My Avon obsession tightens its grip. I am helpless to resist and at seven quid a bottle, I don’t want to.
Avon Rare Pearls is my latest purchase. I bought it after reading the notes that were in it, and sniffing the Avon brochure scratch’n’sniff page,- so not much to go on. However, this distinctive daywear is worth a punt and I’m jolly glad I have a bottle.
The bottle itself has an opaque pearl coloured glass body and an angular top that looks like glass but is plastic. It goes happily alongside my cherished bottle of tuberose heavy Avon Rare Platinum.
So what does it smell like?
Well, it opens with green notes and florals straight away. There’s a kind of mustiness that I rather like. It’s similar to the scent of a bouquet just before it goes past its best before date: you know, floral, vegetal and overly rich just before the flowers conk out and die.
Actually the notes are rosewood, honey, plum and pepper, with magnolia diving in before they’ve quite finished their number. It’s the honey that made me think of flowers just before they go off. It’s actually a lovely smell that can fill a room.
The middle is all about the magnolia: a big, clean, white, flower. It’s creamy and soapy without going into heady tuberose territory-which is no bad thing in my book but it’s not everybody’s cup of tea.
The base is musk, patchouli and sandalwood, but really that just provides a milky, musky backdrop for more magnolia. This is a green, soapy, floral musk. What I smell doesn’t really match the notes: It’s nicer than I thought and has a pleasant fuzziness like a cosy blanket. This is perfect for work and should pass the commuter test too. I’m ever so fond of my seven-quid bargain!
I bought my 50ml bottle of Avon Rare Pearls EDP from my lovely Avon Lady Jill. It’s also available online. The price I quote was correct at the time of publishing and may vary, but there are usually special offers on. Opinions are my own.
Avon Femme is a competent fruity floral that has a legion of fans and is a steady seller. Avon Femme Icon was apparently intended to be an evening version of Femme. However, as much as I love Avon, I think I prefer the original in this instance.
Avon Femme Icon opens with strawberry and raspberry. Both are prominent, and it’s a photo finish when it comes to which is dominant. Suffice to say, this has a sweet and fruity opening which I rather enjoyed.
However, it was the middle and the base that I found difficult with this one. The middle notes (and they don’t always happen in the middle) are iris and rose. Unfortunately, I just got pink bubble bath rather than either. flower. It’s not unpleasant though. I like pink bubble bath.
The base is simply patchouli and musk and this is where it went a bit biscuit-y one me. Unfortunately, the fruit has gone a little synthetic by now and the combination of this with the pink bubble bath, andsome very weak and thin patchouli, did not get the thumbs up from me.
However, this review is, of course, purely subjective. I have a dear friend who wears any Avon scents that don’t suit me and they all smell really wonderful on her. So don’t listen to my moaning- try it for yourself. I love that Avon does a lot of affordable purse sprays, so check out the brochure or the Avon UK website. They always have a special offer on, so don’t stop at one.
How about you? Do you have a favourite Avon fragrance? or even a not-so-favourite? Do let me know. I always love to hear from you.
I got my purse spray of Avon Femme Icon from my Avon brochure. It was just £1.99. Check out Avon UK online. Opinions are my own.
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.
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.
With 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.
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?
A 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.
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?
I 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.
What 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?
Firstly, 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.
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.
I have in my hand a little Avon purse spray of Avon Attraction For Her. It was just £1.99 for 10ml.
Avon Attraction is a fruity floral with a touch of on trend gourmand, and nobody can accuse Avon of not being bang on the money when it comes to rapidly changing perfume trends.
Attraction opens with pear, blackberry and pink pepper, which is a sweet berry not a spice. The pear and blackberry are more summery than autumnal, and the pink pepper makes this smell either very of-the-moment.
The middle phase is jasmine, orchid and musk. I have a bit of a problem with orchid in that I don’t think I have ever liked it as a note. It always smells synthetic to me. I’ve yet to find it in a context that I’ve enjoyed. It smells synthetic here, but luckily, it does not dominate and there’s still much to like here. The musk joins in and stays put, making its presence felt throughout.
The base does a bit of fancy footwork with warm amber, leathery labdanum, vanilla and, here’s the uber trendy bit, praline! So, with the fruity pink pepper, the fairly generic jasmine and the praline base note, you have a version of many current perfumes. Except I paid £1.99 for 10ml.
There are two ways of looking at this. My view is that Avon is making scent that resembles the stuff you can buy far more expensively over the counter, but for a fraction of the price. Or, you could call it generic. Personally, I’m all for a good bargain, so I’m sitting on the Pollyanna side of the fence.
Over on trusty Fragrantica, some Fragranticans are comparing this to Love Me by Victoria’s Secret or By Invitation from Michael Buble.
My only bugbear is that I would have liked more projection and longevity, but as a handbag standby, I’m happy with what it gives me.
Avon Attraction is available from Avon UK Online or from your Avon rep if you have one. I paid for mine myself and opinions are my own.
Avon Viva La Vita is a fresh fruity floral that has enough sharpness to take you into Spring without being cloying or sweet.
The 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 to the base, which I found hard to discern,
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. Over on Fragrantica, some readers are comparing 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.
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.
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.
Today 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.
Little 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”
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. Follow
Now that my blog is four, I thought I’d better do some housekeeping. One of my most popular articles is “Perfume for Paupers”, written two years ago. It was my guide to how you can smell good without blowing the budget. It was written from the heart (and from past experience ), since I believe that you don’t have to be rich to smell good.
However, as you know, the industry changes faces like a kaleidoscope in even a short space of time. For example, many celeb scents that I reviewed then, have been discontinued, and many new affordable options have appeared on the market in just two years. However, much of what I wrote in my earlier article still stands: shop around, be selective, use eBay, look past the label. I reckon it’s time for an update. Here’s my guide on how to smell good without feeling bad.
Leave your snobbery at the door
I used to be in an exclusive long term relationship with Chanel Cristalle and would only rarely have flings with other scent on the side. During a frugal period in my life, I decided to shop around, and my love affair with scent truly blossomed. I hold allbeauty.com and Home Bargains responsible for this. I bought the cheapest scent I could afford and ended up finding some firm favourites. High price tags do not always mean high quality., and vice versa. Don’t overlook celebrity fragrances either. They are all made by professional Noses and are usually cheaper than other brands. Some of my favourite celeb scents are under £10.
Ok, I’m starting to sound obsessed with Avon now, but when you an find a decent perfume for under seven quid, well, then it’s very hard to stay away. In fact my SOTD is Avon Rare Platinum and those tuberose wafts are very pleasing to my nose today. Avon Perceive Oasis was my summer scent more than any other in 2016. I even bought a back up bottle.I give Avon a further thumbs up for selling purse sprays at just £3 and for currently selling Scent Essence Lime Verbena for just £2.50 for 30ml. All prices correct at time of posting.
I have bought a lot of perfume from eBay and have never been let down. EBay is pretty strict on counterfeit and it’s not worth most people’s trouble to try and sell the odd fake. Having said that, there’s no guarantee it’ll never happen to you, but in seven years I’ve not been conned. EBay is also great for perfume samples which helps avoid costly blind buys. I’ve also scored some blinders from a local car boot sale. Never underestimate how much somebody else can dislike a perfectly good bottle of perfume and be desperate to get rid of it. That, my friends, is when you circle and swoop.
Success stories: 100ml of Cabotine for £3.99 on eBay, bottle of LouLou and assorted samples for £7 on eBay, bottle of half used 100ml of Rive Gauche for £4 at car boot sale. Full 50ml bottle of Chanel Coco EDP for £26 on eBay.
Some of my favourite cheap and cheerfuls are the kind of scent young folk today might label as “Nan perfume”. I prefer the term “classic. ” Nobody will put me off Coty L’Aimant or Chique and I could buy both bottles with ten quid and still have change for a Daim Bar.
If you’re saving for a bottle of the good stuff and in between bottles,, why not just buy a few samples and use your favourites on high days and holidays? It’s cheaper than a full bottle and you can always smell expensive without having a shelf full of posh bottles and no money in the bank.
You’d be amazed how many of your friends have been given perfume they don’t like and don’t wear. Nobody seems to throw it away though, so get asking. You might find they have one of your favourites and that dusty bottle you can’t get rid of might be just their cup of tea. I dare you to ask four friends if they have a bottle of perfume they don’t really wear. It also works on forums such as Fragrantica, Mumsnet and Fragcomm.
Many men’s fragrances are cheaper than women’s ( though not all). There’s no rule that says you can’t wear his stuff or that he can’t wear yours. Having said that, although I reguarly raid my husband’s scent collection (I chose most of it- ergo it’s mine.) I can’t see my husband borrowing my SJP Lovely to wear for work anytime soon. Shame. Florals can smell good on men.
Here’s what I mean by cheap and cheerful for chaps: Old Spce (cheap as chips) doesn’t smell a million miles away from Yves Saint Laurent Opium. (Thanks for the tip Portia of APJ), and Avon men’s fragrances are truly excellent. I wore Wilderness for Men for the whole of August one year, with a pretty sun dress. I say Pah! to labels. If it smells good wear it.
These mini rollerballs are available from Amazon and eBay. Containing no alcohol, and usually in rollerball format, these are an unbeatably cheap way to layer notes or wear the scent alone. The jasmine and the rose single note fragrances are pretty good too. They make good presents and a 10ml rollerball is perfect for even the smallest of handbags.
Avon has turned my head yet again. In fact, this is the third Avon scent that I have bought that I can’t seem to leave alone. Last Summer I wore Avon Perceive Oasis on more days than anything else, and just before Christmas I bought the wonderfully tuberose-y Avon Rare Platinum. I am now the proud owner of a 50ml bottle of Avon Little Black Dress Eau Fraiche. It cost me a mere six pounds and I smell grrrreat.
The original Avon Little Black Dress is not vastly different to this fresh take on it. You can tell they’re related, even if the original is the richer cousin and the Eau Fraiche is the flaky, day dreamy sister. Where Little Black Dress has plum, heady white flowers, sandalwood and musk, the Eau Fraiche has lighter white flowers, no woods, and light, clean musk.
Little Black Dress Eau Fraiche opens with lemons. It’s a light and pleasant debut and the juxtaposition of lemons over the middle phase of creamy white flowers gives me the faint impression of the billowy pillowy topping of a lemon meringue pie. This however, is thankfully a sugar free version. No sickly sweetness here- all is fresh and pretty. The base notes fade into a musky, clean laundry accord, with a touch of girly peony for a feminine flourish at the end.
This is light enough to please the kind of perfume palate that also appreciates such scents as Marc Jacobs Daisy and Chanel Chance. It’s light, inoffensive and passes the commuter test with flying colours (i.e nobody will try and climb out of the carriage window if you get on the train wearing this). I know it’s January, but this is what I can’t stop spraying right now. Dear diary, today I tried a flanker that I preferred to the original.
You can buy Avon Little Black Dress Eau Fraiche from Amazon UK or from your Avon rep. I can’t find it on the Avon UK website at the moment, but it’s still in brochures. I paid a mere six quid for 50ml of EDP in a pretty box. Hurry up though- I’ve got a feeling it’s occasional scarcity means a future discontinued label.
I recently managed to bag a 10ml purse spray of Avon Far Away Infinity in the last campaign brochure I was given by my lovely, and oft mentioned Avon Lady, Jill.
Avon Far Away is Avon’s best selling fragrance. It’s been around since 1994 and shows no sign of slowing down. Many flankers have been introduced, but the original remains on the bestseller lists. Far Away Infinity, it has to be said, is not very much like Far Away. It is, however, remarkably similar to Paco Rabanne Olympea and several other high street launches of that ilk.
Far Away Infinity contains note-du-jour: Jasmine Sambac. Jasmine Sambac is like a cranked up version of jasmine that smells so heady that it almost borders on the orientail in its richness. If it was a colour it would be heavy gold. Coupled with vanilla, it really packs a punch. There are other notes in Far Away Infinity, but they don’t get much of a look in once the jasmine sambac and the vanilla take over and chuck everyone else out of the party.
That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with this- it’s bang on trend, but don’t expect similarities to Avon Far Away. What you can expect is a very reasonably priced fragrance that is in a similar vein to Paco Rabanne Olympea and Marc Jacobs Decadence, but don’t say it was me who told me. It’s strictly between me, you and the internet. Shh!
You can buy Far Away Infinity from Avon UK. My purse sprays were a bargain 99p each for 10ml but I think that offer’s gone now, so don’t get excited. A 50ml bottle of Far Away Infinity Eau de Parfum is currently only £7.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
All photos from Avon UK. All perfumes I have tried have been purchased by me. All opinions are my own.