Perfume Directory

Persian Wood (1956)
by Avon


Persian Wood information

Year of Launch1956
Average Rating
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About Persian Wood

Persian Wood is a feminine perfume by Avon. The scent was launched in 1956

Persian Wood fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes
  2. Heart Notes
  3. Base notes

Reviews of Persian Wood

Probably a late 60's propellent Cologne Mist.
A scary Hairspray Adelhydic Assault and snonk of Animalic Musk almost has me blown off my feet with it's whack.
The stars fade quick as the Spiced heart enchants with it's charming balance of Cinnamon,Cardamom and Coriander.
The lightly sugared Amber base softens and gradually counterpoints with a dry,yet plump Sandalwood plonk. The snonk sneaks back in for a moment to remind of a little dirtiness.
Floral is rather indistinct which has this bent to Gender neutral.
Very enjoyable Santal.
04th March, 2021
Avon Persian Wood (1956) is a sublime woody oriental from Avon that was likely competition for Woodhue by Fabergé (1944) or Dana Tabu (1932), both of which were rather heavy, ambery and wood-inflected orientals with sweet orange and/or clove tops. Persian Wood doesn't rely very heavily on sweet mandarin like Tabu, nor has a ton of animalics like the Woodhue, but takes an almost chypre-like approach with sandalwood and oakmoss at it's core, with vetiver and vanilla playing tug-of-war back and forth between dry and sweet. There's a good amount of spice and Avon's patent amber in here, with something smelling this way very likely being shipped to men in the 21st century, as woody ambers became all the rage in the 2010's. The noteworthy distinction between Persian Wood and the masculines made 60+ years in it's wake is that it achieves the desired effect without the boutique synthetics ambroxan and norlimbanol, as they didn't even exist in 1956. Persian Wood must have seemed pretty sensual to the average Avon buyer of 1956, as the postwar years of Avon saw them coming out from behind their idyllic floral aldehyde perfumes and powdery prim bouquets to move into animalic and oriental directions, particularly in the wake of competition from Lauder, Arden, and the French houses, the latter of whom had the disposable cash to experiment more since they had bigger margins on their wares. Avon by and large had its happy accidents of creativity, but most of their best work was innovating in fields pioneered by others, and bringing it downmarket so Ma and Mabel could enjoy it too. Persian Wood was the psuedo-exotic entry in the mid-century Avon catalog for the ladies who wanted to feel exotic, and stayed around for a good number of decades like all their top-sellers with re-issues until it became just too out of step.

The opening is pretty familiar to those with experience in orientals, coming on strong with a puff of aldehyde which quickly subsides to let a wall of spice enter the space. Cinnamon, cardamom, coriander are all blended into a rich opening, with an ever-so-slight green twang which might be galbanum. The middle feels like where most of the battle takes place in this scent, resulting in a huge olfactory "brown out" once the aldehydeic spice mixes in with patchouli, vetiver, and clary sage leading an aromatic charge. The base comes along within minutes of application thanks to a lack of anything really all that bright in the top, so once the dust settles between spice and aromatics, we get vanilla, oakmoss, amber, musk, and a touch of tonka next to a pretty fat sandalwood note. We're not talking high-end Mysore (which was still available in the 50's) because this is still Avon. Don't look for that long-gone creamy sandalwood note of vintage designers here, but instead expect more of a sandalwood incense stick type of smell that might have a smidgen of the real wood in powder form but is essentially of the variety found coating the kind of agarbatti bought from a mystic shop. End results of wearing Persian Wood produce a rather linear, blended experience not far off from a spicier gentleman's cologne or aftershave of this era, just tweaked to be a bit sweeter and ramped up to volumes women at the time preferred, since smoking was still very rampant and it had to not just cut through said smoke, but last a lady all day. American men still looked side-eyed at the idea of wearing fragrance outside of special events, which is probably why Avon barely bothered catering to them until the 60's, otherwise there might have existed an accompanying men's version like the aforementioned Fabergé Woodhue. Longevity is easily over eight hours, and sillage is not grandiose, but definitely beyond Avon's labeling of "cologne".

Persian Wood is not challenging by 21st century standards, but comfort food to the nose, and not particularly sexy unless you find spices sexy, so this makes a great fall and winter at-home wear in my mind. To be honest, the best part of this is the pure oakmoss finish, and the pasty, buttery haze it creates with the sandalwood and amber. Something like Persian Wood could easily be released as a unisex niche fragrance from Serge Lutens or Byredo with a price tag ten times what this one likely had, adjusted for inflation, since I've seen tons of stuff come down the chute in recent years that mimics this with a greater dependency on chemicals. True, Persian Wood is a tad sweeter and softer than the usual oriental shopped as masculine or even unisex these days, but the quality is leaps and bounds above what is made now even by higher-end houses, since nitromusks, oakmoss, and some form of natural sandalwood are bound to be in the oldest batches of Persian Wood. These oldest bottles identify themselves with their flame-silhouette red shape depicting a tree and having crown caps. There was even a bottle in pink rubberized paint featuring "Persian Wood" in a script reminiscent of what Disney used for the animated film Aladdin if you fancy the early pressurized atomizers. Naturally, this oldest stock is slowly becoming extinct, and pressurized sprays always run a risk of leaking their propellant after sitting for half a century, but there's plenty of really good splash stock or 70's and 80's natural sprays floating around too. If you really want to go nuts on Persian Wood, you can get the sachet, perfumed talc, oil, and soap. All in all, I find Persian Wood to be one of the less-daring or complex offerings and therefore less interesting to the perfumista seeking vintage scents for their dynamism, but conversely one of the more solid, comfortable and satisfying wears from this particular period of Avon, for anyone. Thumbs Up for Persian Wood!
09th November, 2018
l first had a small roll-on of this as a child, & then purchased a bottle in the early nineties, although it had probably been reformulated by then. l remember it as quite a dark, woody, musky fragrance, with possibly some sandalwood & incense. lt was different & quite sexy. l see there is still some around on ebay, worth a try if you can get a good deal.
15th February, 2011

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AVON - Persian Wood - Cologne Spray NEW

US • Buy it now: USD 40.00.

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