Aquaman by Rochas (2001)

Nose: Jacques Cavallier

I would have never thought I would have liked this, but as they say, one must never judge the book by its cover. And that applies in particular with perfumes. So don’t get fooled by the lame superhero name, the kind of cheap (yet wonderfully handy and ergonomic) bottle, the shiny blue colour, and overall that juvenile MTV Summer Chart kind of esthetics. The fragrance is way more complex, darker and fascinating than it may seem. And above all, phew! - it smells really nice. To my nose Aquaman is an extremely pleasant Mediterranean blend of aromatic notes of grass, balsamic-green “dark” herbs (like sage and olive tree leaves, that kind of “dark”, dry, aromatic greenness), something slightly floral-anisic on the barbershop side (lavender or similar, or maybe sage again) pepper, nutmeg and a spicy-woody base. Shortly an aromatic fougère brilliantly translated into summer-aquatic terms but using balsamic-herbal “words” instead of calone or fruits, slightly close to Fendi Thereoma Uomo's kind of league but more catchy than that. All smells unexpectedly true-to-life (I won’t say “natural”, but I don’t get anything particularly synthetic-metallic), and also surprisingly “watery” indeed, albeit in a more unusual way: a sort of humid, sultry muskiness which does indeed convey a feel of luke warm azure water. Nothing salty and nothing “ozonic”, rather a liquid, somehow even dark smell of condensation water stuffed with bracing balsamic-peppery-herbal nuances. Nothing heavy though.

What I enjoy the most here and what actually led me to consider this fragrance with more attention is that Aquaman has just a really good sillage, something inexplicably pleasant to feel around you, slightly different from what you smell close to skin. It’s like a whiff of extremely realistic “medicinal balsamicness” you feel around yourself. Truly nice. For some reasons this smells way more herbal and Mediterranean than many other fragrances clearly associated to that inspiration – and at the same time, it has very little to do with the “synthetic aquatic family” it can be easily compared to judging by the bottle and the esthetic. I like these little gems hiding these nice unexpected surprises. I think Aquaman can still be found for cheap, so if you’re looking for a less generic option for something fresh and balsamic, give this a chance. You’ll smell nice and (fairly) different.


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