Made for men appeals to women Bulgari Aqva Amara b.png

Scents are tricky genies in a bottle: Like some of the best things in life – think wines and cheeses – they’re incredibly subjective and difficult to pin down.

Which is why you’ll have to take our word for it that the new Aqva Amara by Bulgari is one of the most intriguing and intellectually stimulating scents we’ve sampled this year.

An androgynous riff off the Italian prestige brand’s decidedly masculine Aqva Pour Homme, Aqva Amara, or “bitter water” in Italian, was conjured up by top nose Jacques Cavallier, who says he wanted to create a fragrance which “radiates sunlight when worn”. (Apparently, being something of a poet is a prerequisite for professional perfumers.)

Let’s break down the fragrance according to its flavour pyramid, shall we. For starters, the “amaro” in the new scent’s name comes courtesy of the mouth-puckering juice of Sicilian mandarin, tempered with the honeyed unctuousness of sweet neroli oil.

Residing within Aqva Amara’s quivering heart is what Bulgari refers to as the “water note”. This enigmatic essence is composed of “molecules developed with the most advanced technologies”, and is meant to evoke the evanescent coolness of spring water in summer.

All of this sits on a simmering, impossibly sexy base of warm Indonesian patchouli and intense white incense … if this overwhelming olfactory sensuality isn’t making you feel a little flustered, the visual campaign’s leading man surely will!

Enjoy chiselled water god Jon Kortajarena performing all sorts of aquatic acrobatics in the making-of vid below, and check out the scent when it wafts into town later this month!

Aqva Amara by Bulgari is available from late February 2014 as an Eau de toilette ($110 for 50 ml and $150 for 100 ml) and Shampoo & Shower Gel ($52 for 200 ml). For more information, visit