 – 4 hours, while some of the dupes I’ve discovered can hang in there all day.
360° Red by Perry Ellis
Parfums Belcam G Eau
Just Me by Paris Hilton for Men
G Eau by Parfums Balcam, for example, lasts about 8 – 9 hours on me, despite only costing 15% of the Armani price. It projects a little more subtlety, but to be honest that’s what I tend to look for in a fresh cologne anyway.
It’s a similar story for 360° Red by Perry Ellis. It’s a little more expensive than G Eau, but lasts even longer. It’s got a slightly rougher spiced edge, but has the Acqua di Gio DNA at its core.
I also found a surprisingly impressive scent from Paris Hilton for just $20. How she does it, I do not know. But don’t just hear the name and dismiss it like I was tempted to.
Best Acqua di Gio Clones for Men in 2022
- Parfums Belcam G Eau – Best Acqua di Gio Clone Overall
- 360° Red by Perry Ellis – Longest-lasting Acqua di Gio Dupe
- Just Me by Paris Hilton for Men – Cheapest Clone That Still Smells Legit
- Armaf Blue Homme – Armaf’s High-quality Clone
- Aquatic Lime by Dossier.co – Closest Like-for-like Dupe
- Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue pour Homme – Best “Inspired By” Fragrance
- Michael Jordan 23 – Best Acqua di Gio Dupe for Beginners
- Zara Lisboa Colombo Avenida do Colegio Militar – Best Acqua di Gio Clone for Building Your Collection
The Best Acqua di Gio Clones for Men in 2022
Parfums Belcam G Eau Eau De Toilette – Best Acqua di Gio Clone Overall
G Eau by Parfums Belcam smells identical to Acqua De Gio – at an 85% discount.
Best Price: Check Amazon Here
This refreshing and woody fragrance blends citrus and spices with an underlying cedar that keeps it on the masculine side of the tracks.
It’s the perfect pick for a value-conscious Gent who wants a budget version of the classic Armani “pretty boy” fragrance.
It smells like the sexy man who turns everyone’s head when he enters the room. All of a sudden, you become the point of intrigue.
I’ve been using the real Acqua di Gio for years, but always begrudged paying 60 – 70 dollars for a cologne that never seemed to last longer than 3 – 4 hours.
Quite amazingly, G Eau lasts about twice as long. I get a full day of beautiful fragrance indistinguishable from the original Acqua, which makes it one of the best dupe scents I’ve ever had.
And despite the excellent longevity, this isn’t a clone that’s going to blow anyone’s head off. It’s not an aggressive projector that floods every room you walk into, but people will get a hint when you’re standing by them.
The improved longevity and subtlety actually make me prefer G Eau to Acqua di Gio, which is pretty impressive given the price difference.
It is one of the few clone colognes I’d be confident recommending on a blind buy. Don’t hesitate and stock up on this excellent dupe.
|Top Notes:||Lime, Lemon, Bergamot, Jasmine, Mandarin and Neroli|
|Middle Notes:||Sea Notes, Jasmine, Rosemary, Violet, Nutmeg and Rose|
|Base Notes:||White Musk, Cedar, Oakmoss, Patchouli and Amber|
360° Red by Perry Ellis – Longest-lasting Acqua di Gio Dupe
If you’re a fan of Aqua Di Gio, Perry Ellis 360 Red is basically a clone with a slightly rougher, spiced edge.
This vibrant and fresh cologne is perfect for high heat. You know, those days when it’s too hot.
Spicy, masculine, and energizing. Everything I value in a signature summer fragrance.
There’s a citrus spice duality that runs throughout the core of this fragrance, with lime and mandarin orange meeting cloves and nutmeg embracing each other in a very friendly hug.
It’s got some heat, but it’s bright rather than warm and cozy. For the price, it’s wonderfully sparkling and versatile.
Performance is where this cologne really shines compared to the original Aqua di Gio. I get an average of 10 hours longevity, but I’ve had particularly hot days where I’ll detect 360 Red 12 hours in.
|Top Notes:||Lime, Bergamot, Cinnamon, Orange, Mandarin Orange, Cloves and Nutmeg|
|Middle Notes:||Lavender and Coriander|
|Base Notes:||Musk, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Red Cedar, Vetiver and Oakmoss|
Just Me by Paris Hilton for Men Eau de Toilette – Cheapest Acqua di Gio Clone (That Still Smells Legit)
If you’re turning your nose up at the celebrity connection here, just hear me out. Or continue to be embarrassed, while I collect all the compliments.
Just Me for Men by Paris Hilton smells seriously good for the $20 price tag. It’s very similar to Acqua di Gio, and it’s really successful in replicating the florals in the base in a way that still feels masculine at its core.
The main differences between Just Me and its inspiration is the inclusion of a juicy blueberry note in the opening (which I appreciate), as well as a smokier, incense-infused base that lends an air of mystery to this fresh cologne.
All while providing everything I love about the sexy and aromatic Acqua di Gio DNA for a fraction of the price.
It’s quite similar to Perry Ellis Red 360, but without that spiced sense from the cinnamon. No surprise really, when you consider both colognes were created by Jean-Louis Grauby, the world-renowned master perfumer.
And like the Perry Ellis clone, performance his is equally excellent. Just Me doesn’t last quite as long as 360, but remember that it doesn’t cost as much either. From 3 – 4 sprays you’ll get 5 – 6 hours of meaningful projection out of this fragrance, which is a decent improvement on the original Acqua di Gio.
An absolute bargain. If you come across Just Me for Men in the wild, do yourself a favor and just buy it – it’s one of the best cheap colognes out there.
|Top Notes:||Lime, Bergamot, Lemon, Blackcurrant, Tangerine and Green Grass|
|Middle Notes:||Sea Notes, Sage, Lotus, Cloves and Nutmeg|
|Base Notes:||Mahogany, Incense, Oakmoss, Patchouli and Crystal Amber|
Armaf Blue Homme – Armaf’s Satisfyingly High-quality Acqua di Gio Dupe
Armaf Blue smells fresh, clean, and expensive despite the $30 price tag. For the money, it feels like theft.
It opens up with the neroli and citrus notes we’re looking for, rounded out by a woodsy, amberish base straight out of the Acqua di Gio playbook.
The heart does lack some of the aquatic quality of the original, but the fougère of fruits, lavender, and bergamot has enough compliment-collecting potential to compensate.
Overall, I’d say Blue Homme is 85 – 90% similar to the original Acqua di Gio fragrance and is slightly better at reproducing the sense of quality ingredients than cheaper options like Just Me for Men by Paris Hilton.
Like the other Armaf clones I’ve tested, performance here is excellent at 5 -6 hours of scent. It doesn’t last as long as beasts like Perry Ellis Red 360, but it is inexpensive. It surpasses the original Armani fragrance anyway, which is my benchmark for success here.
There’s a slightly spiced sense here, too. Nothing as noticeable as in Red 360. It’s more herbal than warming, but it’s there adding some vitality to the background.
It’s a solid pick-up for a fresh, daytime fragrance that’s best for a confident Gent in the city on spring/summer days.
- Learn more about the best Armaf colognes here
|Top Notes:||Grapefruit, Mandarin Orange, Bergamot and Neroli|
|Middle Notes:||Nutmeg, Rosemary, Lavender and Jasmine|
|Base Notes:||Vanilla, Amber, Cedar, Vetiver, Patchouli and Musk|
Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue pour Homme – Best Acqua di Gio Inspired Designer Fragrance
Dolce & Gabbana’s Light Blue gives you a vibe of a casual and breezy summer walk along the beach, with fruity and floral notes that remain masculine.
The grapefruit opening is natural-smelling and energizing, with enough of a tartness to make me think of the rind rather than the flesh.
While a light cologne, Light Blue is not without a sense of masculinity. Oakmoss, musk, and incense all play a part in producing a slightly obscure, mysterious dry down that will leave those in your company eager to find out more.
With a moderate sillage, this masculine fragrance may be intriguing for anyone who who wants to impress that special lady or collect compliments during a night on the town.
- You can read more about my favorite Dolce & Gabbana colognes here
|Top Notes:||Grapefruit, Bergamot, Sicilian Mandarin, Frozen Grapefruit Peel, and Juniper|
|Middle Notes:||Sichuan Pepper, Rosemary, and Rosewood|
|Base Notes:||Oakmoss, Musk, and Incense|
Michael Jordan 23 – Best Acqua di Gio Dupe for Beginners
Jordan 23 was probably the 5th or 6th fragrance I ever wore.
It set me on the track to more bespoke aquatic representations like Giorgio Armani’s Acqua Di Gio, and reminds me of a lower resolution version – with an added watermelon note thrown in for good measure.
On application, you get quite a strong “rubbing alcohol” sense, which mercifully fades after the first few minutes. Then you get sweet, floral soapiness from Magnolia and Fig leaf, before meeting the fresh, juicy watermelon.
There’s a lick of sourness from what I think is blackcurrant or grapefruit, but it’s a tricky one to place.
Overall it’s very pleasant. I’m a male in his twenties, and it suits me just fine as a fresh afternoon scent with a hint of masculinity when I’m working out or running errands.
When I was younger I’d probably have given MJ 23 an 8/10, but now I’m a little more experienced I’d have to call it a 7. I was a real Michael Jordan fanboy back then and got a little carried away.
Longevity leaves a little to be desired at 3 or 4 hours, but can you expect much more for under $20? It packs enough punch for a trip to the gym or kicking it for a court session. I’d consider that “mission accomplished” at this price point.
- Click here to learn more about the best Michael Jordan colognes
|Top Notes:||Watermelon and Grapefruit|
|Middle Notes:||Geranium, Blackcurrant and Fig Leaf|
|Base Notes:||Musk and Woodsy Notes|
Zara Lisboa Colombo Avenida do Colegio Militar – Best Acqua di Gio Clone for Building Your Collection
The name is a bit of a mouthful – but this is another example of Zara dupe colognes punching well above their weight in terms of price.
Best Price: Check Amazon Here
Lisboa Colombo Avenida do Colegio Militar reminds me of Acqua di Gio before it was reformulated a few years ago. It’s lighter than the current version, with a slightly sour element in the top notes that has been rounded out in subsequent iterations.
It has the same airy, aquatic feel that I love in the Armani original, with clean citrus and florality leading a descent into woods with a hint of spice.
I’d recommend this as a daily-use fragrance that you can spray without thinking, perfect for spring and summer.
Girls seem to love it too, by the way. If I wear Lisboa Colombo Avenida do Colegio Militar to the office, it’s only a matter of time before I receive compliments from female colleagues.
Longevity is similar to the current Acqua di Gio at 3 – 4 hours, which might sound a little underwhelming – until you remember the Zara dupe only cost around $15. At that price, you can afford to load yourself up with a few more sprays to get the longevity you’re looking for.
The value for money gets even better if you buy it in the twin pack with Seoul, Zara’s equally impressive Invictus (Paco Rabanne) dupe fragrance.
- Check out our guide to the best Zara colognes here
|Top Notes:||Lemon, Grapefruit and Orange|
|Base Notes:||Woodsy Notes|
Aquatic Lime by Dossier.co – Closest Like-for-like Acqua di Gio Clone
Aquatic lime is similar to G Eau, in the sense it seeks to be a like-for-like clone of Acqua di Gio rather than a twist on the original.
Best Price: Check Dossier.co Here
And it’s a very successful imitation, by the way. Almost exactly the same.
Dossier really nails the zestiness of the original, full of freshness and energy in the salty lime top notes. They also capture the marine, ocean-breeze element that Armaf’s Blue Homme misses.
The delicately assembled base does a great job of imitating Acqua di Gio’s masculine depth and lingers on deep into the day. I get about 6 hours of longevity out of Aquatic Lime – sometimes 7, if it’s particularly warm weather.
Also, Dossier is known for producing vegan and cruelty-free cologne, and it’s nice to know I can smell good while doing good.
|Top Notes:||Bergamot, Lime, and Watermelon|
|Middle Notes:||Marine Notes, Jasmine, Rosemary|
|Base Notes:||Cedarwood, Oakmoss, and Vetiver|
What to Look for In a Good Acqua Di Gio Clone?
Acqua di Gio is one of the best summer fragrances for men out there, and as far as I can tell it’s successful for three main reasons:
Acqua di Gio is made for summer – or at least a particularly bright spring/fall day.
It’s a light, classy fragrance that exudes sophistication and pairs perfectly with the sunshine on your skin.
The zesty top notes combine with an aquatic, oceanic heart that conjures the sense of an afternoon by the Meditarean sea. A woodsy base keeps things masculine and confident, without veering into boastful alpha-male territory.
Any successful dupe needs to mirror these core notes, as well as the inflections of jasmine, rosemary, and bergamot that lend Acqua di Gio its sense of luxury.
Sometimes, a little less can be a little more. Acqua di Gio does not dominate space. It’s there to be discovered, rather than smack anyone in the nose.
You should feel comfortable wearing an Acqua di Gio dupe to the office. The best Acqua di Gio clones will be noticed by standing near you, but not by everyone in the building.
On that note, the longevity of Acqua di Gio can leave a little to be desired at 3 – 4 hours. So, I’m prioritizing the dupes in this list that right that particular wrong and can last at least 7 hours.
If performance is a priority for you, it’s probably best to consider Perry Ellis Red 360, which lasts between 10 – 12 hours per application.
High Compliment Factor
People – and particularly women – seem to love being around Acqua di Gio. Any successful clone needs to have similar head-turning qualities, otherwise what’s the fun?
Sure, Acqua di Gio is not one of the most niche fragrances in the world, and most people have probably smelt it once or twice before.
But we have to remember that most people aren’t genuine frag-heads and spend a lot less time than you or I wondering about the subtleties of notes or batch variations.
Does it smell good? Because that’s more than enough for most strangers you’ll meet. They usually won’t care about your “famous perfumes”.
Consider Picking up a Decant of the Real Deal From Microperfumes.com
If none of these dupes are jumping out at you, maybe consider getting a sample decant of the real deal instead.
Stores like Microperfumes will let you order 2ml vials of fragrances for just a few bucks so you can try out designer colognes without blowing the bank.
Once you’ve tried Acqua di Gio, there’s a good chance you’ll fall in love and be able to justify splashing out on a full-sized bottle. At least, that’s what happened to me.
What is a Clone Scent?
Clone scents, or “dupes”, are third-party copies of popular colognes designed to make popular fragrances cheaper and more accessible. They can be up to 90% cheaper than the original designer products, which makes them an attractive option for people on a tight budget looking to try a new scent profile before they commit to a purchase.
FAQ: What You Should Know About the Best Acqua di Gio Dupes
If you enjoyed this guide to the best Armani Acqua di Gio dupes, check our other reviews of the best clones out there: