Bird Of Paradise fragrance notes

  • Head

    • bergamot, lavender, galbanum, clove, cinnamon
  • Heart

    • jasmine, iris, floral notes, clary sage
  • Base

    • amber, patchouli, oakmoss, vetiver, castoreum, musk

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Latest Reviews of Bird Of Paradise

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Avon Bird of Paradise (1969) seems like such an odd fragrance in the 21st century, since it's a spiced oriental perfume with a cool, crisp mossy finish, and practically an antithesis to what is considered feminine now. The original limited packaging was a resplendent bird decanter quite like a phoenix with its majesty, but pressurized sprays eventually manifested in the shape of long-necked opaque turquoise blue bottles adorned with a plastic sapphire. Into the 70's, the numerous collectable pours became available, but the standard packaging shifted to the pastel blue natural spray with an Arabian-themed gold minaret cap, and a gold tassle hung from the neck adorned with a name tag (in place of a bottom sticker). Bird of Paradise was one of the fancier and more luxurious scents for women from the house, and is opulent in the way original Early American Old Spice (1937) was meant to be before men took over its market, which says a lot about the direction Bird of Paradise takes. This perfume also gets unfairly called a cheap copy of Yves Saint Laurent Opium (1977) or Estée Lauder Cinnabar (1978), but predates those by almost a decade and outside the erstwhile Shulton fragrance, doesn't really feel inspired by much besides the genre in which it sits. Green chypres for women were becoming the rage by the start of the 1970's, so maybe Bird of Paradise was created for the older ladies of the day who liked the spicier, fuller perfumes of the pre and immediately post-war period, especially considering its smokey qualities thanks to a healthy dose of vetiver in the base.

Whether or not you feel Bird of Paradise is a rare example of unique thinking in the Avon stables, one thing everyone agrees on is how heavy this stuff is. Bergamot and lavender start the show, which is very quickly joined by a mild galbanum, clove and cinnamon. Movement to the middle is fast as this is a darker perfume, with jasmine indole to dirty it, then iris and orris root to make it contrastingly soapy, and oddly cool. There are some other nondescript white florals in the middle, and clary sage comes in to signal the arrival of the base. Patchouli, vetiver, castoreum, and a very noticeable oakmoss join musk and Avon's house amber note, adding a touch of musky animalic barbershop powder that implies the masculine connection to fans of things like Zizanie (1932), or even Avon's own Wild Country (1967). Bird of Paradise is a softer, quieter oriental experience than older examples and keeps the raunch mostly in check. The cologne spray has close sillage and only medium longevity, which is shocking given the usual nuclear power of old Avon feminine "colognes", so you might want to keep this with you if you expect it to last the day through, unless you happen upon the stronger Bird of Paradise perfume oil. Best use is in fall or winter, and this is a cozy scent for home or bundled-up outings in my opinion. You'll get maybe 7 hours max from the spray, and about 10 from the perfume oil, but considering the assortment of products made, the scent of this was probably designed to be layered across them.

The base in Bird of Paradise really feels like the prototype for later masculine barbershop orientals from Avon, as if they took a page from the Guerlain playbook and reused primary accords of older scents then built upon them a la Jicky (1889) to Mouchoir de Monsieur (1902) and Shalimar (1924). In this case, it would be Bird of Paradise (1969) to Cavalier (1989) and Mesmerize for Men (1992). Honestly it wouldn't surprise me, since Avon makes so damned many things, and affords themselves so little R&D for each fragrance that accord cannibalism seems a fair turn. This was another favorite of my mother alongside Charisma (1970) and Unforgettable (1965), and particularly this minaret bottle presentation, which I distinctly remember her owning as a child. Being able to "bring this one home" and experience it again (but on myself this time) was a wonderful treat, but all sentimentality aside, Bird of Paradise is a fun choice for fans of rich orientals with a hint of smoke. A man could easily wear Bird of Paradise, especially if he's a fan of either Old Spice, or stuff like Tabac Original (1959), so this may be worth the hunt if that sounds up your alley. Avon made Bird of Paradise in various re-issues up until 1990 (which further adds credibility to my theory about masculine base reuse), so while a tiny bit harder to find than many vintage Avons, Bird of Paradise still won't break the bank because there was a lot made. Thumbs up!
9th November 2018
Spicy!This reminds me of a much lighter Youth Dew, but still so spicy and heavy, I'm not sure I could get away with wearing this at the office. I reserve this for the weekends!
26th October 2013

This smells like it was made for men. I dont like this much at all.
16th March 2007
To me this smells like a very weak Cinnabar or like soft Christmas spices. I like it and own it but I probably will not wear it too often.
23rd November 2005