Perfume Directory

Mesmerize for Men (1992)
by Avon

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Mesmerize for Men information

Year of Launch1992
GenderMasculine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 50 votes)

People and companies

HouseAvon

About Mesmerize for Men

A spicy, Oriental fragrance.

Mesmerize for Men fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes
  2. Heart Notes
  3. Base notes

Reviews of Mesmerize for Men

The 1990's was a very, very strange place for Avon fragrances, particularly in the oft-neglected men's side. The mammoth direct-seller house seemed to have given up all earnest efforts after the start of the 80's and just rehashed what must have by then been seen as ancient barbershop styles, with the only bit of solid effort coming from the designer partnership with Louis Féraud or the gaggle of celebrity/outside brand licensed stuff (i.e. Giorgio) the house was managing. If the 80's was full of sellouts and second-rates, the 90's was a decade of mad scientists controlling the perfume labs for guys, with the exception of Mesmerize. Seeing as it's the only masculine fragrance survivor from that decade, and actually outlived the feminine counterpart in some markets (much like Perceive for Men from 2000), Avon must have gotten something really, really right. Did the mad science pay off? Well it looks like for whatever reason, this wasn't subject to the "Avon weirdness" that otherwise was rampant in that time. Instead, Mesmerize does an old trick from the 60's and 70's heyday of Avon by being a close parable to a popular style, but just adding little embellishments to make it their own, and several years after said style had settled in. There is a small bit of strangeness here, in the fact that Mesmerize for Men is a fougère and oriental hybrid (a.k.a. semi-oriental) with some unusual gourmand-like notes way before that genre fully emerged, but I tend to think this was done out of frugality rather than innovation, since Avon's mostly anonymous perfumers compose on a non-existent budget. Simply put, this is a gorgeous "Dad's cologne" smell, bracing at first, then spicy, warm, sweet, smooth, and mossy with a creamy sandalwood finish.

The first thing one notices is the bottle reminiscent of Ralph Lauren's Polo (1978) but with an Arabian twist. This is no genie's lamp nor are you Aladdin when unstopping it, as what comes out of the gold and blue sprayer is one part convention, and one part quirky. Mandarin, petitgrain, and bergamot meets the nose first, like many richer orientals from the late 80's and early 90's, bearing a striking resemblance to Versace L'Homme in these opening moments, but unlike Chanel's Pour Monsieur eau de toilette Concentrée (1989) or Égoïste (1990), this marries a peculiar apple note to the orange, giving an ambrosia feel to the opening just as familiar lavender, cardamom, and nutmeg take up the chorus in the middle. Alongside some interesting white florals and sage, an incense not Avon calls Myrrh emerges, before ending in amber, tonka, oakmoss, musk, and sandalwood. It has the hallmarks of a late 19th century fougère like the original namesake Fougère Royale (1882), which it shares with Zino Davidoff (1986), but doesn't head into as much floral skank, supplanting it with oriental spice and woods a la the aforementioned Chanel scents that were contemporary with this. I also get inflections of Puig Sybaris (1988) on hand, but not as heavily. It's an unusual amount of class on display here, and while this teters between typical eau de cologne strength Avon was still keen on using for it's masculines all the up until the 2010's, it does have comparable sillage and longevity to a designer eau de toilette from the era due to its heady components, just not the longevity to match its loud manifesto. I won't begrudge this because the stuff is dirt cheap, and if you buy old American stock or current Mexican-made stock, you'll notice the same short ingredient list and oakmoss bite, so Avon is likely ignoring IFRA outside the EU where it's actually law to abide the restrictions.

Mesmerize for Men is honestly a phenomenal option for a guy that only has $15 to spend on a scent and wants the classiest, most mature option available without something really dated from a drugstore or in a plastic bottle. It can hang tight at a dinner party full of guests wearing Dior and Guerlain, but it won't pass the 6 hour mark without pulling a Cinderella and turning into a pumpkin of a skin scent unless sprayed on fabric. Orientals work best in blazing heat or chilling winter air, so take the bottle and reapply to mitigate the short projection life if you're making a cold-weather work scent of it and want it competitive. A fragrance connoisseur stocked with any of the above designer scents may find this redundant in their wardrobe, unless they collect Avon in particular, in which case they can consider this Avon's lowbrow but very respectful entry into the "sweet warm spicy sandalwood" style making the rounds in this period. Mesmerize for Men is honestly the first male-marketed oriental-ish scent Avon knocked out of the park, as 1978's Trazarra seemed a bit thin for what it tried to be and Black Suede (1980) ended up being candied amber leather, although it's totally amazing in it's own way and one of my favorites. Apple is still a weird opener for something not specifically a gourmand, but Avon has played around with food notes before anyone else outside niche, so they're the original hipsters of mainstream gourmands and wouldn't be as endearing of an entry-level perfumer without this, and many unapologetic quirks. Mesmerize for Men spawned a litany of flankers in South America, but for most Western Avon guys, Mesmerize is just "that other one besides Wild Country (1967) and Black Suede", which beats a blank. Thumbs up!
17th February, 2018 (last edited: 22nd November, 2018)
Swanky Show all reviews
United States
Mesmerize is not really my bag, but for the price and longevity, it's an acceptable offering. Bobster referenced Dunhill Desire and I agree that there is a similarity. At the start, Mesmerize has an almost-effervescent aspect like some 50s-era fragrances (think Moustache or Tabu)and the apple is the key note (although it is like a SweetTarts version).

Later some spicy sweetness enters the fray and it remains potent all day.
16th April, 2016
Wow, no patchouli in the notes? Shocker.

Firstly, I've tried a lot of men's Avon fragrances, and most have smelled cheap in some way. Mesmerize starts off rich and bold, but after a few minutes, oyu can tell it's an Avon.

This opens up like a spicy, musky, chunky patchouli. In the blink of an eye it's gone. Surprisingly, I actually thought it was gonna last long. It dries down into that weird airy chlorinated water aroma that I commonly get from all Avon men's fragrances.

Who knows what fresh spices are in here, but to me, it smells like curry. That covers up the weird accord I talk about above. 2 hours down the road, I smell an unsweetened amber, musk, and still some spice.

Although the bottle may come off as cheap looking, I rather enjoy it. It stands out. It's very "early 90's" looking. Sprayer works well. Based on a 5 spray application, projection and sillage are both under par.
17th December, 2015 (last edited: 22nd March, 2017)
rafa04 Show all reviews
United States
an excellent fragrance in my opinion anyone new to the fragrance world should try this. very good fall, winter, and early spring scent. has ok projection with longevity up to 12 hrs or more
28th January, 2014
Oriental'ish cheapie

Got this almost 1 year ago. It's not sweet at all, rather woody and citrusy at the start. After that, the weird apple note appears but it isnt unpleasant at all. You can smeel woodsy notes in the middle accompanied with Some vanilla and some citrus. The base notes are mainly sandalwood and a mix of the other notes listed. Pretty good for the price, sillage and projection are actually pretty decent, getting 6-8 hours of projection. Great for cold weather.

Pros: Decent sillage, cheap, uncommon
Cons: Not for everyone"

02nd August, 2013
Mesmerize

This 1992 Avon release is a straight forward fougere (lavender and coumarin) made just interesting enough by an herbal inflection of thyme and basil. Fulfills the traditional requisites of a masculine to cost nothing and work. One last point: a fragrance that can be this good given what must have been a practically nonexistent formula budget only underscores the blasphemy of mainstream perfumery. Now pull you pants up.

24th July, 2013

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Avon Soap-on-a-Rope Black Suede or Mesmerize or Wild Country--gental lush lather

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Avon Soap-on-a-Rope Black Suede or Mesmerize or Wild Country--gental lush lather

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New Avon Men's MESMERIZE AFTER SHAVE Conditioner Lotion *Qty 8* 3.4 oz Full Size

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