Perfume Reviews

Positive Reviews of Paradigm by Avon

Total Reviews: 4
Paradigm is a woodsy fragrance that has, since it's introduction, been renamed and repacked twice for different markets; this includes as "Class Act" in parts of Europe with the same unique quadrant bottle, and then once again in that same bottle as "Aspire", before having a new bottle shape and being relaunched yet again in Mexico, but only ever appearing once in the US (which is where I originate) during it's initial launch. The fragrance is one of the very bold, classy, and striking "chypre-type" fragrances that Avon released in the early 2000's alongside the earlier Uomo Avon, Modern Balance, and later HisStory.
All four of these bright, herbal, woodsy fragrances would go counter to what was popular in high fashion at the time (the sweet androgyny, aerosol-like deodorant, and oceanic freshness that was becoming the male standard in many mainstream houses). The term "chypre" was taken literally by Avon here, which labeled them as such for the cypress note buried in the base, but if traditional construction rules are followed, these technically are not chypres. Avon historically tried to "flank" more expensive scents with their own lowbrow takes on them throughout most of the 80's and 90's, but Avon at this period were explorers like they had been in the 60's and 70's, which was quite unlike them, experimenting with these modernized "chypres" and even gourmands when most other houses outside the super high-end were making male compositions stuck in ozonic or aquatic land, saving gourmands for the ladies with few exceptions.

Paradigm (or Class Act if Europe) was the classiest of this chypre bunch, taking the Italian woods and herbs vibe of Uomo further by ditching it's musk and green elements, and adding hints of stronger top notes with a bit of opoponax, macassar, and maybe aldehydes for a more astringent, pungent middle that pierces the nostrils. It manages to come across fresh without a citrus note, in much the same aromatic sense as cedar chips (something HisStory would do better in my opinion), and has a touch of something that also reminds me of the smell of women's foundation. I think it's more of a leather-type and comparable to Aramis, but less of a carbon-copy like Avon's own Clint from 1976. It's indeed very business-like because of these ringing notes, making it's second name for the European market understandable and indispensable for white collar work use. Oddly enough, this unorthodox mix of notes works for what it tries to be and it's only really hampered by poor sillage which means you'll have to over-apply, reapply it midday, or use it on your shirt if you want to smell it further away than off your shirt collar. As mentioned above, American buyers only had one shot at this at MSRP about fifteen years ago (which is when I discovered my first bottle). It does appear in the aftermarket because it wasn't one of the most favored of Avon scents from the era (all the aquatics they made take that prize), and can be had for reasonable prices, that can fluctuate between $15-$50 depending on seller. I always keep it stocked up because it's an indispensable professional smell, and ironically, had it come out maybe a decade after it actually did, it's woodsy vibes would have been back in vogue, meaning it might still be in production today.

A few years after graduating high school and stepping up my fragrance game, I remember just buying anything that looked good out of the Avon catalogs littered about a gas station where I worked, including this selection, and gave it away like an idiot at half empty when I decided I was too good for Avon after upgrading my job, being able to afford more designer fragrances. I dismissed this and other Avon selections from this period as having served their purpose, not realizing the uniqueness I was giving up until I found nothing else like it years later. Avon doesn't really make anything like this anymore in the American continent, unless you count the Mexico-only Aspire, which is the MKIII version of this scent as stated above. Little of the early 2000's Avon lineup exists outside of Perceive for men (2000), which I never liked as much due to it's too-stark modernism, but it's still good. If you can find a bottle (under any of the above names) at a good price, I recommend taking a stab at it (the Aspire for Men is the most affordable and available version, but I repurchase the original Paradigm from eBay whenever it comes up for good price just for nostalgia), especially if something woodsy and tart to stand apart in your 9 to 5's without being heavy or mossy sounds good to you. It's austerity won't get you far in the night life, but I don't think it was ever meant for that, and because it shares so much DNA with other scents of similar theme, you'd probably just wear one of them for that purpose if need be (Uomo probably fits best as a romantic scent). It's funny that reviewing this can't go without mentioning one of it's siblings, but that's how Avon was doing things then, mutating and evolving an idea with multiple releases until one stuck or they gave up, and this was but a shade in the spectrum they were working with at the time.
16th August, 2017 (last edited: 07th February, 2018)
A better Lagerfeld Classic. The opoponax in LC is too much and not very well balanced. In Paradigm, it is well contrasted with other manly ingredients to make it very beautiful. I can see this as an easy signature scent, especially with its hints of Macassar. THis is one of those Avon scents that is worth a full bottle purchase. Thumbs up!
21st July, 2012
Paradigm is a wonderful mix of Italian like woods and spices. Appropriately enough is that on the sample packet I received of this, there's a rather dapper Italian man on it. one of the few scents from Avon that I've found surprising considering the fragrance company. Cheap with a thumbs up.
05th April, 2009
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This is a very spicy woodsie mix. I kind of liked it, but my hubbie didn't & he's the one that had to wear it, so I wouldn't purchase again. I agree with the first reviewer, Avon does make some great fragrances. I've tried many designer fragrances and some of Avon's are still among my favorites!
04th December, 2005