Perfume Reviews

Positive Reviews of Black Suede by Avon

Total Reviews: 11
One reason I think that someone would not like Black Suede by Avon is because it's a smooth has no veriable 'edge' to label it.Cedarwood,amber,lemon,nutmeg,lavender,and musk...that's it among the notes.

Strangely when I spray this it fools me for a second because I initially detect lemon with the amber and nutmeg.The lemon 'ghost note' dissapears as the cedarwood surfaces right out though.The amber in this isn't heavy and seems to be scrubbed by the lavender rendering the cedar lightly soapy and the sharp edges smoothened on the amber keeping it calm.The nutmeg is branched to the smooth/clean amber granting a little sweetness to it's spice without being cloying.The nutmeg branches out and also latches on to the returning lemon note creating a 'spiced lemon'.I'm going to quote this similarity to Aramis per a thumb-down reviewer and say it reminds me of something older that Aramis copied... Dunhill for Men(1934).Light hints of musk accent the fragrance a little.

It's a 3 spray enjoyment for me but fair projection and 6 hours of enjoyment.For an amber and spice fragrance this is only mildly warm so I'll give it props for being able to work all 4 seasons of the year.As a conservative scent it's not the most interesting thing I have.But it is comfortable to wear in anything casual or formal because it's smoothly blended.
11th March, 2018
There's going to be a bit of a rant here at the beginning, and I'm usually not so critical or negative, but bear with me. I promise it's not without cause. First things first: Black Suede gets entirely too much hate here in reviews despite it's obvious merits and popularity. Moreover, Avon as a house gets an undue amount of hate in the perfumista community despite so many folks having enjoyed their products. It's like everyone thinks it's easy "cool points" to bash them, or that they genuinely do everything by accident, and are just terrible at making fragrances but somehow have managed to stay in business since 1886 out of sheer luck alone. Well let me tell you, they may make cheap fragrances (and a lot of clones), but they've erected an empire on their successes in the process, so they must be doing something right despite the missfires, with Black Suede being a time-honored example of when they actually "nail it". I hate sounding militant in my opinion, but often find reviews citing this or any Avon smells like X or Y when I've smelled or own the compared fragrance and they do not. This scent arrived in 1980, at what I call the end of the first big high point in men's fragrances for the mega-corp (the 70's), with the second one being not until the early/mid 2000's, and it sort of climaxes all the efforts the house had been putting into forwarding themselves in the men's segment up until that point. It's a woodsy oriental aldehyde leather chypre hybrid with some undertones normally found in barbershop fougères, which itself is an unconventional mix of two very conventional tropes at the time, explaining why it was such a huge hit.

Earlier stuff from Avon was a mixed bag of formal chypres with citrus or woody notes in their openings, barbershop fougères with marine, far east, or odd country western themes explaining their middle and top notes, and the confusing Old Spice clone here or there (which was far too cheap a cologne even then to try imitating but this is the Cult of Avon so no logic needed). Wild Country fit into the fougere salvo but nobody had done one with a western theme so it was quite a resounding success, which Avon would not duplicate on that same level again until this little number came along. Black Suede didn't play it as safe as the other male fragrances that came before it, and like Wild Country, offered a dynamic that couldn't be had anywhere else, by any other designer. It's only comparison is maybe the debut Lagerfeld masculine (1974) and it's a scent that opens one way then drys down unexpectedly in another, which is probably why so many younger folks get initial wrong impressions about it: fragrances aren't usually this complex anymore and what you see is what you get from start to finish.

The opening blast of shimmery powder and aldehydes is undoubtedly a heliotrope note mixed with the implied suede in the name, even if it's not listed, that if left alone would turn the fragrance into a bottle of Johnson & Johnson baby powder splashed with Aramis (1965), but mixed down into the musks and ambers going on here for something more subtle in the end. The powder makes it zing with the aldehydes enough to make you notice and from there, the dry-down into those basenotes is accompanied by unidentifiable woodsy accords with spices like nutmeg. I can't discern them quite as much as the top and bottom notes, but I can feel them weave through the cracks on this. It touches on the kind of sweet vibe that Old Spice takes, but doesn't try to cool it down with counter-balancing notes, and instead keeps it's creaminess rather warm and shiny even until the very end, when sharp pangs of both top and base notes come through after a long day wearing it. Black Suede is certainly not a sensual bouquet, but for office and casual use in colder months, I can see this being a winner. It might even work as a romantic stay-at-home scent, but definitely not something to attract somebody you never met, as this screams comfort and not virility.

Black Suede has tons of flankers, and all but maybe two of them actually try to inform of the original in their compositions, which makes it funny to me that they are even flankers and not unique fragrances in the Avon line-up. Maybe it's a testament to the uniqueness found here, making an unconventional fragrance from conventional stock parts, or maybe it's just impossible to make anything smell similar enough to this and not just be recreating it? Woe be to Avon if they start imitating their -own- successful past fragrances, so they instead just use the name like a sub-label. It is at once familiar, but also strange, which will make many try to liken this to something else they've smelled, but not with any accuracy. If there were only one Avon fragrance still in production that I was allowed to buy, this one takes the prize. Very original. Not saying it deserves to be a quintessential piece in everyone's collection, but like any other fragrance, you need to spend time in it to fully see its worth.
05th September, 2017 (last edited: 05th February, 2018)
Ok, here goes... I have long avoided any fragrance produced by Avon. I am a younger fragrance enthusiast in my 30s, and always felt Avon fragrances were cheap and old-fashioned. However, I have been experimenting with a number of “old school fragrances”, and have loved them. The key with older fragrances is very light application, lighter than I would normally use with more modern scents. For example with most modern fragrances (although the strength of each varies) my standard application for my skin is a MAX of 3 sprays...

1 chest/upper neck
1 stomach,
.5 sprays on each wrist.

This gives me a subtle aroma bubble for most modern frags.

I may nix “the stomach spray” (bringing it down to 2) for stronger modern frags. But I rarely find a fragrance that needs 4 sprays. At 4 sprays I hate to tell you, but you DO SMELL like “THAT COLOGNE GUY”, at least with my skin. If I have a weaker fragrance, my stomach spray will be on the back off my head instead, for projection. Now with an older fragrance, especially a so-called “powerhouse” fragrances I’ll generally use 1 full spray to the center of my chest, and the scent is perfect all day. This is how I wear Van Cleef and Arpels, Quorum, etc. When I do this it smells amazing. Complex, but not overpowering. Especially, because I normally wear a full suits. But I digress...

I finally decided I would try a few Avon fragrances. I tried Wild Country and hated it. It had that weird Avon smell, that’s cheap and old-fashioned. The epitome of “OLD MAN smell.” It smelled like the chemical they use to scent old "Baby Wipes". My girl agreed. And then I tried the current iteration of Black Suede Leather. Just boring and linear, and still had this odd Avon vibe I didn’t like, which translates to me as cheap.

Then just recently someone gave me 2 bottles of the original, and new version of Black Suede. I actually prefer the new version the best. Some people will say any time a fragrance is reformulated it’s watered-down. And for fans of the original it may feel that way. However I think in many instances the company is merely tweaking the formulation for a more modern aesthetic that will resonate with a new generation of consumers (as well as the need to eliminate ingredients that may cause allergic reactions...aka Oakmoss) I for one having smelled both back to back prefer the newer. It’s less aggressive and even more subtle and cozy.

And for the record: I DO love Black Suede. Actually, for me this is mildly embarrassing. But it’s a very, very nice scent! It would have to be because for me to go out and buy two more bottles just to have as the safety when I openly admit I hate Avon fragrances is very telling. Now to be clear I’m not a fan of the top they still have that cheap Avon smell like old baby powder. But on my skin, right out of the shower... with the NEW formulation of Black Suede this “opening” only lasts the first five minutes. Once I get into the mid and basenotes it’s fantastic. And on my skin it lasts 6 to 7 hours. I have no idea what the note breakdown would be, it’s not really about breaking down individual notes with Black Suede it’s more the overall feel, or “aura”. And this is the “aura” when lightly applied (3 sprays, as mentioned above as this is not a powerhouse)-

WARM, INVITING, SAFE, SUBTLE. COZY, SEXY – Think curling up in front of a fire on a cold night, with a snifter of cognac (or glass of whiskey), a warm blanket and a good book (or old movie), with your girl at your side. All the while the aroma of some delicious, warm baked goods (cookies perhaps) is wafting through from a nearby oven.

This is definitely a fall/winter scent. It screams autumn in New York. The image of a sharp dressed, casual man, with a scarf and Peacoat, strolling through central park with his girl.

I have no previous associations with this fragrance, as I’m too young to remember it in its heyday, if it ever had one. It’s not modern. But it’s also not dated. It’s unique. And my girl who is in her late 20’s loves it! She’s not a fragrance enthusiast, but this is one she always snuggles up to sniff ...when I wear it. Well played Avon, well played.
01st March, 2017
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Bigsly Show all reviews
United States
My review is for a vintage bottle. I don't understand comparisons to Aramis, as it lacks the leathery and floral qualities (and also lacks the aldehydes of Aramis). Nor does it have any herbal qualities. Other than perhaps in the fleeting top notes, this is mostly spicy and ambery, and it gets a bit powdery as time goes on (but not outrageously so). There is mild wood but not major leathery aspect at all; overall it's natural smelling. I don't get any fougere element and it's not too sweet. There's just a bit of musk but I certainly wouldn't call this a "musk scent." It's simple but effective, though since it could get boring I'd rather wear this on days when I'm not going to pay much attention to the scent I apply, and I'd also suggest wearing this in cooler weather.
08th December, 2013
I have been a tiny bit of a perfume snob, so I've often pushed aside many Avon fragrances thinking they were cheap and nasty. However, after receiving an Avon catalogue on my doorstep with some Avon perfume samples, I retract my previous comments.

Black Suede could easily be unisex in my opinion. It has a beautiful powdery-like quality that is rather classic in a sense and soothing.

For some reason I feel leather in this fragrance, but only a very slight hint of it. This fragrance is mostly musk, woodsy notes, sweet nutmeg and clove.

The scent reminds me of crisp, white pressed shirts that my Father wore to work each day. It has a very clean and fresh feel that is lovely on both sexes.

On me, this fragrance is soft, powdery nutmeg and leather, however on a man's skin Black Suede is far more masculine and warmer. I agree that this does have an almost baby powder type smell, however I'm a big fan of scents like that and sometimes wished more men smelt like this.

A man wearing Black Suede would be a man that I could trust and feel comfortable around. It's not a scent meant to drive women wild, it's a comforting fragrance designed make a lady feel safe and secure around her man. I highly recommend.

30th June, 2011
shamu1 Show all reviews
United States

Am I the only person here who sees this as a floral scent? For the first hour, the florals smell very prominent to my nose, which isn't a bad thing at all. Black Suede seems to put have all the best features of Stetson, Royal Copenhagen and PS Paul Sebastian, wrapped up into one excellent fragrance.

"Black Suede" is a misnomer because there is nothing black or dark about it whatsoever, nor are there any leathery notes that I can smell. Instead what you have here is a superb floral oriental fragrance that dries down to a warm amber and wood base. Black Suede has an overall powdery smell to it, but it never overwhelms (unlike Avon's Wild Country, which is a storm of talcum powder). It is extremely old school in overall feel.

The whole fragrance is just beautifully balanced, with the florals never becoming heady or overwhelming, and the oriental amber base never becoming heavy or overly sweet. The drydown is a marvelous combination of sweet and dry, with the amber providing an almost nutty scent and cedar notes giving it a dryness that counteracts the sweetness beautifully. Everything smells just right in Black Suede, which is a huge accomplishment in its own right for any perfumer.

I am a newcomer to Avon fragrances, and Black Suede is my first introduction to Avon's men's line. Apparently this is an Avon classic, and I can see why. Two thumbs all the way up.

MY RATING: 8.5/10
06th October, 2010
Swanky Show all reviews
United States
Although known in the broader culture as primarily a woman's line, Avon does have some fragrances aimed at men, this and Wild Country in particular, that have a barbershop vibe and are great deals for the money. Black Suede is regularly available for about ten dollars and lasts longer than many pricier brethren. This one is a powdery, smooth scent in the Royal Copenhagen/Zizanie lineage although Black Suede is smoother and a bit richer. This would be a great starter fragrance for a young man who doesn't want to smell like everyone else on line at the theater.
30th January, 2010 (last edited: 03rd October, 2011)
I always thumped my nose at Avon fragrance for men because I thought them inferior in quality and longevity to the designer perfumes. I remember this one as being nice and pleasant. I also remember an Avon cologne from my youth called simply "Leather." It came in a yellowish-orange bottle with rubber lining. "Leather" smelled like Madras by Myrurgia, which I can only find in perfume stores in Mexico City. Madras is a richly sensuous and seductive medley of fine aromatic wood and amber notes. It is definitely worth seeking out.
11th October, 2009
I smelled this before was the first thing I noticed after trying it. On the way home I realized that it was, to my nose, close to Dunhill for Men, the one designed in 1934 according to BN's Fragrance Directory. And, a week after, to my surprise, I realized that it also shared notes in common with Versace L'Homme. These notes are many. They all open up with the same sort of top notes, a very strange "watery" feeling to the nose: take a room with walls full of mold but turn it into a nice, flowery, powdery smell. Of course, a very primitive blind test among relatives (wife and kids) proved that of these three, Dunhill was the better option, followed by Versace and Black Suede, mainly because of leather-type base notes so characteristic of Dunhill, which are completely absent in Black Suede.

So, if you can't find Dunhill due to its discontinuation, and Versace proves hard to find because of its lack of market presence, you might as well resort to this one. Take the added benefit of its low price, the fact that there is an eau de cologne, shaving foam, after shaving balsam and deodorant sold under the same brand, so this actually means sillage and longevity are not a problem at all. Besides, if complimented about, you may surprise people either way, saying it is one of Avon's inexpensive fragrances, a rare option among Dunhill's line or a souvenir from the eighties, originally bought to be worn with a wide shoulder-padded coat.
04th September, 2009
Nice. Really nice. Warm, smooth, woody, spicey, leathery.

Excellent training-wheels fragrance for teen guys.

But hey, I have been wearing it for years now! I'd advise using the complete range of Black Suede products to get a lasting, satifyin auror of scent eminating from your body.

I always get lots of compliments wearing this when I do wear it out, but its a frangrance I typically use at home or when I go to do the groceries, and am not after something high-end or glamourous, or trendy.

Although, by the number of compliments I get, it must smell quite good to other people. I'm not saying it doesn't to me, I think it smells supurb, but I just use it more as an at-home comfort scent.

Easily wearable. Smooth. Masculine. A little boozy. A little spicey. A little woody. A little leathery. All combining to make a fragrance of decent sillage, at a good price. This fragrance can;t possibly offend anyone! Suits all attire.

Thumbs way up from me!
10th June, 2007
I really enjoy this on my husband. I don't get "old man" from this at all. All I smell is sensuality:)
26th May, 2007