When I first started looking into colognes, I wrote out a list of what to find. It was mostly naive essences like sawdust, but one idea grabbed my heart: I wanted to find this syrupy, dark exotic fruit, with herbs that sparkled up as if through deep water, while the syrup dripped down into leathery spice.
I want John Varvatos to be that cologne. Sometimes I tell myself it is. But it's never quite there — a little too friendly, a little too fresh — not a murky purple pierced by gold and sprouted leaves; instead, just a wash of smoky violet. It'd be a lie to call it a bad cologne. You'll like it. But I can't see myself wearing it anywhere but a bar downtown, and I keep wishing it had been made for a lounge on the other side of the earth.