Exploring The History Of Men's 'Aquatic' Fragrances 

Omar Mansour (Founder)
2 minute read

Hello everyone, 

Omar here! 

With the release of Mr Maritime this month, it is worth exploring the 'genre' it is based on. 

What exactly are aquatic fragrances and why have their presence gone down in recent years? 

First, we have to start at the very beginning, in the 50s.  

image source : scentspiracy

Calone Is Discovered (The Aquatic Note in perfumery) 

The main 'aquatic' scent you get in perfumery, comes from a lab made molecule called Calone, first synthesised by Pfizer in 1966 (during their search to create a drug which eventually became Diazepam/Valium). 

It was initially discovered in 1951 by a company called Camilli, Albert & Laloue, and this molecule is a 'ketone'. Hence the name, CAL-one. 

On its own, Calone creates a powerful 'marine' aroma that reminds people of the sea as well as cucumber and watermelon. Sometimes it is referred to as 'watermelon ketone'. 

If you have ever experienced the infamous Nautica Voyage, you know what a high amount of Calone in a perfume formula smells like. 

Calone Enters The Mainstream

It wasn't until the 80s that this strange new molecule was incorporated into men's perfumery, with Davidoff Cool Water being one of the most popular pioneers! 

Calvin Klein Escape, Acqua Di Gio, Creed Miliseme Imperial (Jay Z's signature), Aquatic perfumes made a wave on to the scene! Men of this era wanted to smell 'aquatic fresh'. 🌊 

The Current State Of Aquatic Fragrances

Now, in 2023, apart from maybe the Acqua Di Gio and Kenzo Homme lines, brands generally are not creating new aquatic fragrances and are not innovating this genre. 

I feel that society 'moved on' from Aquatic fragrances due to what happens with any synthetic molecule. Calone felt like it was a product of its time

Maybe mainstream society associated Aquatic fragrances with the 90s and 2000s and wanted a new profile (then came along 'bubblegum' and 'ambroxan' scents). 

However, we feel that a lot of men still enjoy aquatic fragrances and wanted to do something to innovate this genre once more!   

Enter Mr Maritime 

After 16 iterations, we created Mr Maritime (this was potentially going to be a metallic gin & tonic scent at one point)! 

The aim of Mr Maritime was to make Aquatic fragrances smell more natural and unique. We do this by utilising under-explored notes of Mango and Rhubarb, giving the wearer a masculine and distinct edge in warm weather.

What are your thoughts on Aquatic fragrances? Do you wish there were more of them in the market? Leave a comment and let us know. :) 

Until next time,