Acqua di Selva 
Visconti di Modrone (1949)

Average Rating:  40 User Reviews

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Reviews of Acqua di Selva by Visconti di Modrone

There are 40 reviews of Acqua di Selva by Visconti di Modrone.

A head of pine, citrus & herbs, with geranium and a dark sous-bois that fills the room with spicy pink flowers.

Not bad, but not as refined as Acqua di Parma on the one side, and not to be confused with the mighty Pino Silvestre on the other.


Victor mini, full, no box
Jun 7, 2020

Acqua di Selva (1949) would become a staple grooming scent to Italians upon release, eventually floating over to the US in the 1950's after the success of competitor Pino Silvestri (1955) in its cute little pine cone bottle. Acqua di Selvi builds up from the previous Victor fragrance Silvestri (1948), adding healthy doses of pine to the kitchen herb mix that seems to be a staple among Mediterranean eau de colognes patterned after and expanded from Acqua di Parma Colonia (1916). This sometimes-minty and sometimes-piney but always-green genre has come and gone throughout the 20th century, taking up shades of fougère or chypre as need be, with the pencil shavings dryness of Acqua di Selva mostly conforming to the latter. The "Mad Men" era of the 50's and 60's was probably the golden age of this stuff, more likely being splashed on the necks of mafioso than marketing agents, but the sharp bracing aroma still has some use in the 21st century.

The opening is pretty much a basket of dry herbs too populous to list, but including players like basil, thyme, and rosemary. There is a very strictly clean helping of lemon oil, camphor, and some taut English lavender, reminding me much of a component in Avon's Structured for Man (1969) vanity set (see the Steel component). Acqua di Selva is much more balanced and less cold medicinal camphor than the Avon, but I can see the inspiration. The heart is carnation and clary sage with some geranium to add more metallic brightness in an age before aldehydes were used in that way for masculines, but the base is where the main character lives. Pine, oakmoss, vetiver, cedar, and a bit of coumarin give this the main barbershop feel of Acqua di Selva, and will be most of what you smell after about an hour. This could be a good if somewhat antique-smelling office scent, great on hot days too, perfect for the "postmodernist" friend who is too hipster for the word "hipster". I wouldn't use this in social settings or romantic evenings unless your company has a particular taste for stuff from this era.

Acqua di Selva moved from Victor to Visconti di Modrone after the former dissolved, but I sense little difference as this was never heavy on restricted materials since oakmoss is a background player to the pine and cedar. If you like Pino Silvestri or even Penhaligon's Blenheim Bouquet (1901), the British ur-example of this genre, Acqua di Selva will prove itself the most bracing but also most complex example of them all. Eau de cologne concentration means you might need re-apply this a bit to last a work day, but Acqua di Selva was made in an age where a man used scent as part of good grooming and not to act as an olfactive entourage to announce his eminence throughout a day, so perhaps layer it if you're looking for something "more". This seems to be an Italian cheapie drugstore staple in the same manner Old Spice (1937) is in the US (also much like Pino Silvestri), so trying Acqua di Selva should be a low-cost experiment for those wondering people Don Corleone smelled like after his morning routine. Thumbs up.
Oct 22, 2019

I'm sorry. I cannot recommend this cologne based on my preferences. I so wanted to like this EDC from it's description and the positive comments and I finally pulled the trigger and ordered the Made in Italy version, 3.4 ounce bottle with a large plastic top/pump. This is not the "Victor" version (made in US), but really, just how much different/better can it be? I get the scent gist from this one: Some pine, citrus, and spice. When the ingredients are combined in AdS, they are not impressive and I'm not "wowed" in any way. I've worn it several times and I'm still disappointed. Sometimes your perception changes. AdS is just flat, and believe the longevity issues. It has very, very little in that area, and forget about silage. I get it. Many like it. I want to. I cannot.
Feb 17, 2019

Conifer-centric fougere. Opens with a plastic lime and quickly moves into pine + 4711 territory. Blink too slow and you'll miss it. Good for a barbershop I guess if they can get it at wholesale type pricing, sloppy splash and all, but for me there are better values currently out there in Pino Silvestre and Puig's Aqua Brava I think.

From a 6.8 oz Visconti Di Modrone bottle.
Feb 13, 2019

Acqua di Selva is a traditional barbershop fragrance in Italy, and was first released all the way back in 1949. Its scent profile is similar to another Italian barbershop classic known as Pino Silvestre, but Acqua di Selva is colder in feel and less filled with warm aromatic herbs as is the case with Pino Silvestre. As for the scent itself, Acqua di Selva smells like a wet green fougere mix of mainly spearmint, pine needles, basil, and lemon to my nose, with hints of rosemary, vetiver, and clary sage. I also detect the wet bog-like peat accord underlying the entire blend. It basically smells like the essence of a cool pond during the autumn in a pine forest, or perhaps the idealized version of a swamp/bog. I don't get any thyme in this, while Pino Silvestre is thyme-dominant. As far as scents go, I slightly prefer Acqua di Selva since it reminds me of Acqua di Parma's Colonia Club (one of my favourite fragrances), but the sillage/projection on it is subtle as compared to Pino Silvestre where the projection is quite substantial. As for longevity, this barely lasts two hours (while Pino Silvestre lasts over 4 hours on my skin). Overall it's nice but extremely fleeting (but cheap at $20 a bottle), and I will probably end up using this as an after-gym fragrance.

Aug 1, 2018

This a rather good conservative fragrance...beautiful yet slightly haunting.It makes me think of a stroll through the woods on an overcast day.The rain that just finished being made of lemon oil just washed the forest and you still hear a distant thunder rumbling in the background.Fresh and invigorating yet something moody about it.

All I smell in this is lemon oil,pine,tobacco,light hints of vetiver,and mint.Tobacco isn't in the notes list but I've always smelled it.The mint I do agree with some that I sense it in the pine...but this is a transparent/clean mint.I think it brings clarity and freshness as it brushes the lemon oil.Shortly labeling Acqua Di Selva I'd call this a clean pine and tobacco fragrance.I think people who like Polo Original would appreciate this fragrance especially and the clean/slick feel it provides gives the wearer just as serious of an appearance.
Mar 6, 2018

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