NEW BRAND ALERT: John Varvatos Fragrances

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Renowned for creating contemporary high fashion for men John Varvatos is now set to take the fragrance world by storm with the launch of three new John Varvatos fragrances available exclusively at Debenhams.

The collection features three fragrances: John Varvatos  is an alluring oriental scent with a blend of spices, woods and a hint of sweetness, John Varvatos Vintage is a sensuous and aromatic scent with a warm and spicy appeal whilst John Varvatos Artisan is a refreshing scent that combines an explosion of citrus notes with woods, spices and florals.

There’s a luxurious scent for every stylish and distinctive man.

I was lucky enough to catch up with master perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Roux to talk about the John Varvatos collaboration.

Sarah Sian (Debenhams Beauty Editor):
What was it like working with John Varvatos?
Rodrigo Flores-Roux (Perfumer):
This ongoing collaboration with John has been the highlight of my career and I have had the pleasure of making all of his perfumes and working with him for over a decade. John is one of those people that is very, very detail orientated, very obsessed with quality and his approach is ‘I”ll know it when I see it’. So when we start a project we make a general picture of what is going to happen but then I throw ideas at him and he will be smelling different interpretations of the theme until he likes it and then that’s when we really start working. He has a great sense of humour and incisive taste so it’s really easy to work with him but at the same time as he is a perfectionist he can be hard to please.

SS: When creating the range of fragrances, where did your inspiration come from?
It depends on each fragrance individually but in general I approached the creation of his fragrances in the same way he approaches fashion design. John is conscious of detail but he also has a tongue-in-cheek theme that he calls ‘hidden detail’, for instance an interesting seam placed somewhere, a pocket that is absolutely surprising or a coloured lining that almost becomes a conversation piece. So I try to always make his perfumes using these ‘hidden details’ that will make the perfume very surprising. John also looks out for interesting bottles that have lots of thought behind it. I look for interesting raw materials so that every single John Varvatos fragrance has either one of two completely unique or very unusual raw materials. The other way he looks at things is by searching for the ‘perfect imperfection’ or the ‘imperfect perfection’ and this can be harder to translate in perfume as you have to have a harmonious and balanced accord but also at the same time in the case of John Varvatos fragrances the balance is quite imbalanced, there’s always some interesting motif that will predominate to make the fragrance stand-out.

SS: Describe the smells of each?
 The classic John Varvatos fragrance is described in perfume lingo as a woody oriental mixed with a bouquet of spices and herbs and features an interesting Medjool Date Fruit which has never been used before in perfumery. John Varvatos Vintage is also woody but also has a little bit of lavender, oak moss, geranium and patchouli blended with elements of leather and amber. John Varvatos Artisan is clearly a citrusy fragrance but it also has beautiful woody undertones and touches of spice but in the case of Artisan the spices are on the colder, refreshing side because it has an interesting ginger note so it can be described as a citrus, woody fragrance.

SS: What type of men are they for?
RFR: They are for the cool guy. I have studied the type of guy that walks into the John Varvatos store and seen how he behaves so that I understand his clientele. So basically the fragrances are for the guy who doesn’t take himself too seriously, he’s very cool and if he wears a suit it’s not going to be stuffy. The fragrances can be taken literally or can be very dressed-up which I think is very important for the John Varvatos guy. And, if he likes one of the fragrances he is sure to like the other ones.

SS: Where did you go to find the notes?
 I would love to tell you that us perfumers fly around the world looking for notes but we mostly find the notes in the perfumery laboratory. I am a Botanist, that is my background and I always enjoy finding something that will be a little bit quirky and interesting just as I have done when I found Medjool Date, Murraya flower which can be found in Artisan and Blue Ginger. So, I usually use my Botanical knowledge to find the notes.

SS: What’s your favourite note?
As a perfumer there’s things that your like and you dislike. I’ve been called the king of citrus and there’s no perfume that I have done that doesn’t contain citrus. Even if the fragrance doesn’t seem citrusy it will contain citrus as it is important to me in the way I construct a perfume. However, I also like darker elements like resins and leather. The scent of leather is very important to me and to a certain extent each of the John Varvatos fragrances contain a hint of leather as his fashion collections also feature suede and leather so the two complement each other.

SS: Will you be creating further fragrances for the range?
RFR:  Yes. We are still concocting things and we’re looking at a very interesting future.

Shop the John Varvatos Fragrance range now

Plus, with our ‘TRY A SOMETHING NEW GUARANTEE’ you can receive a free sample of the new John Varvatos fragrances so you can try them before you open the full size. If you decide it’s not for you then simply return your UNOPENED full size fragrance for your  money back to your local Debenhams store online within 28 days in line with their regular returns policy.

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