Cologne

5 Best John Varvatos Colognes 2023 (New Releases)

I like to consider myself a bit of a rock ‘n’ roller. So when the opportunity to dive into the best John Varvatos colognes presented itself, how could I refuse?

John Varvatos has surpassed my expectations by producing an un-gimmicky array of high-quality fragrances for mid-range prices. They genuinely stack up with some of the very best colognes on the market.

Summer Signature
Top Pick
Best for the Office
4.8
5.0
4.7
$96.00 ($22.86 / Fl Oz)
$96.00 ($22.86 / Fl Oz)
$121.11
Pros:
  • A punchy peppermint note revitalizes the senses in the opening.
  • Perfect for a unique signature cologne for summer.
Pros:
  • A classy blend of citrus, florals, woody spice, and musky depth.
  • Smells very similar to Creed's Silver Mountain Water.
Pros:
  • Juicy red fruits and a spicy undercurrent make this perfect for casual dates.
  • Suede and vanilla round out a musky, masculine dry down.
Summer Signature
4.8
$96.00 ($22.86 / Fl Oz)
Pros:
  • A punchy peppermint note revitalizes the senses in the opening.
  • Perfect for a unique signature cologne for summer.
Top Pick
5.0
$96.00 ($22.86 / Fl Oz)
Pros:
  • A classy blend of citrus, florals, woody spice, and musky depth.
  • Smells very similar to Creed's Silver Mountain Water.
Best for the Office
4.7
$121.11
Pros:
  • Juicy red fruits and a spicy undercurrent make this perfect for casual dates.
  • Suede and vanilla round out a musky, masculine dry down.
02/01/2023 02:32 am GMT

My top pick, John Varvatos Artisan, is a breezy and sophisticated blend of citrus and subtle florals, beautifully balanced on a masculine musky, woodsy base. It’s very similar to Creed’s Silver Mountain Water, at just a quarter of the price.

I also love the peppermint freshness of John Varvatos XX Indigo. It’s one of John Varvatos’ newer fragrances, and it’s already one of my favorites. This has signature summer scent potential written all over it. It’s masculine enough to feel pretty seductive, too.

So let’s find out which John Varvatos cologne is right for you.

TOP PICKS

Best John Varvatos Fragrances for Men

John Varvatos ArtisanBest John Varvatos Cologne for Casual Confidence 

John Varvatos XX IndigoMost Unique John Varvatos Cologne

John VarvatosBest John Varvatos Cologne the Office

John Varvatos Artisan TealBest John Varvatos Cologne for Summer

John Varvatos VintageBest John Varvatos Cologne for the Classic Gentleman


John Varvatos Artisan – Best John Varvatos Cologne Overall 

Varvatos Artisan is built for a cool and collected gent in his downtime. This is for the casual guy who doesn’t take himself too seriously, and leaves people wondering how he can be so successful yet stress-free.

John Varvatos Artisan John Varvatos Artisan
$96.00 ($22.86 / Fl Oz)
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02/01/2023 03:47 pm GMT
Occasion: Chilling OutLongevity: 8 hours
Age group: 25 – 40Projection: Moderate
Season: Year-roundValue for money: 5/5
John Varvatos Artisan – Best John Varvatos Men’s Cologne

It’s what the green room of an arena tour should smell like – wealth and class with a hint of “who knows what could happen”.

This soothing and uplifting fragrance is impeccable. It exudes breezy, classy confidence that feels refined and sophisticated.  I’ve been wearing it for spontaneous evening outings with my girlfriend, and I swear it adds to the vibe. 

It’s a breezy blend of citrus and gentle floral notes, perfectly balanced with enough woody spice and musky depth. The sense is status and pedigree, but not at the expense of masculinity.

The notes of orange blossom and ginger are energizing and hedged against relaxing lavender and jasmine. 

It has a soothing, watery coolness in the heart, before drying down into a woodsy, musky base. It’s gentle, but not feminine. 

In terms of quality, I compare it with Creed Silver Mountain Water. It’s that well blended and natural-smelling. Keep in mind that these fragrances can cost $300-400, while Varvatos Artisan retails for $75.

The projection also stacks up. John Varvatos is delicate and meticulous, and even though it won’t take anyone’s head off, it still lasts a full 8 hour day. 

It’s in my top 5 fragrances, period. I can’t say much more than that. 

Top Notes:Tangerine, Clementine and Thyme
Middle Notes:Orange Blossom, Lavender, Jasmine and Ginger
Base Notes:Amber, Musk and Woodsy Notes
John Varvatos Artisan Fragrance Notes

John Varvatos XX Indigo – Most Unique John Varvatos Cologne

John Varvatos XX Indigo is the most unique John Varvatos I came across and would make an excellent signature cologne.

John Varvatos XX Indigo John Varvatos XX Indigo
$96.00 ($22.86 / Fl Oz)

A punchy peppermint note revitalizes the senses in the opening.

Perfect for a unique signature cologne for summer.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/01/2023 02:32 am GMT
Occasion: Summer signature fragrance Longevity: 7 hours
Age group: 23 – 40Projection: Light
Season: SummerValue for money: 5/5
– Best John Varvatos Men’s Cologne

The opening smacks you with cooling peppermint which is very refreshing on a hot day. Once that mellows out, you find a warmer heart of cardamom, and the interplay between the two elements provides some really alluring push-and-pull.

It’s very well-balanced and would suit Gents who like to keep a sense of intrigue without taking themselves too seriously.

The base is a more masculine, earthy patchouli, and gives the light fragrance a sturdy grounding. It’s a woodsy finish, without feeling overly smokey or mossy – just natural-smelling.

John Varvatos colognes in general aren’t known for breathtaking projection, and XX Indigo is no exception. It sits close to you and will give anyone close light wafts they have to investigate rather than huge blasts. 

 It’s not a powerhouse, but 7 hours of longevity is ample to cover a working day or a night out.

Top Notes:Mint, Pink Pepper and Lemon
Middle Notes:Geranium, Cardamom and Himalayan Poppy
Base Notes:Vetiver, Patchouli and Musk
John Varvatos XX Indigo Fragrance Notes

John Varvatos – Best John Varvatos Cologne for the Office

The original offering from John Varvatos is made for a former rocker who still carries the flame for the bohemian lifestyle, but has fixed up and is now stacking racks with his stock portfolio.

John Varvatos John Varvatos
$121.11

Juicy red fruits and a spicy undercurrent makes this perfect for casual dates.

Suede and vanilla round out a musky, masculine dry down.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/31/2023 11:46 pm GMT
Occasion: Professional personalityLongevity: 7 hours
Age group: 27 – 45Projection: Moderate
Season: Year-roundValue for money: 4.5/5
John Varvatos – Best John Varvatos Men’s Cologne

John Varvatos himself even thinks it’s his best work after 15 years of producing colognes.

The opening is a sweet and spicy aromatic fougere, packed with fruity, juicy red fruit that blasts you right out of the gate. In the heart, there’s a hint of medjool dates, roughened out with herbs like coriander and sage. 

Suede and vanilla add a touch of refinement and class to the more vibrant notes. A powdery-musky cloud envelops soft leather in a manner that suggests a fresh, modern barbershop.

It’s got an edgy undercurrent, but the resounding sense is one of security, confidence, and wealth. If you’re that guy cracking jokes in the office- but still handling business- this is the cologne for you.

It’s not a risky cologne in terms of being off-putting or aggressive, but it is unique to the point that it’s likely to still attract attention. 

With that in mind, John Varvatos would make an excellent casual date fragrance. You could even get away with it at work if applied in moderation.

This is no “shy-guy” fragrance, but not obnoxious either.

Top Notes:Medjool Dates, Tamarind Leaves and Mediterranean Herbs
Middle Notes:Coriander and Carom Seeds
Base Notes:Oud, Fir, Black Leather and Vanilla
John Varvatos Fragrance Notes

John Varvatos Artisan Teal – Best John Varvatos Cologne for Summer

Looking for something classy you can wear in summer? Enter John Varvatos Artisan Teal.

John Varvatos Artisan Teal John Varvatos Artisan Teal
$76.00 ($30.40 / Fl Oz)

A sweet and aquatic, light fragrance that drys down into masculine musk.

Aromatic rose and rosemary add some subtle florality.

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02/01/2023 12:06 am GMT
Occasion: Professional in SummerLongevity: 6 – 7 hours
Age group: 25 – 40Projection: Moderate
Season: SummerValue for money: 4.5/5
John Varvatos Artisan Teal – Best John Varvatos Men’s Cologne

Artisan Teal is a fresh and summery, office-safe fragrance. If you’re a fan of aquatic fragrances, this is the John Varvatos cologne for you.

There’s plenty of zip from a citrus opening pickled with pink pepper in the opening, before softening out into a heart of rosemary and water lily.

It’s subtle enough for professional environments but still has enough personality if you get within arm’s length.

This musky, woodsy dry-down is decidedly masculine, so I wouldn’t hesitate to wear Artisan Teal on a casual summer-time date, either. If you’re a fan of Nautica Voyage or YSL Y, it’s roughly within the same ballpark.

It’s a refreshing scent that will last for at least 6 – 7 hours, even in high heat – and well worth considering as a more unique summer scent.

Top Notes:Lemon and Pink Pepper
Middle Notes:Rosemary and Water Lily
Base Notes:Sea Salt, Musk and Driftwood
John Varvatos Artisan Blue Fragrance Notes

John Varvatos Vintage – Best John Varvatos Cologne for the Classic Gentleman

John Varvatos Vintage is a dark and sexy cologne for gents who enjoy classic fragrances. It’s best for a mature audience, maybe 30+, and would suit a stylish, English gent type. 

John Varvatos Vintage John Varvatos Vintage
$96.00 $90.63 ($21.58 / Fl Oz)

A green opening darkens down to moodier woods in the base.

Best suited for fall and winter.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/01/2023 01:14 am GMT
Occasion: Masculine maturityLongevity: 7 hours
Age group: 30 – 50Projection: Moderate/strong
Season: Fall/WinterValue for money: 4/5
John Varvatos Vintage – Best John Varvatos Men’s Cologne

There’s a lot going on, so if you’re a seasoned nose who loves to dissect each ingredient, you’ll enjoy the artistry here.

The opening is very coniferous and packed with greenery. Basil, fennel, and rhubarb all combine to lend fresh vitality, while leather and tobacco add masculine bite. 

After half an hour things get progressively aromatic, with touches of lavender and cinnamon beginning to emerge. 

There’s wood and oakmoss deep in the base, smoothed and rounded by suede and tonka bean. It’s a relatively heavy dry down, and probably best suited for fall or winter.

I think these earthier notes could be a little overpowering for the office. Vintage is better-suited for a night out to a boutique bar or classy restaurant on a chilly evening. 

Top Notes:Fennel, Pepper, Rhubarb and Basil
Middle Notes:Lavender, Juniper Berries, Cinnamon and Jasmine
Base Notes:Suede, Tonk Bean, Oakmoss, Patchouli, Tobacco and Woodsy Notes
John Varvatos Vintage Fragrance Notes

Summer Signature
Top Pick
Best for the Office
4.8
5.0
4.7
$96.00 ($22.86 / Fl Oz)
$96.00 ($22.86 / Fl Oz)
$121.11
Pros:
  • A punchy peppermint note revitalizes the senses in the opening.
  • Perfect for a unique signature cologne for summer.
Pros:
  • A classy blend of citrus, florals, woody spice, and musky depth.
  • Smells very similar to Creed's Silver Mountain Water.
Pros:
  • Juicy red fruits and a spicy undercurrent make this perfect for casual dates.
  • Suede and vanilla round out a musky, masculine dry down.
Summer Signature
4.8
$96.00 ($22.86 / Fl Oz)
Pros:
  • A punchy peppermint note revitalizes the senses in the opening.
  • Perfect for a unique signature cologne for summer.
Top Pick
5.0
$96.00 ($22.86 / Fl Oz)
Pros:
  • A classy blend of citrus, florals, woody spice, and musky depth.
  • Smells very similar to Creed's Silver Mountain Water.
Best for the Office
4.7
$121.11
Pros:
  • Juicy red fruits and a spicy undercurrent make this perfect for casual dates.
  • Suede and vanilla round out a musky, masculine dry down.
02/01/2023 02:32 am GMT

FAQ: What You Should Know about John Varvatos Colognes


Which is the Best John Varvatos Men’s Cologne for You?

John Varvatos colognes are all about converting power chords to powerful accords. 

Genre-products tend to compromise on quality. You know when celebrities do brand collaborations, they usually suck. You’re just paying for the name, and it’s more of an exercise in marketing than anything else.  

I’ve been impressed to find John Varvatos an exception to this rule. 

They produce high-quality colognes first and foremost, inspired by rock ‘n’ roll tradition rather than using it as cover for substandard fragrances. 

John Varvatos stores are few and far between and don’t tend to stock their entire range of colognes. It’s probably best to order your colognes online (I’ve included some links to the best prices I’ve been able to find). 

My top picks for this week are Artisan and Dark Rebel. They’re opposite ends of the spectrum, so my thinking is at least one of them is bound to resonate, depending on what sort of gent you are.

Having said that, it’s worth checking out the rest of the list for an alternative that speaks to your particular brand of frontman energy.

After all, being yourself is what rock ‘n’ roll is all about.

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