Avon (1959)


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Topaze by Avon

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About Topaze by Avon

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Topaze is a women's perfume launched in 1959 by Avon

Fragrance notes.

  1. Top Notes

  2. Heart Notes

  3. Base Notes

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Reviews of Topaze by Avon

There are 4 reviews of Topaze by Avon.

Avon Topaze (1959) came at a time when the direct-to-door perfumes and cosmetics seller was just about a household name, with commercials on TV, adverts in major magazines, and everyone's aunt, mother, or neighbor's wife trying to hustle the stuff at social gatherings. It was nearly impossible to avoid Avon unless you lived in a huge city with a glut of higher-end options, or were so far up the socio-economic ladder that you didn't drive your own car nor did your wife cook the dinner, because you had "the help" for that. I guarantee you those service folks who packed your kids lunches and took out your dry-cleaning probably wore Avon to work though, even while you lavished in Patou or Chanel. It was a good things too, because Avon's tendency towards simple compositions with high-quality ingredients (an outgrowth of their early days focusing on soliflores) was slowly starting to give way for more-complex designs that were starting to rival the deisgner perfumes, even if they were often paired-down versions of what they were emulating in style. Topaze was basically Avon's "yellow floral aldehyde chypre for dummies", in the sense that it was the basic diner interpretation of the big "grande dame" aldehyde chypres that had come out in the wake of Chanel No. 5 (1921), LanvinArpège (1927), and Patou Joy (1930). Lest you think Avon was woefully late to this party, other perfumers were still playing catch-up to these perfumes too, and Caleche by Hermès (1961) was still two years away.

Of course, the one thing that Avon's got which them other'uns ain't got is value proposition. This aldehyde yellow floral smells gorgeous (enough) for a pittance compared to its rivals, and covers all the basics of having a real oakmoss/labdanum chypre base with a dollop of civet for that kitty purr. Granted, this has half the notes and dries down to the base in about a quarter of the time, but once there, lasts for hours and hours. It was a few decades before Avon stopped designing its own perfumes this way, and traded in this home-brew simplicity for cheaper, but arguably more complex fragrances outsourced from the big firms like IFF, so people who are familiar with more modern Avon products wouldn't recognize this as Avon. Once you get past the aldehyde blast, Topaze moves directly into ylang-ylang, muguet, rose, carnation, tuberose, and orris. The tuberose adds the flesh feeling and is musked up by the indole of ylang, before the civeted chypre base shows up to steal the show. Oakmoss, labdanum, benzoin, and some vetiver hold hands with Avon's amber note, making this a smooth but vaguely sultry experience. Men can wear this, but it's so recognizably a yellow floral aldehyde fragrance from the mid-century that you have to be really confident. No sissy boys afraid of smelling like flowers and yellow musk need apply. Wear time is going to be about 8 hours, and that's all you honestly need in something like this, since it's a pretty "come hither" kind of scent.

Topaze launched at a time when Avon did not have anything like today's eau de toilette standardization in packaging, so you could get it in big decorative splash cologne bottles, a 3.0oz pressurized "cologne mist" sprayer (closest thing to an EdT back then for them), or a tiny .5oz dabbing bottle of perfume (their version of an extrait). Scented powders were also available, which substituted sometimes for liquid fragrance, in addition to bath oils, which sometimes also doubled as perfume themselves, so there wasn't just a standard bottle of juice that gave the default experience you were meant to have. In Avon's marketing scheme a woman would go nuts and layer herself in all these things, which is a fast way to part the red sea if you're not Moses, because everything including the splash cologne was gadzooks-strong for women. This seems exactly backwards to the early men's offerings, which seems extremely conservative (if long-lasting) in performance. If you're a fan of the big boned aldehyde floral, what you get here is one that is rather paired-down and fit-for-fight, but no less pretty or sexy. Style-wise, Topaze is like a guitar tab book while the French stuff it shadowed is proper sheet music written for orchestra, but the tune is just as melodious. My only nitpick if any is with the all-or-nothing way it wears, as you can't really micro-dose this to make it more subtle. Topaze is going to smack you in the face and let you sort things out afterwards, which is funny considering how innocent the packaging looks with it's little plastic jewel on the cap and flowy script on bottle. Thumbs up

An initial blast of yellow florals and and ylang ylang leads to a warm, amber dry down.
I wish I could find more of these vintage Avons, I dont get on with the modern ones at all.

Great, Simple, Elegant, Classy, and good on a man aswell. It is smooth, rich, and reminds me of a boat ride in the canals of Italy, truly a exotic, and romantic aroma.............

My hubby loves this on me and I like it too. Timeless Avon classic. In a yellow bottle with a fake Topaz on the top. Avon used to bring this along with some of their other classic fragrances once in awhile. Too bad they haven't brought it back because I'd like to get some more. Smells best after 15 minutes one spray will do it!

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