Perfume Directory

Dark Rebel Rider (2016)
by John Varvatos


Dark Rebel Rider information

Year of Launch2016
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 46 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

The opening is wood-smoked leather, incense and a hint of potpourri florals. The effect is very masculine and refined. This smells much better than its price at the time of this review. Also, and this goes a long way for me as it was not expected, my wife actually liked this scent on me. She thought it had the smell of a "rich guy", so take that for what it's worth.

Projection is good during the first couple hours and then it settles and becomes softer and just "okay". Longevity is about 6-7 hours.
26th December, 2020
Rodrigo Flores-Roux's work is underrated, and John Varvatos fragrances are often unfairly criticized for their performance.

In Dark Rebel Rider, Flores-Roux manages to balance the leather and smoke with just enough sweetness to smooth the rough edges. It wears close to the skin, but exudes character. I like that it’s idiosyncratic. This balance of unique accords with wearability is what makes the Varvatos line a step up from most mainstream designer fragrances.

Varvato’s fragrances might not knock your socks off, but they’re quality fragrances at affordable prices, and DRR is no exception. In the end, whether or not you like this may be a matter of taste, because it’s well made and there isn’t too much that is challenging or out of place. I’ll take Neil Young over Tom Waits any day of the week.

Thumbs up.
06th October, 2020
Tom Ford Tobacco Oud for the working man. Sweet, resinous, and leathery with an “impression“ of oud floating around in the middle.

$28 bucks for 120 ml and relatively polished without any harsh synthetics. I would feel secure with this one as a blind-buy as you could do far worse at this price point with the majority of the mall fragrance counter dreck that is out there today for men.

Wear in cooler weather to improve performance and you should get around 4 hours.

2.5 stars.

30th September, 2020
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

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