70s Cult Favorite Aqua Manda Perfume to Make a Comeback! {Fragrance News}


Ooh exciting news! Blogger Jane Cunningham of British Beauty Blogger reported today that a cult British fragrance of the 1970s is about to make its comeback: Aqua Manda by Goya. She mentions the fact that the original formula is being currently replicated in a perfume lab as she is typing. Here are some of the facts you need to know...

She writes,

"Late last year, a couple of London based guys who run a successful distribution company – Bob and Neal – discovered that they could buy the trademark for Aqua Manda (it had been discontinued in 1975 by ICI who bought it from Goya leaving the Aqua Manda trademark not owned by anyone). So they snapped it up, and have set about faithfully recreating the original orange and oriental scent (with help from Christopher Collins, the son of Douglas who created Aqua Manda in the beginning)." 

After checking online, I realized there is indeed a long trail of moans on the internet expressing regrets at the disappearance of the fragrance. It was to many the background scent to the late Swinging 60s and early Rocking 70s. How much more emotional can it get in terms of the nostalgic impact it is going to have once the genie is once more out of that orange bottle. I foresee many inter-generational gift exchanges after it is out, reportedly by mid-summer 2013.

Having said that, I happened on a site which apparently still sells it - Feathergills Emporium - but in a different packaging from the one that is so MOD. Those saturated orange and brown colors are nothing if not iconic. Added: OK, Cunningham just added the information that this latter brand do not hold the original formula.

Perfume notes, according to Perfume Intelligence, are mandarin, sweet herbs, coriander, rosemary, parsley flowers and jasmine. It's described as being fresh, spicy, orangey.

Jo Wood - the ex-wife of Ronnie Wood - apparently might have been inspired by it for the launches of her own Amka (day) and Usiku (night). 

Will you make your summer of 2013 smell like you were back in the 1970s?

Picture: Do You Remember

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13 Comments | Leave a comment

  1. hello there well i can t belive it ! but i am absolutly estatic about the re-launch of my favorit AQUA MANDA i sent an email to the sister company of coty a few months ago maybe 6mths ago asking them to consider re introducing AQUA MANDA as there are alot of people trying to purchase vintage bottles of it on ebay myself included but unfortunatly with no luck . Anyway they emailed me back belive it or not saying sorry but the fragrance was discontinued in the 70 s and there was no call to re introduce it in the future WELL! well well!! so just goes to show the perfum houses don t always get it right .I am so pleased it s being made again at long last there are i am sure going to be alot like me old hippy chic/ rockers of the 60 s/70 s who will be queing up to buy it.Also i am sure lots of modern millenium girls will be wanting it as VINTAGE is VERY in . YIPEEEEE!!!


  2. Aqua Manda is one of those perfumes which provoked, and still provokes, a massive emotional response in those who loved it. My late mother was the biggest fan of Aqua Manda, and of other fragrances which had a pronounced citrus/spice/deep herbal note. I cannot remember a time when a sweet fragrance was given house room. I had an opportunity to test this, via the Bring Back Aqua Manda FB group.
    Sorry. It’s nothing like Aqua Manda. Not even close. It is weak, powdery, with an almost buttery, creamy, vanilla undertone, which has absolutely no business being there. Something has gone awry here. The citrus is barely there, the herbs contain zero impact. Remember the scent of thyme, rosemary, sage, coriander, sharp lavender, tarragon? The earthiness of oakmoss? The whizzbang opening of Aqua Manda like splitting an orange/mandarin right under your nose and getting a bit of the juice in your eye? The slightly sunkissed moisture tinge of kisser’s coriander? None of that is present. Maybe this should have been marketed “An Impression of Aqua Manda”. To say this is to an original recipe is flirting with disaster. I can see sons and daughters buying this for their mothers, knowing how much they loved it of yesteryear, and mothers worldwide having to smile sweetly and pretend it’s AquaManda. It isn’t. At thirty odd quid a throw, it’s an expensive mistake to make. I am certain, that with a little more application, and quality ingredients, it could have been brought nearer, even with the regulations, as there are other perfumes which are holding those precious notes together despite the regs. Sadly, I feel this version has been produced to capitalize on nostalgia and pressie buying just in time for Christmas. The perfume was created without consulting those who campaigned for it and supported the company who eventually marketed it. Big mistake. If you want to know the time, ask a policeman. If you want to know how to make bread, ask the baker. If you want to know what it felt like to be on the beach on D Day, ask a veteran who was there. If you want to know if your chemists are getting it right while you try to recreate AM – don’t ask a man who never wore it, or one who probably hadn’t actually been born when his mum wore it. Ask the campaigners. Ask those who love it. Ask those who lived through it, sprayed it, soaped it, talcum powdered it and love it enough to make a noise about it. There has been a steady flow of BBAM members who have, shall we say, had their gruntles well and truly dissed by the recreated version of AM.

    For my own part, I can tell you, dear perfumista, that Parfum d`Empire Iskander is damn close to AM, and a whoosh of a good sharp Neroli over the top of it brings it even closer to home. Aqua Manda demands Neroli, demands zesty, poke in the eye citrus, coriander, a twist of allspice and meditteranean herbiness.

    It’s NOT a bad little fragrance, but not Aqua Manda.

    For ladies of a certain age, the search continues.

    • Hello,

      I'm sorry to hear the recreated Aqua Manda is not quite it for you. I know that the new owners did not experience the perfume originally (too young for that) but that they consulted with [the son of: correction, not the son] the original owner.

      Chant Wagner
  3. I also remember Aqua Manda with deep affection and was excited to smell this new one but after managing to get my hands on a sample of it, I was disappointed. If I'm honest, it doesn't really remind me of Aqua Manda at all. It completely lacks the zesty freshness and spicy note of the original and is a much softer perfume all together.
    It actually reminds me more of Helena Rubinstein's Apple Blossom than Aqua Manda.....still quite nice but not what I was expecting.
    As I said, this is still quite a nice perfume in it's own right but I'm concerned that young ones will buy it for their mothers/grandmothers, thinking they'll recognize it as a much-loved fragrance from their youth thus causing disappointment. My advice would to be to make sure you smell this before you buy.

    L Wilson
    • That's unfortunate as usually, you get an "instant recall" reaction to a familiar perfume. I told another commenter that the brand did try to get it right but that themselves were not former users of the fragrance.

      Chant Wagner
  4. I have to agree with the previous posts in that this new formulation is in no way similar to the original. It's a great pity the new owners couldn't have consulted with those who actually remembered it since they have personally no experience of it. I can't quite see how sticking some random perfume in Aqua Manda packaging and selling it under the guise of the 'original formula' is particularly honest or ethical. I would warn anyone against buying without first trying as it certainly doesn't live up to the hype!

    • Well, it looks like something went wrong here -- they told me they had consulted with the "old owner" (rather than his son actually) and that he had approved the sample they're currently commercializing.

      Chant Wagner
  5. Absolutly loved Goya, but am wondering if they will reproduce some of the other Goya smells, Frenzy was a favourite of mine just wondering where I can get a bottle from, anyone out there know???

  6. WELL SAID, MARILYN, ENGLISHCOUNTRY GARDEN, and other disillusioned posters...

    Anyone who thinks this liquid smells like the original wonderful/gorgeous/orangey/inimitable/sharp and sexy Aqua Manda can't possibly have been there in the early 70s and used the real thing! I was so excited before Christmas to learn the "original" had been "painstakingly recreated" with the original founder, expert perfumiers etc etc. Naively spent £55 on two purse sprays online from the makers - obviously in good faith - for my middle sister and me, children of that era. WHAT A LET-DOWN. Cannot believe this product has the nerve to bear the hallowed name of Aqua Manda. My orange washing-up liquid from the Co-Op smells more like real Aqua Manda than this re-creation.
    Twenty-first century "Aqua Manda" has none of the mouth-watering and edgy citrus kick that was its hallmark; it's fuzzy, sickly, sweet, powdery and wussy - the sort of thing you might find as a draw prize at a whist drive. A bit like having to drink a pint of warm Fosters instead of an ice-cool Grolsch.
    And, aroma apart, didn't the "re-creators" miss a trick by not reproducing the kitsch orange and brown flower-powery plastic and glass containers?
    Luckily, my sister quite liked the smell of the "recreation" (!!), so she's keeping the two sprays. But she agrees NO WAY IS IT AQUA MANDA!

    PS: here’s what I posted on Retrowow a couple of years ago, in a fit of nostalgia and hopefulness, along with hundreds of other girls of a certain age: "Absolutely LONG for Aqua Manda again - so does my middle sister, who's of that era, too. Wonderful rose-tinted (and orange-scented) memories of long early-70s summers on the beach or rowing up the canal at Bude, picnics, smoking Consulate, drinking cider, James Taylor and Carole King the soundtrack... anyone who can recreate Aqua Manda just as we knew it (remember the lovely orangey oiliness of it? And the oatmeal soap?) would be on to a gold mine..." Hilary Vivian 07/10/2011

  7. Can't believe they have not replicated the bottles and containers.The orange plastic talc container with the brown iconic plastic lid. C'mon, try again and bring the original bottles and tops back. Just thinking of them sat on my bathroom window sill in 1969/70 brings back memories of long hot summers and mini skirts/maxi skirts.

    anna copson
  8. Well I would say the 5000 bottles sold , 40 stockists, 400 facebook likes
    And hundreds of lovely reviews on our website and in the press far outweigh these 3-4 comments! Dont forget Chris Collins of Goya worked with us on recreating the original scent which we have done but thanks for the feedback

  9. Hello - I am afraid I am going to add another disappointed voice to the "few" who have commented about the re-issued Aqua Manda Fragrance. I don't doubt that it has been well received and that nice things have been said - but these people cannot know the original fragrance which was completely different to this new formulation. The original was, as "English Country Garden" in particular pointed out, predominantly a sharp, deep orangey scent. The new fragrance is weak and powdery and may well be appealing to people, but definitely not to those who really were there and really do remember the original. I think the company would have done well to consult the wearers of the fragrance, not just the "Old Owner" who perhaps has lost his sense of smell? Such a pity - I was so excited about the relaunch. What to do!

  10. Wow i LOVED aqua manda in the 70`s ! I have thought about it many times over the years and it always makes me smile when the memories come flooding back !


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