Little Black Dress by Barbara Zoebelein for Avon 2001

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Kate Apted

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Hello all you lovely APJ family.

I owe a huge thanks to Sam from I Scent You a Day. Had I not found her blog and lurked around for a while, I’d have never dusted off my mum’s perfume collection and found a few Avon gems. Sam is a huge Avon fan and her enthusiasm caused me to see what all the fuss was about. I hadn’t bothered with Avon since I was a tween. Bad quality and poor longevity put me off.

Deciding I liked Little Black Dress (LBD) after trying what sat on mum’s bureau, I ordered a bottle on sale. My version is the latest one with the black sticker on the back and the fully black cap, while mum’s is an original from the year of its release with the transparent glass body and a half black cap. Interestingly, I prefer my bottle. I will stand by my view that Avon scents trail off after 30 min to one hour, but in the case of LBD, the scent is what makes it worth buying. At the price it generally goes for, even online, I am happy to keep reapplying. Avon’s rollerball version is perfect for my handbag or travel. And it comes with body products! Win!

Little Black Dress by Avon 2001

Little Black Dress by Barbara Zoebelein

Little Black Dress Avon FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Cyclamen, coriander, African ginger, apricot blossom, honeysuckle
Heart: Gardenia, ylang-ylang, pink peony, jasmine, datura
Base: Sandalwood, tonka bean, musk, Japanese plum, woody notes

Little Black Dress is a white floral, but it isn’t a fresh bouquet just cut, releasing a striking green, nor the dreaded neroli/orange blossom. It is a creamy gardenia and tuberose combo with a saltiness tinge to it. The notes listed on Fragrantica suggest a deeper tone caused by plum, sandalwood and coriander, but I do not get any of these individually. Perhaps they are what give the white florals that thicker body with the sparkle of mild spice.

There is almost an innocence to it that makes me scratch my head at the name Little Black Dress. The scent does not project enough to announce one’s presence and it does not seek male attention. It is the sort of perfume I wear at home when I am relaxed, and wearing comfortable clothes. LBD is way too casual a scent to wear to a party or an event warranting wearing a little black dress.

Little Black Dress by Avon Lena_Oslo WikiCommonsWikiCommons

Little Black Dress comes off a little matronly to some reviewers on Fragrantica, but I think it is a marvellous change from all the fruchoulis on the mainstream market, and it by no means in the league of the aldehydic golden oldies of mid last century. LBD does smack of being a little dated, but that is what adds to its charm. I know no one at my local shopping centre will be wearing it. I certainly own nothing like it in my collection.

Do you own any Avon scents?

Have you ever been a fan of any? If not, but you are curious, I suggest a look at I Scent You a Day. Sam is pretty convincing in extolling Avon’s virtues.
Til next time, K xx

25 thoughts on “Little Black Dress by Barbara Zoebelein for Avon 2001

  1. Don’t mind a bit of Avon myself. Deadly they are pulling out of Australia altogether in the near future.
    Love Sam from I Scent You A Day
    Portia xx

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  2. My mum used to be an Avon lady, so I’ve tried many of their fragrances. I haven’t thought much of their releases in recent years, but there were some discontinued gems. I used to love Crystal Aura, and their scents by Herve Leger and Christian Lacroix. Most of what they release these days smells very similar and has no complexity.

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    • I largely agree, Anthea. There is a real Avonade that runs through all the line up, but they are not like my other scents. This one I reviewed today is unlike anything else I know. K xx

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  3. Avon’s Field Flowers was the first perfume bottle I owned back in 1972 and it sent me down the perfume rabbit hole…I have NOT been scentless since!

    Avons I have loved and owned since then- Sweet Honesty, Ariane, Candid, Timeless, Birds of Paradise, Night Magic Evening Musk, Wild Musk, Soft Musk, Imari, Cote d’Azur, Far Away, Today, Tomorrow….I could probably name 20 more full bottles I have drained over the years.

    What I love about Avon is their affordability and lovely scents….even someone on a tight budget can smell good.

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      • Ohhhhh, CM! Guess what?? I bought an old bottle half full of Charisma on the weekend! I saw it at a bric-a-brack store and jumped on it. What a blast of the past!

        Some of those you mention were sitters on my mum’s bureau since the 70s.

        Memories! K xx

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    • I totally agree. At these prices, they make perfume accessible for everyone, and even though some can be hit or miss, I’ve never felt robbed of my humble six quid or so that a bottle has usually cost me.

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  4. I inherited some of my grandmother’s Avon collection as a tween and thus started my perfume journey. Hawaiian White Ginger was always my favorite. I ordered some when it was re-released many years later, but just wasn’t the same.

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    • Awwww, VerbenaLuvr! I share your love of Hawaiian Ginger too. And I bought some in 2003. It wasn’t the same, but it was freaking awesome to break up the loads of Safari, Pleasures and Yvresse I owned at the time. I still am wistful for a teensy bottle of HG. Thank you for reminding me of that. K xx

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  5. I loved Skin So Soft bath oil as a kid, and am sure I would burst into tears at the memories it would awaken in me. I am equally sure I would burst into tears if I had to put any Avon perfume onto my skin. Mwah. ❤️

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    • Oh the synchronicity is strong with you, Val! My bath tonight featured this oil.

      Is it the memories and emotions attached that would make you cry?! K xx

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  6. I was an Avon Lady when I first came to Australia and I loved it! Soft Musk was my fave – and I loved their body products. It’s such a shame that we’re losing a lovely iconic brand in Aus – I will miss it. They put out a lot of quality fragrances which are largely overlooked. We’ll all need to stock up before the end of the year! Thanks for the reminder!

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    • I fully see you wearing Soft Musk. Iimagine it would suit you really well. Heads up that the Avon website has ceased selling about half their usual fragrances. I’ve had to resort to ebay.

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  7. I totally agree. At these prices, they make perfume accessible for everyone, and even though some can be hit or miss, I’ve never felt robbed of my humble six quid or so that a bottle has usually cost me.

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  8. Oops! sorry for my repeat comment! I agree about the “Avonade” but some that don’t have it include Soft Musk, Perceive (Christopher Sheldrake!) Perceiv Oasis, which is a fantastic peony scent, and Far Away Infinity which is SO Like Paco Rabanne Olympea. You’re welcome.

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  9. As a child Avon were the only scented products I had – scented talcs mostly and solids – that were presents from aunts and grandmothers (Mum didn’t wear scent at all) and I loved them. I still have packed up somewhere one of these contented looking avon pommander pigs that was one of my scented gifts: https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/582499052/nib-vintage-avon-pampered-piglet-ceramic?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=avon%20pig&ref=sr_gallery-1-2

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    • Dear Lillibet! You have struck gold there. You are right. The talcs made by Avon were some of the best smelling talcs anywhere. Sadly, I get incredibly ill having talc (or dirt or flour or any sort of powder – bust a rhyme) on my body. Sensory issue. But some of my greatest joys are smelling the various scents. Do you still go through your collection and sniff them? Which ones are your favourites? K xx

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  10. Great read Kate 🙂
    I am also a huge Avon fan. I think the scents are very underrated and the old bottles can be very camp and quirky.
    My Nan used to wear “mesmerise” in the lovely cobalt blue and gold bottle – I bought as many of them as I could find after she died so I would never be without it.
    Now I have a small cabinet full of Avon scents and my minis.

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    • Scott, knowing your amazing memory, I bet you get an absolute buzz from the old 70s Avon items. No one did that genre as interestingly as Avon.

      It thrills me to know you were so close to your grand mother. And such a beautiful way to feel close to her still by collecting bottles of her scent. I can only imagine a hug from her was the most comforting place to be. Mesmersise is one scent that evokes calmness and a feeling of home.

      Just lovely.
      K xx

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