Avon Flor Violeta ~ fragrance review

Avon Flor Violeta

Welcome to our annual Drugstore Week, where I’ll review an easy-to-find, bargain fragrance every day! This year, I won’t be sticking strictly to the drugstore, but will be foraging through the offerings of Target and Avon, as well. To kick off the week, I present Avon Flor Violeta.

It’s been a while since I’ve sampled an Avon fragrance. Truth be told, the Avon perfumes that come to mind first — Bird of Paradise, Cotillion, Sweet Honesty1 — are names I remember from the bottles in my grandmother’s vast Avon figurative bottle collection, which seemed to center around poodles and old cars. I know Avon has busily released fragrances since then and has even ventured into the celebrity perfume game. But since the Avon lady no longer seems to make her rounds, and since the sinks in public restrooms are no longer littered with Avon catalogs left by hopeful sales representatives, the company’s fragrances have fallen off my radar.

Flor Violeta has been getting a lot of love on Avon’s website, earning 4.5 out of 5 stars. (The tougher customers over at MakeupAlley only give it 3.7 stars.) Actress Kate Castillo fronts the perfume. The folder my spray sample came in says, “Delight in an extraordinary moment of sparkling green apple infused with a beautiful bouquet of violet blossoms and soft musk.” Green apple, violet, and musk is a simple description, but it's about as true a description of Flor Violeta as I could come up with.

Flor Violeta launches with an aldehydic burst rimmed with sweet green apple. The apple plays the clever trick of hanging around the fragrance’s edges but disappearing when I lean in. I smell it most clearly about eight inches from skin. At center stage is violet buoyed by a combination of laundry musk and a woody musk that hints — just a tiny bit — at bug spray. To its credit, despite the green apple, Flor Violeta isn’t fruity or sweet. All in all, wearing the fragrance feels like having washed with a nice guest soap, one of the small ones shaped like a flower and tinted pale purple.

On my skin, except for a musky residue, Flor Violeta vanishes within the hour. It would be a fine fragrance for someone who wants to smell clean and pretty and who is terrified of an intrusive scent. Hardcore perfume lovers probably won’t find much here to interest them.

I tested Flor Violeta against two other drugstore violet fragrances, Elizabeth Taylor Violet Eyes and one of last year's Drugstore Week picks, Forever Elizabeth. Forever Elizabeth smells positively exotic next to Flor Violeta. I get a touch of patchouli and — could it be? — nutmeg that I never noticed before. Violet Eyes is packed with pink pepper (try saying that ten times quickly) and is surprisingly lively in comparison to Flor Violeta.

So, is Flor Violeta for you? Judged from the fact that you’re reading Now Smell This, I’m going to guess you’d buy this one for your middle school niece rather than yourself. But if you love violets, it’s worth a try, especially at its reasonable price. 

Avon Flor Violeta Eau de Parfum spray is $28 for a darling, puff-topped 50 ml bottle. It also comes in a shower gel (6.7 ounces for $12) and Eau de Parfum “rollette” (10 ml, normally $12 but on sale now for $4.99). It’s available at Avon’s website or, presumably, from your Avon lady.

1. A quick internet search shows that Sweet Honesty is still in production. What do you think — is it worth a future perfume review?

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29 Comments

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  1. Ari says:

    I’ve been very curious about this one ever since trying the flanker, Flor Alegria. It sounds like for once, the flanker might have been an improvement- Flor Alegria has a really nice violet-y iris drydown.

    • Angela says:

      Oh, I love the sound of that dry down. It sounds like I reviewed the wrong Avon Flor!

  2. Ida says:

    “Judged from the fact that you’re reading Now Smell This, I’m going to guess you’d buy this one for your middle school niece rather than yourself.” – chuckled at this. :-)

    • Angela says:

      And am I right or am I right?

      • eswift83 says:

        Right right right. :)

        • Angela says:

          I love the way you think!

  3. robini71 says:

    Ooh a visit with Sweet Honesty by way of a review would be fun. I wonder if it smells the way many of us remember it smelling. “Packed with Pink Pepper” I love it (giggles).

    • Angela says:

      Then I’ll do it! I’ll see what I can do about getting a sample. I wonder what sort of memories it will bring back? It feels like at one point it was all I smelled.

      • AmyT says:

        Oddly, I never smelled Sweet Honesty until recently, but it did evoke another memory – it seemed to be the exact scent Avon used in their Soft Pink bubble bath, which was frequently used during my childhood.

  4. poodle says:

    If your grandmothers collection centered around poodles, she was a fabulous lady I bet. ;)
    I have lots of fond Avon memories. I actually still have some Sweet Honesty in a turtle bottle. I love to see you review it.

    • Angela says:

      She had a black poodle, Jocko the Clown, that was an integral part of the family as long as I could remember. (Jocko, RIP, best dog ever)

  5. annemarie says:

    Avon ladies are like hen’s teeth now aren’t they? In Australia Avon is finally starting to sell online but only offers a subset of its products, and I think the postage is something like $10. Hard to justify unless you buy a lot at one time, which I never did. The whole point of Avon is that it is inexpensive and suits women on limited budgets.

    So I won’t get to try Flor Violeta. I have some memory that there was an absinthe-style fragrance from Avon once. That sounded rather interesting.

    • Angela says:

      What I love about the idea of Avon ladies is that they were part of the community. Maybe it’s nostalgia and I’m wrong, but I don’t have the feeling that they were angling to sell dealerships and earn their own pink cadillac. Oh well. The internet does have its benefits.

      • annemarie says:

        Yes, my Avon lady worked in the finance section of the organisation I worked for. I’m not sure that she made much money; it was really just the social connection she was after I think. During the year she would collect all the freebies she got from Avon and at Christmas offer them as gifts to her best customers, of which I was one. She was so sweet. We have both moved on to other workplaces now. I miss those times.

  6. mals86 says:

    I rather liked Violet Eyes but was disappointed that there wasn’t any violet note to it. It could have done with one. My MIL wears it now, and it’s nice on her. (She’s of the gasp-perfume-is-trying-too-hard school, grew up a minister’s daughter, so the modern floral woody musk things are plenty daring for her taste.)

    Sure, review Sweet Honesty! I remember wearing it as a child – my grandmother kept buying Cotillion for herself and giving me all kinds of little samples/tiny bottles. I wore them. Nobody stopped me. :)

    • Angela says:

      Violet Eyes somehow seems perfect for a minister’s daughter! I think Sweet Honesty will have to be a review as soon as I can get a sample. Did your grandmother ever give you any of those sweet little lipstick samples?

      • mals86 says:

        She DID! I was too young to wear lipstick (elementary school), but she’d let me play with it. She actually lived with us, by the way, and the walk-out basement floor of our house was her “apartment.” Living/dining room, kitchen, bathroom, large bedroom. My bedroom was on that floor as well so we shared the bathroom, and she’d let me play in front of the big mirror: lipstick, eye shadow, nail polish. And perfume. ;)

        Mom never minded me wearing perfume as long as I wasn’t wearing a lot of it, but there was a moratorium on wearing makeup out of the house until I was in 8th grade – and it still had to pass Dad Inspection before I could leave, so I don’t think I started wearing mascara until I was maybe a junior in high school.

        • Angela says:

          Your Cotillion-wearing grandmother sounds terrific! I love the picture you paint of standing in your shared bathroom with her perfume and cosmetics.

  7. kaos.geo says:

    Do they list the perfumer’s name anywhere?

    Angie I love drugstore week, I believe there are so many undervalued things in this segment.

    Looking forward to the next installments! :-)

    • Angela says:

      No, no perfumer’s name. I’d love to know, though.

      I’m glad you like drugstore week! I’m not sure I uncovered a lot of tremendously wonderful finds this week, but it’s been fun for me, at least.

  8. DWaugh17 says:

    Avon still sells Sweet Honesty. http://shop.avon.com/product.aspx?pf_id=5706

    I remember wearing this, but my absolute favorite was Coty’s Jasmine Musk rollerball – wish I could still find that one!

    • Angela says:

      I’ve never seen the Coty Jasmine Musk! I’d have leapt on that one for drugstore week, if it were still around. Dang.

  9. JolieFleurs says:

    Oh, I love drugstore week, too!

    I think I’d enjoy this one, but I am not sure if anyone sells Avon around here. I should check anyway, because I want to see if the rumors of the bug-repellent properties of Skin-So Soft are true. My poor husband is being eaten alive this summer.

    I remember wearing Sweet Honesty, but can’t remember what it smelled like. It’s kind of bundled up in memories of Windsong, Enjoli and other fragrances of that era that I also know I wore, but can’t remember. (I do still have and wear my Love’s Baby Soft, and Baby Soft Jasmine, though! :P )

    • Angela says:

      I really like Love’s Baby Soft Jasmine! And, of course, the theme song to the Enjoli TV commercial is the best of all time.

      We had a big bottle of Skin So Soft around when I was growing up, and I don’t remember how it did with mosquitos, but it really was softening. It had its own peculiar scent, too, which I can’t remember now.

  10. MikasMinion says:

    Yes, please review Sweet Honesty. That was my first perfume as a child, my favorite teacher in elementary school (pre-school? I went to a Montessori school without grades but I was pretty small) wore it and my Mom got me a bottle when she moved away. I was thinking about it the other day and wishing I had some to sniff. I might have to hit eBay. Would love to know if it has been reformulated out of all recognition or is pretty much the same.

    • Angela says:

      Doing a vintage and new comparison of Sweet Honesty would be fun. I’ll have to start hunting in thrift stores, turning over the bottoms of all those figurative bottles, to see if I can uncover some.

  11. Carolyn says:

    My very first experience with Avon was when my aunt, who lived in upstate New York, sent me Pretty Peach products for Christmas & birthday – we lived in the Irish Republic & hadn’t even heard of Avon! I still remember the bubble bath bottle with the replica peach top, complete with leaves! I then graduated to something called, I think, Hawaiian White Ginger – don’t ever remember getting actual fragrance, just bath & body products – my aunt stopped the Avon products when I was in my early teens, & used to send me fabulous clothes instead!

    • Angela says:

      Oh, Hawaiian White Ginger sounds nice! It also sounds like a natural progression from Pretty Peach. Avon had such amazing packaging.

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