Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Island Lime by Avon

Total Reviews: 1
The "lime craze" was an interesting phenomenon of the mid 20th century among men's grooming, with a dozen or more large-scale drugstore cosmetics brands all putting out lime-scented flankers of popular fragrances or entirely bespoke lime creations under the brand. Most of these came out in the 1960's and by the end of the 1970's were mostly gone from production, while all of them followed loosely in the footsteps of the original Royall Lyme of Bermuda (1957), which arguably started it all. Avon Island Lime (1965) appeared smack-dab in the thick of the craze, and was an aftershave lotion just like Royall Lyme, had more depth, sophistication, and approachability than the Royall Lyme, but because it's Avon and was released just prior to the explosive success of Wild Country (1967), never achieved widespread acceptance beyond the usual Avon customer base at the time, even though Island Lime did have a respectable run. The usual soap and shaving accoutrements accompanied Avon Island Lime as well, and the primary difference between it and all other lime fragrances circulating at the time was its subtle sweetness.

Most lime-scented flankers and standalone lime scents copied the dry, unforgiving tartness of the original Royall Lyme of Bermuda, or factored it into a pre-existing composition, but Avon sought to "Americanize" the formula by softening it so "Middle America Factory Dad" wouldn't have a conniption when trying it. The mild "Denny's dinner interpretation" of the classic tropical accord is deceptively complex however, and it won't blow anyone's mind but also won't offend. I think it could almost go without saying that this opens with lime, but it's a slightly sweeter and juicier lime than most examples from the period, although this is far from "modern sweet", Avon Island Lime is definitely not the usual sharp or dry lime scent one might expect from something made in 1965. From that opening, Avon Island Lime moves into a bit of geranium in the heart, before finishing as a skin scent of cedar, vetiver, dry patchouli, and oakmoss. Wear time doesn't go past 3 hours, but because of the dry patchouli, Avon Island Lime layers surprisingly well with modern masculines like Terre d'Hermés (2008), where the herbaceous patchouli isn't rounded out with benzoin or civet into something animalic or heady like in classic patchouli masculines that you might expect to pair better with Island Lime.

I don't expect anyone to run out and try something created for a short-lived fragrance fad generations ago, and lime in the 21st century is an extremely acquired taste, particularly given that it's a fleeting note most difficult to build a lasting fragrance around, but for hipsters and older guys who remember this style, it might be worth a cursory look just for kicks. Avon Island Lime never had a single standard packaging, but the debut bottle had a pretty wicker motif (similar to Houbigant), while later bottles came in the usual shapes of green glass and also vehicular novelty decanters. Prices fluctuate wildly depending on who is selling, but there is plenty left in the wild to find it for prices only a little higher than the typical boutique aftershave, so there's that. I give Island Lime a thumbs up, and although it is far from the best of the period, it's certainly one of the more unique things I've seen in this vein, if only because of its comparatively mild temperament. Like the previous year's Avon Blue Blazer (1964), Avon Island Lime is more for the hardcore drugstore or wet shaving collector, but a good snapshop of "where things were" for American guys getting their Avon fix in the year the Beatles invaded our shores. Fun stuff!
10th January, 2019 (last edited: 11th January, 2019)