Perfume Directory

Wild Country (1967)
by Avon

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Wild Country information

Year of Launch1967
GenderMasculine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 45 votes)

People and companies

HouseAvon

About Wild Country

Wild Country is a masculine fragrance by Avon. The scent was launched in 1967

Wild Country fragrance notes

Reviews of Wild Country

Avon Wild Country, where do we begin? It's both follows a well-known male fragrance trope, and sets new precedents of it's own that other higher-end design houses would follow, coincidentally establishing a trope of sorts as a result. It's one of the few if not the only fragrance from Avon that more discerning (and often snobbish) masculine fragrance connoisseurs will acknowledge as noteworthy, even if they don't like it. It has the distinction of being the oldest men's scent from the house still in production, and in continuous production since it's launch. Like it or not folks, this powdery little number from America's favorite door-to-door peddler of "cheap perfume" is a bona fide classic. It's the first cologne I ever smelled, period. Years later, when I was old enough to appreciate smelling good, it was the first that I purchased on my own, and that was merely because of the good memory associated with smelling it as a child.

From an objective point of view, Wild Country is a powdery fresh fougere in the same train of thought as Canoe by Dana or Brut by Faberge. It's only common link to them is following the same basic construction with basenotes of moss and/or tonka (in this case both) and top notes consisting of something citrus and something floral/herbal. Outside of that, it really smells nothing like either of them, despite having identical top notes with Brut. The secret here is the woods and carnation in the heart of the fragrance, and the infusion of musk in the base, without patchouli, vetiver, or the usual "greens" found in more oriental-themed variants of this trope. The results of this warmer, woodsier, softer combination of notes included in the moss/tonka/citrus/lavender power band of the typical barbershop fougere is something that comes across more rugged and down-to-earth; WIld Country is the birth of the blue collar everyman's scent.

Wild Country isn't pretentious, it isn't overly refined, and it's inviting in the way the old local bar is after a hard day's work. It evokes that mental imagery of the American west, of podunk towns, well-worn saddles, tall hats, and it's a powdery floral and woodsy bouquet that almost evokes the smell of leather despite not having a leather note in it (more of a buckskin suede leather, but still). This hard-working and plain-spoken aesthetic appealed to the working stiffs who were saddled with this stuff by their Avon buying or selling wives, girlfriends, mothers, sisters, and aunts. Many guys got this in one of several goofy gift decanters Avon went nuts for in the 60's and 70's, but assuming they used it, the scent eventually became related to all the social outings and romantic liaisons these guys would have. It didn't need to come from a fancy French design house, or be bought from an expensive inner-city boutique (assuming you had access to one living in Nowhereville USA), and could instead just be reordered through the neighboring Avon lady or member of the family.

Guys from this walk of life (just like my late father) couldn't be bothered with all that decorum, and preferred the scent that was pleasant, presentable, but still could be related to the passions and struggles they made as average blue-jeans-wearing guys (cowboy hats or not), which is something the fancy French stuff couldn't do. That association, probably more than the abstract artistic quality of the scent itself, is probably why this became huge and took off like it did. Wild Country elicits thoughts of a guy who lays plumbing all week, or herds up cattle on a ranch, getting in his work van or pickup to go into town with his one good shirt so he can dance with that lady (or gent) he's been fixing to ask out. This humble charm is something that Ralph Lauren would try to evoke years later with the original Chaps, which felt like Wild Country on steroids to be honest, and Coty would also take a stab at with the Stetson line, licensing a name from a famous cowboy hat maker just to dig it in a little deeper.

Neither of those quite got the -point- of Wild Country, but it was impossible for them because high end fashion moguls and French design houses don't know what it's like to punch a time clock or split a cord of wood with an axe, they just wanted to capture the aesthetic and not the authenticity. Neither would probably admit now that they made creations inspired by a paltry mail order catalog scent maker, but that's besides the point. Avon had been making men's fragrance for a few years before Wild Country hit, and some of it was rather good, if predictable, but it was this scent that really helped them connect and resonate with their core audience, the kind of guys that would be interested in entry-level scents for pragmatic reasons if nothing else. Avon would never get it this "right" again, even if it did make several really noteworthy (and successful) scents for guys in the subsequent decades, which is why this -still- endures as it does. Folks who hate barbershop scents still won't like it, but that doesn't matter really, it's still a hard-working classic, and it doesn't get much manlier than this.

P.S.: I have smelled both modern and original formulations of this, and I can gladly report that outside of concentration, the scent has remained mostly the same. Nothing in it then or now really has any bans or restrictions besides the moss, so outside maybe swapping out for a synthetic moss note, changing it from it's original gold color to something more chromatic brown, and slapping on a sprayer, you'll get the same experience from either an old pour or a new EDC spray. I'd prefer the older formulas simply because less application is needed to get the same level of richness, but that's just me being lazy.
06th September, 2017
This is truly a classic smell. Some may refer to it as a "mature" fragrance.

This is the sort of fragrance Steampunk or Rockabilly gentlemen might apply for putting more of an emphasis on an homage to days gone by.

Wild Country is a great cologne for men, except me, it's weird, one of those situations where I like the scent just not on me.

A headache inducer on me so I passed it on to my father, the whole gift set which was a EDT, body wash and aftershave.

For the price I can't see why one would not give it a try, whether through ebay or an Avon rep. you have a good number available out there.
20th September, 2015
To my nose, this doesn't smell identical to Brut in any way. I was given a big bottle in 1970 marketed as "Mariner's Choice" in a bottle with a compass on it - this product has always been packaged in novel bottles. Hobson's choice; I was poor, and had nothing else. I guess it's fairly anodyne in an innocuous, inoffensive; vapid way. Quite a short lived effect, some might say bland, it was my go-to in my teens so I feel kindly disposed but only as one might relate to a familiar legacy aroma in the Old Spice class. Were it not for my fond memories, I'd possibly rate it as neutral.
18th July, 2014
dreese Show all reviews
United States
Smells identical to Brut for me, and that is a bad thing. I agree that there is a wide and varied list of notes that somehow come together to smell really cheap and terrible, like someone who hasn't bathed in eons trying to cover it up with Windex. For good or ill, I would immediately distrust anyone who wore this scent. I might, however, give them some spare change to buy some soup.
16th January, 2013
Swanky Show all reviews
United States
Wild Country, like Canoe before it, blends sweetness and powder and an intense lavender to make a slightly overbearing result. Jade East and Brut are both similar enough to, and contemporary with, Wild Country (an unsuitable name) that there is redundancy here. Stick to Black Suede for an Avon Classic. Clubman and Jockey Club tackle the barbershop in a better, frankly more pleasing fashion.
01st September, 2012 (last edited: 12th September, 2012)
Longevity = 10
Subtlety = 1

I have a virtually unused bottle of Wild Country in the shape of a 1955 Ford Thunderbird. I suppose it has become some sort of collector's item. Although it is supposed to be an after-shave, this fragrance is stronger than most EDP's I have ever tried. It will stay on you until your next shower. With Wild Country, what you smell is what you get. It remains the same from start to finish. It will get just a little sweeter in the dry-down. I totally agree with the Canoe (Dana) reference pointed out by fellow reviewers here. Althought I can't say I find Wild Country utterly repulsive, I can't say I am a great fan of this fragrance either. It is far too barbershoppy and baby-powdery for my personal taste. However, I remember vividly having friends and relatives who wore it rather well. Not my case, unfortunately. I do have great memories of the 70's attached to it and just for that I cannot give this inexpensive and unpretentious fragrance a bad rating.
24th December, 2011

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