Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Brave Agua Brava

Brave Agua Brava is a fragrance I've wanted to try for a long time.  I'm a big fan of Antonio Puig's fragrances, and their Quorum, Agua Lavanda and Agua Brava scents get full 10 out of 10 ratings from me.  Plus, I've read a couple of reviews saying that Brave Agua Brava has prominent pine and dry woody notes in it, which sounds like something right up my alley.  Anything with prominent pine automatically goes to the top of my "To Sample" list.

What a disappointment this fragrance is.  Though it's not terrible, it isn't good either.  I expected a modern take on Agua Brava, but what you have instead is a dry but ultra-generic and dull woody spicy sports fragrance with no standout qualities.  It reminds me of Banana Republic's horrendous Classic For Men from 1995, though it's not quite that bad.  Brave Agua Brava smells okay in the beginning, with razor sharp artemisia, citus and pine notes, but it's nothing remarkable.  It smells like a hundred other designer woody spicy fragrances, only with a touch of pine.  I like the fact that there's some pine in this, but the fragrance doesn't do anything interesting with it.  The pine is just there, and it wouldn't make any difference to the fragrance if it weren't there.

What also bugs me about this scent is how synthetic it smells.  Underlying all that dry woodiness is a chemical, medicinal smell that pervades everything.  I think it's Calone, which is the synthetic material that gives all those lame aquatic fragrances their watery smell.  I think I would like Brave Agua Brava better if this "marine" note were not there.  Even worse is its dreadful sawdust drydown, which is surprisingly the worst part of this scent.

I really wanted to like Brave Agua Brava, but I don't smell any real redeeming qualities, I'm afraid.  It doesn't deserve to carry Agua Brava's namesake.

MY RATING:  4.5/10

Fragrance House:  Antonio Puig


  1. What a shame - it's always disappointing when a 'namesake' fragrance fails to live up to its near-legendary counterpart. I've just (today!) received my long awaited bottle of original Agua Brava and what an absolute joy it is. I have (as I suspected) smelled this before, although I'm not exactly sure where. It has a brilliant 'pine sap' kind of smell which diminishes to leave a coniferous, herbal mix - quite sharp but clean and natural. Why can't they make them like this anymore?

  2. I wasn't even expecting this to smell like Agua Brava, but at least it should have a similar vibe or overall feel as the original. Not even close. You have classic old school legend (Agua Brava) on one hand, and boring chemical fresh sport crap (Brave AB) on the other. There's a serious disconnect there.

    I'm not surprised you love Agua Brava. It's like a less powerful Quorum. Now THOSE are two fragrances that smell different but share a similar vibe. Quorum could have been named as an Agua Brava flanker.