Reviews by Blue Zinnia

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    Blue Zinnia
    United States United States

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    Emprise by Avon

    On me, the metallic note stuck around. And stuck around. And stuck around. Ugh.

    24 February, 2014

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    Dolce & Gabbana by Dolce & Gabbana

    This is rich, ladylike but not tame, and not a bit grannyesque in the stodgy, stuffy sense. There's a deep freshness about it I really love. And it has a looooooong, really interesting drydown. Highly recommended for women as opposed to girls.

    24 February, 2014

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    Moonwind by Avon

    "Coldish, blueish, windy." Thanks, Notmenoeb, that's a near-perfect description. If I still had some, I'd wear it at Full Moon in cool weather and, yes, perhaps also for a dressy evening out.

    25 October, 2012

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    Jet Femme by Avon

    A pleasant if unexceptional citrusy floral, with a trace of woodiness.

    25 October, 2012

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    Goddess by Avon

    Avon's worst fragrance ever, bar none. Animalic notes are useful and important in perfumery, but, yeesh. . . this stuff is as rankly animalic as a skunk's behind, and just about as nice to be near. The floral, woody and other notes simply haven't a chance. Unfortunately, the stuff is also quite tenacious. :)

    25 October, 2012

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    Country Breeze by Avon

    The olfactory equivalent of the most comfortable really pretty garment you owned in the '70s, without any trace of the overworked "clean cotton" or "fresh breeze" laundry and air-freshener note of today. A really soft, easy (but not stupid), lovely green floral. I don't find it at all masculine, and seem to recall that Avon sold very little of it to guys.

    24 October, 2012

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    Rare Pearls by Avon

    Amazing how some of you younger folks who don't like a particular fragrance immediately want to palm it off on us "older gal[s]" (geeze.) What are we, your local Bad Taste Landfill? :-) Anyway. . . .I too have a love/hate relationship with this one. At first acquaintance, I found it really lovely. After I wore it for a few weeks, it started to strike me as having an almost skanky sweaty/indolic overtone. Some days that backs off and I still love this frag. Some days it doesn't, and I find it too heavy and too sweatily animalic to wear. I have no clue what makes the difference: Weather? Some subtle hormonal change? Biochemical shifts due to what I've eaten that day? Who knows.

    03 January, 2012

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    Aquamarine by Revlon

    Ohhhh, how I used to love this stuff when I was 16 and 17! It was my spring and summer scent then, clean and light but not at all like anything else a non-rich Midwestern girl in 1967 was likely to have run across. I suspect now I'd class it as an aquatic/marine floral, but I didn't have a perfume vocabulary then; I just thought it smelled like. . . . . distance. A rainy breeze off someplace wonderful. They stopped making it the very next year, sad to say, and I haven't seen any since.

    15 December, 2011

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    Sophistique by Mark

    This lovely scent, still available from the Avon/Mark website last time I looked but sadly missing from both catalogs now, is an example of a frag that truly lives up to its blurb, which speaks of it as being like snuggling into a cashmere shawl, elegant but utterly comfortable. The neroli and amber notes take the lead, but the surprising though muted, almost popcorn-like scent of basmati rice gives mellow depth, and the mandarin, though it does pretty much disappear in the long lovely drydown, adds sparkle to some hints of ginger early on. (Not gingerwood, whatever that is--what's here is bright and floral like fresh ginger and mellow like good-quality dried.) All in all, a very classy and utterly wearable scent which is also not expensive. Why on Mama Earth are they dropping it?? Letter time, fellow fans. By the way, a man could wear this, I think.

    04 December, 2011

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    Vent Vert (original) by Pierre Balmain

    Leonard Bernstein once said about Beethoven's music that it had "shocking rightness", and I can't think of a better description of Vent Vert. Real VV (peace be to Calice Becker, but there is only one) is a stunningly accomplished, gorgeous composition that blows in from Someplace Else and just knocks you on your ass, a world-class beauty with a wild green outsider soul. It is my favorite perfume of all time. PS--The bottle shown by this listing is the wrong one, the reformulated, dumbed-down juice now carrying the VV name. The original bottle was elegantly plain, almost to the point of severity.

    01st December, 2011 (Last Edited: 19 April, 2012)

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    Vent Vert (new) by Pierre Balmain

    Balmain should have named this something else; whatever its merits on its own terms, and it does have them, this is not and never will be the incomparable Vent Vert. If the Mona Lisa were gone, you wouldn't paint even a very good picture of that subject in that general style, in modern acrylics, and then call the result the Mona Lisa. The most you could call it would be "Mona Lisa II".

    01st December, 2011

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    Golden Autumn by Long Lost Perfume

    I haven't smelled this in almost 50 years, and can still remember it. It managed to be warm without any fuzziness: sun-warm, not sweater-warm, if that makes any sense. Golden, transparent and just sweet enough. I'd definitely wear it today.

    28 November, 2011

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    Jean Nate by Revlon

    I wore this so much in the '70s as a young social worker that I eventually burned out on it, but of course that isn't a diss of the fragrance itself; quite the opposite. It was simultaneously bright (the mixed citrus peels) and soft (the florals and what I take to be an uncredited note of nutmeg.) And for a splash, it lasted pretty well. BTW, when I would get down to the last quarter or so of a bottle of the splash, I'd top it up to about half with a 2:1 alcohol/water mix and drop in three or four crumpled bay leaves (I used the kind sold for cooking--the West Coast homegrown type are botanically different, and less sweet/floral) and let that sit for a couple weeks. Gives you a whole new, very nice splash. This might be a way to salvage a bottle of the disappointing new stuff, I dunno.

    19 November, 2011

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    Poison by Christian Dior

    Gawds, I love this stuff! Yes, it's strong; use less, already. ::rolling eyes:: But that fabulous grapey/heliotrope-y top note--f*ck, it's not a note, it's a whole damn cantata!--over those mysterious intricate understories, just delights me. I miss Caswell-Massey's much simpler and gentler Heliotrope cologne for exactly that unapologetic grenade-in-the-jam opener. (What a great description! Thanks, whoever. :)) For one thing, and here I'm speaking as an aromatherapist, it's wonderfully energizing for people with Seasonal Affective Disorder. For another, it has a loooooooong drydown that keeps seducing and/or intriguing you in different ways for about as long as you can pay attention. Eccentric, gorgeously constructed, gorgeous-smelling, and absolutely not for everybody--but then, you don't want to smell like everybody, do you?

    13 November, 2011

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    Wind Song by Prince Matchabelli

    I used to wear this in my late teens, as I liked it a lot and it was "ladylike", a Mom-word that, for good or ill, looms large in the psyches of women who grew up in Middle America in the '50s or '60s. Anyway, I wore it enough to burn out on it eventually. Hadn't worn it in 40 years when I recently saw some at Dollar General (!), in the sort of little metal spray can used for knockoffs of the "Our version of. . ." type. It was labeled as the real thing, though, so for $2 (!!!), I took a chance. And there it was. Diluted a lot, yes, and in tacky packaging, but to my amateur nose as soft and warm and quietly radiant as I remembered. This is a scent a woman of any age can wear almost anywhere, except in fishing grubbies. . . .or around perfumistas too "advanced" to admit it just plain smells good. :)

    09 November, 2011

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    Violet Sec by Richard Hudnut

    I'm oddly thrilled to find a mention of this, even though it's no longer made. This clear, fresh, real violet scent was the only fragrance my grandmother, a pastor's wife born in 1889, ever wore or realistically _could_ wear, except maybe rose or lavender water. To my great delight as a child, the juice was purple; even better, Gran would sometimes let me put a little on. I doubt any found now would have held up, but if I ever find any, I will certainly buy it and find out. Thanks for a great memory!

    07 November, 2011

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    Today by Avon

    This one deserves a fanfare, because it truly is Avon's best in 30 years, maybe longer. It's a big, lush, sweet white floral that's built so well it manages to be weightless and not a bit oversweetened. I'm really in love with it, and greatly annoyed that my tiny sample vial is running out (can't afford to buy frags for awhile, alas). Think I may hafta go around swiping the "rub wrist here" sanples from my friends' catalogs under cover of night, because THIS STUFF IS ADDICTIVE! :) :) :)

    07 November, 2011

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    Sonnet by Avon

    As I recall this, it was a soft, slightly powdery romantic floral, very pleasant though not exceptional, and very much of its midcentury time. If you want a general notion of the style, think Wind Song, but Wind Song was better and more timeless. Good longevity, IIRC.

    06 November, 2011 (Last Edited: 20th November, 2011)

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    Zany by Avon

    Well, it's unusual, all right: a syntheticky, ephemeral musky floral of the kind drugstores used to pitch to teenagers, but with _spearmint_ as its whole top story?? Not exactly awful, but definitely weird. :-)

    06 November, 2011

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    Rare Gold by Avon

    I agree that this is one of Avon's best fragrances in a long time. It's too complex for me to be much good at analyzing it, but I do detect sandalwood, neroli, and frankincense, plus tuberose or perhaps jasmine/hedione. I read it as dressy, and good for all seasons. It lasts well, too.

    05 November, 2011

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    Pur Blanca by Avon

    Light, pleasant and serenely uncomplicated, with a nice little waft of citrus above the floral simplicity. This would be a great gift for a girl 12 or over, especially one celebrating her first moontime or her first date.

    05 November, 2011

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    Pink Suede by Avon

    Horrible, horrible swill, a hot sugary/chemically mess combining the scents of bubblegum, hot Play-Doh and Thunderbird wine. Second worst frag in Avon history (Goddess is #1.) Eeeeyuck.

    04 November, 2011

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    Peony Soft Musk by Avon

    A forgotten little gem. I LOVE this stuff, which fortunately is nearly nothing like original Soft Musk. Somehow I got picked by the company to get a fullsized bottle as a free sample. On my skin, PSM blooms into a big, clean but soft floral full of peony but also violet, I think, and maybe the very lightest breaths of tuberose and peach? All of it over an understated musk. Wonderful, and it lasts and lasts.

    04 November, 2011

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    Pavi Elle by Avon

    I loved this one; it was rich, but had a lightness and sparkle that was very appealing. Eventually I burned out on it, but it was great while it lasted.

    04 November, 2011

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    Foxfire by Avon

    It's odd: Avon marketed this as an intensely sexy scent, a real eau de ho. Whereas what it really is is a lovely warm, perfectly ladylike rose-led floral you could wear to work with a nice linen suit and heels, or to the blockwatch meeting in jeans and a sweater. I miss it.

    03 November, 2011

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    Odyssey by Avon

    As I recall, this was pleasant enough if I had nothing else handy, but I found it fairly boring. Softly nebulous without being mysterious, and with too much baby powder. It had one good use: As a young social worker, I used to wear it if one of my cases in Juvie promised to get more contentious than usual. It calmed the kids, the parents, the defense attorneys, one or two of the judges and, oh yeah, me. Olfactory Valium. :-)

    30th October, 2011 (Last Edited: 04 November, 2011)

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    Night Magic Evening Musk by Avon

    A guilty pleasure--dated as hell, but soft and warm as velvet bedsheets.

    30th October, 2011

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    Lemon Velvet by Avon

    Simple, guileless lemon scent with just enough vanilla-icecream undertone to balance the tanginess. The very faintest breath of jasmine. A nice, completely unsophisticated summer casual, and it lasted all day. No longer available anywhere, so far as I can tell.

    30th October, 2011

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    Mesmerize for Men by Avon

    I'm a woman, and the older I get, the more often I find the division between a particular man's fragrance and its female counterpart arbitrary to the point of weirdness. Mesmerize is definitely a case in point.

    So I've just bought myself some of the aftershave conditioner, which was on sale. I've tried samples, and just really like the scent of the men's version better than the women's, which is nice enough but not that interesting. In the men's, I love the pairing of apple and amber, and the sandalwood drydown.

    So <dabbing some on>, gentlemen, stand back, because
    I can wear the hell outta this. <evil grin>

    28 October, 2011 (Last Edited: 20th November, 2011)

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    Imari by Avon

    This is a fine example of one of my favorite things: a nearly all-occasion, truly easy-to-wear fragrance. Its lower range is relaxed and soft without any sloppiness, and its upper end has enough quiet shimmer to make it wearable someplace nice on a date. I've worn it with jeans and a an old, much-loved sweater to the women's prison where I occasionally chair recovery meetings; I've worn it with a little black dress and strappy sandals to the symphony. It always gets compliments.

    28 October, 2011 (Last Edited: 04 November, 2011)

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