Perfume Directory

Starring for Men (1997)
by Avon


Starring for Men information

Year of Launch1997
Average Rating
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About Starring for Men

Starring for Men is a masculine fragrance by Avon. The scent was launched in 1997

Starring for Men fragrance notes

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

Reviews of Starring for Men

The obtuse and experimental 90's period for Avon's masculine scent division bore some rather forgettable fruit, but not because their creations at the time were boring; it was quite the contrary of boring during this decade to be sure, as Avon was pulling out all the stops in an attempt to stay relevant after a bland and overly-commercial 80's. One thing is certain, they didn't try to hang with the "cool kids" by making tons of "fresh" Fougères, aquatics, or ozonics, even if there was a bizarre mutated example from each category. Instead, we were given strange mashups between conventional and cutting-edge, as if their perfumers were looking for unique angles to explore at the cost of good taste. Granted, if you like strange and niche versions of common masculine tropes, then 1990's Avon is a treasure trove to explore for sure, and Starring for Men is one of the finest examples of such esoterica from the time yielding very wearable results. Starring for men is a 1997 fougère and oriental hybrid like it's predecessor Mesmerize for Men (1992) , which Avon seemed fond of producing throughout the 90's and would again the following year with Far Away for Men (1998). Starring for Men was definitely among the richest and most oriental-like of these hybrids, and could almost be just classified as an oriental if not for a few glaring top notes. The overall effect of this contrast is a phenomenal old-world barbershop opening and a creamy sweet dry down that would put a lot of niche houses to shame. Considering who made it, when it came out, and how it was (or wasn't) marketed, Starring for Men fell on deaf ears by being a catalog-only scent at a time when niche perfumers hadn't yet snuck into malls and people weren't ready to revisit antique styles or go back to direct sellers.

Starring for Men opens with mandarin and apple like mesmerize, but feels like a richer "Mark II" version of that opening with the additional heft of bergamot and nutmeg tacked on in the top notes. The warm and soft opening is almost reminiscent of Paul Sebastian Fine Cologne (1979), but a touch more piquant with that nutmeg coming and going throughout the dry down. Starring then follows far more oriental lines than PS and goes way richer on the heart notes, with dry sage counterbalancing cardamom and a thick bay rum note before finishing in vanilla and musk. The vanilla and musk present here are very fatty indeed, more so than even vintage Canoe by Dana (1936), and the dry down of Starring for Men will stay to skin and create an amazingly radiant glow of spice attached to that bottom end for hours. The stuff will leave a trail if sprayed on shirt, but the top notes will stay around far longer and it will almost feel like you're wearing two different scents when you do so, but if this one has any failing at all, it's that this step will prove necessary if you want it more than a skin scent past the first hour. Avon is ultimately a price-conscious perfumer, or at least they were at the time, and it's evident here in this cologne's ability to hang around all day, but not have decent silliage. Starring for men is odd in that it's clearly an exercise in antiquated male perfumery, just in hybrid form, since it's a direct smashing of a classic fougère top sans the lavender, and the early 80's male oriental, without the tobacco, leather, or olibdanum/labdanum that usually finds it's way in.

It's quite elegant in it's simplicity, which is perhaps the only thing in line with the 1990's, since that was the decade of simpler design. Starring for Men makes a great winter time work scent if you're outdoors and need something that cuts the wind, but also great evening wear in a romantic setting. Nobody is going to realize this stuff is from the 90's, let alone Avon, by the way it smells, and it really is one of the best kept secrets from that decade that probably only failed because of, once again, who released it, how it was marketed, and when it was released. Timing means so much in the perfume world, as relevance makes or breaks anything if it's not deliberately niche. I do take issue with the rather nondescript bottle, which to my eyes looks like it could easily house a feminine oriental from the 1930's, let alone a masculine one from 1997. Seriously, the fluted bottle, gold cap, art-deco design, and thick glass would have you think this was an early pre-war California Perfume Company product, if not for the fact that they stuck with florals until the postwar period when they fully embraced the Avon name for the entire company. This one is definitely out of time, but it's a strange beauty rather than just plain strange like most of the things Avon shucked to men during this period. This is one of the few Avon scents that I'll advise going easy on the trigger until it dries, as it is every bit forceful as that note period suggests coming out of the sprayer. Great stuff!
18th February, 2018 (last edited: 23rd February, 2018)
Swanky Show all reviews
United States
Starring begins with a sharp floral character reminiscent of California, Insensé or Carrington, although florals are not listed in the note breakdown. The bergamot is the probable suspect - Moustache, too, has a similarly tart opening. After a while, though, it tones down into a mildly spicy and creamy scent with an incense backbone, which is, I think, the best part of the fragrance. With time, though, the quality of ingredients lets this offering down. That said, for the affordable price tag, this presents a decent choice for the man who doesn't want to smell like the guy next to him at the slot machines. The bottle is pretty cool, too.
30th March, 2012 (last edited: 24th July, 2014)
The opening says "i'm gonna be a spicy fougere!" but the drydown leaves you and says "haha just kidding I was a fresh oriental!" Strangely unique structure. Moderate sillage and comes in bursts. The vanilla in the drydown reminds of Raw Vanilla from Coty. Not bad. If you see a good deal, pick it up. There are samples still floating around out there, too.
15th October, 2009
Bigsly Show all reviews
United States
This one is not very similar to anything else I've tried, and I've tried many fragrances with vanillic bases (Devotion, Polo Double Black, Rochas Man, Raw Vanilla, etc.), as well as the two other ones I mentioned in my first review (L'Anarchiste and Egoiste). My guess is that the spices used here, along with the sage, make it seem like there is cinnamon in it (it's not listed in the notes). In any case, I've changed my opinion on the sillage and longevity, which is quite good with just one spray to the chest. The rum note isn't too boozy (such notes can be nauseating to me), and I don't get any clear fruit notes (though I try to avoid top notes, so that may be the reason). It is definitely a little musky, as the note pyramid suggests. If you really don't like sage, this might not be for you (because it does play a large role here), but otherwise, the note pyramid should be enough for you to determine if you'd like this.

My old "newbie" review: It seems a little weak compared to other frags, but other than that this is excellent. I spray this right at the shirt line, twice in one spot (after letting the first spray dry), and then it takes a few minutes before I get the nice wafts. From the other reviews, I feared this might be a boozy, synthetic mess, and that it would be strong and "rough." It's none of those things. It's very well-balanced and pleasant. I also thought the apple, nutmeg, or vanilla might be a bit too dominant, but they aren't. When I saw I good deal for it, I grabbed it, and now it's got a solid place in my rotation. I like it better than Egoiste, and while I have yet to sample L'Anarchiste, I think I'd prefer this, considering the claims that L'A has a metallic or "blood" quality (which I'm not looking for).
10th March, 2009 (last edited: 15th December, 2009)
ce1982 Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Bought a small tester of this off of ebay. It's not bad! Slightly floral top notes, but quickly mixes in with the spicy cinnamon, apple and bay rum of the middle notes. Reminds me somewhat of a pirate chewing on tobacco and swigging rum... Not quite as complex as similar frags such as Havana by Aramis, but buy it if you want to feel like Jack Sparrow!
11th December, 2006
27th August, 2003

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