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  1. #1
    The Devil in the Details
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    Default Avon Mesmerize for Men: 1992 vintage vs 2015 modern

    Avon is an odd bird in that their global direct sales approach removes the need for adherence to regulations unilaterally since fragrances sold in a region are often produced there, needing only to follow local law. Furthermore, voluntary industry regulations like IFRA also prove to be optional since they mix it up between using their own chemists (or bringing outside ones in-house for one-offs) and contracting out to IFF and the like (who adhere to IFRA). They also rarely make second batches of anything unless something sells well and is stayed from their vicious introduction/discontinuation cycles, making the need to look for vintage batches less crucial since oftentimes deep vintage is the only vintage.

    With that having been said, some perennial creations have been reformulated over the years due to ingredient availability or changes in taste (Wild Country lost it's nitromusks in the 80's, then was sweetened up and made less animalic in the 90's), but some have not. Unless something comes from the EU and has to adhere to stringent EU regulations (which mirror or are tighter in areas than IFRA), I've noticed that it doesn't change if still made in other territories, unless changed for cost/taste reasons. I'm using Avon Mesmerize for Men as this example. IMG_20181121_143906_418.jpg
    1992 and 2015

    IMG_20181121_143908_021.jpg
    Canadian 1992 bottle

    IMG_20181121_143910_105.jpg
    Mexican 2015 bottle

    Avon for the US and Canada were intially made in their respective countries, but since 2014, Avon for North America is served by a separate LLC that orders its inventory from the parent company now relocated to the UK. Mexico has always had its own independent Avon subsidiary which manufactures and markets its own products, many of which end up in the US if the American "New Avon LLC" orders them.

    IMG_20181121_164642_645.jpg
    Short ingredient list on both

    I recently ordered both oldest and newest because they were cheap, and spraying the oldest and newest both on paper then on me, at the same time, and smelling both develop, I could not tell any difference. I've had a lot of experience with reforms. I know a vintage Paco, Polo, or Z-14 from a new one. I can clearly tell between even oakmoss versus tree/oakmoss blend (the latter is sharper), and know a nitro from a white musk.

    I'm not saying Mesmerize for Men is the grail juice of Avon for men (although it's a pretty good cheapie for Versace L'Homme/Chanel PM Concentrée/Tiffany for Men/Puig Sybaris fans). But what I am saying is if the "Made in Mexico" juice isn't the same unregulated juice it has always been (it was a cheapo to begin with, so not much cost to cut), then the difference is so infinitesimal that I am fooled, and it doesn't matter.

    Thoughts anyone? And before you disagree, remember I am only citing original American juice versus current Mexican juice, not Mesmerize for Men made in any other territory where regulations may apply and affect it. I've always wondered why older scents stay in production down in Mexico or return to production there (like Charisma), but not elsewhere. I think we have our answer.

    Discuss!
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Avon Mesmerize for Men: 1992 vintage vs 2015 modern

    That's okay. Nobody discuss. Just means more for me.
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    Default Re: Avon Mesmerize for Men: 1992 vintage vs 2015 modern

    Well. I can tell you that's not my favorite color of blue, but that navy and brushed gold is currently trending in interior design. Help?
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    Default Re: Avon Mesmerize for Men: 1992 vintage vs 2015 modern

    Quote Originally Posted by Zealot Crusader View Post
    That's okay. Nobody discuss. Just means more for me.
    my only experience is with a bottle of aftershave dated 1999. smells amazing to me, glad to hear I don't have to worry about grabbing an older bottle of cologne once I decide to get some..

    (not sure when the aftershave splash was discontinued, but it's totally worth grabbing some, even if it's in a Ford Mustang bottle)

  5. #5

    Default Re: Avon Mesmerize for Men: 1992 vintage vs 2015 modern

    I have Mesmerise for women EdC circa 1995(?). The box does not say where it was made, though. Never smelt the men's version at all. Sorry.
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    Default Re: Avon Mesmerize for Men: 1992 vintage vs 2015 modern

    Quote Originally Posted by masonjarjar View Post
    my only experience is with a bottle of aftershave dated 1999. smells amazing to me, glad to hear I don't have to worry about grabbing an older bottle of cologne once I decide to get some..

    (not sure when the aftershave splash was discontinued, but it's totally worth grabbing some, even if it's in a Ford Mustang bottle)
    Avon US discontinued all their clear aftershaves some time in early 2010's and only do balms now (yuck). If you like BdP, Chanel PM, TfM, Héritage, Versace L'Homme, Pierre Cardin PM, or any of that genre, you need this in cologne.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Avon Mesmerize for Men: 1992 vintage vs 2015 modern

    Problem is almost everyone likely has either an old or a new bottle but not both. I have one from around 8 years ago, and it's in that Zino or Burberry for Men (1991) range, but certainly has its own character to some degree.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Avon Mesmerize for Men: 1992 vintage vs 2015 modern

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    Problem is almost everyone likely has either an old or a new bottle but not both. I have one from around 8 years ago, and it's in that Zino or Burberry for Men (1991) range, but certainly has its own character to some degree.
    I'm just shocked at how "unregulated" Avon is overall. Every regional operation sort of just lives in it's own little world. I do agree that Mesmerize for Men isn't a clone of anything exactly. It does its own thing, but it's definitely in that "gentlemen's cologne" wheelhouse. I also find it funny how wildly variable Avon performance is. This is a "cologne" with killer performance, and some of their eau de toilettes fall flat. Meanwhile, the old "ultra-cologne", "cologne mist" labels they used to use decades ago also range from at least EdT to "holy shit I'm choking" strong. Then a perfume oil barely smells at all. What gives???? Hahaha
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Avon Mesmerize for Men: 1992 vintage vs 2015 modern

    Quote Originally Posted by Zealot Crusader View Post
    I've had a lot of experience with reforms. I know a vintage Paco, Polo, or Z-14 from a new one. I can clearly tell between even oakmoss versus tree/oakmoss blend (the latter is sharper), and know a nitro from a white musk.
    This part stuck out in particular as I've been researching the timeline for Terre d'Hermès, which seems to have removed "evernia furfuracea (treemoss) extract" from its ingredient list around 2011 (along with removing "benzyl benzoate" and moving up "hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde" in the list) while leaving in the "evernia prunastri (oakmoss) extract." As you note in your review of TdH, most people are worried about the amount of Iso E Super being reduced due to IFRA regulations when differences between old and new could instead be accounted for by these changes.

    If you are sensitive to the difference here, maybe you could put to rest some of the speculation regarding the differences in potential formulations.

    Reference: tspencer's post, which shows screenshots of 2008 and 2014 TdH ingredients lists.

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    Default Re: Avon Mesmerize for Men: 1992 vintage vs 2015 modern

    Quote Originally Posted by infinitesymphony View Post
    This part stuck out in particular as I've been researching the timeline for Terre d'Hermès, which seems to have removed "evernia furfuracea (treemoss) extract" from its ingredient list around 2011 (along with removing "benzyl benzoate" and moving up "hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde" in the list) while leaving in the "evernia prunastri (oakmoss) extract." As you note in your review of TdH, most people are worried about the amount of Iso E Super being reduced due to IFRA regulations when differences between old and new could instead be accounted for by these changes.

    If you are sensitive to the difference here, maybe you could put to rest some of the speculation regarding the differences in potential formulations.

    Reference: tspencer's post, which shows screenshots of 2008 and 2014 TdH ingredients lists.
    I've never smelled deep vintage Terre d'Hermes, so I didn't touch upon oakmoss quantity in my review.
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    Default Re: Avon Mesmerize for Men: 1992 vintage vs 2015 modern

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge on this one. I'm unfamiliar with it, but I will now look out for it and report back.
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    Default Re: Avon Mesmerize for Men: 1992 vintage vs 2015 modern

    Quote Originally Posted by david View Post
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge on this one. I'm unfamiliar with it, but I will now look out for it and report back.
    Mesmerize is really good stuff for fans of Guerlain Héritage, Versace L'Homme, and Chanel Pour Monsieur Eau de Toilette Concentrée/Parfum
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Avon Mesmerize for Men: 1992 vintage vs 2015 modern

    Quote Originally Posted by Zealot Crusader View Post
    Mesmerize is really good stuff for fans of Guerlain Héritage, Versace L'Homme, and Chanel Pour Monsieur Eau de Toilette Concentrée/Parfum
    my first thought upon smelling Mesmerize (my 1999 aftershave) was Pinaud Clubman Vanilla..

    I'm guessing those others might be in that same realm of "gentleman" scents..

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    Default Re: Avon Mesmerize for Men: 1992 vintage vs 2015 modern

    Quote Originally Posted by masonjarjar View Post
    my first thought upon smelling Mesmerize (my 1999 aftershave) was Pinaud Clubman Vanilla..

    I'm guessing those others might be in that same realm of "gentleman" scents..
    You're pretty close yeah
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    Default Re: Avon Mesmerize for Men: 1992 vintage vs 2015 modern

    Bumping this so folks get a second look at my findings.
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  16. #16

    Default Re: Avon Mesmerize for Men: 1992 vintage vs 2015 modern

    I got raked across the coals in another forum for comparing this to Nautica Latitude Longitude. While I think a lot of that vitriol was uncontrolled ego of an offended "expert," and the stuff still smells the same to me as it did when I first came across it, it certainly does not seem like it's as close as I had originally thought - at least the colognes. The Mesmerize hair and body wash could have come in a gift set with NLL given the close compatibility and it's what I use in the shower when I use it.

    In different contexts I had seen them both compared to Zino, so I think I'm not the only one that sees a similarity though.

    Mesmerize does stand on its own and is a great example of how underrated Avon can be as a brand. The initial impression of most (myself included) is Wild Country in a bust of Lincoln. They had a crazy Black Friday sale a couple years ago and I got Alpha, Black Suede, Mesmerize and I think one other, I think for around $9/ea delivered.

    They're not going to win any awards for packaging, that's for sure. If any company's product comes in a bottle that is worth less than what's inside, it's Avon. However, product quality and composition easily make the cut, and that's evidently not the recent phenomenon I had thought it was. I dug up a bottle of Seazone I had found in a thrift shop in about 2013 but if I ever tried it, I had no recollection. I was very pleased with that too (and it had a much more elaborately designed bottle than their modern offerings).

    Mesmerize got me on board with Avon. I just put it, along with the Black Suede and Alpha away for the summer. - and dusted off/polished up the Seazone to hold the spot until Fall.

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    Default Re: Avon Mesmerize for Men: 1992 vintage vs 2015 modern

    Quote Originally Posted by ascotnot View Post
    I got raked across the coals in another forum for comparing this to Nautica Latitude Longitude. While I think a lot of that vitriol was uncontrolled ego of an offended "expert," and the stuff still smells the same to me as it did when I first came across it, it certainly does not seem like it's as close as I had originally thought - at least the colognes. The Mesmerize hair and body wash could have come in a gift set with NLL given the close compatibility and it's what I use in the shower when I use it.

    In different contexts I had seen them both compared to Zino, so I think I'm not the only one that sees a similarity though.

    Mesmerize does stand on its own and is a great example of how underrated Avon can be as a brand. The initial impression of most (myself included) is Wild Country in a bust of Lincoln. They had a crazy Black Friday sale a couple years ago and I got Alpha, Black Suede, Mesmerize and I think one other, I think for around $9/ea delivered.

    They're not going to win any awards for packaging, that's for sure. If any company's product comes in a bottle that is worth less than what's inside, it's Avon. However, product quality and composition easily make the cut, and that's evidently not the recent phenomenon I had thought it was. I dug up a bottle of Seazone I had found in a thrift shop in about 2013 but if I ever tried it, I had no recollection. I was very pleased with that too (and it had a much more elaborately designed bottle than their modern offerings).

    Mesmerize got me on board with Avon. I just put it, along with the Black Suede and Alpha away for the summer. - and dusted off/polished up the Seazone to hold the spot until Fall.
    Seazone is an early aquatic I have yet to smell! Also Avon bottles are still pretty eccentric outside the US market, they just don't bother with them here anymore.
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  18. #18

    Default Re: Avon Mesmerize for Men: 1992 vintage vs 2015 modern

    Quote Originally Posted by Zealot Crusader View Post
    Seazone is an early aquatic I have yet to smell! Also Avon bottles are still pretty eccentric outside the US market, they just don't bother with them here anymore.
    Seazone is definitely early as aquatics go - it still seems to give a nod to the 80s powerhouses that preceded it - in fact, having worn it a couple times recently, I think it actually more of Spring or Autumn fragrance due to its sweetness in the honey/tobacco note that I pick up.

    I just checked on eBay and you can get it for $21/100ml. The aftershave costs less. Bonus - the aftershave is also available in the form of a 1955 T-Bird. Sweet!

    seazoneas.jpg

    One of the notes is listed for Seazone on another site as "solar notes." I have zero idea what it is, but I am fairly confident that it's not the aroma of hydrogen burning at 27 million degrees. If it were, I would expect something just a bit sharper than what I'm getting.

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    Default Re: Avon Mesmerize for Men: 1992 vintage vs 2015 modern

    Whoa!!!!!!! Check out those wheels!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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    Default Re: Avon Mesmerize for Men: 1992 vintage vs 2015 modern

    Quote Originally Posted by Zealot Crusader View Post
    Avon is an odd bird in that their global direct sales approach removes the need for adherence to regulations unilaterally since fragrances sold in a region are often produced there, needing only to follow local law. Furthermore, voluntary industry regulations like IFRA also prove to be optional since they mix it up between using their own chemists (or bringing outside ones in-house for one-offs) and contracting out to IFF and the like (who adhere to IFRA).
    Unless something comes from the EU and has to adhere to stringent EU regulations (which mirror or are tighter in areas than IFRA), I've noticed that it doesn't change if still made in other territories, unless changed for cost/taste reasons.
    I'm just shocked at how "unregulated" Avon is overall. Every regional operation sort of just lives in it's own little world.

    Just to clarify, ZC: Are you saying that outside of the Eurozone and North America, Avon is not usually adhering to IFRA regulations?

    Or is that only true of this particular Mexico-manufactured product (as far as you know)?

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    Default Re: Avon Mesmerize for Men: 1992 vintage vs 2015 modern

    Quote Originally Posted by Cook.bot View Post
    Just to clarify, ZC: Are you saying that outside of the Eurozone and North America, Avon is not usually adhering to IFRA regulations?

    Or is that only true of this particular Mexico-manufactured product (as far as you know)?
    I've noticed that older things still in production made outside the EU have short ingredients lists, and things not made for European markets also have short ingredients lists, while newer things sold globally including the EU have full ingredients disclosure. Also from what I understand as IFRA being an industry self-regulatory body like the ESRB and MPAA, companies using outside chem firms wanting to sell through distributors and storefronts almost have to adhere to it while companies making their own perfumes in-house and directly selling their products in the markets they're made can skirt it because no importation to regulated markets means no need to regulate.

    This would explain why a US customer or Avon seller can't order from a UK catalog: it's not entirely about tailoring selection to local market taste, but also about avoiding the cost of middle men and reformulation so a scent meets all requirements in all markets. If something does get adapted to other markets, it must be selling like crazy (like Black Suede and it's billion flankers). I think it's less about preserving artistry and more about the fact Avon doesn't have a single manufacturer for all their scents like Dior or Chanel. Each branch is it's own fiefdom and they won't fix what isn't broken unless it's to save money
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