Negative Reviews of John Varvatos by John Varvatos

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    JackTwist's avatar

    United States United States

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    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

    schwrtz5's avatar

    United States United States

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    In the heartnotes there is a sickly sweet note reminiscent of Joop. The drydown gets slightly better...

    22nd July, 2012

    sjohnjay's avatar

    United States United States

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    I'm sorry. I have nothing good at all to say about this. From the ultra pungent & spicy notes that last 16 hours, to the corny/pretentious 'pyramid', this shit makes me literally wretch (Black leather; Vanilla CO2....come on-really?!?). AND YES, I DO realize this is just my minority opinion (just look a the feedback it gets). BAD

    24th January, 2010

    Louslice's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    This perfume begins with a blast of aquatic, "fresh" notes, which are the same sort of artificial chemicals that most of the department store perfumers, as well as the drugstore shampoos and deodorant makers, use all the time.

    Fresh, clean, aquatic, blah blah blah, I am tired of these artificial chemical smells and find them vaguely offensive. They certainly are pungent and intrusive, and when you think about it they don't actually smell fresh or clean. What exactly does "fresh" smell like? Or "clean"? Maybe to some people it smells like Maritima or Muguet Aldehyde 50 BB, but to me those chemicals smell just like ... chemicals. So right away I don't like this one.

    Later some fruit and herb smells develop, like the perfume is really trying to make a statement, but I am not engaged or interested at all. Plus the aquatic notes are still pervasive. So the rest are lost on me, and I don't care if my wrist still smells like West Indian Tamarind Leaves or not. They should have let the fruits and herbs stand on their own, without wrapping it around the plastic fresh wrapper that everyone else uses.

    This perfume lasts well, so you can smell like fake chemicals the entire day if you like. I would prefer not.

    25th November, 2009

    neitheornor's avatar

    United States United States

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    Hideous. Cloyingly sweet, vanilla-ish, candy-like. I can't wash it off my skin fast enough. Somehow it got on my cat, and now my cat stinks like John Varvatos' vat of displeasure. I can't GIVE this away. Well, I could. Many people would find this a quite delightful concoction, after all. It smells, though way too sweet for my tastes, like something I could imagine many men might want to smell like. Though personally I think it smells very feminine. But I won't give it away because like John Varvatos' clothes, the bottle is too awesome, with its neat little leather sleeve and scoopy old-timey drugstore bottle. It sure looks like it should be filled with a magical, dark, and dusky liquid. Unfortunately: FAIL.

    19th November, 2009

    odysseusm's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    In my opinion, this is a waste of potentially great ingredients. Corrections and additions to fragrance notes -- medjool date fruit (not separate ingredients), mediterranean herbs are lavender, myrtle and rosemary, Indian ajowan is a herb reportedly giving thyme and oregano notes, only one vanilla as a CO2 extract, the balsams are combined with myrrh and benzoin, eaglewood may be something like oud, auramber is likely a synthetic note. So as we see, potentially a great green herbal-spice brew. (all of this from the excellent JV website)
    Instead, this essentially is a cloying, ambery-vanilla stew, with headache-inducing qualitites. The top and mid notes are pretty good, though very brief. The greens are fresh and interesting, and the wood/incense is appealing. Then the dreaded heavies and sweeties kick in, and it’s scrubbin’ time! The drydown has an unpleasant note I often find with very synthetic ambers, it is a kind of detergent/amber combination that is extremely irritating.

    01st April, 2009

    LiveJazz's avatar

    United States United States

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    Meh, it smells of fruity syrup to begin with, then dries down to a creamy vanilla. I was very surprised by how heavy this one is. It reminds me of the women's CK Euphoria, which is also too sweet. Perhaps a good clubbing scent, but I wouldn't wear it for much else.

    05th September, 2006

    MonkeyManMatt's avatar

    Sweden Sweden

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    Reminds me strongly of Armani Black Code. one that is just okay. Unfortunately JV doesn't improve on that concept the least. Instead I perceive it as quite synthetic and slightly cloying. Apart from a GREAT flacon, this was a letdown.

    15th March, 2006

    IPaidForThisName's avatar



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    John Varvatos is a fragrance that really ‘grinds my gears’. I went through the employee training for this fragrance, and I’ve mingled with countless reps for this fragrance, and this fragrance is all marketing. It’s a basic sweet leather fragrance with a fruit accord (They say date). They say this is the first fragrance to use Agarwood, which isn’t true, and I would also like to point out that there is nothing that smells even remotely like agarwood in JV. It’s sweet, and the leather doesn’t really make its presence known, but the entire scent wears pretty close to the skin. Basically, this scent is nothing new or groundbreaking. The packaging is very nice, though. The bottle with the leather band.

    20th September, 2005

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