Perfume Directory

Dark Rebel Rider (2016)
by John Varvatos


Dark Rebel Rider information

Year of Launch2016
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 41 votes)

People and companies

HouseJohn Varvatos
PerfumerRodrigo Flores-Roux
Parent CompanyRevlon Inc > Elizabeth Arden Inc

About Dark Rebel Rider

Dark Rebel Rider is a masculine fragrance by John Varvatos. The scent was launched in 2016 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Roux

Reviews of Dark Rebel Rider

What a fantastic dark, leathery fragrance from Varvatos!
Often the most notable thing about Varvatos frags are the cool, interesting bottle designs, rather than the cologne inside. But in this case, they've managed to formulate a fragrance that surpasses the cool looking, leather-clad bottle.

Despite the dozen+ frangrance notes listed on the pyramid profile above, I mostly just get leather and incense, and maybe a little bit of cedar.

I like it a lot! I like it much better than Gucci Guilty Absolute's leathery-suede fragrance, and this is less expensive.
To me, the quality of the leather scent in this is almost at the same level of AdP Colonia Leather and TF Tuscan Leather, and perhaps closest to Ombre Leather, but much softer, more palatable, and much more wearable, due in part to the other supporting notes. Especially the incense note, which blends together so well here with the leather and other supporting notes. If there's Iris in this, it's so far in the background it's barely detectable.

Average sillage - not as potent as some leather based scents; and better than average longevity as far as I can tell so far - at least 7 to 8 hours. This is very well suited to cooler/cold Autumn, Winter, and early Spring weather.

A very impressive scent from a usually mediocre, lame-stream designer house, this is probably Varvatos' best offering to date.
10th May, 2020
Dark Rebel Rider is distinctive, surprisingly so for the Varvatos line, which skews more towards "restrained" (even the original Dark Rebel is a kind of forgettable mass-market thing). While I'll give this points for originality, this is a truly cloying blend of motorcycle jacket leather and a thick, syrupy, resinous take on a "Dr. Pepper"-y spicy background which left me recoiling in disgust.

Dark Rebel Rider would seem to have served the inspiration for Salvatore Ferragamo Uomo Signature (2018), which takes this same scent DNA and softens the sharp edges. The resulting scent is less punchy than Dark Rebel Rider but is altogether more elegant and balanced.
01st September, 2019
The note pyramid reads like the plot of a fantastic 1920s feminine - how far we have traveled from that aesthetic! And I got DRR from a discounter in the hopes that it would hold some bewitchment for me with all of that goodness in there.

And it does, an airy, powdery, slightly sweet birch tar goodness that adds to the ambiance in the desert. Maybe this is a strong and butch and wintry frag in some conditions, but in mine it performs like the EDT it says it is. I like it for its very softness, ironically! My vintage Habanita is a way bigger dark rebel rider.

22nd August, 2019
Take the original, tone down the bright booze, amp up the leather, add a dollap of incense and a pinch of smoke. You have Rebel Rider. It is sweet, but that is balanced down by the leather and incense to give this a darker feel. Not a dirty brown leather, more like a black biker jacket on a real biker. Bad a** dudes could sport this. Not metro or betas. Projection and longevity both above average. Fall and evening wear. This is a GOOD fragrance. Better than most designers and cheapies.
19th June, 2019
I have a pretty solid and consistent rotation these days. That being said, I lean towards the more pungent and aromatic stuff rather than the modern feathery unisex types. I'm looking at my dresser and there is Pure Havane, Kryptomint, Boss #1, Giorgio BH and Red, Pack Rabanne PH, Michael Kors...and my tha only two Varvatos bottles I have ever actually left out for regular wear - Dark Rebel and DR Rider.

Rider is some seriously good juice. I am a musician, and that is who Varvatos seems to cater to. Leather, dust, coffee, chocolate, booze, smoke and incense. You get ALL of that here. There are alot of notes in that pyramid, but unlike alot of those other Jackson Pollack type colognes, you can close your eyes and pick out what's listed. It's like music in some can hear a song and immediately its strikes you as relatable - but the more you listen to it, the more it becomes a part of who you are.

That's where I am with DR Rider. It's cool and different without having to try too hard or be obnoxious.

As with the entire Varvatos line, the bottle is top notch. Unlike alot of the Varvatos line, the performance is great. 5 strategic squirts and I can smell myself all night at the bar - and my clothes still have it the next day.

Not great for an office setting or daytime wear, but for after hours fun...this is your guy.
01st June, 2019
A pretty dark masculine leather/floral which opens aromatic and kind of orangy in order to gradually perform a sort of elusive rubbery/balmy darkness middle way between the original Dark Rebel's vanillic smokey leather and the Tom Ford Tobacco Oud's mystic/noir ambience. I definitely detect the Rodrigo Flores-Roux's landmark spicy incensey darkly cosmetical vibe supremely performing in Donna Karan Black Cashmere. Really spicy/incensey (kind of misty and vaguely liturgical for a certain while) and with a final plain smooth chocolatey patchouli pairing in "presence" smooth rubbery leather and sweet floral elements. I detect hints of cedary dusty-peppery woodiness a la Bottega Veneta PH eau de parfum along the way. Performance is more than decent on my skin.
03rd March, 2019

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