Reviews of Vintage by John Varvatos

    Find out more about Vintage by John Varvatos in the Basenotes Fragrance Directory


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    bFlay's avatar

    United States United States

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    VINTAGE is...predictable. Very much what all mens fragrances were in the 80s and 90s. Pine, iris and sharply astringent green/aquatic mish-mash. This isn't bad, just unremarkable and overly well-tread scent. Probably not worth the price as this profile can be found in any discount store...

    24th October, 2014

    Sly2scents's avatar

    United States United States

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    My first purchase from the line. This fragrance contains all the essences of what I want out a fragrance. The only downfall or shortcoming is the longevity. I usually get about 3 or 4 hours before this becomes a skin scent. Then around the 5 hour its gone. My skin tends to drink it up. I wish they had a lotion that would compliment the fragrance to get better longevity out of this. But this is a masterpiece in my opinion.

    25th July, 2014

    Zenwannabee's avatar

    United States United States

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    This is a Houdini of a fragrance. In my opinion, one of the best men's scents in at least the last decade, but absolutely zero sillage. I put this on, savor the wafts of rich vanilla and warm tobacco--and poof! it's gone. And I'm one who doesn't mind colognes that lie down quickly and stay close to the body. But this one disappears nearly instantaneously--faster than many aftershaves I own. Not a deal killer if you don't mind re-applying often, or for an evening out. But a shame because it could have been legendary.

    11th May, 2014

    's avatar



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    Like Polo for the 21st Century

    Great scent if you want to leave echoes of Polo without being know as "the guy that still wears Polo." Wish it lasted longer; need to carry a spritzer to make it through the day.

    Pros: Tobacco, tonka, patchouli
    Cons: Minimal sliage"

    15th October, 2013

    RichNTacoma's avatar

    United States United States

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    JV with leather and tobacco

    Flankers, it seems are too often less about variation and more about marketing. No so here. Vintage clearly has the bones of the original, with some nice tobacco and leather that give it an old school feel to it. Its a mature scent, and an evening sent. It is also very good. Better longevity than the original. I think I prefer the the other, but this one is very nice, and projects better as well.

    10th August, 2013

    EdCSplash's avatar



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    Vintage Splash sample vial review

    great sample splash. will def. buy a full bottle.

    long lasting, good projection.

    I hope my real bottle is as good a the sample vial

    Pros: floral, not super strong, classic barbershop
    Cons: a bit boring for the young'uns"

    11th July, 2013

    thines01's avatar

    United States United States

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    True to its name

    This stuff is true to its name.

    It is a delicious, comfortable, creamy dressed-up man from the mid-1970s.

    This could be a signature scent for the confident man who makes no apologies for his decisions.

    This has a real barber-shop smell and is perfect for the over 30 crowd.

    Pros: Smells great and retro
    Cons: Smells retro

    29th May, 2013

    noideawhatimsaying's avatar



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    Absolutely superb. I am SUPER picky with my fragrances, and this is the epitome of a great Fall scent. It's wearable unlike niche. It's like - pumpkin/vanilla/tobacco, or SOMETHING of that. Maybe fig. It's just superb.

    20th April, 2013

    K.O.D.'s avatar



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    I get soooo many compliments with this one. Great winter scent, women love it. This is my favorite one I own so far.

    14th January, 2013

    BriGuy's avatar

    United States United States

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    One of my signatures. I love this one! It's a complex fragrance which gets GREAT compliments. The projection is short lived, so a mini or atomizer to refresh is a good idea.

    UPDATE: The projection is fantastic for about an hour. After that it stays VERY close to the skin. As for longevity, I have gotten well over 10 hours on this cologne; although, most of that is not projected at all.

    This fragrance is GREAT for me at work, since the projection is subtle and unobtrusive. I just got home from a long day and can still smell traces of it on my wrist after applying it 14 hours ago.

    06th October, 2012 (Last Edited: 10th October, 2012)

    sjg3839's avatar

    United States United States

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    Nice smelling fragrance. The only flaw with this one is the longevity. Only last about three hours on my skin. If it wasn't for that, I would have gave this one a thumbs up.You will receive compliments with this one.

    13th September, 2012 (Last Edited: 24th July, 2014)

    Teach13's avatar

    United States United States

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    I began reading up and trying fragrances a couple months ago. Vintage was one of the first scents I tried. It was, and still is, my favorite scent that I have worn to date. A nice, fruity smell to start. Turns into what I see as a classy man as it dries. Was the first scent that had me bringing my wrist up to my nose time and again for more. Lasted a good eight hours on me. When my wife smelled it, she liked it as well, but her first thought was of the holidays...so once the weather cools down a bit, this will be my next purchase.

    13th August, 2012

    Bobster's avatar



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    Yes as everyone has noted the scent life on this is between the 3-6 hour mark but my gosh in those hours this is AMAZING!!!!!Masculine all the way and I love it. I wore this two days in a row and in those two days I received two compliments from two different people.The scent alone makes up for its poor longevity. Try it out and if you come in contact with someone between the life of the scent I bet you will get a compliment. I know I did.

    15th July, 2012

    Francolino's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    exotic and sexy...duration should be prolonged

    20th June, 2012

    PerfumeCollector's avatar

    United States United States

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    Varvatos Vintage is becoming fast one of my favorites, I am a fan of fougeres and enjoy all powerhouses of the 70's and 80's and very rarely I like the newer fragrances, but this one kinda breaks the mold of "modern aquatic" garbage and really offers a feast for the nose. Coniferous but with a patchouli kick in a very sweet (tonka bean) background that slowly develops into a tobacco/leather base. A winner in my book

    10th August, 2011

    Mapletop's avatar

    United States United States

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    I realy love this fragrance and I don't say that often. I have to agree with the other basenoters that said this fragrance is romantic and masculine. At first sniff I thought that it had fig or a date fruit note even though the pyramid does not include those. Others have mentioned that this fragrance is weak or does not last long. I have to disagree as the fragrance evolves quickly. The drydown is amazing, suede, tobacco.

    06th August, 2011

    yoyo's avatar



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    very spicy, reminds me of some spice used in some Chinese dishes. Also the smell of tobacco is very noticeable. Not a very special scent.

    21st July, 2011

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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     Complex modern fragrance, as usual for Varvatos, this is the one (tested) of the brand which I prefer. The combination of aromatic woodsy notes of mountain, patchouli, sharp floral patterns, smoke and suede comes out, few hours later the first spray, as a smooth dark blend of pipe tobacco and velvety mellifluence with nuances of obscure flowers and a vintage undertone provided by the link of lavender, tobacco/patchouli, aromatic resins and santolina. The camphoraceous vibe of the latter is combined with the lovely juniper berries, fennels, oakmoss, lavender, obscure spices and mastering fir resin in order to exhale a cool vintage-leathery aromatic whiff that is combined with the modern suede, jasmine, quince paste, bitter alcoholic elements, a touch of balsams and creamy smoke. The fragrance keeps a certain level of dryness and is pleasant, softly leathery, vaguely fruity and dark. The note of patchouli is the masculine scale of elements and the link among those. Several woody patterns provide structure and woodsy mildness to the base. The wake is an alternation of soapy, resinous/leathery and dry-floral chic whiffs. Dark modernism is focused on the combination of rhubarb, jasmine, quince paste, aromatic absinth-fennels, smoky suede and balsams. Yes, an alternative for a romantic spring time night out.

    01st June, 2011 (Last Edited: 17th July, 2014)

    robyogi's avatar

    United States United States

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    I feel pretty much the same way that Live Jazz feels about this one. I tested it without paying attention to reviews, notes, press releases, or anything like that. The word "vintage" caught my eye, as did the leather on the bottle, and so I figured I'd give it a whirl. The opening seemed a little boozy to me. Like the fruity sweetness of tobacco with the tingle of herbs and spices. I have a small bottle of Croatian Rakija that has this herbal, slightly sweet smell, something like that. An okay start, but nothing groundbreaking. (And, frankly, looking now at the notes above...good lord, where are they coming up with these notes? Have they just taken all reigns off the marketing team - "write whatever you think sounds like it will sell, guys! Dudes like juniper and fir and tobacco and suede...don't they?...and santolina sounds so exotic!") And then, generic male base #2. I give up.

    04th May, 2011

    Akronite's avatar

    United States United States

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    I'm glad I didn't buy this one without first giving it a test drive. This is a delicious scent, complex, interesting, dense, right up my alley, an instant classic. However, to my grave disappointment, the scent had almost completely disappeared from my skin after a mere two hours. Otherwise, this scent would have easily and surely been one of my all-time favorites.

    14th April, 2011

    The_Cologneist's avatar

    United States United States

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    A different, interesting, and somewhat dark fragrance from John Varvatos. It took me a couple wearings to figure out the opening. At first I thought fig fig fig.. As many of the reviewers claim, however I think the pyramid is more accurate with the berry assessment. The result.. berry potpourri. That's it! it smells exactly like berry potpourri. I don't mean the Glade spray, I mean the legit potpourri, with the wood pieces, pine cones, acorns, cedar shavings, etc.

    While there is no fig listed in the pyramid, the berries in here certainly give off the fig smell. The fragrance does sit close to the skin, and longevity is a bit spotty, but like the original, I think the more exotic skin scent persona adds to its charm. Although it would be amazing if they made an intense version of this, or an EDP. Although people will say, just get CK Shock for that.. I see a lot of differences in the 2. And I doubt anyone will agree with me here, but I have a 5ml decant of Jubilation XXV/men, and I see them to be quite similar, especially their openings.

    In a nutshell; berry potpourri, figs, patchouli, cypress, spices, (notably cinnamon) with some light florals in the background are what dominates the first 2-3 hours of this fragrance.

    Again, this doesn't project as much as I would like this is a different and more intimate fragrance. Wear this when you're in an environment where you're close with your chick, or guy.. If somebody gets a whiff of you while it's still bouncing off your skin, you'll probably get complimented, and asked what you're wearing.. it's happened to me numerous time. Not only an extremely bottle worthy designer release, but also get some decants to carry around with you. An excellent fragrance, despite its performance issues.

    19th March, 2011 (Last Edited: 05th December, 2014)

    SmellyNinja's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Could have been a real winner. Warm. Romantic. Mature. Sophisticated. All good words to describe this offering.

    Sadly, as others confirm, it's gone within a couple hours.

    01st February, 2011

    obscura's avatar

    United States United States

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    I really wanted to like this one--there was something initially appealing to me about the romantic masculine image evoked by the lavender, tobacco and suede that burst through from the very beginning. However, this ends up smelling a bit too thin, more like a sad wisp of a memory than like your grandfather's leather armchair. The basic structure is definitely there, but it needs a bit of meat on its bones.

    That said, my wife loves this one, so I own a bottle plus the aftershave balm.

    01st February, 2011

    megamrexclusive's avatar

    United States United States

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    This cologne was a walk in buy for me. I was in Macy's, and just walking around trying to find a fragrance that was different and made me say wow. I smelled this and that was it, I didn't smell anything else it's definately unique. Think of the drink Berry Juicy Juice but with light musk metal alcohol smell thats exacally what this smells like mature but yet suttle. Grown and Sexy Scent for sure.

    15th January, 2011

    Safetyjon's avatar

    United States United States

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    I find Vintage to be an interesting woody chypre. Sometimes it smells like it's almost a gourmand. When I first tried it, it made me think of gin. This makes sense, since the juniper berry is one of the primary ingredients in the production of gin. It is sweet, but not excessive or cloying. I don't like most sweet fragrances, but I do enjoy JV Vintage. The sillage is not excessive. Nice manly dry-down with patchouli, leather and a prominent tobacco. Longevity on me is 8-10 hours. I like JV Vintage. It's is in my rotation and wear it when I want a safe, non-offensive fragrance...usually every couple of weeks. Overall, I give it a thumbs-up.

    05th October, 2010 (Last Edited: 10th November, 2011)

    fitch256's avatar

    United States United States

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    I wish these JV scents lasted longer, they are superb! This one is a slightly sweet tobacco scent. The juniper berries and patchouli mix well with the tobacco and suede to make this one very pleasant and more versatile than the original JV, however like the original, this one does not last well. 4 hours max out of this.

    25th September, 2010

    Brutus's avatar



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    A sparkling and somewhat "Disney" Christmas cider out of the bottle that mellows into a spicy, quasi-aquatic patchouli and jasmine accord. This smells for a while like a nice potpourri one might encounter in mom's guest bathroom. After a while the pinks of the patchouli begin to recede, but never completely vanish, and we have a linear sweet-aquatic jasmine middle, somewhat reminiscent of Cool Water. This begins to sour ever so slightly on my wrist somewhere as the middle fades. I don't get any of the tobacco. Ho hum.

    25th July, 2010

    freekypeeps's avatar



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    All I can say is this frag for men is the best in decades. I am so sick of the usual limey, musky offerings, when I found this one I was single and just wished I had a partner to spray it on so I could enjoy it completely! (Now I do ;)' )

    I'm not sure if it's the leather, the tobacco or just what it is that sets this one apart so nicely, but whatever it is - it works for me!

    @Jonattan you are so wrong about it not attracting women! All my gal pals love it too! :o)

    15th July, 2010

    Force of One's avatar

    United States United States

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    This was recently given to me as a gift and in totall disclosure I really haven't worn it out yet. That being said, it strikes me as a quintesential daytime-autumn scent, and that is how I plan to wear it when the calendar rolls around. I could see wearing this out to the bar on a Sunday afternoon to watch a football game.

    I defintately detect a cinnamon-y heavy pumpkin pie spice scent throughout. I can even agree with those who said it reminded them of a spiced apple cider as well.

    While I can't say in complete honestly I think I would have bought this for myself, I do see some potential to really come to like wearing this. As for now I give it a tenuous thumbs up rating

    18th June, 2010

    baldheadjim's avatar

    United States United States

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    Finally a spicy scent that works well with my skin. The jasmine/patchouli/vanilla-ish scent does a wonder job translating the sweet/spicy top notes into the masculine leathery base notes.

    01st May, 2010

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