John Varvatos Perfumes For Men: A Nice Continuum

Ever tried a John Varvatos perfume? These three have been around for some time, but only now have made a comeback to my local store, and thankfully so.



Varvatos_ClassicThe one with just the designers name is fruity and delicate right off the bat. It’s far from feminine though, with a line of spices and herbs striking through, pushing the fruity sweetness more decisively towards the masculine side.

With time, the apricot of the beginning moves towards fig, and it’s surrounded by woods and herbs.

So you have a fruity and an aromatic side, which come out hazy with a very moderate sillage, especially after a couple of hours.

I like figs in men’s fragrances, I think they defy the conventional two-way choice that we men are offered, which dictates that we either go gentle-clean or dirty-macho.






Varvatos ArtisanArtisan has a quite interesting opening, with herbs and spices, which get warmer with time but only up to a certain point. All in all it has the same gentle attitude of the original.

And then it gets bitter (ginger) – sweet (woods), with a citrusy edge. It’s warm and interesting, with a bunch of notes that is quite unusual for a mainstream perfume for men.

Like sour milk if you will, but in a good way…

These discording citrus note can make or break the fragrance, forcing you to decide if you like it or not.

In this case however I would recommend the Artisan version: the combination of citrus and woods makes it even less conventional and more masculine. So you get the best of two worlds.




Varvatos-vintageIf you never tried tobacco before, chances are you’re going to love it in this one. It’s warm and tingling, all supported by a balsamic haze.

Spices and woods are also part of the mix, but they never push too hard. At least the first part, the stage is all for a balsamic tobacco, then the notes blend together and get softer.

 It’s mature and intense, if I only were (or felt) older I could really get along with it.







John Varvatos Classic vs Artisan vs Vintage

If you take them in this order, you’ll go from bright to dark, from urban to classic, from younger to older.

They’re all different, yet all discreet. Even Vintage, the more who’s-your-daddy of the three, is not at all overpowering.  

They’re all warm and masculine, each one in its own way, but the Classic is more delicate and Vintage more mature, with Artisan somewhere in the middle.

 Vintage is the one with more personality, whereas Artisan is the more daring with it’s sour notes. Classic is a safe bet, especially if you like fig. Any of them however, can be a refreshing escape from the ever-present clean notes.