Tag Archives: Avon

My Top Ten Favourite Avon Fragrances

 

photo by totallymystified on Flickr
photo by totallymystified on Flickr

In the past, I may have mentioned before that I find Avon a bit hit and miss as far as fragrances go, but I have noticed a definite change lately. Whilst I still question the relentless frequency of new launches, every now and then they come up trumps and deliver the goods, and this has been happening more frequently of late.  The strongest quality in Avon’s favour is the price.  Competitive doesn’t even begin to cover it.  Sometimes the low budget really shows, and sometimes you may find that you have in your hands a genuine bargain.

I also like that they listen to their customers.  When Timeless was discontinued in 2012, Avon customers clamoured for its return.  To their credit, Avon listened and brought it back earlier this year.  I like it when that happens.

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In the last six months, I have tried a number of Avon fragrances that have really impressed me.  When you think that they usually cost around between £5 each when on special offer or £13 for two at full price , then the value is unimpeachable ( only Premiere Luxe reaches the dizzy heights of £14, but it reminds me of Armani Si).  However, the question remains- at these prices do you have to compromise on quality?  Well the answer is yes and no.

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One range that I don’t get on with is the Today Tomorrow Always range.  I have tried them all and don’t like any of them.  They seem to have a flat synthetic base note in common that seems to disagree with my skin.  Full marks for gorgeous heavy glass bottles and glossy packaging though. I know the range has many fans, so it may just be me.

Avon 1968 from Mew Deep on Flickr
Avon 1968 from Mew Deep on Flickr

Avon, if you are reading this, thanks for years of fond memories of trusty favourites such Eau Givrée, Foxfire, Charisma and my first ever perfume, Pretty Peach.   Many a childhood Christmas was enhanced by novelty soaps almost too pretty to use and pretty perfume bottles and all sorts of wonders that my mother and grandmother ordered for me from their Avon lady.  For all those memories, thank you.

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And one last point- please can we have Avon Odyssey back in our UK brochures?  It’s available in the USA and we would like it too.  Thank you very much. As you were.

 

You may have noticed that here at IScentYouaDay I like to slip in a Top Ten every now  and then,  so here’s my Avon Top Ten. Prices vary between £5 and £14.

 

1. Avon Little Black Dress: A light white floral that keeps its shape: gardenia and honeysuckle with a woodsy finish

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2. Avon Timeless:  created in 1974, discontinued in 2012 and bought back by popular demand in 2014.  Ambery spicy and powdery.  A winter treat.

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3. Avon Premiere Luxe: A fabulous chypre with blackcurrant, gardenia and woods.  Could pass for something three times the price on the High Street.

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4. Avon Soft Musk : A classic floral musk that lasts for hours and costs the same as a bottle of wine. (in Lidl)

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5. Avon Tahitian Holiday: Reviewed earlier in my blog.  A coconutty white floral. Perfect for hot weather.  The poor woman’s Bronze Goddess.

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6. Avon True Life For Her: A light and pleasant rose/peony combo ideal for everyday casual wear and cheap as chips.

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7. Avon Eternal Magic: a dead ringer for Lancôme Hypnôse for a fraction of the price

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8. Avon Rare Diamonds: reminds me of Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely and even Narciso Rodriguez For Her. Nice bottle too.

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9. Avon Summer White Sunrise: a change from the norm for Avon: a refreshing floral scent with notes of pear and orange blossom.

Avon UK
Avon UK

10. Avon Far Away: not my personal favourite but I couldn’t leave it off the list.  This is Avon’s bestseller and I know several people who adore it.  It’s rich with Vanilla, coconut , sandalwood and floral notes. It’s instantly recognisable, and a customer favourite.

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And sneaking this one in on the end in the hope that our friends at Avon are reading this…

Top Ten of fragrances I Would Love Avon to Bring Back

1. Avon Eau Givrée

2. Avon Odyssey

3. Avon Charisma

4. Avon Foxfire

5. Avon Ophelia

6. Avon Rare Rubies

7. Avon  Topaze

8. Avon Tasha

9. Avon Casbah

10. Avon Ariane

 

odysseyariane

photo from saltycotton on Flickr
photo from saltycotton on Flickr

 

 

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Avon Tahitian Holiday: Cheerful Coconutty Holiday Fun

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Yesterday was a scorching hot day here in Wales (can I say sunny Wales?  I think I can).  The heat was unbearable to a freckled person like me. What could I possibly do to cool myself down? Bear in mind that air conditioning is not commonplace in Wales as heat waves tend to be the exception rather than the rule.  Hello and welcome to my new bottle of Avon Tahitian Holiday.

Many people have compared Avon Tahitian Holiday with Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess.  I will say this:  yes they both have coconut and white flowers and smell tropical and yes Tahitian Holiday isn’t a bad substitute for it.  However Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess has more resonance and richness and unfurls like a many layered flower:  there’s a waft of fig, an ambery base and a deep creamy richness to it which Tahitian Holiday doesn’t have.  Bronze Goddess costs between 40GBP and 50 GBP, whereas Tahitian Holiday only cost me a fiver. The choice is yours. It depends what you want from your perfume.

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Personally, I can’t stretch to a bottle of Bronze Goddess right now and my Wish List is already so full it’s not accepting new members.  However, for five quid I will say that Tahitian Holiday is pretty damn good.  It opens with coconuts, has a middle phase of white tropical flowers (that’ll be the Tiare Flower) and settles to a light floral cocnutty mist.  Lasting power is around four hours, making this Eau de Toilette longer lasting than a cologne.

My 50ml bottle has already gone down considerably in one day due to my frequent top ups- I adore the top note!  In summer, it’s fine to smell like flowery coconuts.  Winter is long and cold, we can get the rich’n’heavies out then.  But for now, for that holiday mood that doesn’t take itself too seriously, you can’t go wrong with a squoosh of Avon Tahitian Holiday.

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Yves Rocher Secrets D’Essences Neroli: Hmm…About Neroli…

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 I recently ordered a set of minis from Yves Rocher and included in that set was a cute little 5ml bottle of Yves Rocher Secrets D’Essences Neroli.  The Secrets D’Essences is a superb range  and frankly, you can’t go wrong with any of them.  The standard is higher than the low price would lead you to expect.

Sadly, I didn’t get on with Secrets D’Essences Neroli as I simply don’t like Neroli on its own.  I’m not saying this is a bad perfume, but it’s not for me.  I prefer my Neroli in a choir, rather than doing a solo. If you are a Neroli fan, you have found a real treasure here and I wholeheartedly recommend it.

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www.fragrantica.com

So why  am I not taken with it?  Well, there is the faintest hint of orange jelly in the background, then some white petals desperately trying to get in the door ( and I really want to let them in, but they are too weak to barge in). Then there is the honey, which I always, without exception, find too sickly in perfume.

So if oranges, honey and  a flutter of white petals is your thing, then this is a safe bet.   If you like your Neroli next to sturdier ingredients, then this is probably not for you.  Don’t forget about layering though- this would be good with musk or a green scent over the top.  If you’re on the fence, you can buy a purse spray on the Yves Rocher website for just 7GBP.

Avon Pur Blanca: When Pure and Clean is Needed

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 Avon Pur Blanca is one of the few Avon scents that doesn’t end up smelling samey in the basenote phase.  Having tried many Avon fragrances in the past, I can honestly say that this is a common fault. There are exceptions, and I have bought many bottles blind trying to find them.

Pur Blanca is the kind of scent you get when you’ve just got out of the shower, washed your hair and applied a touch of baby lotion. It is the smell of pure white soap and freshly shampooed hair.  It reminded me a little of J-Lo Glow, another clean soapy scent.

Pur Blanca is currently 7GBP a bottle and shows no signs of slowing down, so I wouldn’t panic about the Avon of habit of discontinuing the good stuff just yet.

The strongest notes in Pur Blanca are Musk and Peony: always well behaved and respectable. There is a touch of Freesia, keeping it pretty, and even a faint hint of Sandalwood to warm the base up.  You could wear it to meet prospective in-laws without causing offence.  In fact, inoffensive is the word here.  It’s suitable for office wear, church, and PTA meetings.  It’s not sexy, it’s perfectly wearable and the worst accusation I can throw at it is that it is safe. But sometimes safe is required, and this serves its purpose nicely.

I don’t think it smells expensive, and the ingredients are a little synthetic smelling- another frequent Avon characteristic- but when you are producing scents to a low budget market, it’s an occupational hazard.

All in all, not a bad use of seven quid.

Sarah Jessica Parker Covet Pure Bloom: Not Lovely

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I had high hopes for Covet Pure Bloom, since I rate SJP Lovely very highly indeed. It may be a celeb scent but it’s easily good enough to stand shoulder to shoulder with some recent greats, and it taught me not to rule out celeb-u-scents, some of which are excellent.

 SJP Covet was the follow up to Lovely and the memorable TV and cinema advert involved a Imagezealous SJP breaking into a shop to steal a bottle “Covet, I HAD to have it.”  Sadly I did not feel the same. Most of my recent  “I HAD to have it” moments have been directed towards Tauers and a replacement bottle of Lanvin Arpege. Now that I HAD to have.

 Covet Pure Bloom was intended  as a floral version of Covet, but there are no similarities between Pure Bloom and the rather strange chocolate/lavender combo that is Covet.

 Covet Pure Bloom starts with a rather shrill opening of Jasmine and Tuberose, with a hint of Coconut making it slightly comparable to JLo Deseo (which I much prefer to this one). Once the bright, shrill flowers have died down, you are left with a Glade effect. That is, the air freshener likenesses now emerge full throttle. The basenote was so awful and  high pitched and sour that I couldn’t help but wonder (forgive me, Sex And The City fans) whether this was in fact, one of Avon’s latest factory farmed rent-a-scents.

Considering the fact that SJP made the incredibly lovely Lovely, on a par with Lanvin Rumeur, and wonderfully affordable to boot, I was very surprised at the cheapness of Covet Pure Bloom, and I don’t mean the price.  This smells like it was done on the cheap, in a hurry, from an Avon blueprint.

However, I am so besotted by Lovely that I can forgive Sarah Jessica Parker anything.

Avon Week: Absynthe by Christian Lacroix

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Christian LaCroix has created several fragrances exclusively for Avon: Noir for Men, Rouge for Women, Nuit For Women,  Nuit for Men, and Christian La Croix Absynthe. It’s not the usual run of the mill Avon stuff either.  Absynthe has guts and gusto and isn’t afraid to tread a tightrope away from being A Safe Bet.

 Absynthe is one of Avon’s most expensive fragrances, yet it can still be bought for as little as £12 for 50ml in some brochures.  It was created in  2009 by Laurent Le Guernec,  who has also worked on  Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker,  twelve fragrances for Bond No 9, four for Liz Claiborne,  and  Aromatics Elixir Parfumer’s Reserve for Clinique to name but a few of his successes. Despite it’s affordability and ubiquity, Absynthe is a decent scent that can stand shoulder to shoulder with more expensive contemporaries.

My lasting impression of Absynthe is that it reminds me of the bitter Greek Wine, Retsina, made of pine resin.  It opens with dry, bitter notes: Myrrh and a hint of Wood and Anise. Wormwood is strong too, as you would find in the notorious namesake drink.  Middle notes are softer and more feminine introducing flowers and a hint of pretty White Musk. The base is clearly  Amber and Musk, and the Wormwood from the opening stays true throughout.   There is a sweet note in there too, that I cannot name. I would have said Vanilla or Tonka Bean. It’s not overpoweringly sweet though, more like the sweetness of a glass of Chardonnay. I would also have described Absynthe as having Green notes too. The drydown is, to my nose, a dry, Green and Woody combination that has a refreshing bitterness. There’s a faint hint of Liquorice too, from the Anise in the opening blast.

Although LaCroix has also created Absynthe for Him, I don’t know why he bothered since this would comfortably merge from one to the other. I could easily pretend I bought this for my husband and then steal the whole damn bottle.

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Avon Week: Avon Soft Musk

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Avon Soft Musk was created in the 80s and is a rare thing indeed: a perfume that is good quality, popular and excellent value for money.

Every perfume wardrobe should have a Musk. There are many to choose from, varying in quality and price, with the cheapest not necessarily being the worst by a long shot. Before Sarah Jessica Parker created the excellent Lovely, she layered Comme Des Garcons Avignon with an Egyptian perfume oil bought from a street vendor, and  an El Cheapo Bonne Bell Musk from a drugstore. If cheap Musk is good enough for her, it’s certainly good enough for me. I should imagine the end result  was  intoxicating in all the right ways.

 Avon Soft Musk holds many memories for me. So many people I know have worn it since its inception. I can say, hand on heart, that it is both dirt cheap and very good indeed. In my current (now well thumbed) Avon brochure, it retails for £5 for 50ml. You can be sure I will be snaffling me a bottle of that. (online prices vary from the brochure)

It’s often hard to review a Musk perfume without being repetitive, but the more I smell the more differences I can ascertain. Body Shop White Musk has White Flowers in it, at least to my nose, whereas with Jovan White Musk, the honeysuckle is pronounced. Avon Soft Musk is more on the Musk and Rose spectrum, but only barely there, since the Musk dominates.  There are powdery notes too, making this cosy and unthreatening. The powder is more Baby than Face.  Despite being marketed as a “Sexy and Deep” Musk perfume, I actually find it very chaste and respectable. It fits the bill for meeting in laws, job interviews and any occasion when you need to persuade people that you are a nice girl that won’t be any trouble.

Soft Musk is a reliable and good value Musk perfume that currently has several layering accessories to accompany it such as talc, lotion and body spray. It would suit any age from eighteen to eighty  and I will not be turning my nose up at my five quid bottle of scent any time soon.

Avon Week: Timeless

Avon.com
Avon.com


Now we’re talking. I bought a bottle of Timeless in 2012 and was dismissive of it.  In my naivety I labelled it “powdery” and “old lady”. Since my recent epiphany regarding the chypre genre (Thank you Balmain Jolie Madame, I’ve never been the same since), I have changed my outlook on Chypres.

timeless

In Timeless, we have in our midst an excellent and very affordable chypre  (sans oakmoss) that users compare to Rochas Femme or even Gres Cabochard.   Another fan says it is a cross between Obsession and Dana Tabu.

Prominent notes include aldehydes, opoponax, patchouli and amber.   It opens with spicy citrus, beds down into an old fashioned floral with roses and jasmine, and finishes off with an ambery powder accord that isn’t done enough these days.

Timeless was created in 1974 and has fans that have been wearing it ever since.   On the Avon Shop UK page,  buyers are clamouring for it.  On Fragrantica, it is praised to the skies.  On my humble left arm, it smells amazing and has great lasting power.  In fact Avon, did a very daft thing which they quickly put right after listening to their cusotmers.   Timeless was at one point, discontinued.  Such was the uproar from their non-millenial,  long term, customers that Avon very kindly brought it back again.  Wise move, Avon

I tried a sample of Timeless EDT today and was knocked for six. The powdery old fashioned smell I once foolishly tossed aside is terrific. It’s classic, spicy and feminine.  It could hold its own alongside many more expensive brands and not even blush.

Stockists: Timeless is available from Avon UK at the excellent price of £5, although prices and offers may vary.

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Avon Week: Eternal Magic


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This came as a big surprise. I was expecting a light floral, let down by a cheap basenote, as per earlier Avon reviews.  But what do I find but a Dead Ringer for none other than Lancôme Hypnôse?

It’s not just me either, on Fragrantica, no less than 71 other readers have decided its similar too. The notes listed vary quite markedly. Lancôme Hypnôse is listed as having Passionflower, Vanilla and Vetiver, whereas Eternal Magic is listed as having Iris, Tincture of Rose, Vanilla and Woods.

Somewhere in the middle, I would say both have Passionflower, a hint of Wood notes, and Imagedefinite-unmistakable-applied-with-a-trowel, sweet Vanilla. What you are left with is a Floriental Gourmand, a spicy floral with heavy Vanillic basenotes. In fact the first time I ever tried Hypnôse, I was convinced there was a soft little note of Anise in there somewhere.

The beauty of Eternal Magic lies in the fact that it doesn’t smell like an automaton Avon scent. In a blind test, I would never have labelled this one as Avon. It’s warmer, with more resonance and depth to the base. It’s not my cup of tea personally, but it is rather lovely and pleasant, and a refreshing change from other Avon scents.

If you are a fan of Lancôme Hypnôse (£38 per 30ml) but your money tree isn’t blossoming, then this is your lucky day. Eternal Magic is usually around £13 for a 50ml EDT, but in the current Avon brochure it is a mere £8. Avon online is selling it in a gift pack for £9.99 . I consider these prices downright silly and encourage you to take advantage of a quality scent at a bargain price.

The spokesmodel for Eternal Magic is the beautiful Zoe Saldana, and her willowy form features in the ad campaign. Eternal Magic sillage is positively sociable,  and lasting power is around three hours on a good day.

Avon Perceive Dew: Zing!

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The original Avon Perceive fragrance was created by none other than Christopher Sheldrake, who has created no less than 43 fragrances for Serge Lutens, including the legendary Chergui and my personal favourite, A La Nuit. Serge Lutens fragrances usually retail at around £80 a bottle. Perceive is currently around £11, making it the cheapest Christopher Sheldrake fragrance in the world. Do bear in mind though, that he was not handling the same calibre of ingredients when he parachuted into Avon as he does when he works for Serge.

 Perceive Dew was, after all that build up, NOT created by Christopher Sheldrake. However, it’s still pretty good.

The first time I smelled it, I immediately got Melon, which is a note I detest in fragrances. However, as always I gave it a second chance and a third. On the third go, just as I was about to list it on eBay, I had an About-Turn when I noticed some delicious Lemony Citrus notes that talked me in from the ledge. Suddenly I was interested again.

Top notes are Lemon, Freesia and Melon. If I can studiously ignore the wishy washy fake Melon note and concentrate on the sharp Lemon, then Perceive Dew and I will get along fine. Middle notes are Marine notes, Apricots and Honeysuckle. I definitely got all of those notes, but it wasn’t unpleasant.

From my first dismissive, and even snobby opinion of “another cheap fruity floral, it must be sent to the eBay Dungeon”, I now take a different view. For a start, the Marine notes are refreshing and pleasant, rather than aquatic and ozonic like The Body Shop Oceanus, which I can’t bear. The Honeysuckle and Apricot add a sweetness for sure, but because of the tart and zingy lemon, this doesn’t quite fall into the candy floss toothache variety of popular scents.

I will emphasise that I didn’t like the Melon note in this, and it is clear that the budget was not spent on expensive ingredients. However, as a refreshing spritz on a hot day, this is hard to beat at the price. I bought my EDP for £6.99 from my smiley, lovely Avon lady. It will be amazing kept in the fridge on a summer’s day.