Somehow I managed between 1988 and about 2004, a period of little perfume use for me, not to have to smell Cool Water. I have managed to smell the generations of clones and wanna-be's since, and was just waiting to hate Cool Water. But you know what? This stuff is copied for a reason. It's really spectacular.
I'm in the enviable position Luca Turin refers to in The Guide. I don't have to associate this with half the male population of the 80s-90s. Smelling CW in this context is a great lesson in perfume history. If a new aroma technology is introduced with intelligence and artistry, it changes the status quo. I know that compositionally CW is a contemporary variation on the fougere, but qualitatively I think it's something distinct. This, followed by a slew of copy-cats, means a whole new genre. And I guess like the original Chypre and Fougere Royale, the first can remain the best.