THIS IS A MASTERPIECE.
I've been looking around for a gentleman's scent and I am absolutely positive I have found it in the face of John Varvatos Vintage.
Top contenders among this one was Comme des Garcons 2 Man, Creed Bois du Portugal, Montale Royal Oud, Montale Greyland, Viloressi Piper Nigrum, Azzaro pour Homme, Givenchy Genteleman, Guerlain Vetiver and Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan (there were others also but swiftly rejected). While all of them were quite good in their own right, none of them "clicked" with me like John Varvatos Vintage did. I put my wrist near my nose, looked in the mirror and smiled knowingly. It was the first time I felled a personal connection with a scent. I wanted to smell like that, I wanted to to be everything this fragrance was inspiring to me. This was pleasant, masculine, noble, modern and most importantly effortlessly so. Not perfumey, not "try-hard" and impressively natural. I was sold.
This is nothing like the original John Varvatos. This uses more traditionally masculine and familiar notes that lend a gentlemanly feel to the fragrance and make it smell very natural, in contrast to the original John Varvatos which does have a mild synthetic character and is more of a youthful, sensual winter fragrance. Vintage feels it can be worn all-year round and any time of the day without being inappropriate provided your attire and personality is matching. However, there are much more fitting fragrances for certain occasions like when wearing a tuxedo or being by the beach in the summer heat which I think is completely understandable. The top is dominated by rhubarb (which smells like sweet watermelon juice) while the dry-down is dominated by tobacco. In my opinion these are two scent notes that one should take into account his feelings towards when contemplating buying this cologne blindly. In my opinion, both smell absolutely wonderful.
THIS IS A MASTERPIECE not for some groundbreaking originality but for masterfully achieving what it set out to do in the first place and that is evoking the essence of the modern-day gentleman playboy.
Pure inspiration for its wearer.
This is a fragrance that is youthful, intimate, and of pronounced masculinity. The first two characteristics can be attributed to the sweet character of the scent (vanilla in the base) whereas the latter to the top notes (citrus and aromatic herbs), the leather essence in the base and to the overall power of the fragrance which leaves no doubts about its gender.
I find it suitable for all fall & winter evening occasions that are not too formal in nature. For formal occasions another fragrance seems appropriate.
Despite the appearance of the bottle, this is not a leather fragrance nor is it macho. It exudes a laid-back, kind-hearted masculinity. Perfect for intimate moments, dates or even hitting the clubs.
08th June, 2008 (last edited: 11th July, 2008)