• Dan Naughton

John Varvatos - Artisan Pure (2017)

John Varvatos Artisan Pure was released in 2017 and is the latest in a line of flankers to the original Artisan (2009). The nose behind this scent is perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Roux who was also responsible for the other Artisan versions. Amongst his other notable creations are Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino and Houbigant’s Fougere Royale. I really enjoy both of those and was glad to add Artisan Pure to my collection of Flores-Roux gems. This one is a really natural smelling, vibrant, fresh, citrusy and green scent with a crisp cedar wood and white musk base that makes it a great pick for spring and summer. I think this was one of the best men’s designer releases of 2017.

These are the fragrance notes:

Top: lemon, bergamot, mandarin, clementine, thyme, marjoram Mid: petit grain, ginger Base: woods, orris root, amber, musk

The fragrance opens with a very bright and natural citrus/herbal melange. Neroli is not a listed note but fans of Neroli Portofino may well recognise a touch of it in this one.

After the crisp and invigorating beginning, a fruity sweetness manifests itself, surrounded by a green herbal shroud. Some people have said they detect a sweaty odour or perhaps the polarising note of cumin in this one. I don’t recognise either in Artisan Pure but there is a certain spiciness which may not please everyone. This fragrance has more complexity than the average designer fresh scent for men and with complexity comes the risk of alienating some noses.

As the scent dries down to a smooth woody and musky base the wearer is left smelling clean, classy and well groomed. I would reach for this one in the same mood as my well loved bottle of Colonia Essenza by Acqua di Parma or Dior’s Eau Sauvage.

There could be some white florals in here – maybe jasmine – and there is definitely a little bit of magic that I can’t quite put my finger on. That’s a good sign in a fragrance as far as I’m concerned.

The performance of Artisan Pure (which is an Eau de Toilette) is good, with a decent but not overbearing sillage and a respectable longevity.

If you’re looking for a reasonably priced fresh, modern and masculine scent without the increasingly tiresome ambroxan accord found in so many modern releases with blue bottles then the latest from the Artisan line up is well worth trying.

The fragrance comes in two sizes:

75ml £52.00 125ml £73.00

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