Artisan Acqua by John Varvatos Cologne Review

Having completed a review of Artisan by John Varvatos last month, I thought it would be a good idea to review the sample of Artisan Acqua which I tried out this week. I think that John Varvatos makes some really nice fragrances that are usually masculine and at least somewhat unique from most other popular cologne choices out there. Does Artisan Acqua, fit the mold of the Varvatos legacy or does it fail to meet expectations? Read on to find out.

artisan acqua

Notes include: mandarin orange, tangelo, lavender. sage, musk, coriander, and others


Artisan Acqua is a bit of a different take on the original Artisan fragrance. This one is obviously an aquatic men’s fragrance but more of a citric and spicy take on the genre.  My first impressions of Acqua were of how clean and fresh it is and how much it reminds me of an aftershave. It also invokes ideas of the sea or the summertime, which is probably when it is best suited for use.

After a bit, it settles down into a greener fragrance rather than the aquatic/citrusy blend that was first introduced to my nostrils. Again, Varvatos delivers a fragrance that has the classically masculine quality to it and not to mention how cool the bottle looks.

My qualms with this scent like so many others before it comes down to its longevity and projection. Artisan Acqua to me rates rather poor to mediocre in this regard. It is a softer type of fragrance and it doesn’t lend itself well to projecting outwards, meaning, after a little while someone would need to be extremely close in order to smell it. Also, it seems to last about 3-4 hours on my skin and only performs up to par during those first two. Is it a bad smelling cologne? No, I really like it’s scent. Though, admittedly, it isn’t one which blows me away either. It is enjoyable but it’s weakness doesn’t merit its inclusion as a day to day or even special occasion fragrance for me.