There are some John Varvatos fragrances that I like – Artisan, for example with its fresh take on Vetiver – so I didn’t really mind sampling one of its releases, XX. At first smell, this really feels very familiar, like everything you smelled before. And really, it is. But if you smell closer, you will find some flickers of imagination here – there’s an apple blast in the beginning that could have gone somewhere, and the drydown has a coffee note that is just so slightly different. I think there were some ideas here that could have made it gone a different – more artistic – direction but I bet it was shot down by Corporate.