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…

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Fendi by Fendi (for women) ~ fragrance review

Fendi The Kiss

Imagine this: It’s the late-1980s, and Sirio leads you to your table for lunch at Le Cirque. As you dangle your quilted Chanel 2.55 off your chair and consider whether you’ll have the Dover sole or the carpaccio, a cascade of laughter draws your attention to the table next to you. The frizzy-headed woman with Bordeaux-purple gloss lipstick and an armload of bangles is Opium. Next to her sits Giorgio, a blond real estate agent with frosted pink talons for fingernails. Coco, swathed in fur and velvet and jewel tones despite the July heat outside, looks a little embarrassed by their loud conversation. (Boucheron had to be at a committee meeting for a Met gala and couldn’t make it. Neither could Cinnabar — she’s summering at her house in Bali.)

Then the room’s chatter and clink of silverware stops. A curvaceous, full-lipped woman of a certain age glides toward the empty chair at the table. She’s ignored the trend for shoulder pads and somehow combines Sophia Loren’s earth-mother sensuality with Silvana Mangano’s elegance. Still, her silkiness packs no less potency than the assertive styles of the other women at the table. This is Fendi by Fendi…

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Etat Libre d’Orange Dangerous Complicity ~ fragrance review

Dior Lanvin Balmain

Poor Etat Libre d’Orange Dangerous Complicity has had a bit of a bum rap. It was launched at the same time as the fabulous The Afternoon of a Faun, which probably stole a bit of its thunder. Plus, Dangerous Complicity’s PR pap didn’t do it much of a favor by leaning heavily on unisex sensuality, inscrutable references to the Garden of Eden, a billing as a skin scent. As a result, the fragrance seems to have sunk into a hole.

To me, Dangerous Complicity is none of that. Instead, it’s an ultra-girly, elegant fragrance that broadcasts champagne, silk charmeuse and wrist corsages. But, when it wears down, it throws off all its retro associations for a comforting — or boring, depending on where you’re coming from — dry down of amber, cashmeran and wood…

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Perfume: You Never Stop Learning

Pan Am carry on bag

As a kid, I once sat on a curb with my grandmother and announced that when I was 22 years old I would be finished learning. I’d just memorized the stages of formal education — kindergarten, first grade, and on up through college — and now I knew when my schooling would be over.

Grandma laughed. “Honey, you never stop learning.”

This truth has been driven home lately as I’ve visited an 85-year-old friend every few weeks. She’s just discovered perfume. Eleanor (not her real name) has an acute aesthetic honed by her years as a Pan Am stewardess and living in the Congo, Taipei and Paris with her now-deceased husband, a CIA operative. Her apartment is an oasis of calm colors with something interesting everywhere you look…

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The Different Company Une Nuit Magnetique ~ fragrance review

The Different Company Une Nuit Magnetique

If it weren’t for you — and the generous dram-sized sample Robin forwarded me — I wouldn’t have given The Different Company Une Nuit Magnétique more than a cursory sniff. Usually when I test a fragrance, I start with a drop on the flesh at the base of my thumb. Then, if I like it, I give it real estate up my forearm. My test drop of Une Nuit Magnétique was sharp and tooth-achingly sweet. Not promising. If I hadn’t been considering a review, I would have quit there. It was only when I poured some into an atomizer and wet down my arm that I began to see Une Nuit Magnétique for what it really is: a tender, shimmering, intensely feminine perfume…

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