5 Best Aquatic Colognes to Dive Into Freshness

The sea awakens an unmistakable sense of adventure and mystery in almost all of us. It’s an incredibly powerful feeling that’s hard to get anywhere else, which is why I’m always left in awe of fragrance manufacturers who capture this feeling so well.

From the iconic freshness of Davidoff Cool Water to the sophisticated charm of Ralph Lauren Polo Blue, and the authentic oceanic embrace of Heeley Sel Marin, I’ve gone and summed up the best aquatic colognes that evoke the same senses.

So, What is the Best Aquatic Cologne?

Davidoff Cool Water is easily the best aquatic cologne out there. This is thanks to its refreshing blend of peppermint, lavender, and amber that captures the essence of the ocean and makes it a timeless classic. Cool Water suits those who are looking for a refreshing scent with ample depth.

Cool Water also does extremely well as a gym cologne. But for other occasions, consider Ralph Lauren Polo Blue or Heeley Sel Marin to exude a classy aura and get an authentic oceanic experience, respectively.

The 5 Best Aquatic Colognes For Men in 2023 – Full Reviews

1. Davidoff Cool Water – Best classic aquatic cologne

Davidoff Cool Water

Davidoff Cool Water is the main attraction when it comes to aquatic fragrances – a title that it’s held since its debut, in my opinion. It’s the scent that I introduced to you as the best aquatic fragrance, and for good reason.

Cool Water greets you with a burst of peppermint and lavender that will make you feel like you’re plunging into cool, fresh water. In the heart, you’ll find a subtle floral mix that’s anchored by a masculine base of tobacco and oakmoss.

But, the reason why this cologne stands out among the other aquatic fragrances is its ability to remain contemporary in a constantly evolving industry. Whenever I wear it, I’m transported to my early days of cologne exploration, which just shows its classic appeal.

Top notes: Sea Water, Mint, Green Notes, Lavender, Coriander, Rosemary, Calone
Middle notes: Neroli, Sandalwood, Geranium, Jasmine
Base notes: Cedar, Musk, Tobacco, Oakmoss, Amber
Occasion: Casual, Daytime
Longevity: 4 to 6 hours
Age group: All ages
Projection: Moderate
Season: Spring, Summer
Value for money: 5 out of 5
Davidoff Cool Water
$43.99 ($6.57 / Ounce)

A mature sandalwood cologne with an aquatic, clean and fresh feeling.

Touches of lavender and rosemary help round out the bitter, dry sandalwood for a well-balanced fragrance.

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03/07/2024 11:30 am GMT

2. Calvin Klein CK One – Best for unisex versatility

Calvin Klein CK One

When it comes to unisex fragrances, CK One is an absolute trailblazer. Its take on an aquatic scent profile is the very definition of versatility.

It opens with a lively blend of pineapple and green notes, leading to a harmonious mix of jasmine and rose. This combination does well at adapting to the wearer, regardless of gender, exuding a clean aura that’s hard to pin down but always pleasant.

Its base of musk and amber adds depth without overpowering the lighter, aquatic elements. I always describe this cologne to my friends as a “chameleon” because of how it fits seamlessly into any setting or wardrobe.

For those who want a cologne that’s not restricted to traditional gender boundaries, this cologne is a staple.

Top notes: Pineapple, Bergamot, Green Notes, Lemon, Mandarin Orange, Papaya, Cardamom
Middle notes: Lily-of-the-Valley, Violet, Orris Root, Jasmine, Rose, Nutmeg
Base notes: Sandalwood, Amber, Musk, Cedar, Oakmoss
Occasion: Casual, Everyday wear
Longevity: 3 to 5 hours
Age group: All ages
Projection: Soft to moderate
Season: Spring, Summer
Value for money: 4.5 out of 5
Ck One
$41.85 $29.09 ($8.56 / Fl Oz)
  • Versatility: Perfect for both casual outings and office settings, making it a go-to daily wear.
  • Unique Scent Profile: A harmonious blend of citrusy top notes, floral-spicy heart, and a warm base ensures it stands out in the crowded fragrance market.
  • Longevity: While decent, it might require a reapplication for events stretching beyond 7-8 hours.
  • Not Ideal for Formal Evenings: Its light and breezy nature might not align with the gravitas of black-tie events or formal evening galas.
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03/07/2024 11:55 am GMT

3. Heeley Sel Marin – Best for an authentic ocean experience

Heeley Sel Marin

I was tempted to put Chanel Allure Homme Sport in this place, but I thought I’d tip my hat to a lesser-known scent, Heeley Sel Marin.

It’s a scent that pays tribute to the sea, capturing its essence with a level of clarity that’s very rare in perfumery. Its opening of lemon and bergamot is like the first light of dawn over the ocean, while the middle note of sea salt brings the briny, freshness of the sea to life.

They also did well by adding cedar and seaweed to the base, as it anchors the fragrance and gives it a nice earthy finish.

Some colognes mimic the ocean but Sel Marin transports you there. This is why I say it’s the best choice for an authentic marine experience. It’s a hidden gem in the world of aquatic fragrances, offering a scent journey as vast and deep as the oceans that inspired it. I must mention that the major downside with this cologne is that it’s quite pricey but still worth it, the way I see it.

Top notes: Lemon, Bergamot, Green Notes
Middle notes: Sea Salt, Marine Notes, Aldehydes
Base notes: Seaweed, Cedar, Vetiver
Occasion: Special events, Day out
Longevity: 5 to 7 hours
Age group: 25 and above
Projection: Moderate
Season: Spring, Summer
Value for money: 4 out of 5

4. Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio Pour Homme – Best for everyday elegance

Acqua di Gio Pour Homme

Giorgio Armani’s Acqua di Gio Pour Homme is easily one of the best scents for year-round wear thanks to the elegant aquatic vibe it brings.

After the first spritz, it gives you well-balanced citrus and marine notes. The product? A sophisticated yet lively aura. It tricks you into thinking it’s done surprising you, and then you’re met with a heart that blends jasmine and rosemary, adding a touch of floral herbiness to enhance its complexity.

One of its defining characteristics is its ability to be both understated and captivating, something that many other colognes get completely wrong.

Whether you’re in the boardroom or at a casual brunch, Acqua di Gio adapts, providing a refined, clean scent that’s never out of place.

Top notes: Marine Notes, Bergamot, Lemon
Middle notes: Jasmine, Rosemary, Persimmon
Base notes: Musk, Patchouli, Cedar
Occasion: Everyday, Versatile
Longevity: 6 to 8 hours
Age group: All ages
Projection: Moderate
Season: All seasons
Value for money: 4.5 out of 5
Acqua Di Gio by Giorgio Armani
$85.00 $54.95 ($16.16 / Fl Oz)
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03/07/2024 04:29 am GMT

5. Ralph Lauren Polo Blue – Best for sporty sophistication

Ralph Lauren Polo Blue

And to finish up my roundup of the best aquatic colognes, I present to you Ralph Lauren Polo Blue. I’ve asked my friends to show me a cologne that does sporty sophistication better than Polo Blue and it’s no surprise that they haven’t offered up any options.

Its opening of cucumber and melon gives off a unique, watery feel that you don’t often get among aquatic scents. The heart of basil, sage, and geranium adds an herbal freshness that’ll make you think of a green playing field.

I wore Polo Blue to a charity golf event, once. Its crisp aroma served me so well in the outdoor setting and I received a lot of compliments. Overall, Polo colognes combine the best of being athletic and upscale, reminding you of open skies and a life of leisure.

Top notes: Cucumber, Melon, Mandarin Orange
Middle notes: Basil, Sage, Geranium
Base notes: Musk, Woodsy Notes, Suede, Patchouli
Occasion: Sports events, Casual outings
Longevity: 5 to 7 hours
Age group: 25-45
Projection: Moderate
Season: Spring, Summer
Value for money: 4.3 out of 5
Ralph Lauren Polo Blue EDT
$165.00 $125.00
  • Longevity: Lasts 6-8 hours with a consistent projection, making it suitable for all-day wear without the need for frequent reapplication.
  • Versatility: Elegantly bridges the gap between a modern and classic scent, making it suitable for a wide range of ages and occasions.
  • Intensity in Heat: Can become overpowering in very hot weather, making it less ideal for summer days.
  • Scent Familiarity: May not appeal to those seeking highly unique or avant-garde fragrances, as it leans towards a more traditional scent profile.
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03/07/2024 03:30 pm GMT

Factors To Consider When Buying Aquatic Colognes


You want that fresh, oceanic vibe to last, especially when you’re on the go. But, how long do the top aquatic colognes last? Keep reading to find out…

  • Davidoff Cool Water: 4 to 6 hours
  • Calvin Klein CK One: 3 to 5 hours
  • Heeley Sel Marin: 5 to 7 hours
  • Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio Pour Homme: 6 to 8 hours
  • Ralph Lauren Polo Blue: 5 to 7 hours

As you can see, these colognes generally don’t have the greatest staying power. So, you might have to reapply your fragrance at some point, especially on a particularly hot day. Do note that your skin type can also impact the staying power of a fragrance.

What occasion, or season, are you wearing it for?

Aquatic colognes have refreshing notes and the essence of fresh water that adapt well to almost every season or occasion.

Davidoff Cool Water‘s invigorating appeal makes it ideal for casual outings or energetic gym sessions. Its crispness cuts through the hustle of daily life, making it a go-to for an active lifestyle.

Because Clavin Klein CK One is a light, unisex fragrance, it’s perfect for relaxed gatherings or a typical workday. It has a subtle freshness that won’t overwhelm those around you.

Heeley Sel Marin, with its unique oceanic scent, is a match for special occasions or when you want to stand out. You’ll find that its sophisticated profile does well during elegant evenings and high-end social gatherings, especially in warmer months.

If you’re looking for a classic choice for everyday wear, then look no further than Acqua di Gio Pour Homme. Its balanced blend of aquatic and citrus notes makes it suitable for both office environments and evening socials.

With Ralph Lauren Polo Blue, you have these deep aquatic notes that do well during formal events and romantic evenings. Its sophisticated scent profile adds a touch of elegance to any winter or fall occasion, making it a great choice for those cooler months.

Where to Buy Aquatic Colognes

When you’re ready to purchase one of these aquatic fragrances, you’ll essentially have three options in terms of where to get them:

  1. You have the brand’s boutique or online stores. Authenticity is guaranteed and you’re able to view a wider selection of their offerings.
  2. Online shopping platforms like FragranceX and Amazon are stress-free options. Besides having extensive collections of fragrances, they often have attractive deals and discounts that could see you get more than you initially anticipated.
  3. There’s always the option of going to one of the well-established department stores, like Macy’s. This provides that classic “tactile” experience, plus you may be able to sample all of the colognes on your radar, instead of going to the respective stores. Department stores also usually have staff on hand to guide you to the scent of your dreams.

How to Apply Aquatic Colognes

Applying an aquatic scent, like Cool Water, is more or less the same as any regular scent. It’s crucial for you to apply your cologne correctly, as doing so can enhance longevity. Here’s how to go about it:

  1. Cleanse first: Ensure your skin is clean and dry. This helps the cologne adhere better and truly lets the aquatic scent shine.
  2. Target your pulse points: Dab or spray the cologne on pulse points like wrists, neck, and behind the ears. These areas give off heat, which helps the fragrance spread.
  3. Consider cologne concentration: Remember, Eau de Toilette (EDT) versions, like Davidoff Cool Water EDT, are lighter and may require reapplication if you’re going for a long day. Eau de Parfum (EDP), being more concentrated, will linger longer.
  4. Don’t rub it in: Gently apply the cologne without rubbing it into the skin, as this can break down the fragrance molecules.
  5. Moderation is key: A light application is preferable. You want to be noticed for the right reasons!


What cologne smells like seawater?

Heeley Sel Marin is pretty much seawater in a bottle. It’s an ingenious blend of sea salt, lemon, and seaweed notes that create an authentic oceanic aroma. It’s like a refreshing dive into the deep blue, capturing the essence of the sea with every spritz.

What is ocean cologne?  

Ocean cologne refers to a scent that does a good job of mimicking the essence of the ocean. These scents typically blend aquatic elements with fresh notes like citrus or marine accords. Giorgio Armani’s Acqua di Gio is a prime example, offering a clean scent that transports you to breezy, coastal shores.

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