Perfume Reviews

Reviews of John Varvatos by John Varvatos

Total Reviews: 154
Classic fragrance. On my second bottle. Cherry vanilla leather smoky goodness. Can't go wrong with this one.
02nd May, 2018 (last edited: 15th May, 2018)
This one is in the same vibe with D&G The One -- where the smell is INCREDIBLE, but the performance is so poor, it's not worth the trouble.

I guess spraying it on clothing would do the trick, but that money could go to something else. It might be good to spray on the sheets as it is a very sexy smell -- you just might have to stop and spray twice.
15th December, 2017
ad_scott Show all reviews
United Kingdom
This is very nice indeed. Smells like a brand new Aston Martin interior..wood and leather with a plum note. Longevity and sillage performance is good..lasts all day and projects moderately. The feel of this fragrance is like a muted high quality wood that has been polished to perfection...smooth, rounded, refined.
02nd August, 2017 (last edited: 14th August, 2017)
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JV lists a ton of notes for this but it just comes off as a very pleasant, light, woody scent after the sweet and leather opening.

I actually got decent performance, lasted all work day. The projection was average.
03rd July, 2017
I forget why and how, but I once bought this as a present for my dad, and moving in his vapour trail made me wonder why I hadn't just kept it (and bought him something else instead, of course, I'm not that mean).

Trying it for myself, at last, and my reference points became clear: Aventus and Philosykos, that is, scents with prominent fleshy or dried fruits, and woody bases. In John Varvatos, that place is filled by dates and tamarind.

To cut to the chase: this is no Aventus. I'm no particular fan of Aventus, but the message there is clear. John Varvatos on me was remarkably mutable, changing even from moment to moment. Sometimes the fruit was too prominent for my taste, in that strange dry/sweet way that you get from dried fruit and making the ensemble slightly flabby, not like the austere but milky effect provided by Philosykos. The best parts came when the vanilla, leather, spices and wood came together to form a terrific masculine scent. However, to get me really enthusiastic, this would have had to constitute a consistent drydown with more aggressive performance.

Many have commented on the performance - on me it was quiet but persistent, so average longevity and sillage in the lowest quartile, so to speak.

All in all, very frustrating - I can sense there's a fragrance in there that suits me to a T, but it's dressed up in too much fruity frippery. Imagine a steely-eyed guy in a tux, dripping masculinity, ordering a peach daquiri with two umbrellas. That's this scent.

And because I'm so qualified, what would I do differently? Lose the dried fruit, crank the performance, emphasise the spicy woods, leather, and vanilla, and trust that the softness of these materials compensates for unforgiving sillage. There's a great scent waiting to get out here, but there's too much to fix for me to wait around. A disappointment.
21st November, 2016
JV by JV sends me straight to an exotic caribbean location. I found it to be a unique and delightful scent. Although some of JVs later offerings are similar, IMO this is their best one.

Sadly it is a little light in projection and also fades too quickly. Even so, I will not be without a bottle and will wear it regularly. This one wears best applied moderately (not heavy, which is easy to do) with backup to be used once or twice later in the day/evening. One of the sexiest scents I own, IMO.
28th July, 2016 (last edited: 06th December, 2016)
smellwise, this is a pretty good fragrance...I had a small decant that I've enjoyed wearing around the house...reason being I'm in the group that seems to get minimal projection and longevity from JV fragrances in general, this one being no exception ...I get maybe 2 good hours tops - and then it's almost like I never put anything it would not work for me for when I need an all day scent...the fragrance itself smells pretty good...I get a nice ripe/sweet/juicy/rich/syrupy fruit accord sitting on a thin layer of wood which then leads into a nice sweet/ambery/leathery vanilla....and then....poof!!!...gone...
nice while it lasts and I do enjoy the smell for the time it hangs around for me...
FBW...if you can get a good discount...because chances are you will have to reapply
Sweet Fruity Woody Leather
04th February, 2016
numcks Show all reviews
United States
Sweet and fruity and somewhat synthetic - like a hard candy. Some suede leather and sandalwood/amber/vanilla. Somewhat youthful/juvenile.
08th November, 2015
hcr Show all reviews
United States
I get the cherry/fruity smell from this. Very pleasant, not very strong though. Doesn't seem to last too long, would need a lot of sprays. Probably going to stay in the sample pile.
25th August, 2015

I am seductive.i am romantic.i am elegant.i am JOHN VERVATOS!Yes this scent is a beautiful modern scent for men 25/35 years old.

The EDP version is slightly different to the EDT but both are really nice.when i wear it in intimate occasions i always get compliments of my friends regarding my perfume!

Middle/base notes in nice harmony.The longevity and sillage is very good for me.i often wear in the autumn time because i think it is perfect in rainy weather.

Anyway if you are looking for a modern oriental woody you are exactly at the right place.

09th May, 2015 (last edited: 11th May, 2015)
This is strange and bothersome. I thought I liked my sample and I keep giving it chances, but this thing is weak. Ridiculously weak. I'm able to detect what smells sort of like L'Homme. Easy to like and versatile, but not remotely challenging or fun. The only challenging thing about it is being able to smell it after being on my skin for 10 min. Did I get a bad sample? Shame, this could have been a perfect cologne for sitting on the bus, going to Wendy's, or standing in a beer line at a baseball game.

For what it's worth, L'Homme doesn't last very long on me either. La Nuit does, however.
09th May, 2015
Fresh fruity, my go to scent after sport
17th February, 2015
Another unexpected, gifted bottle of fragrance, but this one I actually like, at least initially. The opening is very appealing in a classic men's scent sort of way with a nice fruit/herb/wood combination which lasts about an hour on me.

However, I agree with previous reviews in that the major dissappointment to John Varvatos is the projection and longevity are woefully inadequate. After only an hour or two this is essentially a skin scent on me and it has lost all the appeal and smells a bit powdery. I think this one could benefit from a reformulation that increased the longevity.

11th February, 2015 (last edited: 13th February, 2015)
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Ingo Show all reviews
United States
A solid fragrance, though not exceptional it does the job. Biggest gripes with it are that it is lacking in projection and sillage, with that being said it is a solid fragrance and one that is appropriate for both dates and the office (especially because it doesn't project particularly well and the scent itself is relatively inoffensive). Generally speaking, it is a bit more popular among the older crowd but at the same time does not smell like "old man".
23rd January, 2015
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Fruity, fruity is the opening, with green herbs and a mildly peppery note in the drydown. The base is a bit fuller and richer, with a nigh medicinal light ambery impression mixed with a suede and vanilla - all right IMHO a but not more.

On my skin this never really takes off. Solidly manufactured, a bit too generic, and lacking distinction. I get decent sillage and projection, and it lasts three hours. Middle-of-the-road- 2.5/5.
13th January, 2015
My go-to cologne! While everyone loves the smell of it, I would still wear it even if they didn't! The great blend of fruit, leather, and vanilla is just amazing, and the dry down is mouthwatering. Lasts a good 6 hours on me usually, although it will stay close to the skin for much longer than that.

I have had a few experiences where it smelt completely different, almost like a pure wood fragrance. I started pre-stirring it after the second time it happened and I haven't had the issue since.

Projection is weak but I think that's okay. This is a very friendly cologne so if someone only gets a good whiff of it during an embrace, well hey, that kinda adds to the sincerity.

This will always be one on my shelf!

A FEW QUICK TIPS! Don't apply this fragrance relatively quickly after a shower; I've found that is changes the scent quite a bit if it mixes with water. Just dry off, shave, apply cold water, or do whatever until your skin has settled down and isn't so steamy, then apply (usually two sprays per zone for me).
25th November, 2014 (last edited: 26th November, 2014)
What to say about this one. I LOVE the smell but I HATE the sillage and longevity. I get 4 hours on this tops. It screams elegance and very mature scent. If you're in you mid twenties go for it. You can go trigger happy on this'll need to. I purchased this from Ross for $13.99 so really a steal though it is the small portable one. I will get the bigger bottle, you should wear this in cooler weather and more so at night. It can be an office scent to but carry around an atomizer.
06th October, 2014
Genre: Oriental

Look out! Here comes the John Varvatos party pooper!

John Varvatos opens with a standard-issue modern men's fragrance fruit accord that's made somewhat intriguing by a hint of something dusky and animalic deep in the background. Unfortunately, the animalic note is quickly overwhelmed by what I've come to think of as the "Jolly Rancher" accord: cheap, artificially fruit-flavored hard candy. Like the candy, the fragrances that use this sort of concoction all wind up tasting the same to me, no matter what color they are. So for all its exotic medjool date, tamarind, and ajowan notes, John Varvatos winds up smelling crassly sweet and commonplace to me.

Part of the problem may be that even true, fresh tamarind can have a steely, artificial edge to it. On top of that, the date, which is a very flat note under any circumstances, comes across as particularly synthetic and two-dimensional here. The very sweet, powdery synthetic amber in the base does nothing to improve matters.

The fruit accord rests on a bed of very smooth woods and sweet vanilla, softened by the powdery amber, and I have to say that the result is oddly redolent of high-end tanning lotion. For something that's so fruity, John Varvatos is potent stuff. The projection and sillage are both exceptional. More in line with the bulk of fruity fragrances, John Varvatos enters its drydown very quickly, perhaps even within an hour. The listed leather note only appears way deep into the drydown, and even then it's almost too anemic to matter. The sendoff is the vanilla, soft woods, and sweet powdery amber accord that supports the scent's heart. The John Varvatos fragrance pyramid lists eaglewood (a.k.a. agarwood, oudh), but the folks at Quest International must have just waved the closed vial of oudh over the mixing vat, because its presence is entirely undetectable. A few hours into the drydown, and the interesting animalic note from the opening finally reappears, but it's too late and too little to get me excited.

Though my evaluation may seem harsh, John Varvatos is by no means a "bad" scent. It's just disappointingly ordinary for something that's been so highly praised.
19th June, 2014
A really pleasant and sensual fragrance for Armani Code and Moschino forever lovers! great fragrance for casual use in spring and fall and also really great choice for a date!!
The opening is fresh and almost boozy fruity scent mixed with some leather and some sweetness in the background. this opening remind me of Armani Code in many ways but not exactly like it.
The fruity scent is like lemon at the opening. fresh and tart but then in the dry down change to sweeter plum scent.
The leather note is not strong or smoky at all. it's just there to give the scent a manly and dark aroma.
In the dry down as I said, the fresh lemony scent changes to sweet plum scent. still it does have that fresh smell but in different way.
The leather note is there but it's in the background plus some woodsy notes.
I didn't smell figs in this fragrance.
The base is almost the same as the dry down. no big change. the base remind me of Moschino Forever plus some leather and more sweetness.
Projection and longevity is above average.
Really good and sensual smell and definitely for casual use.
02nd June, 2014
Despite it many exotic ingredients, this smells like the generic "water" scent with the cloyingly nose-splitting dry reedy aoud note that pervades so many of these non-scents.

I washed it off half an hour after sampling it and poured the remainder down the drain. The sink was not happy.
05th May, 2014
A shock

I love the smell of this one. It has a sensual fruity quality, almost as if the fruits are on the edge of being overly ripe. There is richness in the basenotes, something musky and a bit dark. The only problem I have is the projection is not great, and the longevity is lacking.


So, here is a problem; this makes me nauseous half the time I wear it. I have now worn it about 6 more times, and three of them I have felt sick. There is something in the initial sweetness that does not agree with me. A few more wears, and my bottle might go to someone who can enjoy it more consistently than I can.

04th July, 2013
I feel this is a step above the long lines of generic citrus dept. store fragrances...barely. It isn't linear like most, the dates and vanilla give it some depth. I did not get excited by it, I would wear it if I had it but wouldn't buy it.
05th May, 2013
People have said great things about this fragrance and they are all true.
I have had compliments from women of all ages.
Probably my fall/winter signature fragrance now.
04th May, 2013
A very original smelling and interesting perfume to say the least. It seems like no one's experience with John Varvatos is quite the same. I get a sort of dark cherry note in the top , brought about by the tamarind and date fruit which sticks around for a while as the fragrance moves into a spicy mid (cinnamon, coriander) and finally a vanilla/leather base. I've always felt like the bottle represents this fragrance pretty well. It's dark, but smooth and approachable. John Varvatos is well-suited for the winter and could also be considered something of a romantic fragrance.

One thing I think everyone can agree on is that this fragrance is MOODY. As others have stated, on some days the projection is through the roof and on others it's minimal. The same goes for the longevity. And there are times when Varvatos maintains a tight, solid structure throughout its duration, and others when it seems to fall apart before your eyes, each note separating from the whole and bouncing around in a discordant frenzy. Its inconsistency is the only thing, in my opinion, keeping John Varvatos from being a truly great perfume, or designer classic. It has so many great things going on--yet it's marked by this one tragic flaw. That said, I still think it's a very good fragrance and one that I thoroughly enjoy wearing...most of the time.
22nd December, 2012
I finished a bottle pretty quickly a few years ago and will buy another very soon.
11th November, 2012 (last edited: 25th December, 2015)
Generally I like 70's and 80's powerhouses and despise "modern" perfumes that smell wimpy and afeminate. Powerhouses are strong, dominant and with an attitude. Don't get me wrong, I like ladies perfumes that have character like Black Orchid, Norell and Arpege (and I have worn them in occasions), what I dislike is the lack of personality of modern perfumes like Chrome, L'eau d'Issey and A. di Gio.
John Varvatos by John Varatos may be a modern perfume, but has character, personality and also some attitude. Is not a powerhouse, but is clearly a ubermasculine, a perfume that stands tall in the middle of today's mediocrity.
It is also highly unusual with notes I have never smelled in any perfume before so you will not be smelling like the thousands of clones out in the market.
An outstanding perfume that is innovative, bold and with cojones in a sea of wimpy scents that dominate the industry today.
05th November, 2012
Long time site enthusiast and I generally lurk the fragrance directory getting tips and buying loads of fragrances recommended by people on this site.

I've never been compelled to write a review. Until now. I bought this via a friend for very cheap. Read a few things on it and thought I can't go wrong with what i paid for it.

Anyway, it's one of the most unique powerhouse of smells in the history of commercial mass produced fragrances. Openings of sweet dates and spices is overpowering. The dry down is the best, it's smells like leather and roses infused with a real raw masculinity.

Honestly,this is the stuff.
09th August, 2012
In the heartnotes there is a sickly sweet note reminiscent of Joop. The drydown gets slightly better...
22nd July, 2012
After reading many positive reviews of it I was really curious to test it.
As it's a relatively rare fragrance in my country it took several months to find a sample!
At first I got average top notes which regarding aforementioned positive reviews nearly disappointed me, coz I expected a differently lovely scent from it. but after a while turned to lovely partially sweet warm notes that made me partially satisfied with the fragrance.
But wait, how familiar this scent is to me!
Yes, I get 90% base notes of CARLOS SANTANA for men! believe me, if you don't give a try!
Not a unique & must buy one, but good to have. I'll buy because I love Carlos Santana, but rare to find another one!
Finally pointing to its reasonable price I'll give it a WEAK thumbs up!
29th June, 2012
I'm not going to say this is a bad fragrance, However, I do believe it could use some assistance. I would classify this as a dark fragrance, in many ways similar to Hugo Dark Blue. Or on other words like a dark woodsy oriental.

I am giving this a neutral
First, the bad. While it is a darker scent, to me it seems to have no real direction. There is a slight Dr. Peppery note in there that I do enjoy however. It also seems to last fairly well without being overpowering and the scent dries to a darker sandalwood / amber type of accord. You could get a good 8 hours out of this without dousing yourself in it. A little goes a long way here.
23rd March, 2012