Dark Rebel Rider by John Varvatos

Dark Rebel Rider 2016

30.11.2021 - 01:27 AM
Top Review

My trusty old leather jacket

Lit headlights, the roar of motorbikes, and the heavy smell of worn leather clothing are vivid images, sounds and smells, and easily imagined together. In our fantasy, they can reflect the image of an urban cowboy, motorised on two wheels, totally masculine, and breaking any female heart, however prudish.
Because this is a text about perfumes, the leathery scent that is associated with this image is particularly important. Of course, I'm not talking about our traditional perfumed cosmetic leather reference or the relatively odourless anonymity of duty-free leather goods. Instead, I'm imagining the scenario of a perfume that clings to a leather jacket that I wear daily along with my favourite jeans.
The recipe to achieve this aromatic perfection is simple: I just have to wear that leather jacket wherever I go and for at least 2 years in a row. I also have to avoid showers, and sweat as much as possible. Important warning: I must never clean it! Never! I have to sleep with it, eat with it, drink with it, smoke with it, mess with my car and motorbike with it, go to rock concerts with it... In short, I have to do everything with this leather jacket all the time. Only once in a while, maybe, I can afford to use cheap patchouli to "mask" any unwanted smell it might acquire. In a couple of years, the smell of my leather jacket will finally approach the dark smell of a pure, hard biker's leather jacket.
Fortunately, there are some perfumes that can conveniently and instantly solve these olfactory dilemmas without targeting a crowd of users. Dark Rebel Rider smells like the leather jackets worn by die-hard bikers, both in terms of its aroma as well as the visual appearance of the bottle.

The opening is discreetly citrusy but somewhat unusual. The fleeting citrus notes are tempered with herbaceous and camphorous notes, opening a path to a singular floral accord composed of an intense, dark violet mixed with iris. Balsamic chords of smoke, resins and dark leather then invade our senses. We have reached the core of the fragrance. We feel a dark, dense atmosphere around us. The intensity of the scent totally captures our attention and that of those around us. I loved this perfume from the first moment I tried it, but I recognise that it is far from universally pleasing. It's one of those perfumes that you either love or hate. I really believe that this perfume, being real nectar for my nose, can be uncomfortable for other people. During drying, the pungency of the dark, resinous leather fades little by little, and some sweet nuances become more noticeable. This stage gains more general acceptance, although I prefer the pungency found in the dark, smoky and somewhat animalistic base.
My only disappointment is its performance. I cannot even rate it as acceptable. A scent so heavenly to me should last another couple of hours as a minimum.

What are the measurements for this dark leather jacket?
___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
- Opening: 9.0 (A traditional opening with light citrus and dark florals, but also a very good promise of the leather blackness to come.)
- DryDown: 10.0 (Monumental dark leather, blended with just the correct amount of balsams and resins. It's extremely pleasant!)
- Longevity: 6.5 (3 sprays last up to 5 hours; not enough!)
- Sillage: 7.0 (5 feet of sillage and up to 1.5 hours of projection with 3 sprays; still not enough!)
- Uniqueness: 9.5 (I only find it similar to its less leathery, less dark, more popular and more boozy older brother Dark Rebel)
- Wearability: 8.0 (Not suitable for hot weather)
- Versatility: 6.5 (Smells heavenly but like a worn dark leather jacket; you need to choose well the occasions and places to wear it)
- Praise: 7.0 (It will reward you with some passionate compliments, and a lot of curiosity).
- Quality: 9.0 (The perfumer execution is superb if you ignore the performance)
- Presentation: 10.0 (Simply fantastic!)
- Price: 9.5 (I bought this 125 bottle for $30.0 USD a few years ago; it currently sells for about $60 USD; As I love this fragrance so much, I still find it quite affordable and way more valuable for me than many expensive niche fragrances)
___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
Overall rating: 8.36 / 10.00
- between 7 and 8 = above average;
- between 8 and 9 = recommended;
- above 9 = definitely not to be missed;

My opinion:
This is a perfume that I consider truly unique for those who are looking for a leathery, dark, balsamic and smoky scent. If that's the case for you, you shouldn't miss this fragrance by John Varvatos... in the style of James Dean or a young Marlon Brando wearing a leather biker jacket.

Music: Steppenwolf - Born To Be Wild
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