Top Notes: Neroli, Hyacinth, Coriander, Bergamot, Peach, Aldehydes.
Heart Notes: Carnation, Jasmine, Narcissus, Ylang-Ylang, Orris, Rose, Lily of the Valley.
Base Notes: Musk, Sandalwood, Amber, Styrax, Tonka Bean, Vanilla, Civetta.
This review is for a vintage EdC.
Recently, I purchased some newer Avons that impressed me more than I thought they would do, so I decided it was time I investigated some vintage Avons, and Charisma was the first one I purchased. In all honesty, this is one of the nicest "old style" floral fragrances I have ever smelt. I cannot believe how well this vintage has stood up over the years. If it smells this good now, I can only imagine how wonderful it must have smelt whence it was first bottled.
Charisma is a cool, green floral. Upon first spray I perceive aldehydes which lift the floral and animalic notes. It smells very fresh but classic. It does not remind me of any recent fragrances. I love carnation, and the carnation in Charisma is wonderful. It dances in and out with jasmine, rose, narcissus, orris, and hyacinth.
The heart notes bloom on my skin for roughly two hours. The deep dry down is green and lush. Projection and sillage are excellent for two to three hours. Longevity is excellent compared to more recent fragrances including my most expensive CHANEL Les Exclusives. Charisma is noticeable on my skin for five to six hours before it really begins to fade away. If I apply it at night before going to bed, I can still detect it on my skin the next morning.
My experience of Charisma prompted me to purchase several other vintage Avons, and whilst not every one of these has impressed me as much as Charisma has done, overall I am greatly impressed with all of the vintage Avons I have purchased thus far. If only all fragrances were made this well today!
Charisma is a dry and elegant chypre. When I was a kid, our neighbor was an Avon lady. We would try her samples, and I remember loving Charisma and Moonwind. My old roller ball sample is almost gone, but what is left is still in perfect condition. Very high quality and still full of womanly sophistication.
I had a bottle of this in the shape of a silver and Red robin when I was little. The bottle was adorable, but I think the perfume had gone bad. All I smelled was pungent alcohol and a very strong, antiseptic, rosy smell. I would like to try smelling this one from a bottle I know isn't past its prime.
I guilt-tripped a friend into going antique shopping with me. I had been sick. I needed some retail therapy, which was really vintage perfume hunting. She drove me to one of my favorite old musty stores and pretended she was not having a good time.
Then, she found the turtle. A very somber brown glass turtle.
With Charisma in it and an AVON sticker on the bottom. And she comes sashaying to me, find in hand, to taunt me with the irony of a brown turtle from AVON with some juice named Charisma in his shell. She dared me to try it, thinking, hey, I will make you smell AVON, and then can we please go get a cupcake and go home?
And we both loved the smell after we screwed off the odd little gold turtle head. Charisma does smell like Coco. And it dries down on me into a warm vanilla that is gorgeous. But still, why put something named Charisma in a brown glass turtle? I am so confused. But do appreciate the warm, spicy goodness. And we got cupcakes.
Completely agree with distortech and his precise and accurate review of Charisma. I found this in a thrift store, which, by the way, is a great place to find vintage scents. Now I'm not too much of a perfume snob, but when I saw the Avon sticker on the bottom, I almost didn't bother to open the bottle. I have never really liked--let's say--actively disliked Avon's frags. The quality is okay at best and most of their stuff has this house note of powdery/amber that seems to suffuse everything and render all their stuff pretty much the same.
Which is why I was so shocked when I smelled Charisma. Not only was it good, it was an excellent facsimilie of Coco by Chanel. But wait, this came out in 1970...long before Coco. How can that be? Coincidence? Perhaps, but the similarities are so striking, I can't help but think that Jacques Polge smelled this and used it as his template for Coco. Of course, it's nowhere near the luxe level of the Chanel, but it makes you wonder.
I'm trying on both to see what you mean, I can identify the similarities, but the charisma is coming over more sugar spicy. I love Coco, but I'm not loving this. It's like a playtime version, altogether less grown up. It has a plastic, powdery, scented doll smell on me.
It may smell nicer on someone who brings out the floral side of a perfume.