Reviews of Spicy by Avon

This is a wonderfully classic men's fragrance. If I didn't know any better I would expect it to be some designer scent from Dior or Chanel's past. One of those releases that aren't outdated but "classic." It's something I've smelled sometime before but can't place exactly when or where.

As it turns out, this is apparently Avon's answer to Old Spice, which would explain why it's vaguely familiar and nostalgic to me. The smell of Old Spice, and Brut for that matter, are familiar to all males thanks to the deodorant and grooming supply spin-offs. So the reason I think of Avon Spicy as being classic-smelling is rooted in the scent I smelled growing up.

That said, I've recently tried Old Spice's Eau de Toilette. I found it to be extremely spicy and powdery. The red version of Brut.

Avon Spicy on the other hand isn't as spicy or powdery. I quite like it.
30th March 2021
Avon Spicy after shave lotion began life as a spicy variant of the after shave lotion under the original "Avon for Men" line from the 1950's, but re-released several times when that line was replaced by separate masculine fragrance lines starting with Tribute for Men in 1963. Original Avon for Men was killed off with exception of the after shave lotions, re-dubbed "Original" and "Spicy", each with different bottle designs until eventually the original variety of the after shave was killed off too and the spicy flanker was relaunched in 1968. Going just as "Avon Spicy" in a round brown bottle, this after shave lotion ultimately had a 20+ year run and eventually was pumped out into numerous novelty decanters before finally being given the axe by the start of the 1980's. All variations are the same juice, and there was never a cologne of this, just after shave, talc, soaps, and shave cream. It was obviously and infamously one of two various attempts at emulating Shulton's Old Spice (1937), the other being called "Brisk Spice" and basically being a bit brighter and coming in an actual fragrance format.

Avon Spicy is nothing more and nothing less than an after shave. It's a damned good one though, as it has the mentholated "cooling" effect on skin without the menthol fragrance note of Mennen's Skin Bracer (1931), or at least it's buried beneath spice and not noticeable. The rest of the scent follows pretty closely to vintage Old Spice, with clove, spice, vanilla, amber, but not as much bright florals in the opening. It goes on with a bit of an alcohol smell at first, but once the "spicy" elements kick in, it smooths out and lasts maybe an hour or two at most before disappearing. It layers really well with actual Old Spice, or if you want to stay within Avon from the period you can follow with Avon Leather (1966), even though that had it's own after shave as well. I quite enjoy this when I want the smell of an Old Spice-type product after a wet shave, but don't want to wear Old Spice. Avon Spicy after shave lotion is light, cools and soothes, then imparts a nice warmth of aroma that only sticks around long enough to segway into a more serious day wear scent of choice. It's absolutely perfect for what it is, an uncomplicated masculine after shave, and that's rarer than you might think.

Avon Spicy is not going to impress a person looking for original long-lost vintage masculine fragrance. It was Avon's first plagarism of a popular trope that fortunately wasn't marketed as a new and unique idea like so many of their later copycat scents, and wasn't even technically marketed as a fragrance in it's own right, but a practical-use product with a popular smell enjoyed by many guys of the day. In that regard, it's no different than any other more-recent barbershop homage shaving toiletries, it just has 60 years on the current competition and sadly is long-discontinued. Luckily, it's active ingredients don't really spoil and it will still cool and sooth skin after a shave, arguably better than anything newer I've tried save maybe a balm-type (which I find too heavy to be honest). So much was sold for so long and in so many different formats that it will be years yet before it's completely extinct, so with a bit of online hunting, you too can shave like the husband of an Avon lady from the 1950's/60's! Finding a non-decorative bottle may be difficult, but even an empty one if located can be refilled with product from X or Y decanter, so that shouldn't be an issue.
17th January 2018

Dead on comparison/contrast re: Old Spice. It is more laid back than O.S. and not as powdery as O.S. can be.

Avon's later BRISK SPICE is almost an exact clone of O.S., though, and considerably "brighter" than Spicy.
2nd May 2011
Avon Spicy is another one I bought from my sister-in-law who sold Avon in the sixties and seventies. This one was in a bottle shaped like a gavel – the bottle was the gavel head, and the gavel handle was the long plastic cap. If I remember right, it was a little like Old Spice, only a bit more woody – more mellow, even.
9th March 2008