Avon Femme ~ fragrance review

Avon Femme

As long as Rochas Femme is still on the market, it takes a lot of moxie to name another fragrance “Femme.” When I think of Femme, I envision Edmond Roudnitska’s creation and an elegant yet curiously raunchy perfume that suits a woman of singular character. This Femme ignores focus groups and cleaves to an artist’s imagination. The Femme woman stands out today for her sure — if unfashionable — presence, and although opinions might be mixed, you don’t forget her. What’s Avon going to do with that?

“All eyes will be on you in this glamorous silhouette of rich jasmine petals and stunning magnolia touched with radiant amberwoods,” the copy on the Avon Femme sample’s folder reads. Additional notes include pink grapefruit, violet, plum, wild orchid, peach skin, musk, and woody notes. Hmm. Peach skin and plum. Jasmine. The wood and musk that some perfume houses use to simulate oakmoss. Could Avon possibly….?

Nope. Avon Femme is worlds away from Rochas Femme…

Read the rest of this article »

Shop for perfume

FragranceNetParfums Raffy

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…

Read the rest of this article »

Dawn Spencer Hurwitz Peony and White Lilac ~ fragrance reviews

Watercolor SL

Independent perfumer Dawn Spencer Hurwitz recently launched two new floral fragrances, Peony and White Lilac. I have to confess that I don’t always stay abreast of this line’s new releases and projects, only because Hurwitz is quite prolific and the line is still primarily online-only, so I was happy when these two samples came my way. In case you were wondering: no, I will never tire of feminine floral perfumes!

Peony is an evocation of an entire day in the life of this springtime flower, from a dewy bud at dawn to a duskier blossom at nightfall…

Read the rest of this article »

Atkinsons The British Bouquet & The Odd Fellow’s Bouquet ~ fragrance reviews

Atkinsons The Odd Fellow's Bouquet

In the early Spring of 1799, James Atkinson, an enterprising young gentleman from the wilds of Cumberland, set forth by carriage for the glorious city of London. In his suit pocket were recipes for fine scents and toiletries of his own devising. Next to him sat a sizable quantity of rose-scented bear grease balm. Next to the balm sat a growl-y bear. The growl-y bear was thoroughly devoted to James. Within mere days the utterly fantastic balm became indispensable to London’s most uppity crust, who braved the bear at the door of 44 Gerrard Street (“that marvellous perfume shop with the most terrifying bear”) to procure sufficient stock for the Social Season.

After a most delightful hibernation, Atkinsons and its growl-y bear have awoken from their slumber totally refreshed and revived. Drawing on 200 years of English eccentricity, style and impeccable manners, not to mention an incomparable heritage and imperishable commitment to making the highest echelons of society as fragrant and delectable as humanly possible, we are now ready to usher in a new century of perfume snobbery. How? By means of our newest collections, our boldest and most irresistible to date. “True style,” as Beau Brummel once said, “never goes out of fashion. You simply cannot keep a good bear down.1

I can do without snobbery and the highest echelons of society, but I do love an animal story (whether it’s true or not)…

Read the rest of this article »

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…

Read the rest of this article »