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  1. #1

    Default Avon Oland, weird stuff

    Bought some of this discontinued stuff when I was buying up the NOS Avon stuff mainly because the old Wild Country is so much stronger than the current variety. Well this is weird stuff. Wore it today because my friend and I were gonna go out & do some thrift store hunting. We find it funny to pick weird and unusual colognes. He wore the BOD $$$ (I had mentioned this before and bought him a bottle when I told him it was on clearance), I wore the Avon Oland. The top note is something I can't place. It smells familiar but I can't put my finger on it. I know I've smelled it before. A tad bit green, but I can't place it no matter how I try. About halfway through it smells vaguely like an ashtray of old cigarette butts. I dunno, I don't mind the scent, but for some reason I prefer the smoked cigarette smell on a girl. I'm a college student, I don't smoke neither does my wife, but a lot of my friends do and I've always associated it with a girl that is either artsy or spends late nights studying, so to me it is attractive, but not on me. The drydown is spicy and reminds me of Halston Z-14. A weird conglomeration I'm not surprised is no longer in production. I don't mind it, it just smells terribly dated. I could see someone wearing it around 1975, but not today. Still I'll wear it mainly because I like to wear old stuff.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Avon Oland, weird stuff

    Dead on review. I like Oland and most of Avon's old stuff b/c it's all so different and stronger from what's around today. And having bought and worn every vintage Avon men's frag dating from as far back as the '60s, I've never seen one of them that's gone bad...except for Oland. It is the only Avon I've found that varies widely bottle to bottle. Not sure why. Maybe it's those unidentifiable notes in it that I've long wondered about and wanted to see a breakdown on; maybe they're why some bottles of the stuff are truly awful compared with others that are quite bizarre but nice. But for under a buck a bottle (if you look around) it's well worth rolling the dice.

    "Smoky" is the one word I've been able to come up with to describe Oland...I suppose your description of an ashtray works too, but for a bad bottle. Keep looking, you'll find a fresher one eventually and it'll be very different.

    If you have a slight liking for Oland, you owe it to yourself to track down a bottle of Avon's also long discontinued Leather. It's a FAR more manly scent than anything else on the market today.

    Quote Originally Posted by man114 View Post
    Bought some of this discontinued stuff when I was buying up the NOS Avon stuff mainly because the old Wild Country is so much stronger than the current variety. Well this is weird stuff. Wore it today because my friend and I were gonna go out & do some thrift store hunting. We find it funny to pick weird and unusual colognes. He wore the BOD $$$ (I had mentioned this before and bought him a bottle when I told him it was on clearance), I wore the Avon Oland. The top note is something I can't place. It smells familiar but I can't put my finger on it. I know I've smelled it before. A tad bit green, but I can't place it no matter how I try. About halfway through it smells vaguely like an ashtray of old cigarette butts. I dunno, I don't mind the scent, but for some reason I prefer the smoked cigarette smell on a girl. I'm a college student, I don't smoke neither does my wife, but a lot of my friends do and I've always associated it with a girl that is either artsy or spends late nights studying, so to me it is attractive, but not on me. The drydown is spicy and reminds me of Halston Z-14. A weird conglomeration I'm not surprised is no longer in production. I don't mind it, it just smells terribly dated. I could see someone wearing it around 1975, but not today. Still I'll wear it mainly because I like to wear old stuff.
    Last edited by Dr.Hohum; 25th October 2010 at 03:34 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Avon Oland, weird stuff

    Sounds fascinating...anyone tried both the cologne and the aftershave? Is there much of a difference?
    I wanna say something. Im gonna put it out there. If you like it, you can take it, if you dont, send it right back."

  4. #4

    Default Re: Avon Oland, weird stuff

    Come to think of it, about all I've ever come by has been the cologne, so I can't say. I forgot a short review of it I wrote elsewhere...best I could describe it, it's dark, smoky and a tad leathery -- like REAL leather, not English Leather, either. Wore some Oland today (I have a stock of "good" stuff put back) and it does linger awhile. Someone with an experienced nose really needs to nail this stuff down.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Avon Oland, weird stuff

    Avon's Leather from the 70's is AWESOME!
    I've used it to put a little more OOMMPH!! into some already great scents like Varvatos Vintage and Di Guido's Valentina.
    The Oland I have is hard to nail down too, is it age or is this its original intent to sorta smell like bleach?!
    The Oland finally settles down to something like a smell of a hotel room for smokers.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Avon Oland, weird stuff

    Funny enough, just today I think I finally figured out Oland. I just opened a new/old bottle of Oland cologne -- the big, chunky, sqaurish one with the faux wood looking lid. The scent is vaguely similar to but unlike the usual smoky-stale ashtray scent. That element is TOTALLY absent from this one. Instead, the best I can describe it is Avon's superb Leather with woody and spicy notes to it. It's a much brighter, sharper, lighter and cleaner scent, with touches of that undefinable "darkness" lurking at the edges. 'tis good stuff...I now wonder if, having been introduced in 1970, Oland was Avon's direct shot at Mem's English Leather or maybe Timber Line (both of which I believe Avon's Leather predated but am not sure).

    I know that won't make you run out and buy up Oland until you find the true fragrance but you can know what we've been talking about here is (I'm now convinced) what Oland smells like when some component in it goes off...and even then, some bottles are worse off than other. Even for that, though, it's still not entirely unwearable...if you're very cautious. The undecayed version, though, is very nice and wholly different. This "good" Oland is going to be in my regular daily rotation, whereas "bad" Oland was and still is reserved for weekends only.

    Good luck finding it if you do seek it -- in probably 10 bottles I've either bought or just sniffed, this is the only one that hasn't been 'off.'
    Last edited by Dr.Hohum; 12th February 2011 at 08:28 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Avon Oland, weird stuff

    And now, 20 minutes after application, I'm getting distinct peppery notes. Interesting.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Avon Oland, weird stuff

    After having spent some time studying Oland -- possibly the strangest Avon fragrance for men ever -- I've decided this 1970 release is Avon's attempt to copy Aramis, which was released in the mid '60s and still very popular at the turn of the decade. I've decided on this because I just happened across a vintage bottle of Aramis...Oland is very close. Not exact, and doesn't seem to hold up as well as old Aramis does, and some bottles still have a weird, dirty ashtray note to them (bergamot gone bad? dunno), but it's a good try at duplicating Aramis. Smell the two side by side and Oland suddenly makes sense.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Avon Oland, weird stuff

    Seems like a lot of people think "ashtray" when they encounter a "dirty" jasmine note.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Avon Oland, weird stuff

    I wore some today. I think Opoponax is more what would smell like an ashtray but this is not that. Jasmine doesn't smell that way to me either (dirty), though it may have jasmine in it, I can't pick apart the drydown that easily. The drydown has leather. That I can tell you. It has a bit of powdery in the drydown masked by some spice and something with a little bite to it that gives it a dirty feel, and something vaguely floral that. Also has something I can't put my finger on it and I know I've smelled it before but reminds me vaguely of pinesol? Maybe a mixture of pine and citrus? I'm not even entirely sure the ashtray/dirty/smoky scent isn't supposed to be there. Did anyone recall sampling it when it was in production? Some of the nuances remind me almost of the current quorum formulation.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Avon Oland, weird stuff

    You mentioned floral. The really off note that comes up in most Oland (not the burnt note) reminds me of the stench of Lilac Vegetal. Now I am wondering if it's got lilac that just doesn't play well with something else in there.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Avon Oland, weird stuff

    Mystery partly solved?

    Today the wife found a full vintage bottle of Avon's Occur! for women. I'd not sampled it before but it is quite similar to Oland and, more to the point, whatever that 'off' note in Oland is apparently may not be 'off' but is intentionally there...or, the same note in Occur! is now 'off' as well. Either way, whatever it is that sometimes gives Oland its weirdness is in Occur!, the exact same thing. The two are VERY similar.

    The breakdown of Occur! is posted below. Anything ring a bell for those of you more scent-experienced than I am? (that'd be all of you)

    Top Notes
    Aldehydes, Bergamot, Cardamom, Coriander

    Middle Notes
    Muguet, Francinsense, Vetiver, Myrrh, Jasmin, Patchouli, Carnation

    Base Notes
    Amber, Leather, Honey, Moss, Musk, Castoreum, Vanilla, Civet


    I'm wondering it it might be the musk...or the civet...

  13. #13

    Default Re: Avon Oland, weird stuff

    Jasmine can have an unusual note depending on what it is executed along with. Obviously we know what Civet can smell like. Musk is possible. Castoreum perhaps?

    I doubt it is the bergamot going bad, I've got other cologne from the era that smells fine. I also found an empty bottle, dried for years, and the smell of whatever it is is still there.

    I wonder if your non off bottle is actually an off bottle removing natural ingredients.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Avon Oland, weird stuff

    The weirdness of Oland finally solved?

    A few days ago I found a vintage bottle of Stetson. What was I surprised to detect? That SAME weird note, much subtler than in either Occur and Oland, but exactly the same.

    So it's time for a good old elimination process. Here's Basenote's breakdown of Occur and Stetson, to see where they match up:

    OCCUR
    Aldehydes, Bergamot, Cardamom, Coriander

    Muguet, Francinsense, Vetiver, Myrrh, Jasmin, Patchouli, Carnation

    Amber, Leather, Honey, Moss, Musk, Castoreum, Vanilla, Civet

    STETSON
    Lemon, Lime, Bergamot, Lavender


    Patchouli, Jasmin, Vetiver


    Amber, Tonka

    So the weirdness in Oland can be identified, but it'll take someone with a more experienced nose than mine. I'm pretty sure it isn't vetiver or bergamot, both of which I have. That leaves patchouli, jasmine and amber, none of which I have any idea what they're supposed to smell like. Anyone have fresh input to help narrow it down?

    I love a good mystery.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Avon Oland, weird stuff

    I'm going to lean towards Jasmine. Possibly how it interacts in the fragrance.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Avon Oland, weird stuff

    My ladyfriend picked up a bottle of this for me for Christmas (what a gal). Luckily whatever it is that goes bad in the fragrance and makes it smell like cigarette butts hasn't gone bad in this bottle. What an interesting scent! It opens up smelling like what I assume most Avon/cheapie fragrances from the 70's smell like... a really powerful and biting herbal alcohol. Then it morphs into something very complex and thick. I'm not very good at picking out subtle notes, but there's definitely jasmine and tons of clary sage in it, along with some other dry green herbal and menthol notes that I am not very familiar with. Vetiver is noticeable in the heart, and I can also pick out patchouli and sandalwood. It has a beautiful ambery drydown, something thicker and richer than the amber you find in even expensive frags today.
    My top 5: Sea Mist; Minnow; Crab, tiger, and almonds; Semprini; Rancid Polecat N 2

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