Neutral Reviews of John Varvatos by John Varvatos

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    RichNTacoma's avatar
    RichNTacoma
    United States United States

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    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.

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    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.

    04 July, 2013

    Doc.T 1977's avatar
    Doc.T 1977
    United States United States

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    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.

    23 March, 2012

    Darvant's avatar
    Darvant
    Italy Italy

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    Quite an interesting modern masculine fruity fragrance with a dark temperament, a slightly boozy-herbal vibe and a soft background. The scent combines a huge quantity of synthetic fruits (red fruits, citrus, exotic fruits, watery fruits), with hints of herbs (rosemary, myrtle, thyme, lavender), floral notes and leather over a base of balsams, musk, gourmand notes (dark chocolate?) and resinous woods. The smell reminds me a bit the one from Canali Black Diamond and ends very smooth and leathery with hints of fruitiness. The scent is not unpleasant, on the contrary the smell exudes a captivating aura but unfortunately i smell a sheer detergent feel in the synthetic background that reports instead to me the idea of bath-shower foam. I write "not bad" because of the nice dark smell but i say "what a pity" because of its too much artificial and "candy kind" texture and its too shy final temperament.

    22 February, 2012

    barclaydetolly's avatar
    barclaydetolly
    United States United States

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    To me, it smells like someone spilled cherry cough syrup on a leather jacket, and allowed the cough syrup to dry. It's not a bad smell, necessarily, but I don't think I want to smell anything like this. It is unique, and I can see why some may like it, especially in colder weather.

    05 August, 2011

    Grottola's avatar
    Grottola
    United States United States

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    Meh. Nothin' special, just a spicy-sweet cinnamon fragrance like Carlos Santana for Men or (a less annoying) 1 Million.

    03 March, 2011

    PradaG's avatar
    PradaG
    United States United States

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    This scent reminds me of leathery trees in a mossy forest. I went sampling at a local perfume shop and of all the fragrances I tried on paper that day, I told myself I would leave spraying this one (JV) on my neck. Great smell but WEAK longevity. After going trigger happy with the bottle in the store, I only got a couple hours with this one. This makes a great: poker night with the buddies while drinking whiskey scent.

    09 February, 2011

    obscura's avatar
    obscura
    United States United States

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    This is the fragrance that first caused me to pay attention to--and then love--perfume. JV came out while I was working at a department store, but it didn't attract as much attention as many of the other fragrances. I was looking for something distinctive, and the spicy, leathery notes of JV won my heart.

    However, as I've grown as a perfumisto, JV has grown to feel thin to my nose, without the depth I want to pretend is there. That said, I still think it is a pleasant, distinctive fragrance that is at the very least more interesting than many of the masculines on the market. Although it's longevity isn't great, I have gotten many compliments on it over the years, and I still wear it when I'm feeling nostalgic for my department store years....

    01st February, 2011

    kpsunil's avatar
    kpsunil


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    Great fragrance. Longevity is, well non existent. Projection is weak as well. This gets a thumbs up for the fragrance part.

    11th December, 2010

    PaladinX's avatar
    PaladinX


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    I would have given this scent a thumbs up on the scent alone. It has a lot of wild and unique fragrance notes inside. They are very well balanced and blended, and you get a nice sweet dark cherry/plum vibe along with a mixture of spices, vanilla and soft leather. The only main problem with this cologne is the projection and longevity is not good at all. It is a very weak and subtle fragrance. For the cooler months in the winter this might lack the staying power. If this was stronger, I think it would be an excellent winter fragrance. I say john varvatos would be more suited for the fall months as it is. Overall nice smell, unique, Great mixture of fruit and spices.. and the price is great. You can get it very affordable online. Downside, Projection and longevity. Certainly not the panty dropper, however, Maybe great for a night out for a couple hours at a fancy restaurant.

    08 October, 2010

    Brutus's avatar
    Brutus


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    Rather weak juice, as TropiRock complains. My wrist required quite a generous splash to appreciably bring out the dimensions of the scent. Immediate notes are astringent and grassy with flickerings of apple spirits far off, this then swiftly and dramatically changes to a bright and sugary blue-green accord of jasmine and cinnamoned vanilla; this latter note comes to dominate the middle of the fragrance as the jasmine cools. For the half-hour to 45 minutes that the vanilla ran the show this fragrance was much too buttery-cinnabun rich and linear for my taste, but as the vanilla wanes the mellowed jasmine is uncovered once again and the result, for a very short while, is a delicately sweet, much softer, and lightly floral recapitulation of the initial jasmine-vanilla confection. In a word, this final stage of the fragrance smells like one might imagine Santa Claus would smell, albeit, Santa imagined not as a cartoonish caricature but as a magical, ageless fellow. All this isn't to say that this scent is clearly appropriate for any age. I'd say that young men should only wear it if they feel comfortable in one of dad's old hand-me-down Stafford sweaters, sipping scotch or eggnog at a family gathering, perhaps with a very chaste date. This stays very close to the skin. In sum, it certainly won't raise the ladies' body temperatures, but it might add something to the pleasantness of an evening near the fire with friends and family---only, however, if applied a good hour in advance of one's plans, as that middle vanilla salvo is indeed a caricature.

    25 July, 2010

    Sportsman5's avatar
    Sportsman5
    United States United States

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    Positives: Great sweet, yet masculine, scent. Fairly unique. It may work well for an evening date.

    Possible Drawbacks: the scent life is unbelievably disappointing. A great scent from start to finish, but it just finishes way too quick. 4 or 5 hours is all I get, and the projection is not very impressive

    Overall: If you're willing to reapply this scent at some point during the day or night, then this could be a great buy.

    12 July, 2010

    johnm's avatar
    johnm


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    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.

    27 June, 2010

    TropiRock's avatar
    TropiRock
    United States United States

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    My review will be quite brief. A great bottle does not a great cologne make. John Varvatos is a nice little cologne, with one glaring deficiency: the formula is so weak that, even after 6 or 7 sprays, I can still barely smell it – even when I press my nose firmly against the forearm where I normally apply colognes. Other BNoters have mostly expressed good sillage and longevity, while a few others have noted the cologne’s weakness. Interesting. Anyway, in good conscience I can’t rate this higher than a neutral. With a stronger recipe, maybe it could be a thumbs up, but if I can barely smell it, I can’t very well endorse it.

    26 March, 2010

    holyzoo's avatar
    holyzoo
    United States United States

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    It took me awhile to identify the similarity, but to me this is most similar to Donna Karan Fuel for Men and not at all as well done, nor crafted as creatively.

    With that out of the way, if you never step foot near DK Fuel, I'd say damn good job finding John Varvatos. It's pretty damn cool - Fruit/Spice/Warm Leather. Wear this at night.

    15 March, 2010

    jrntnlead's avatar
    jrntnlead


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    Yeah, the names on the pyramid are as pretentious as they are silly. But really, aren't all the items listed on most of the pyramids. They generally help me anticipate a fragrance.....not one bit.

    This is not a masterpiece, but it is good enough to have inspired me to get back into fragrances after a long hiatus of more than 15 years. A while back I went to the counter at Nordstroms and tested a boat load of...ho hum to downright wretched things. I was looking for Egoiste, which I had liked in the early nineties, and nothing smelled remotely interesting to me (certainly not Platinum Egoiste --Yick!). Except this one.

    Some of the top notes remind me a bit of egoiste but deviates from then on. Has maybe some sweet pipe tobacco, and there is never anything unpleasant about this one. However, it does seems to have some pregnant pauses that occur throughout the day, as if some things that were supposed to meld and sauté together didn't. So it is a bit disjointed. It is not cloyingly sweet, yet still could benefit from something giving it a sharper of darker dimension.

    The perfumer was onto something here, but this remains an early draft.

    11th March, 2010

    MrFragranceReview's avatar
    MrFragranceReview
    United States United States

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    This fragrance's opening is very intriguing and exotic. It screams with dark, sweet dried fruit with a leathery wood overtone which is very nicely done. The more I smell this fragrance the more I like it. The sillage is above average for a short period of time but, this suffers in longevity. The drydown loses the dried fruit and focuses more on the leather and becomes somewhat less intriguing. It's the sophisticated manly version of Le Male.
    The scent falls apart quite quickly most likely due to the poor quality ingredients which is a shame because it's a very interesting fragrance though, a tad too sweet on certain occasions.

    06 February, 2010 (Last Edited: 23 February, 2011)

    tanto's avatar
    tanto
    United States United States

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    This is one scent I really can't figure out. Too me, it's "syrupy". I don't hate it nor do I love it. By the way, the 4.2oz EDT spray is now available at Marshall's for $26.99

    26 January, 2010

    Surfacing's avatar
    Surfacing
    Canada Canada

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    John Varvatos

    The finest moment of JV is the opening with the delicious creamy date smell. I love it. Overall a sweet fragrance which I quickly learned does not last very long on my dry skin. Perhaps 2 hours at most. Yes, JV can last on fabric for 24 hours (clothing, bag, coat...etc, but on my skin it is very fleeting. I find this frustrating as I do prefer to apply fragrances on my skin. After I had initially dismissed my bottle as a "mistake" purchase, I began testing JV on different fabrics. On my carry-on bag, JV allows the creamy date smell to linger and it lasts over 24 hours on it. On my baseball cap and winter coat, the vanilla and leather seems to come out very well on those fabrics as well..

    Usually for daily wear I spray my inner shirt below my neck and the elbows of my shirt. When sprayed as such, JV does get tiring and very sweet. The sweetness is not really restrained, although not over the top as some other masculine’s ( Allure Homme). I believe JV works well on thicker fabrics, not soft and thin t-shirts.

    Anyways, JV is not a fragrance I would consider strong at all. When I first sprayed this, I was very apprehensive. It was a blind buy. Anytime I spray a fragrance for the first time, it catches me off guard no matter what. Initially I did not like it. That was over one year ago. But quickly I took a liking to JV. Top notes are fantastic. Unfortunately on my skin, the dry down does not reveal the black leather.

    It is difficult to recommend a fragrance that does not wear well on (my) skin. That is unless, however, like my self, you learn to live with applying JV to your coat, shirts, and carry-on bags. That way it smells nice, lasts very well, although I am not sure how bad this is for your clothing.

    The bottle is very cool looking with the color and faux leather around the bottle. The sprayer does not release a lot of juice. About half as much as some bottles I have.

    If JV works well on your skin and gives you good longevity, then this is a good fragrance. I am gonna go neutral on this one. JV could use some restraint in the sweetness; as well have more pronounced leather and more lingering date note.

    26 June, 2009

    Stereotomy's avatar
    Stereotomy
    Netherlands Netherlands

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    sweet oriental

    Mainstream sweet-almondy-sandalwood oriental. Certainly not the wost in its class, but lacks character. Likable by many, I suppose.

    13 March, 2009

    PigeonMurderer's avatar
    PigeonMurderer
    Finland Finland

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    It’s not that bad but to my nose almost disturbingly sweet. Fresh, fruity and very very sweet.

    Very gimmicky pyramid release to my mind….I think this is far more simple and unoriginal creation that note list may suggest.

    Dried fruits covered in massive piles of sugar, very small hint of suede and lots of that Minotaure-Roma Uomo- like amber. That sums up JV quite nicely, doesn’t it (?)

    Very contemporary, versatile and harmless subtle fragrance if I take it easy on the trigger. Larger amounts makes that sweetness hit in very unpleasant style.

    Nice but also awfully average fragrance at the end of the day.

    03 March, 2009

    mcjra's avatar
    mcjra
    Philippine Philippine

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    VERY sweet, I can't separate all the notes, I definately pick up the vanilla when I wear this frag, but very little, if any leather. Sometimes I can pick it up, other times I can't.

    10th February, 2009

    's avatar



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    I am slightly disappointed with my (blind) purchase of John Varvatos.
    I love the initial burst of meditteranean herbs and date fruit but when it dries down it becomes too sweet and cheap smelling. Doesn't last very long either. One woman at work described it as 'awful', however I wouldn't say it is that bad.....just try before you buy.

    23 October, 2008

    Tony T's avatar
    Tony T
    United States United States

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    one day you love and the next day i hate. to say the least it's a subtle mildly fruity and mildly sweet. almost as many notes as antidote i feel there is no kicker here. u know to spice it up, or trick it out. a decent safe scent that i gave away but wished i did not. still haven't tried vintage or artisan.

    05 September, 2008 (Last Edited: 25 August, 2009)

    Ronin's avatar
    Ronin
    United States United States

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    This fragrance is strong and lasts a long time. The dry down in definitely better than the initial spray but it's still a bit overpowering in my tastes. I can see this fragrance making some people nauseous because of its overpowering vanilla smell in the drydown. If you're going to buy this, please don't overspray. A few sprays is definitely enough for this fragrance. I was going to buy this fragrance blindly but I am now glad that I was able to test this one before buying. This one is not for me but I can see many people liking it. There are times that I like the smell but then it turns me off at the same time. Again, do not overspray this one. People will smell you even after the first spray.

    02 September, 2008

    JonB's avatar
    JonB
    United States United States

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    Nothing stupendous, but quite nice. Won't offend anyone. Very good longevity. A bit too syrupy sweet.

    31st August, 2008 (Last Edited: 08 September, 2009)

    dudeinthemoon's avatar
    dudeinthemoon
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    I'm way too young for this, and i prefer fresher, more simple fragrances, you might want to bear that in mind. There is no doubt that this smells nice, sophisticated and relatively mascauline, no one is going to hate it, but there's something a little too dark and fruity in a dry, sweet way for me. Very leathery too.

    08 May, 2008

    Stockholm's avatar
    Stockholm
    Sweden Sweden

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    Ebay provides an excellent opportunity to try out many fragrances, that one would probably not buy otherwise, J. Varvatos is one of these! I have not found Varvatos on sale here in Europe, but got interested after reading about it here, and finally I have my own 4.2 bottle to smell from. Personally I have come to the conclusion that this is not the fragrance for me… It is not that I don’t like it, it actually smells pretty nice…but it is just something about it that I don’t like and I can’t put my finger on it. Maybe it is the somewhat too soothing vanilla note or maybe the concoction of exotic notes that together with leather notes, makes J. Varvatos smell a little strange and intrusive according to me. My girlfriend adores this scent, so I guess it can’t be all that bad! But if I would choose a fragrance for going on a date with myself, this is not the fragrance I would wear to make a first impression. Grading this is hard, even if my girlfriend likes it, I still think that I stick to my own impression…

    02 April, 2007

    G23riel's avatar
    G23riel
    Romania Romania

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    Overall a mix that works: starts off with a date/exotic fruit and ends up more fresh(aromatic) and oriental (warmth that everybody noted).

    Problem is that it does not last that long to be considered a classic.

    And for the asking price, there are other excellent frags that beat this one in sillage and longetivity and draw even on uniqueness. So, if you are getting a good deal, I would recommend it.

    14 February, 2007

    chadmwgarrett's avatar
    chadmwgarrett


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    Varvatos is a great scent for winter and fall however for me personally I love the scent but find the longevity of it to be very short. Wish it was made in a parfum and maybe a bit stronger. For me it smells great for a few hours but fades quickly.. Try to wear it to work but it just doesnt last for me.. Nothing against the scent I really adore it just wish it had a kick..however maybe for someone else it may last longer..

    23 October, 2006

    nattygold's avatar
    nattygold
    United States United States

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    John Varvatos is a middle of the road scent.I don't get much leather. I wouldn't call it a true leather scent as Knize Ten or even Cuiron is. There's something synthetic that reminds me of Nemo. Maybe it's the fruity topnote

    19 August, 2006

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