Thursday, May 10, 2012

Avon Timeless (Vintage Perfume)

There was a disturbance in the Force the day I got the vintage half-full bottle of Timeless by Avon in a box that crumbled and fell apart as I touched it. Thinking of Avon in the 1970s, the brand was not exactly the embodiment of refinement. Yet, smelling Timeless with the same 21st century cynical nose that has visited Sephora in recent months makes one ask some questions.

Timeless is a heavy and assertive chypre, crammed to brim with just about anything and everything: abstract florals, sweet powdery woods, amber, an animalic or two, and enough oakmoss to give an IFRA bureaucrat a beautiful case of eczema (or hives, or the Plague, whatever it is that they try to protect us from). And you know what? It smells delicious, even if I still wouldn't call it refined. It smells more expensive than so much of the overpriced crap you can find at Sephora, Ulta and many a local department store; When I put my nose to it, I can smell stuff, good stuff, like opoponax and tonka bean, in a concentration and quality that's incredibly rare in mainstream and mass market perfumes today.

Timeless by Avon predates the era of shoulder pads, but it's worthy of Alexis Carrington, as it certainly makes an entrance. One spritz of the "cologne" is enough and then some, because the patchouli and its friends start having a party on one's skin and never stop until you wash it off (or try to) in the end of the day. The fragrance hits you from every direction: sweet, powdery, green, woody, and all the notes are dialed up. It was created to make you feel feminine and dressed up, but I wonder if a brave man today might find Timeless wearable in a more unisex way. Stranger things have happened.

Notes: aldehydes, gardenia, peach, bergamot, lemon, iris, patchouli, jasmine, cedar, rose, tonka bean, amber, opoponax, oakmoss, musk and vanilla.



  1. I'm always amazed that you can pick out the different scents. All my nose says is "oo good" or "ewww stinky!" Is there a way to develop a "nose" for scents I could try?

    To IFRA I would say, current perfumes formulated according to their rules still break me out. Why? Because it seems that my neck/decollete, no matter the perfume, is highly sensitive to the slightest drop of fragrance and breaks out in painful bumps. Perfume behind the ears? Another adventure in painful bumps. Should I not wear perfume? NO! I put it in less sensitive spots and it works beautifully.

  2. I'd love to try this one. I remember trying a few scents by Avon in the 70's (er, when I was in utero..) and some of them were quite good. I'm told that their present-day skin care is excellent: a credible subsitute for people who sadly don't have a Bergdorfs nearby.

    Can I tell you how addictive that "You Might Like" thing is? I can read for hours..

  3. Thanks for spreading the word on this gem!
    This guy wears it.....

  4. I've had Timeless (kept in an always cool and dark environment and always tightly sealed) since the '70's, and still find it one of the sexiest fragrances around. A bit too much for everyday, but when it's time to show just how much of a woman you really are, it really comes into it's own.

  5. For years I turned up my nose at all the Avons one finds at garage/estate sales. Then someone gave me a box with a bottle of vintage "Unforgettable" in it, in parfum. It's really nice, an orange-blossom based floral with some heavy base notes, and it lasts forever. In our times you'd have to pay big bucks for something like this, and it would be a very expensive niche offering. Not bypassing those old Avons any more.

  6. Oh Gaia,i just recently bought some "timeless" and its been the most satisfying avon it!

  7. Moonwind is another wonderful old Avon scent. I'd buy it in a heartbeat if I came upon an old bottle...

  8. I my first husband god rest his soul who was one of the sexiest men ever to walk this earth wore my timeless because he liked it. This is back in late 80's. He also wore a pair of my leggings to the store because nothing else was clean and thought nothing of it. Very secure.

    It's been cheapened of course but ah the old. Review was just perfect. Although I'm a bit upset that now I'll probably have folks bidding against me when I need a new vintage bottle...

  9. I love your blog! I just bought 45 bottles of Avon perfume (1960s-70s) to fill a hanging cabinet I put in my bedroom. I thought the bottles were beautiful, but the perfume was probably bad. I was wrong, so much of it is still lush and wearable. My favorites are the bon bons (poodles) filled with Timeless, Occur, Moonwind, Topaz, and Cotillion. If you've never tried Cotillion, I urge you to find a bottle. It is heavenly.


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