Mont Tremblant and Armani's Acqua Di Gio Absolu / by Didier Young

The world of perfumery is a harsh one. While there is a multitude of fragrances available on the market, few manage to reach cult status and their shelf life can be quite short. Luckily for Giorgio Armani, Acqua di Gio turned out to be a massive commercial success and it is still the leading men’s fragrance on the market nowadays. To celebrate the launch of Acqua Di Gio Absolu, I was lucky enough to be invited to partake in a sensory experience in Mont Tremblant, Québec.

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Despite an early flight, it is safe to say that we were all excited for our little getaway with the brand. Upon arrival at the airport, we met up with the rest of the influencers that were to form the group of seven handpicked by Mr. Armani. Needless to say, we all felt quite honoured to have been chosen by the man himself. After a two hour drive we arrived at the Giorgio Armani Villa in the mountainous area of Mont Tremblant and we were greeted by the lovely Armani team. The villa was an absolute dream with its beautiful wooden structure and surrounded by the forest. From the balcony, I could see the silhouette of Mont Tremblant behind the naked branches of the trees and the tableau was made even more serene by a gentle stream running through the backyard. 

During our lunch, the secret activities planned for us were revealed and we were treated to an in-depth presentation about Acqua Di Gio. As it turns out, the original fragrance came out in 1996 and as its name implies, the major inspiration for the cologne was water. It was then followed by Acqua Di Gio Profumo in 2015, a version that combined stone and water together to create a bolder version of the fragrance. Acqua Di Gio Absolu completes the line’s trilogy with a marriage of wood and water with sea and woody notes, geranium, patchouli, rosemary, labdanum, tonka beans and bergamot. While the original Acqua Di Gio and Profumo have become legendary perfumes throughout the years, Absolu does tug at my heart strings more so than the previous two did. I have a huge affinity for woody scents and Absolu is definitely right up my alley.

The first activity we partook in was a helicopter ride over the Mont Tremblant area. The region is partly inhabited but remains primarily wild, with huge extends of water and forests. From the helicopter, we could see the slopes of the mountain which remained white despite the 15C temperature that day. We noticed all the villas that are remotely spread out throughout the land and the colourful rooftops of the ski resort. The light was perfect and despite a weather forecast that announced rain, our helicopter ride wasn't hindered by any droplets. Following this magical moment, we were brought back to the villa where we were treated to another fantastic meal of foie gras, duck confit leg from the Brome Lake, Melted Brie and the most delicious Jerusalem Artichoke Cream soup with a smoked prosciutto chip.

After a night’s sleep rendered shorter by late night conversations with my roommate Anthony Deluca, I was gently awoken by the natural light streaming through the blinds. I quickly made myself presentable and I stepped out into the backyard and entered a forest basking in the morning sun. Following a light breakfast and a huge cup of freshly brewed coffee, we made our way to the Scandinave Spa where I had my first ever swedish massage. Following this relaxing experience, we stepped into the relaxation zone where no phones were allowed. There we bathed in the different pools and soaked in as much sun as our pale skins could handle after a very long winter. Sadly enough, it was now time for us to pack our bags to return to Toronto and we did so with heavy hearts and relaxed bodies.

This amazing trip wouldn't have been possible without the fantastic Canadian team behind the Armani beauty brand. They picked a location that fully reflected the notes of the fragrance and hired the most amazing caterer for our meals (@leratelier_traiteur). A fragrance’s power relies heavily on the memories that it evokes and Absolu will forever remind me of this magical trip to Mont Tremblant.

-Didier