Perfume Directory

Cavalier (1989)
by Avon


Cavalier information

Year of Launch1989
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About Cavalier

Cavalier is a masculine fragrance by Avon. The scent was launched in 1989

Reviews of Cavalier

Avon Cavalier (1989) is another 80's oddity from the massive direct-sales fragrance house. Avon had been sliding downmarket even at the end of the 70's, despite it being considered their best and most creative decade for fragrance, particularly in the men's side of things where they had generally less experience and were wont to be more derivative for it's lack. After 1980's release of the phenomenal Black Suede, Avon particularly began to slough off on their masculine creations, even releasing duds like Lover Boy and Rookie Cologne for Boys in the same year, both of which might as well have been the same scent as they were both so loaded down with sweet heliotrope that they were unrecognizable from a bottle of baby powder. Purpose-built Rugger (1981) gets a slide for being a useful "cologne plus" with aftershave emollients tossed in (although it came saddled with a redundant aftershave lotion), and Cordovan (1982) was quite a nice little ambery/floral aromatic fougère that was dated even at release but otherwise solid. Avon then busied itself courting what was left of AMC/Jeep for a likewise-inspired cologne, but had otherwise gone back to focusing mostly on women's brands, makeup, skincare, and getting designer's names on their bottles since status started to really matter by the 80's and was the one thing their ubiquity denied them. Of course, Avon stayed the barbershop course outside of celebrity or designer branding, and amidst all these madness comes Cavalier near decade's end.

This one really feels like a "best of past successes" compilation mixed together and shoved in a bottle that could have been out of the 1940's with it's fluted glass, if not for the 70's-futuristic logo. I look at the presentation on this and it's so clear that Avon was totally and utterly lost on how to market a masculine fragrance by this point that showing this is a fun game to play, watching people try and figure out when this one was made. I give it a thumbs up but only just on the edge of likeable because it is enjoyable, just wholly uninspired and decidedly rushed in composition. If you look past the mid-century bottle with the Buck Rodgers label, you're left with a cocktail of clove-heavy oriental spice, patchouli, sandalwood and citrus, with an interesting slight leather and aldehyde feel that burns off. It's really just as it sounds: a dash of bay rum sweetness without the actual bay, a bit of richness, and a slight nosehair singe of a leather-based chypre balanced by amber. What is it categorically? Well I'd just call it an oriental leather chypre hybrid for geeks who love labels, but it's just abstract perfumery by a heavy-handed oaf that's spent too much time sniffing his dad's JHL (1982) and saying to himself: "Hey, it's 1989 and everyone's dropping heavy stuff and going for aquatics, so we should do the opposite and make something that smells even less relevant! It'll totally work!" I really don't know what else to tell you. This stuff is painfully hard to find, so either they didn't sell a lot of it or somehow they unloaded it all to gift-givers and everyone used it out of guilt, leaving little surviving stock, but for something this out of place, it sure seems a tough one to catch.

Then again, maybe I'm looking at this all wrong, and it was a success because it was such an anachronism for it's time, giving ardent Avon buyers something to shuck onto gramps for Christmas, or the folks into retro (if they existed in the 80's) something to contrast against the expansive ocean of blue that was becoming the men's fragrance world at the time. Whatever the reason, this survived into the 90's and was a nexus point into the strangest and most directionless decade for Avon's male fragrances. It definitely has more character than the "Tai Winds 2.0" that was Aures (1985), which couldn't have been more 60's barbershop if it wanted to be, despite the bottle which looked like a Martian prop from Total Recall. I can also trace some DNA from this in Mesmerize for Men (1992), which is typical of Avon too. At least with Cavalier, only the label went against the grain, and the rest of it is pretty appropriate for a masculine if it saw release in the late 30's. I can't really suggest the great hunt it would take to get one of these, as if you want something like this, you can just make a custom blend of Old Spice (1937) and Alfred Dunhill for Men (1934) with a dash of Jõvan Sex Appeal (1976) peppered with clove, and you're basically there for far less stress. I'm a man of mischief so I'm going to wear this now and then to keep everyone guessing, and despite it's faults, it's not actually a -bad- fragrance where it counts, but certainly more of a historical anecdote for the leader in door-to-door perfumery than a practical addition to anyone's collection. Definitely love the name though!
01st February, 2018 (last edited: 03rd February, 2018)
Been trying some of the older Avon's recently and Cavalier is a drugstore barbershop scent reminiscent of the late 70s, early 80s. My take is it's the equivalent of two parts Old Spice, one part Timberline (old MEM version). Can be had on E-bay for $10 a 3oz. bottle so it won't set you back much if you go in for this type of thing. Brisk Spice by Avon is in the same vein, but better.
23rd December, 2013 (last edited: 05th January, 2014)

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Vintage Avon Cavalier Cologne for Men - 3oz - With Box

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Cavalier by Avon for Men 3.0oz Cologne, Vintage and Damge Box

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Retired Avon Cavalier Men Cologne Splash 3 oz New Old Stock NIB

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Vintage Avon Time For Dad Mini Cologne - .33 fl. oz. - You Choose Fragrance

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Vintage Avon Cavalier Cologne for Men - 3oz - NOS

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