Saturday, November 24, 2012

John Varvatos Artisan

Wonders never cease - I've finally found an orange blossom fragrance that I like!  Not that I was looking for one, but John Varvatos Artisan is, for me, a benchmark for how orange blossom should be used in a men's fragrance.

In almost every perfume I've tried containing this note, it's used in a heavy, sugary, prissy manner, and I hate it.  To call them "old lady" fragrances would be an insult to old ladies.  However in Artisan, a floral citrus scent, it's combined with neroli in a way that gives the whole fragrance a wonderfully green, crisp, garden-like smell.  It smells fresh, clean and sleek, and in a totally natural way.  It's like a walk through a flower garden and orange grove on a cool spring morning.  I know that sounds sappy, but it's true.  The drydown becomes woodier, but the florals hang on until the end, fortunately.

So many modern men's fragrances try to create freshness by piling on loads of violet leaf.  I like violet leaf, but it's overused these days, to the point where it makes fragrances smell un-natural and metallic.  Artisan succeeds where those violet fragrances fail. 

Artisan is living proof that we should never poo-pooh all modern fragrances.  A lot of care went into making this a truly unique and beautiful scent.

MY RATING:  8.5/10

Fragrance House:  John Varvatos


  1. I waas just thinking about suggesting you try the Varvatos line. This is one of the first fragrances I was really drawn to when I started my obsession about 6 months ago. I really like all the frags in this line excluding USA. Artisan Black might be my favorite. It takes the orange blossom of Artisan and wraps it in a black leather jacket with some clean fresh showered musk. Vintage and the self-titled John Varvatos are also great. I wish I could own them all. They're all unique enough to justify it in my opinion.

  2. I tried the original JV a few years ago, and I loved the top notes, but after that I thought it smelled too sweet and generic. On the other hand, I only did a back of the wrist sampling, never wore it. I should.

  3. Artisan is really lovely stuff but has one major drawback: longevity or rather lack thereof. Spray it on skin and it's gone in 4 to 5 hours. Lasts a bit longer when sprayed on clothes. When it runs out of steam I just respray and then the whole thing beautifully unfolds itself again. I don't think my bottle is gonna last me a long time.
    BTW I really love the design of the bottle, very cool and so un-perfumelike.

    1. I'm lucky with this one, because I get about eight hours out of it. Granted, it doesn't project at the same strength for all 8 hours, but I can still smell it on myself for that long.