Nautica Classic (Coty)

Fragrantica attributes twenty-one notes to the pyramid of this fragrance, yet when I smell it I get roughly three: synthetic citrus, synthetic woods, and white musk. One would argue that this makes the fragrance simple to the point of smelling "cheap," but I would counter with an impression of something stereotypically nineties in the post Drakkar and Cool Water style that led the industry from 1983 to 2003. Nautica Classic doesn't smell complex or original, but it smells good in a bland handsoap sort of way.

There are fragrances for "connoisseurs" of fragrance, and then there are EDTs that people just wear because they want to wear something. Think of job interviews, informal Friday night dinners with the in-laws, taking your children to weekend birthday parties (that require you to stay), and even just doing chores around the house in your blue jeans. In these cases you could reach for any fragrance, but if you reach for Clive Christian, Acqua di Parma, or Creed, you have more money than brains.

I am reminded of Drakkar Noir and Cool Water in the same way that Passion for Men reminds me of Old Spice. All the same basic elements of this fragrance type are there, but they're tweaked a bit differently, and the result is inferior to its template. I get a blast of hand-soapy lavender, window-cleaner citrus, and a touch of that dry, smoky pine and patchouli accord found in Drakkar, but this basic woody dihydromyrcenol effect is enveloped in an opaque (and sweet) Cool Watery cloud of fruity white musk.

On a side note, people are claiming that Coty reformulated this into utter swill. It's hard to imagine that any concern could take such an abject failure to be original and make it even less original. My super vague recollection of nineties Nautica matches what I smell today, and if sharp chemical citrus top notes and scratchy chemical sandalwood basenotes were rich Grey Flannelesque citrus and Creed-like sandalwood in the nineties, I stand corrected. I suspect though that this was just as boring then as it is now.


  1. This sounds so bland my husband would probably love it. My recollection of Nautica is the usual freshie 'boy' smell of citrus/lavender/pine/patchouli/with a synthetic ambrette type musk.

    Noobs tried at Delhi Duty free-

    Chanel Gabrielle- Blast of grapefruit & black currant followed immediately by an sweet orange blossom & ylang sitting on the same sandalwood/musk base as Coco Mademoiselle. That's it. Turned to what smelled like a posh bug repellent of citronella & sandalwood in the Delhi heat. I thought this was going to be a white floral? BOO!

    Mon Guerlain- Candied lavender on top of Guerlainade. The end.

    Gucci Bloom- Sweet white floral (almost candied) sitting on a light orris base. I like a green note in my white florals to contrast with the sweet. Not bad, out of all the fragrances I tried this is the only designer one I'd consider buying.

    Twilly- Bubblegum sweet blend of tuberose & ginger sitting on a light sandalwood base. Once again I'd like a green note or an extra boost of that spicy ginger to contrast with the sweet floral.

    Moringa EDT (The Body Shop)- Okay so I'm a snob & have not been into a Body Shop in like 10 yrs fearing I'd only find vanilla, chocolate, or tropical fruit scented crap like B&BW. This is an amazingly beautiful white floral soliflore whose honey buttered lushness is perfectly balanced by a crisp green note. Very simple & reminiscent of jasmine & honeysuckle but not quite. Stays demure & close to the skin for about 6-8 hrs, does nots morph into a monstrosity in tropical heat. Fab for layering with other white florals but can still hold it's own. $12 gets you 30mls of edt or 6 oz of scented body butter. SOLD!

    Looks like sweet/candied florals are a trend in women's frags. If I were in the market for a super sweet white floral I'd choose Elie Saab Le Parfum over these $$$'s designer noobs.

    1. It sounds like there are no longer original ideas in the fragrance world! Yes get your husband a bottle of Nautica Classic. He'll be on his fifth bottle by the spring. And somehow I doubt that will be a problem because even though these are unimaginative fragrances, things like Nautica do what they're supposed to: make guys smell better.

  2. I remember wearing this a lot as a teen, though I never paid much attention to how it smelled. It was in a rotation with Perry Ellis 360 and Baryshnikov Sport. Nautica was the least favorite of the three, but I still enjoyed it.
    I loved the Baryshnikov Sport; it was so fresh and vibrant that it always put a smile on my face. The local store stopped selling it, so I was upset when I couldn't get more of it....which reminds me, I should see if it's still around and maybe order a bottle or two.
    I still have my old bottle of 360 that I purchased 15ish years ago. I think it could have been a masterpiece if it wasn't so synthetic. I actually still wear it every now and then.
    Nautica was very middle of the road for me. Brighter than 360, not as bright as Baryshnikov Sport, but my ambivalence for it made me use it the most often, since I didn't care about finishing it......which didn't take long, because this does not perform at all.

    1. I never liked 360, never tried Baryshnikov Sport, despite knowing there's a bottle on the shelf at one of my favorite brick and mortar shops. Just wasn't into the description, but I guess I can give it a shot sometime. If Nautica Classic falls in between the two, it doesn't surprise me.

    2. I actually looked up Baryshnikov Sport after I posted the comment. Looks like it was discontinued or something. It used to be less than 10 bucks for 1.7 oz, but costs more now. If it's that price, then it's worth trying; not at any inflated price.
      I loved it as a teen, but not enough to pay more than what it cost a few years ago. Some blue, fresh, not-really-marine aquatics are better than others, and this was one of the better ones (might just be my nostalgia glasses) but it's not a genre I care enough for to have a bigger representation in my collection.

    3. You may see prices vacillate depending on how the supply for a discontinued frag like B Sport flows. This happened within the last three years for Claiborne Sport. It went from being $9 at discounters to being several times that online, then back to cheap again. Not sure how pricy it is now, but yeah, that happens.

    4. Claiborne Sport is still in the 10-15 range last time I saw it.
      It's a damn good scent too. Which is even funnier considering it's a sport fragrance from a house which has released an overwhelming amount of crap, most of which are probably Curve flankers. I do like Curve, and Bora Bora though, but I'm hard pressed to think of another prolific fragrance house which has a sport scent as my favorite of their releases.


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