Tag Archives: Avon fragrance

Dear Aunty Sam: Your Perfume Problems Answered

 

perfume problem
A Tryst, John William Godward

Earlier this week, I asked you to send me your perfume problems. I then chewed the arm of my glasses and looked studious, whilst reading them,  just like a proper Mumsy Agony Aunt.

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I was so pleased to get so many questions, some of which I answer below.  Incidentally,  I also see questions on my WordPress dashboard which tell me what people type into Google in order to be led to my site.

There are two questions that I see every single day without fail. Yes, my friends, the two most popular questions are:

What’s the best Avon perfume?

What cheap perfume smells good?

Now you may have noticed that these two particular questions have entre blog posts devoted to answering them.  Nobody can accuse me of not giving my readers what they want.

lbdfraiche-image-pic1With that having been said, here are some other questions that I received this week.

I am very grateful to all who sent me a Dear Aunty Sam question. I wish I could tell you that there’s a T-shirt and a mug on the way to you, but I can’t.  I think I may repeat this experience in future, so please do send any questions as they occur to you. I’ll be your olfactory DJ.

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Dear Aunty Sam,

Like you, I miss Gucci Envy and only have a little bit left. What can I wear instead when this runs out?

rsz_dr_samA good question and one to which I still seek an answer myself. We’ve asked the Why Did it End? question but the wind took our words away and no answer was given. Meantime, here are some that I find have some of the Gucci Envy notes in common, namely green notes, lily of the valley and hyacinth.

envyJo Loves No 42 The Flower Shop, Chanel Cristalle, Issey Miyake A Scent and Isabella Rossellini Manifesto, if you can find it. Over on Fragrantica, some Envy fans claim that Penhaligon’s Lily of The Valley and Elizabeth Arden Fifth Avenue smell similar, but I haven’t smelled the form er and I don’t agree with the latter, due its dominant freesia, but worth a try to see what you think.

Dear Aunty Sam,

I’ve fallen in love with Yardley’s Polaire. But as ever with Yardley 20 minutes in and unless I’ve gone nose blind I can smell nothing at all. Is there something out there that smells the same, but with actual longevity and a bit more sillage?

rsz_dr_samI haven’t smelled Yardley Polaire recently so I’m working blind here.  However, I notice that the prominent notes are pear, freesia and rose. There are two scents that also contain these notes. One is Dior J’Adore and the other is Elizabeth Arden Fifth Avenue  ( although more freesia than pear) However, if you want to stick with Polaire, there are a couple of things you can do to extend its life.

polaireWhat I usually do is spray my hair.  Hair carries scent very well- usually until bedtime!  However, some people claim this dries hair out.   Secondly, and I’m going to talk boobs here, spray it in your cleavage before you get dressed. As your body heats up throughout the day, you get nice little wafts under your nose. You can also make scent last longer by moisturising skin before applying it. Don’t forget  a quick spray on your lapels or scarf.

There is another theory, however.  Some people say that when a perfume really suits you, you stop being able to smell it.  This is so subjective that I find it difficult to prove, but there may be some truth in it.  Maybe Polaire just really suits you!

 

EDIT: I have since discovered that the ebautiful Celine Dion Sensational is a smellaike too.  This one lasts ages on me.

Dear Aunty Sam

I have begun to make some fragrances.  I have at least three that are absolutely delightful, unlike anything else I’ve ever tried. I really feel there’s a market for these, especially in this size, being affordable for almost everyone.

 How do I go about getting someone to be willing to sell my fragrances in their shop (either online or not) or work with me in promoting mine?

 rsz_dr_samFirstly, congratulations on your perfumes.  I do love an entrepreneurial spirit.  Secondly, before you sell them commercially, do they meet the necessary compliance? There are many perfume ingredients that have been banned by IFRA in order to ensure that scents do not cause rashes or reactions. Forgive me if I’m preaching to the converted- you may well already know this. Thirdly, have you tried Etsy? There are many beautiful handmade scents there and it strikes me as a good starting point.

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Me with Sarah McCartney at the 4160 Tuesdays studio in 2014.

I would really recommend one of the Studio days run by Sarah McCartney of 4160 Tuesdays. What she doesn’t know about making and selling perfume just isn’t worth knowing. You can find out more from the 4160 Tuesdays website.  Oh, and in answer to your question about promoting your scent, my advice is, as you might imagine, harness the bloggers!

That’s all I’ve got room for this week. I hope you enjoyed my first brave fumble into the mailbag. Do you agree with my responses?  Do you have any questions of your own? Do let me know. I always love to hear from you.

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Avon Viva La Vita: Viva La Spring!

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Avon Viva La Vita is a fresh fruity floral that has enough sharpness to take you into Spring without being cloying or sweet.

viva-la-vita-parfum-2-300x131The most noticeable notes are apple and grapefruit, both of which smell fresh as a spring morning with just enough zing to get you going in the morning.

The middle phase is all about the roses and magnolia, adding a feminine touch to the fruity opening.  I couldn’t find the mimosa, but that didn’t spoil my enjoyment.

The base is sandalwood and cashmere, although both were indistinct. I prefer the uplifting fruity top notes and the floral middle phase middle notes to the base, which I found a bit “meh.”

Viva La Vita smells impossibly girly and pretty and I would consider getting a full bottle. I’m craving light feminine florals as winter begins to outstay its welcome.  avon femmeOver on Fragrantica,  some readers are jadorecomparing this to Dior J’Adore, but others claim it is a generic Avon scent that smells like the existing Avon Femme and Avon Dreams. I can’t remember what those two smell like, but I do have some Avon purse sprays arriving next week so maybe I can check it out then.

Stockists

Avon Viva La Vita is due for release this month, so I can’t tell you the price yet.  Check out Avon UK for news. I’m guessing it’ll be pretty good value though. I tested the EDP sample, which I paid for (75p!). Opinions are my own.

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Avon Little Lace Dress (2016): It’s SO Right Now!

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Avon has a knack of launching scents that are bang on trend and have the “IT”-notes of the moment. You could accuse them of bringing out too many and spreading them too thin, but perfume moves fast. What’s very NOW could be SO last month before you can use up a whole bottle.  Some come and go, and some remain Avon classics. Only sales figures will tell.

black laceToday I am reviewing one of the Little Black Dress flankers: in this case, Little Lace Dress. I bought a purse spray (can I just say yet again how much I love a purse spray?)  for just 1.99 and a jolly good buy it was too.

Little Lace Dress opens with  a burst of orange citrus and note-du-jour blackcurrant. Then the middle phase goes straight into big, creamy jasmine.  It’s so rich you couldn’t eat a whole one. The patchouli flounces in and works its throaty magic, giving this an edge over a standard floral.

lld my bottleLittle Lace Dress smells very similar to many best sellers that are currently flying off the shelves on the High Street.  Over on Fragrantica, readers are comparing it to Coco Mademoiselle, Chanel Chance Eau Tendre and Estee Lauder Modern Muse.  I’m on the fence a little bit here.  This has a floral sweetness that is cranked up a few more notches than Modern Muse, and doesn’t smell exactly like Coco Mademoiselle, but certainly has the big jasmine and patchouli, giving it an instantly recognisable 2017 accord..  This would suit the young palate that thirsts for the big names but may not have the banknotes to capture one.

This month’s Avon brochure has about twelve purse sprays, each at 1.99, so expect more reviews in this vein. Purse sprays just thrill me to bits. It’s the hit of a new perfume, without the guilt of a big price tag. I would definitely recommend Little Lace Dress as a go to scent for not much money. It’s modern, on trend and ticks all the boxes except for the one marked “expensive”

Stockists

You can buy Avon Little Lace Dress from Avon UK (  at the time of going to press, you can buy two bottles of selected Avon fragrance for just £14)  or from your Avon rep, like I do. I bought this myself and views are my own.little dress
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Top Ten Avon Fragrances 2016

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When I look at the dashboard here at glamorous IScent HQ (and by glamorous I mean there’s a  patch of Lego-free floor space) I can see that the most frequently used search term that leads people to my humble blog is “Avon perfume”. In fact, my most popular article in terms of hits is My Top Ten Favourite Avon Fragrances. It even knocks the previous Number One “Gucci Envy: It’s Madness I Tell You” firmly into second place.

I think the reason for this must be that you can’t nip to the High Street and try a new release. An Avon rep may have testers if you’re lucky, or if you have a rep, but otherwise, you’re guessing from descriptions and the rub-on patch in the brochure.

Since I wrote the article some time ago and since Avon moves fast in terms what’s new and what’s stopped, I thought I’d better write another one. I like to see what people are looking for and meet their needs, although my children take this too far most of the time. Here’s my updated fan letter to Avon. I’ve included some favourites and some big new releases that I reckon are worth a try.

Call me a perfume DJ if you will. This one is for all you Avon lovers out there…

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Avon Rare Platinum

This is currently not only my favourite Avon perfume, but the perfume I have been wearing solidly since it arrived from my Avon rep, Jill. It’s one of the best tuberose scents I have ever owned and I am agog at the tiny price tag. I would have expected to pay a lot more for a white floral as good as this. Avon Rare Platinum is currently £7 from Avon UK. My recent rave review is here.

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Avon Perceive Oasis

This is the bottle I wore more than any other in summer. It’s light and floral and has roses and peonies. What I love about it is that the finish is white musk rather than vanilla. If you like Chloe, you will this too. It’s currently priced at £6 for 50ml. I have a bottle on the go and a back-up bottle too. You can read my review here.

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Avon LIFE Eau de Parfum

Created by Kenzo Takada ( yes, Kenzo himself) this is a new take on violets.  Avon LIFE EDP is light and airy, making it ideal for work or day wear.  The scent is exclusive to Avon and is not available anywhere else. You can read my review here. Avon Life is currently £24 for 50ml and comes with a jolly nice free gift worth £35 at the time of writing.

 

 

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Avon Soft Musk

This is another bottle that is always on my dressing table. A plain musk doesn’t seem to feature much in the seemingly endless list of new launches these days, so this is a safe and classic bet. Avon Soft Musk is a peachy, floral musk that lasts for many hours and is very inoffensive as a day time or workwear scent. I bought my bottle for the ludicrously low price of £3.50, although it’s usually a fiver (still a good price). My review is here.

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Avon Silky Soft Musk

The first and thus far, only, flanker to Avon Soft Musk. Whilst this isn’t may favourite of the two, if you like vanilla scents then this is for you. You can read my review here. OK, I wasn’t  massive fan, but that’s just my personal preference, which may not be the same as yours. Wouldn’t it be dull if we all loved just the one same perfume?  I’d have nothing to blog about for a start! Silky Soft Musk is available from Avon UK for £5.

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Fans of Lancome La Vie est Belle will enjoy the gourmand caramel note in this beauty. Whilst it’s not my personal cup of tea, it’s good quality and long lasting and very much channels the current vogue for sweet florals with a gourmand base. The campaign is fronted by the beautiful Abbey Clancy and is one of Avon’s best sellers. Avon Cherish The Moment has similar notes but is sweeter and “pinker”. Ideal for the teenager in your life and bang on trend right now. Avon Cherish and Avon Cherish the Moment are currently £8 and £14 respectively, but check out the special offers where you can get three products for £12.

faraway

Avon Far Away

This is Avon’s number one bestseller and they dare not discontinue it for fear of mutiny. I never used to like this, but as time passes I have grown to appreciate it a lot more. It is a vanilla floral that is so vanilla that it almost borders on coconut. It’s stood the test of time and I think it’s safe to call it a classic now. Far Away is the perfume I smell most often on other people when I am out and about. It has very loyal fans, which speaks for itself- plus my Aunty Christine smells like this so it has happy connotations for me. You can buy Far Away and any of its excellent flankers from Avon UK. I have noticed that in the run up to Christmas Avon has launched generous 100ml bottles for the first time, but I can only find them in the brochure.

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Timeless

Timeless is a text book example of what happens when a company listens to its customers and gives them what they want. Launched in 1974, Timeless is a powdery, ambery chypre style scent (sans oakmoss,but otherwise a good take). In 2012 Avon discontinued it. Its loyal fans made enough noise for Avon to bring it back and it’s now a steady seller once again. It’s not as on trend as the newer scents, but in my book, that  just means it’s a classic. At only £4 a bottle, you can’t go wrong.

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Little Black Dress Eau Fraiche

Little Black Dress remains a steadfast Avon favourite and two new versions have been added. Little Black Dress Eau Fraiche is, as you might imagine, a more summery version with the peony and lemon turned up and the heady jasmine gone away until winter. It’s less complex than Little Black Dress and less woody, but make for an excellent “lite” version, ideal for day time and holidays. Available from Avon UK  The other flanker is Little Lace Dress, which I have yet to try so can’t currently comment. I will do though, so watch this space.

limeverbena

 

Avon Scent Essence Lime Verbena

This little beauty nearly slipped off my radar as it’s sold in a range of similar looking scent called Scent Essences. All of them come in a 30ml bottle and the one I initially tried, Sparkly Citrus, was so good in the summer that I simply had to try Lime Verbena.  As a summer scent it’s unbeatable.  you know when you’re all hot and sticky and just want to stick your head in the fridge?  This is what you need. Lime and verbena make an unbeatable green combo and this is great quality at around £4.

Acknowledgements

All photos from Avon UK. All perfumes I have tried have been purchased by me. All opinions are my own.

 

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Avon LIFE For Her by Kenzo Takada for Avon (2016)

press-release_avon_life_main

Sit up and take notice, Kenzo fans: Kenzo Takada has made a fragrance for our chums at Avon. Avon LIFE For Her has just launched and I managed to bag myself a sample ( there’s also a For Him but I haven’t tried that one). Being a pre-Christmas launch, I wasn’t expecting anything quite so light and summery, but the only rule in perfume is that there are no rules. LIFE is Kenzo’s take on violet, so as a violet fan I couldn’t wait to get stuck in.

LIFE opens with a white tea note. It’s similar to Elizabeth Arden Green Tea but less metallic and less green. There is prominent water lily, making this a treat for fans of The Body Shop Fijian Water Lotus who want something in the same ozonic vein. A touch of apple adds to this clean wholesome accord.

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By the middle phase I’m still waiting for those violets to turn up, and I do believe they sneak in dressed as irises to fool me. There is the typical iris sobriety here: a touch of grey rootiness that is contrasted here with a bright floral sweet note. Nothing to do with vanilla or gourmand: it’s more like the sweetness of a small spring flower magnified into intensity. The vegetal note from the iris sticks around, and the musk mallow (aka ambrette) does nothing to dispel it. There is allegedly patchouli to round things off, but I still found this to be an ozonic tea scent.

It’s pretty and light, and would be the ideal scent for a hot day if you like your fragrance to be of the the airy, green tea sort. It’s not for me right now, but I’ll give it another go in summer, when it will go perfectly with short sleeves and a cloudless sky.

Stockists

Avon LIFE is available exclusively from Avon. In the UK try Avon UK or your Avon rep.

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Christian La Croix for Avon: Bijou

bijou

Christian La Croix has been making scent for Avon for nine years now and the latest release (2015) is Bijou. I ordered a little 10ml purse spray to get to know it.

The top notes are pear, apple and orange. Middle notes are vanilla orchid, jasmine and gardenia. Base notes are vanilla, musk, star anise and sandalwood.

It opens with bold white flowers, pear and vanilla. It’s light and flowery and off to a good start, apart from the tell-tale vanilla which takes a front seat straight away which spoiled it a bit for me.

The white flowers stick around a bit, but the vanilla seeps through to every stage which makes this smell a little generic. Vanilla is every bleedin’ where at the moment, and I long for a new release that dares to skip it, however, they are making this for people who like vanilla in everything, so I can’t exactly say they’re wrong.

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The overwhelming accord is pear/vanilla/jasmine, which will no doubt be popular, but for me, this is nothing original or unique and not particularly exciting. Although this is an eau de parfum, longevity was very poor. There was an overly sweet vanilla-y floral scent on my arm for about an hour and then..nothing.

Some Fragrantica users have said that this reminds them of YSL Black Opium, and its probably the combo of pear, vanilla and jasmine, although to me, Black Opium is a sugary Espresso in a sparkly bottle.

Still, full marks to Avon for doing more purse sprays these days. And full marks to Avon in general for making lots of lovely stuff. I bought this for £3.60, so you can try it (and others) without breaking the bank. Just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean it won’t suit you.

Stockists

Christain La Croix Bijou is available from Avon online or from your lovely Avon rep, if they are anything like mine, who is called Jill and is smashing.

The IScentYouADay Fragrant Top Ten of Everything 2014

2014 has been a prolific year for launches and perfume news and I thought I would take a break from all the frenzied wrapping and posting and reflect on what my fragrant highlights were from the past year.  These are in no particular order- I am equally delighted with them all! In 2015 I am looking forward to seeing more from Papillon, 4160 Tuesdays, and of course, the launch of the latest Tauer  which I believe will be Sotto La Luna Hyacinth later in the year.  Stay tuned my fragrant friends!

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  1. Visiting 4160 Tuesdays and meeting Sarah McCartney.

Yes, Lisa Wordbird and I actually got to nose* around the 4160 studio and sniff lids with the Maestro.  An unforgettable day, in which I left clutching my beloved new bottle of Tart’s Knicker Drawer in its posh tin.

*nose around! Accidental pun!

 

at Les Senteurs
at Les Senteurs
  1. Visiting Les Senteurs in Mayfair

The pavements were too posh to walk on, and even the Christmas lights on Elizabeth Street were understated and classy.  Les Senteurs is like a carefully curated Aladdin’s cave for frag-heads.  This to me, was as Willy Wonka’s factory was to Augustus Gloop.  Everything I’d ever read about was here, and some I hadn’t even heard of.  It’s Nirvana for Perfumistas.

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  1. Being featured on the legendary Tauer Advent Calendar for 2014

What a privilege!.  Andy is never less than courteous and generous to Tauer fans ( and there are many of us, right?) and it was a great honour for my blog to be chosen to “host a post”. – watch this space on the 21st December!

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  1. Finding Gucci Envy on Amazon UK    

It’s right here! I’m about to bag my second bottle so that I’m not so scared of wearing the first.

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  1. Reviewing Secretions Magnifiques. Never. Again.

See my earlier post if you are still on the fence about Etat Libre D’Orange Secretions Magnifiques.  And how could you be?

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  1. Discovering the flowery botanical world of Cath Collins

In a quiet pocket of beautiful Devon, Cath Collins runs a bijou business where flowers rule the day.  With reasonable prices, and beautiful ingredients, Cath kindly sent me some samples and I reviewed Lily Fandango, Morning Flowers and Flowers of the Orient.  Here’s the website link.

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  1. Papillon Perfumery launched!

Papillon started small but good with only three scents (for now). I was kindly sent samples of all three- Angelique, Tobacco Rose ( see my earlier reviews) and Anubis.  No weak links here- all are superb and I am the very proud owner of a full bottle of Angelique.  It was love at first sniff.  I predict big things to come from this little outfit.  ( …and I have just found my Anubis sample after looking everywhere so watch this space for a forthcoming review)

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  1. When Marks and Spencer became my Go-To Perfume Bar

Yes, even my teeny local Marks and Sparks has obligingly started to stock Fragonard, Monotheme and Roger & Gallet.  I’m afraid I stride past the Perfume Shop now, in my hurry to try more stuff in M and S.  Such reasonable prices too.

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  1. The Library of Fragrance launched in Boots in September

At last grown women are trusted to mix’n’match instead of being fed the same old same old. Library of Fragrance has an eclectic selection of scents that are good enough to wear alone, and classic enough to mess about with and blend yourself.  It doesn’t make us perfumers, but it does give us a bit of autonomy.  If I want more musk in my perfumes, I can do that.  If I’m missing  a plain, unadorned Jasmine scent to layer over other stuff, I can get that too.  It’s like a little fragrant playground after being force fed  ready made rent-a-scents.

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10. And then Avon got good…

I have been a Moaning Myrtle about Avon in the past.  A year or so ago I was on a downer with their fragrance range and had experienced far too many disappointments.  However, something has changed: either them or my attitude- and I even ended up doing a top ten.  Yes, there are at least ten Avon fragrances that I would happily own, and upstairs on my dressing table are Avon Citrus Burst, Tahitian Holiday and Little Black Dress. I particularly warmed to Avon when they listened to their customers and brought back Timeless.

Oh and don’t get me started on the three new Avon room spritzes I have in Orange Blossom, Jasmine and Magnolia.  They are terrific.

 

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So there you have it.  Ten perfume highlights of my year.  What were yours?

This Week’s Latest Avon Release: Avon Femme

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There’s an air of mystery in this week’s Avon brochure.  There is a full page advert for a forthcoming perfume with a little silhouette and  a call to “ask your representative for a sample today!”. Well my Avon lady, the lovely Jill, didn’t need to be asked and I had my sample with today’s order.

Top notes are: Lemon, Plum and Violet.

Middle notes: Jasmine, Orchid and Magnolia

Base notes: Amber, Peach, Wood, and Musk. (Thank you Fragrantica)

Avon Femme opens with bold Magnolia and Plum and wouldn’t smell out of place alongside many other shimmering treats on any beauty counter today. It reminded me of both Next Just Pink and Ralph Lauren Romance (another smellalike! It’s hard to stop seeing them once you start looking). One reviewer on Fragrantica compared it to Versace Bright Crystal and I will take their word for it since I am not familiar with many Versaces (yet).

versace bright crystalHowever, and herein lies the rub, as is the case so often with Avon, the basenotes go all Avon-ade on me.  You know how Guerlain perfumes have the Guerlainade accord?  Well the Avonade is always there too, except unlike Guerlain, it’s not very good.  So many Avon perfumes have been ordered by me. So many times my hopes have been raised and dashed. So many of them have ended with the Avonade base which smells like a cross between sweet plastic and cardboard. Sadly, Femme is no exception. One reason for this may be because Avon is are churning out new fragrances at a rate of knots, hence the sarcastic title of this article. In the last two months Avon has launched Instinct, Ultra Sexy, Our Story, Avon True Life, and now Femme.

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rockrollstar.blogspot.com

Another reason could be that their low prices means that they compromise on good ingredients.  This shouldn’t be the case when Coty can churn out the excellent Coty L’Aimant for just over a fiver.  Perfume can be done cheaply and well. Sadly Avon seems to be  just doing it cheaply.

Avon never used to be like this.  They had a great stable of reliable perfumes that were ordered again and again by loyal fans. Foxfire, Topaze, Odyssey and Charisma were just some of my favourites. We could even talk about the delightful bottles which are now collectibles on eBay. (I had a beautiful glass and gold giraffe with Occur in it!)

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Wouldn’t it be better if Avon brought back some of their heritage perfumes and made their stable of scents better quality, and with fewer of them?  I feel that we customers are being labelled as having very short attention spans, when most people find something they love and become loyal, if not monogamous, for life.

The only Avon scents I can think of that do not have the Avon accord/Avonade are Soft Musk (which I can’t wear because my mother and my sister wear it) and Rare Diamonds.  The celebrity scents also seem to sidestep the Avonade too, so they’re a safe bet, especially the LaCroix range. Quality not quantity Avon!

I guess I’m saying make me President of Avon Fragrance. Not much to ask. You will find me in the Avon archives for most of the week. Lots of freebies to take home and test.  I can start Monday.

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