1996 was a big year for men’s fragrances.  It witnessed the debut of both Chrome by Azzaro and Armani’s Acqua di Gio.  From the mid-1990s on fresh aquatic fragrances have come to dominate the marketplace and largely shifted men’s expectations for what a scent should smell like.

While not quite as ubiquitous as its aquatic stablemate Acqua di Gio, Chrome has still experienced a great deal of popularity throughout the years and continues to be a best seller today.  Now anyone who has read my other reviews knows that I don’t have a lot of love for aquatic fragrances, but a lot of that has to do with the fact that they are everywhere.  Then again, this style of fragrance is much loved by men and women alike and they do have the tendency to generate a lot of compliments.  So with that in mind, it is easy to see why they do so well.

Alright, enough of that.  How does Chrome smell?

Chrome opens with the usual sweet citrus notes.  According to the notes it is a sparkling combination of bergamot, citron, mandarin, grapefruit, and orange notes provide the citrus background with just a slight touch of bitterness.  According to me, it is your generic citrus top that quickly transitions into the fresh ozonic marine smell.

The middle notes are where Chrome really starts to live up its name.  The hedione in the middle note gives the metallic impression that Chrome’s name advertises, as well as providing the famous marine/aquatic character that this fragrance is famous for.  Synthetic as hell, but still somewhat enjoyable.

The base notes on this fragrance are minimal with just a bit of sandalwood and rosewood grounding the fragrance.  I don’t really get any woodiness, just a linear settling of the top and middle notes on my skin.

How Chrome Wants to Smell

How Chrome Actually Smells

Longevity is decent on me, at about 4 hours.  Because Chrome is primarily a summer scent, it was not designed with heavy sillage in mind, so while it is noticeable, it will not harass others.  Although, I have noticed that Chrome wearers tend to get a bit trigger happy and overdo it on the sprays, so please take care when spraying.

Age:  Middle School to whatever.  This is definitely a young man’s scent that you will find in locker rooms, the halls of high school, mallrats, etc.  However, it has the universal appeal for men of all ages.

Occasion:  Daywear, office wear, casual.  Chrome is the king of fresh and nice scents.

Season:  This would be great in summer or for the warmer days of spring.  If you live in an area where fall is warm, it could do well there too.  Too light and fresh for winter, but perfect for summer.

As much crap as I give to aquatic fragrances, Chrome does have some redeeming qualities.  As I wear it right now, I just feel like I smell good.  It gives you that nice fresh just-out-of-the-shower feeling.  Chrome is kind of like a pop song that you don’t want to like, but you still find yourself tapping your foot to the beat or singing along to.  It just has that sort of generic likeability.  Chrome also gets a good amount of compliments from younger women who appreciate its freshness.  Although, watch out since here is a good chance that wearing this will remind you of someone’s ex-boyfriend.

Rating:  6.0 out of 10.  A synthetic aquatic fragrance that everyone seems to love.  It is fresh, clean, and very approachable.  Its popularity means that most people like it, but it lacks originality in the year 2011.   A good scent for a warm summer day, but overall lacking in substance and style.


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