Perfume Directory

John Varvatos (2004)
by John Varvatos


John Varvatos information

Year of Launch2004
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 781 votes)

People and companies

HouseJohn Varvatos
PerfumerRodrigo Flores-Roux
SupplierQuest International
Parent CompanyRevlon Inc > Elizabeth Arden Inc
Parent Company at launchShiseido > ZIC Corp

About John Varvatos

The scent itself was created by Quest International on behalf of Zirh / Shiseido using Varvatos' ideas. Its notes are familiar (Leather, Herbs) and unique (Medjool, Indian Tamarind Tree Leaves, Eaglewood, Auramber - all never used before in perfumery).

The bottle is inspired by: "Masculinity, Luxury and the texture of the Varvatos' Fashion Collection" - a mix of smoked glass and leather.

Reviews of John Varvatos

Voted “Best gym fragrance” by Introverts Unite! Magazine, 2004.
Noticeably unnoticeable. A squeaky clean shower gel wrapped in a dryer sheet. The only thing less offensive would be a tepid glass of water.
13th September, 2020
Looks amazing on paper. Smells like a cheap Lacoste fragrance - don’t get much date or richness. A real shame.
17th January, 2020
There are fragrances I can only describe as "cologne"-y, which may be vague but means something reasonably clear: these scents do not evoke real-world aromas as much as they evoke the abstract idea of masculine cologne as it has become enshrined in the mainstream.

This is one such scent. It boasts a complex note list, but if those layers are really there, my nose can't really parse it. This is smooth and dark and anonymous.
27th December, 2019
I will say this every time about Varvatos fragrance notes: They are not very helpful.

I give this fragrance a thumbs up for how great it smells and how versatile it is. But its longevity is pretty lacking.

Applied at 9am it is faint and hard to detect by 1pm. I keep a bottle on my desk in case I forget cologne when I'm getting ready.

So if it doesn't perform particularly well, and it doesn't project much, why do I like it?

It's gotten me a few compliments, sure. But where this one shines is how many different situations it suits. You can wear this casually, formally, to the office, with a suit, with a pair of jeans. You get the picture.

And its smell is great. There aren't many in my collection that I could compare it to. Maybe a far superior and more creative Gucci Guilty Black?

I'm confused as to how the Vintage version of this fragrance has no problem lasting all day and this one needs a redux around noon. I actually spray my office with it before meetings. Its faint lingering in the air is conducive to making a room smell great.

Wear this anywhere, any season, any time, to anything. Spray it on yourself, on your clothes, on your sheets, in the air. It's an expensive and more luxurious Febreeze.

Scent: 8/10

Longevity: 3/10

Sillage: 4/10
25th July, 2018
I was aware of this John Varvatos fragrance back in 2004 when it had first come out. At that time, I was so busy checking out other scents on the market that I hadn't sampled this cologne, but I was meaning to for quite a while. SInce then, I had sampled his other fragrances - Dark Rebel, Vintage, Artisan Blu, Artisan Black, Artisan Pure - and now I have finally checked out this one.

The fragrance triangle list was chock full of notes I have seldom seen in other colognes; as a man of east Indian descent, I appreciated the inclusion of medjool, date fruit, west Indian tamarind tree, and Indian ajowan into this formulation.

Subjectively, I experience a scent full of layers that are exotic, yet familiar all the same. There is a slight tang (tamarind seems to dominate) paired up with requisite spiciness from subtle amounts of coriander and sage flower.

On balance, John Varvatos' 2004 scent reminds me of a more sophisticated, watered-down version of FCUK Him: Both have a powderiness that isn't static, swimming around with other herbs, spices and foundational basenotes.

Although there is a definite bend towards Indian sensibilities in this fragrance, I actually take away a more Italian sensation in the end. The end result is something slightly higher than a skinscent that acts as a silent friend around company, versus a brash extrovert who can't stop talking! Occasions for this cologne are definitely for informal ones, warm or cold. But with a bit more heavy application, it can work in formal occasions perhaps.

I like John Varvatos' offering. Worth a try (it can be easily confused with his other scents, as they all have the same shape though with different embossments and colors).
26th June, 2018
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)

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