Dark Rebel Rider 
John Varvatos (2016)

Average Rating:  21 User Reviews

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Dark Rebel Rider by John Varvatos

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About Dark Rebel Rider by John Varvatos

People & Companies

John Varvatos
Fragrance House
Givaudan
Supplier

Dark Rebel Rider is a men's fragrance launched in 2016 by John Varvatos

Fragrance notes.

  1. Top Notes

  2. Heart Notes

  3. Base Notes

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Reviews of Dark Rebel Rider by John Varvatos

There are 21 reviews of Dark Rebel Rider by John Varvatos.


I tried to like this one. I really tried. But the strong smell of gasoline fumes ruins it for me. It shouldn't be this hard to like a fragrance.


Found a bottle of this at a good price and I'm really glad I did. Love the boozy, smoky tobacco leather. Fabulous for a date night. My only complaint, as with other Varvatos fragrances, is that it has nearly zero longevity on my skin. I get around this with a few sprays to my shirt (not usually my preferred method). Havana or Remy Latour's Cigar have better sillage and longevity overall for me. But DRR is a fun, complex, quality fragrance if you can find it.


The opening is wood-smoked leather, incense and a hint of potpourri florals. The effect is very masculine and refined. This smells much better than its price at the time of this review. Also, and this goes a long way for me as it was not expected, my wife actually liked this scent on me. She thought it had the smell of a "rich guy", so take that for what it's worth.

Projection is good during the first couple hours and then it settles and becomes softer and just "okay". Longevity is about 6-7 hours.


Rodrigo Flores-Roux's work is underrated, and John Varvatos fragrances are often unfairly criticized for their performance.

In Dark Rebel Rider, Flores-Roux manages to balance the leather and smoke with just enough sweetness to smooth the rough edges. It wears close to the skin, but exudes character. I like that it's idiosyncratic. This balance of unique accords with wearability is what makes the Varvatos line a step up from most mainstream designer fragrances.

Varvato's fragrances might not knock your socks off, but they're quality fragrances at affordable prices, and DRR is no exception. In the end, whether or not you like this may be a matter of taste, because it's well made and there isn't too much that is challenging or out of place. I'll take Neil Young over Tom Waits any day of the week.

Thumbs up.


Tom Ford Tobacco Oud for the working man. Sweet, resinous, and leathery with an “impression“ of oud floating around in the middle.

$28 bucks for 120 ml and relatively polished without any harsh synthetics. I would feel secure with this one as a blind-buy as you could do far worse at this price point with the majority of the mall fragrance counter dreck that is out there today for men.

Wear in cooler weather to improve performance and you should get around 4 hours.

2.5 stars.




What a fantastic dark, leathery fragrance from Varvatos!
Often the most notable thing about Varvatos frags are the cool, interesting bottle designs, rather than the cologne inside. But in this case, they've managed to formulate a fragrance that surpasses the cool looking, leather-clad bottle.

Despite the dozen+ frangrance notes listed on the pyramid profile above, I mostly just get leather and incense, and maybe a little bit of cedar.

I like it a lot! I like it much better than Gucci Guilty Absolute's leathery-suede fragrance, and this is less expensive.
To me, the quality of the leather scent in this is almost at the same level of AdP Colonia Leather and TF Tuscan Leather, and perhaps closest to Ombre Leather, but much softer, more palatable, and much more wearable, due in part to the other supporting notes. Especially the incense note, which blends together so well here with the leather and other supporting notes. If there's Iris in this, it's so far in the background it's barely detectable.

Average sillage - not as potent as some leather based scents; and better than average longevity as far as I can tell so far - at least 7 to 8 hours. This is very well suited to cooler/cold Autumn, Winter, and early Spring weather.

A very impressive scent from a usually mediocre, lame-stream designer house, this is probably Varvatos' best offering to date.

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