John Varvatos Artisan Acqua Review


Orange, Pomelo, Toscanol,Palmarosa, Musk, Lavender, Fir Resin

The Short Story

Teenage hormone cover-up.

The Long Story

john-varvatos-artisan-acquaMargaret Thatcher has a famous saying about power: “Power is like being a lady… if you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.”  The same is true for being an artist – if you have to tell people you are, you most likely aren’t.

The ad campaign of John Varvatos’s latest release, Artisan Acqua, goes above and beyond to tell everyone that would listen that Artisan Acqua was made the artisan way.  By that understand a fragrance made by hand, with the best quality ingredients and in small batches.

It takes only a whiff to figure out that these are just nice words that have nothing to do with the reality.

Artisan Acqua Model

Artisan Acqua is a pleasant fragrance but has nothing with being artisan.  Arguably, some creativity went into making it, but it’s by far the least creative work of Rodrigo Flores-Roux.  After all, you can be only so creative with a boring brief and a tight budget.  Hence, the result is a generic summery-fresh scent that is guaranteed to not offend even the most sensitive noses.

Artisan Acqua opens predictably with citrus (orange and pomelo). We’ve got a decent dose of Toscanol (very artisan-like) to give the mix some light green sweetness and some lavender for a more masculine vibe.

The white musk and fir balsam do their job to add some longevity. In my case this is unwelcome because Artisan Acqua becomes quickly very boring despite its polite pleasantness.

Artisan Acqua doesn’t add anything new to the market.  As is the practice of many designers, Artisan Acqua was released for the sole purpose to keep Varvatos relevant on the counter.

Despite achieving nothing from a creative and “artisan” point of view, Artisan Acqua might be a decent cologne for your teenage son.  It won’t help him get girls or boys but at least it will cover up the smell of some of those raging teenage hormones.


4 thoughts on “John Varvatos Artisan Acqua Review

  1. I tried this yesterday. The original Artisan is an interesting and wearable neroli scent (I hate neroli in general). It is a light, cologne-y type of perfume. I think the idea of removing neroli and further diluting what’s left in the composition is utterly stupid. The bottle looks nice (knitting seems to be making a comeback in fashion) but the scent is so painfully redundant… The worst release of an otherwise respectable label.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the JV line of fragrances is one of the best designer line-ups. The JV Platinum Edition is surprisingly old school and intricate for something sold in airport duty free shops for instance


  2. Sampled the JV Acqua on a card. Liked it. Bought it (too expensive). Wore it (fragrance fades much too quickly). Received NO comments or complaints. Let my grandson try it. He returned it to me (no one even noticed he had on cologne) It’s gathering dust on my dresser!


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