Perfume Directory

Occur! (1962)
by Avon

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Occur! information

Year of Launch1962
GenderFeminine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 30 votes)

People and companies

HouseAvon

About Occur!

Occur! is a feminine perfume by Avon. The scent was launched in 1962

Reviews of Occur!

Top Notes: Aldehydes, Bergamot, Cardamom, Coriander.

Heart Notes: Lily of the Valley, Carnation, Gardenia, Rose, Frankincense, Vetiver, Myrrh, Jasmine, Patchouli.

Base Notes: Amber, Leather, Honey, Coconut, Styrax, Moss, Musk, Castoreum, Vanilla, Civet.

I am not really sure how to categorise Occur! given the notes pyramid. It opens with a massive blast of aldehydes underlaid by crisp, green bergamot and hints of spice. I cannot identify cardamon and coriander specifically, though. All I can say is I detect a hint of spice. The top notes linger on my skin for an amazingly long time, but eventually, the floral heart notes begin to open like a bouquet. Again, I cannot really untangle the floral notes they are so well blent. I do detect a smidgeon of pungent incense in the heart. In the deep dry down I mainly perceive leather, moss, and a hint of musk. Sadly, I do not detect the other base notes because I love amber, honey, castoreum and civet. Occur! dryness is unrelieved by any real sweetness from honey, and there are no fruit notes to soften it.

Occur! seems to me to be a perfume of its era: dry, chypre-ish, a bit green, and unsweet. This review is based on my vintage bottle of the cologne mist. It comes in a black rubberised bottle with a faux diamond beneath the exclamation point. I also have the cologne splash which seems to have a bit more leather in it if that is possible. My bottle is very likely from the early 1960s whence the fragrance was first launched, and although the bottle has been well preserved, I am sure it has lost a bit of its oomph over these many long years, although the top notes are amazingly well preserved. I would love to have tried Occur! whence it was first launched. It must have been a real head turner.

Occur! is a fragrance I wear mainly for my own pleasure either at home or sequestered in the stacks at the library or on a quiet stroll through the park on a cool day. I doubt many people who might be around me would be favourably impressed with this fragrance. It does not smell like anything most people would wear today. In its day, it was probably reserved for evening wear due to its several animalic notes. Today, I would not recommend it for either office wear or social wear. I find it a very personal pleasure that most people would not appreciate.

I think the right man could wear this as well as a woman. Despite the many florals, I do not find Occur! to be particularly feminine. It wears pretty close to the skin after the first 30 or so minutes, but as I say, my bottle is quite old. I really wish I could perceive more of those fabulous base notes, and that is really my only complaint about this fragrance. Longevity, projection, and sillage are average.

If you are interested in so-called "old school" fragrances, the type that no one makes anymore (that I am aware), and/or you like dry, chypre-ish fragrances, and/or if leather is a note you wish to explore in more fragrances, and/or you are not put off by aldehydes, then I definitely recommend Occur! to you. If you have a penchant for collecting perfume bottles, this one is quite nice for a fragrance that was very "accessible" in its day. In the 40s, 50s, and 60s, Avon produced some really nice presentations for the price point.

Prices vary, but if you want a nice example of the original style bottle with the rhinestone on the bottle and the bottle in its box, expect to pay as much as $40, $50, or more for it. Occur! is definitely worth a sniff you like aldehydes and leather notes. Again, I would have loved to smell this at the time it was first launched. I must have been quite a beauty.
02nd August, 2019
Avon's glory days were certainly from the late 1940's through to the early 1980's, where they erected a direct-selling empire oft-emulated by other upstarts which more or less became pyramid schemes after a time. Avon had moved away from traditional soliflores and prim bouquets by the postwar period, fully embracing chypres and orientals for women, many being quite racy in nature. Occur! (1962) was certainly one of the raciest, with Avon Unforgettable (1965) following in its footsteps rather closely. Occur! was an amalgam of styles: part leather chypre, part floriental, part aldehydic floral, sitting somewhere between Houbigant Chantilly (1941), and Robert Piguet Bandit (1944), with a few drops of Lanvin Arpege (1927) and Dana Tabu (1932) to broaden things out. This might sound like a granny boudoir nightmare to the modern mainstream feminine nose, but the accord created by this combination is fairly unisex and unintentionally niche in the modern era where clean citrus and synthetic fruits are the norm. If you pay attention at all to the artisinal scene, the kind of ingredients being played with in Occur! are all over the creations of one-perfumer upstart houses. Occur! won't blow anyone away, but we'll likely never see Avon get this lewd again, regardless of feminine, unisex, or masculine marketing. What's most funny is Occur! feels like a precursor to many of Avon's own masculine creations in later years, as several of its dry down phases distinctly recall future men's compositions, particularly Wild Country (1967) and Black Suede (1980).

Occur! shows its aldehydic floral and oriental facets early before drying down into a tigress of a leather chypre, being a slight bait-and-switch like so many really dynamic older perfumes. The scent opens with bergamot and aldehydes, but suspiciously no florals, coupling spicy coriander and cardamom to the top. This opening hit reminds me a lot of Lagerfeld Cologne (1978) and Coty Stetson (1981), both of which were masculine scents years away, if that gives any indication of how butch of a perfume Occur! happens to be. A mixture of yellow and white florals so well blended I can't tell them apart await in the heart, but carnation and rose stand out the most, reminding me of Wild Country in some ways, which is another masculine a few years away from happening. Beyond this opening the earliest part of the heart, Occur! becomes its own animal, leaving most comparisons behind, as patchouli, incense, vetiver smoke, and an odd cococnut sweetness dry down and dirty up the scent for the final act. Styrax, castoreum, honeyed civet, and musk all await to delight or frighten the nose, and it doesn't stop there. Leather, oakmoss, and Avon's patent amber (recalling Black Suede's finish) are among the calmer of the base notes here, with a dollop of vanilla to pretend this is civil. The saving grace of Occur! is it isn't a whopper in performance, being the rare Avon women's cologne spray that actually is, and giving moderate projection at best with 6 hours of wear time before it becomes a skin scent.

You're going to stand out wherever you wear this so forget context, but I do suggest colder weather due to animalic stew living in the base. There's a powdery quality late in the wear which combines with the leather to make Occur! feel quite like a proper Victorian barbershop cologne, which is amusing considering it was lobbed at ladies, but I also have to remind myself that women's perfume was actually more muscular than the early "dapper gent" stuff houses were filtering onto the then-untested men's market, so it makes sense that feminines were less conservative, because less risk was involved in such an established segment. Daring, mature, and take-charge types will love Occur! for it's bodybuilder physique in a miniskirt presentation, but folks looking to be polite are best to avoid Occur! at all costs. Simply put, this was Avon's most-definitive take on the mid-century "liberated women" theme in perfume, and although it still doesn't have the huevos of something like Estée Lauder Youth Dew (1953), it at least has the prowess to be a member of the pack. As an aside, if you decide to seek a newer re-issue bottle (they ran up until 1997), avoid 90's production as it severely tones down the animalics, letting the leather, oakmoss, and vanilla do more of the talking. Of course, that might be what you want, and likely a safer bet anyway if old pressurized sprays sound scary and cologne splashes are ill-suiting. This is another shockingly provocative oldie from the annals of Avon history! Thumbs up! One things certain: if you wear it, something will Occur!
20th November, 2018
Gorgeous, sultry Oriental Chypre and worth tracking down. Top notes include yellow florals. It has a kind of smoky quality.
Its very well blended, those are brave ingredients.
I class this with Tabu and Pagan.
27th August, 2016
Avon's answer to Lauder's Youth Dew and Houbigant's Chantilly, with its emphasis on the amber/vanilla oriental combo.

This is a very good oriental chypre, so good that I'm surprised it comes from Avon, whose scents I usually do not like. Avon products have always smelled cheap and synthetic to me, but I must admit that this is quite nice indeed.

In addition to the notes listed above, it contains Rose, Gardenia, Styrax and Coconut.

As Barbara Herman states, this is "spicy, exotic and outré."

Buy vintage only online. It's inexpensive and of fine quality.
01st July, 2014 (last edited: 04th July, 2014)
I wore this today. Applied three sprays and on the drydown hours later, bears more than a passing resemblance to vintage Miss Dior.
23rd February, 2013
I just received a tiny half-full sample bottle of Occur, probably something an Avon lady used as a demonstrator in the early 1970s. What a great, gutsy fragrance! I adore all chypres, and I'm going to find some more of this as soon as I can. Occur strikes me as a perfect, classic vintage chypre: woody, smoky, resinous, sharp, animalic, not too floral. Just beautiful.

Too bad it's been discontinued, but ... it would have had to be reformulated anyway.
18th August, 2012

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