John Varvatos is a world-renowned American fashion designer who has been designing men’s clothing and accessories since 1999. It is no secret that John Varvatos has become one of the most prominent designers in the world, with his colognes being among the best-selling.
In 2004, John Varvatos launched his first fragrance called “John Varvatos”. Since then many excellent fragrances followed including classic scents that evoke memories of days gone by as well as modern fragrances that represent today’s trends.
With a wide range of scents and compositions to choose from, it can be sometimes difficult to find your favorite John Varvatos cologne. That’s why we have compiled this review for you.
After reading our review, you will know exactly what John Varvatos fragrance is best suited for your style, different occasions, and what composition creates a lasting impression.
In this article, we reviewed the best John Varvatos colognes currently available so you can find the perfect scent for your style.
12 Best John Varvatos Colognes
We reviewed each fragrance and boiled down a list of the top 12 colognes from their best-selling collections so you can pick your favorite easily.
1. John Varvatos Artisan Pure – Most popular and best selling
Artisan Pure is currently the best-selling cologne of John Varvatos and is perfect for a confident masculine man who knows what he wants and isn’t afraid to get it.
Top notes of Clementine, Mandarin Orange, Lemon, Bergamot and Thyme induce refreshing sentimentality all day long. Middle notes like Petitgrain offers an airy happiness while combined with Ginger’s zesty spice-lavender heart that emits classic masculinity. The base notes don’t shy away from Musk’s earthiness or Orris Root’s woodsy side before rounding out with Amber in the wake of woods-secreting Oakmoss for longer lasting presence on skin.
With this fragrance, you can experience an intricate olfactory journey no matter what season or time of day. Whether it’s mixing up drinks at the bar or taking in some historical sites while on vacation, wherever you go it will radiate boyish charm. Wear it with everything from jeans to slacks or use it to set an edge in your office environment-no matter what you’re wearing. Artisan Pure will make you feel true and unmistakable.
What we particularly like about this cologne is how it balances masculine and feminine notes. It gives off a classic masculinity that’s fashionable without being too heavy.
2. John Varvatos Dark Rebel
Dark Rebel is the perfect scent for a rebel who’s searching for his adventure. Throw off the chains of society and set out to find your calling.
With tobacco and an earthy scent, the Dark Rebel fragrance is anything but ordinary. This multifaceted aroma allows you to switch up your style all day long. Channel your inner rockstar as you wear the leather-scented cologne without fear that it will fade after a few hours – this ode to “freedom and revolution” will last all day with its woodsy undertone.
With clary sage, cardamom, rum sugar cane and castoreum in his top notes, John Varvatos Dark Rebel is rich with personality: sweet, spicy, smoky strong enough for any man who possesses a rebellious spirit.
3. John Varvatos Artisan
You don’t just get a fragrance when you choose Artisan, but also an artisan who’s handcrafted this unbelievable scent.
The signature of John Varvatos, Artisan shows your appreciation for history and authentic style with its stark minimalist packaging. Warm citrus and herbs immediately greet you on the top notes only to be multiplied by vibrant fruity fragrances. The heart opens up a bouquet that even an expert botanist would envy, before closing in the comforting sweetness from amber and musk.
When you are out on the town with an important client and need to impress, nothing beats Artisan by John Varvatos. This sophisticated fragrance is perfect for a man of style, whether it be in business or for casual attire. Citrus undertones make this cologne ideal for daytime use, while Earthy notes will help you feel confident all day long. When it comes to making new friends or chatting up old ones over drinks at lunch, you’ll always find that the right words come easy when sporting Artisan from John Varvatos.
Experience this iconic scent of Artisan by John Varvatos. It’s created to honor you with a fragrance that is elegant and yet bold. We name it an ode to effortless masculinity for today’s man who isn’t afraid to put himself out there or inspire others.
4. John Varvatos Vintage
Vintage is another John Varvatos fragrance of masculinity – rugged yet refined. Discover your own sense of adventure in this nostalgic, woody chypre fragrance for men. It is a fragrance that takes the wearer back to an era when there was little or no boundaries and life was full of surprises. This fragrance is all about bringing together quality, sophistication, freedom and style all at once
The heart of the fragrance is aged and seasoned tobacco, making for a complex composition that evolves across your senses. The sharpness we expect from green leaves contrasts with the sweet balsam fir at the base, but they merge into harmony again to create an exquisite and addictive scent. Its layered sophistication fuses deep woods and aromatic spices with fierce overtones you can’t come close to comparing to anything else on shelves right now.
We dare you not to be impressed by this special blend – it will stir something within you like nothing else really does anymore. We review this cologne as stronger than what’s promised and more compelling than what’s expected.
5. John Varvatos Jv X Nj
Modern classic meets the modern man. Refreshing and masculine, JV x NJ from John Varvatos is the fragrance for men that’s dapper to a tee.
The long-lasting concentration of natural ingredients makes this a refreshing scent perfect for day or night. The blend of mandarin orange, lime and pink pepper offers notes of masculine serenity while still embodying softness through lavender, sage, mint and rosemary.
The bottle of this fragrance is designed with a shade of midnight blue that recalls the finishing color of classic luxury cars, JV x NJ pays homage to one interest shared by founders John Varvatos and Nick Stefanelli: true automotive design in its entirety.
Let this groundbreaking aromatic fougere transports you back into that funky New York mood. No other scent says New York City quite like John Varvatos JV X NJ.
6. John Varvatos XX – Newest cologne
John Varvatos XX is the newest release from an established fragrance line that has never been tamed. They say you have to be bold when it comes to your sense of style, and this new fragrance backs up that sentiment with its sharp top notes of red apple and cardamom stretching into coffee-laden depths. It’s a modern fragrance for a man with an affinity for style and substance.
John Varvatos XX walks a tightrope between elegant refinement and rugged individuality in rich, amber woody tones. A scent inspired by sensual intimacy, coffee cooking on the stovetop, fresh-cut cedarwood from the lumberyard, and warm sandalwood wafting from the workshop during those cold winter nights.
Sexy by name but not at all coy by nature, John Varvatos XX is a bright new fragrance that shows its true colors upon the first spritz.
7. John Varvatos John Varvatos Oud
John Varvatos Oud is a new fragrance inspired by the ancient art of oud. In honor of the designer’s love for exotic spices, John Varvatos Oud seamlessly blends rich and sensual notes with a tantalizing hint of oud. The blend captures precious ingredients from Arabia and India to create a rich, woody scent.
This masculine scent opens with Tobacco, Nutmeg, Cypress and Juniper Berries. The heart of John Varvatos Oud is Turkish Rose, Cinnamon and Pepper. It finishes with Leather and Incense for a bold scent that resonates on the skin long after it has been worn.
This warm but fresh, spicy fragrance is evocative of raw masculinity in all its glory.
It’s presented in the same iconic black bottle as many other Varvatos scents, but this one is wrapped with a shiny, rather simple, plastic gold netting around. The long-lasting deep tones make this perfume exquisite for putting your signature on all the moments of your life, from office to night out.
8. John Varvatos Artisan Blu
Artisan Blu combines many different aspects that are seen in John Varvatos’s other scents. However, the aquatic feeling of this perfume is what sets it apart from any of his previous ones. It has a masculine and modern appeal while still being soft and light enough for the ladies to enjoy as well.
This fragrance is a nice blend between marine and earthy, if you’re looking for something that’s full of life then this is the scent for you.
John Varvatos’s refreshing citric fragrance combines bitter orange notes with dark pine. The heart features a winning mix of geranium, clary sage, and rosewood. A must-have this season.
This rich and dense fragrance transports the wearer to a land of high peaks, rugged terrain, pure air. Artisan Blu has a powerful yet subtle aroma that is grounded in tradition and authenticity.
9. John Varvatos Dark Rebel Rider
John Varvatos Dark Rebel Rider is a leather and spicy scent that’s all about attitude. The top notes of aldehydes, saffron, marjoram, bitter orange and hyssop set the stage for an earthy heart of oakmoss. Orris root hints before retiring to an animalistic base of softened leather with cedarwood and luxurious vanilla.
Dark Rebel Rider is our dream pairing; leather and sex appeal. This seductive blend reimagines the nuances of rawhide with just a touch of cocoa to amplify its rugged allure and natural attraction. Inside this fragrance lies masculine essences born from opulence merged seamlessly with excitable spices to amp up the dark rebel spirit in everyone who wears it.
John Varvatos’ Dark Rebel Rider invokes the spirit of rebellion by reinterpreting traditional masculinity while exploring its most powerful, sensual and primal side.
10. John Varvatos Artisan Acqua
If you’re in need of a cool and refreshing burst of fresh citrus, spice and traditional fragrance then look no farther than John Varvatos Artisan Acqua.
The aromatic citrus smell of the mandarin mixes wonderfully with the green geranium to give off what many would call a clean scent. It may not be as bold and in-your-face as some of his other collections, but this classy blend gives you an air lighter than what he typically offers.
This blend is created meticulously with top notes that provide just the right amount of citrus without overwhelming sweetness or heaviness. The green apple smell present at the mid-tones gives way to toscanol later on, making this blend perfect for an experienced masculine olfactory palette. As if it weren’t already great enough, musk and patchouli round out all these scents as a base to give off an antique finish you won’t soon forget.
Each bottle is wrapped with a hand-knit cover with rope, to give this cologne some extra striking individuality.
11. John Varvatos by John Varvatos
A fragrance filled with rugged leather, this cologne defines the style of John Varvatos. The man who has a flair for life and takes enjoyment from all he does will find that John Varvatos is irresistible to both themselves as well as others who enjoy all-things masculine. No wonder Mr. Varvatos made this his first Signature Fragrance in 2004.
John Varvatos is an intoxicating, masculine fragrance with a rich background of woody leather undertones. The crisp, masculine opening features West Indian tamarind tree leaf and medjool date fruit. The unique scent then blends Mediterranean herbs and eaglewood into the heart notes, which are reinforced by roving black leathers and sensuous balsams. A warm vanilla smell lingers in the end for added depth to this daring new fragrance.
If you are looking for an award-winning cologne, this is what you have been searching for. A smell that embodies sensuous masculinity and classic chicness showcasing your individuality in one bottle.
12. John Varvatos Artisan Black
Artisan Black is a scent that reflects the excitement of youthful energy.
Opening with fresh notes of tangerine and lemon, it quickly evolves into a complex blend of ginger, orange flower, jasmine and cardamom. Artisan Black leads to an earthy finish that speaks to brown leathers and white musk. The distinctive leather blend mixed with vetiver is an alluring base note that will last for hours.
Artisan Black is a woody and smooth fragrance with musk and glamorous black rattan decoration for the bottle itself.
A Guide on How to Choose Your John Varvatos Cologne
Are you an outdoorsy person and looking for a fresh scent to keep you powered up throughout the day? Or do you only wear a cologne at work? How about your evening time scents to help you impress the ladies? Whichever category you belong to, John Varvatos has the right cologne for every man, every occasion and every season.
A JV cologne for all seasons
There is nothing better than a light and fresh scent to keep you feeling clean and refreshed on a long, hot summer day. John Varvatos Artisan is just the right choice. And if you are alright with a blend between marine and earthy, then John Varvatos Artisan Blu is your winning cologne for this season.
And when winter comes, nothing will warm up your soul like John Varvatos XX would with its rich, amber woody notes. And if you like the smell of tobacco, cardamom and rum sugar cane, you will also love the John Varvatos Dark Rebel. It may be rich but it has a personality and the perfect combination of sweet, spicy and smoky strong to keep your spirits lifted on cold and gloomy days.
The warm and spicy John Varvatos John Varvatos Oud is another great choice for cold nights when you are looking to spice things up in the office, in the club or on a date.
And if you are still having second thoughts, I recommend you try John Varvatos Artisan Pure. There is a reason why this cologne is the most popular and best-selling. Ideal for any season and any time of the day, the Artisan Pure is a woody citrus scent, that you’ll get easily addicted to. And you won’t be the only one.
The Story of John Varvatos
John Varvatos is an American fashion designer known for his rock ‘n’ roll-inspired designs in both clothing and fragrances. Before opening his own store in 2000, the designer worked for Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. This extensive experience and his love of rock ’n’ roll music gave him the inspiration to make designs that have a unique flair and are like nothing we have ever seen in the men’s fashion world.
In 2004, John Varvatos launched his first cologne, the John Varvatos Classic, which turned out to be an instant success. Today, the brand has 21 perfumes.
John Varvatos Bottle Designs
John Varvatos’s colognes are bottled in glass bottles. Some are decorated with woven rattan, some with leather, and some are tinted in colors depending on the cologne concepts (Classic, Artisan, Vintage). Most have details that combine vintage with modern, such as the John Varvatos Star USA. The poison vial shape of the bottle was an idea from the past, but the military details gave the cologne a modern edge.
Inspired By Music
John Varvatos’s love for music and his main inspiration led the designer to enlist many famous musicians in the brand’s advertising. Looking to rock ‘n’ roll as inspiration for his designs, Varvatos made ad campaigns featuring musicians such as Lenny Kravitz, Iggy Pop, Bob Hardy, Alice Cooper, Jimmy Page and Dave Matthews.
One such collaboration is with the American musician Nick Jonas with whom John Varvatos created four colognes including Artisan Pure, JV & NJ, JV & NJ Crimson and JV & NJ silver. Nick Jonas is also the face of these campaigns.