I read someone else's insightful review on fragrantica that Imari should not be thought of as an oriental based on its red container. Basically, it's a balsamic (I think) green floral aldehydic wood. I suppose it's technically an oriental because of basenotes, but it reads to me as a cross between a floral aldehyde and a chypre (though it contains no moss). (It's not overtly Galbanum, or uber leathery or challenging though, so if you aren't a fan of vintage green chypre, no worries).
I am so accustomed to Galbanum powerhouse fragrances (vintage Balmain Vent Vert, vintage Guerlain Vol de Nuit), that this seems like infant Galbanum on training wheels. Mild green powdery opening segueing into a soapy (think old fashioned bar of perfumed hotel soap) mixed floral aldehydic scent that most likely appealed to a broad range of consumers at the time of launch. It's not all that far from a floral aldehydic fragrance, even one that is not technically greenish, such as chanel 5 minus the civet (I have vintage EdC and I am not really a fan of chanel aldehydes; I prefer the softer treatment of guerlain aldehydes). It's certainly more pleasant to my nose than my recollection of vintage Arpege (I am not a fan of Arpege). I do have a tiny bit of vintage Guerlain Chant de Aromes, which is a bit green, and I wonder if Imari and CdA have notes in common. It is powdery, but gentle, not throat parching. I do get a sense of hay in the dry down. Obviously Imari doesn't have the mirabelle plum that Chant has, but they do have similar greenness, floral middle notes and wood. Vintage avon Charisma is much more green and sharp and dark than. Imari.
When the red container led me to expect a powerhouse oriental, I did wish that I got a sense of the resinous bitterness or tea tannins, smoke or incense or even a lot of musk that other reviewers seem to describe. Perhaps I am anosmic to certain types of musk. No idea. I do get a sense of lift from soft aldehydes.
I consider Imari and Perle Noire (launched in 1992?) as modern avon. I decided to try them based on my experience with vintage avon fragrances (topaz, Persian wood etc) And I decided to just forget my horrific experience with avon Extraordinary (2005) that I am classifying as just a gourmand aberration. I had read numerous reviews that discuss how vintage avon scents contain more quality ingredient than modern luxury niche perfumers today. If you decide to buy vintage avon, I recommend buying splash bottles, stored in their boxes, as the kitschy cute avon bottles probably tempted people to store fragrances improperly in light and heat. If your bottle smells at all skunky, then it has spoiled.
Note: I do feel that once I work up the energy to pry off the atomizer spray top, so that I can dab Imari, that will take care of any issues re powderiness and hopefully emphasize some of the other aspects, as the fragrance notes are right up my alley. Given it's extremely reasonable price, ready availability, and the fact that it is easily wearable, I am not going to demote the stars for my inability to smell some of the notes.
I love this classic perfume and always get lots of compliments when I wear it. It's intense but lovely and has good staying power. Imari is not for the faint hearted.
This so far is my all time favorite scent. I've tried everything from cheaper and younger fragrances like Anna Sui and expensive fragrances from Chanel. This is by far the most amazing fragrance that I've ever experienced and I'll continue to buy it. (If Avon stopped making it I'd seriously cry.)
It has a very unique, exotic spicy-sweet scent that seems like it could have a touch of vanilla in there very faintly. It has a strong musk that's, in fact, just delicious and sweet. Extremely feminine without being traditionally rosey, floral, or overly sweet. This is a confident, sexy feminine. "Exotic" is exactly the right word for it.
Mainly, what surprises me the most about this fragrance is its ability to meld to any body chemistry I've encountered and create VASTLY different results, none of them horrible. This is a perfume that you could wear as a 20-year-old and it smell sweet and innocent and still as a 35-year-old and it smell confident and sexy, and still as a 60-year-old and it smells sophisticated and mature. The ability of this fragrance to adapt to changing body chemistry has endlessly impressed me. And the best part, affordability. You don't have to break your bank for this top-knotch fragrance. (If you buy from Avon, they have yearly sales where you can buy one and get one free so you can always stock up. And get the scent in powders, lotions, soaps, and deordorants.)
It's ideal for any age, ideal for any body chemistry, and ideal for affordability.
Pros: very affordable ($23 for 1.2 oz), you don't need to use much for it to work, long lasting, great for any age group, incredible adaptability, wide availability and high potential for getting good sales on it
Cons: Boring packaging, so extremely popular that you could run into a lot of other people that also wear it and think as highly of it (but that's a stretch, I never have met anyone else in my entire 13 years of wearing it regularly)
After a few seconds of the aldehyde blitz, the oriental spices announce themselves. There is a slight resiny bitterness mixed with a hint of bergamot, reminiscent of a cup of China Black tea. Sandalwood and cedar give appreciative woody notes along with musky vanilla in the dry down.
If you can get an older bottle, do so, there is a difference. Regardless, this is a strong, sultry perfume that comes back at you when you least expect it. Imari can be soft when worn at the pulse points. It can be elegant. An Avon perfume that has stood the test of time. It is seductive and more of a night perfume. Best used in the cooler weather. Lasts a few hours and sillage is good.
Imari is not one to sprayed without thought unless you want your perfume to introduce you. Wear it sparingly for a beautiful effect.
Top Notes: Bergamot, Galbanum, Aldehydes.
Middle Notes: Tuberose, Ylang-Ylang, Orris Root, Lilly-Of-The-Valley.
Base Notes: Sandalwood, Amber, Musk, Vanilla, Cedar.
This was the first bottle of perfume my mum ever bought me as a teenager :-) And I still love it! Not sweet (like SO many others are!) And for such an affordable price, has good staying power. I haven't purchased this perfume for years, but think its high time I call my Avon lady :-) Beautiful.
I tried this on me in a sample, and when I first put it on, I thought it would not be for me. I went on quite strong, and not so pleasant. But wow, they dry down is gorgeous! It dried down into a beautiful soapy floral. This smelled gorgeous! Will purchase this!!!
I received a sample of this with an Avon order. I always associated Imari with the kinds of perfumes my mother and aunts wore in the 1980s -- loud and obnoxious (think Giorgio, which to this day makes my head hurt). I tried Imari, and at first couldn't get to the sink fast enough to wash it off. But then, the strangest thing happened... hours later, I could still smell it on my shirt, and it smelled marvelous. A soft, sexy oriental. It definitely improves upon dry-down.
Like other reviewers have noted, Imari is definitely a fall/winter scent -- it's much too heavy and smoky for summer. I used half a purse-sized bottle last winter, and will probably repurchase.
I donít like the way people always put this fragrance down, because it really isnít THAT bad.
Itís definitely not something I would wear in the summer time, but itís a perfect scent for winter evenings. A nice, sensual mix of Oriental florals, spices, woods and musk. I will say though, that it does come across as a little strong, but as another user already mentioned, it does mellow out very nicely. If you're afraid that it might be too strong, you can always try the Imari perfumed Skin Softener or Body Powder. They tend to have the same scent, just not as strong.
And no, Iím not an old lady.
This fragrance seems to get as hard a time as the likes of Red Door. I personally love Imari, I wore it as a teenager and only recently went back to it. It is affordable and smoky, spicy with a sexiness about it. I am 26 and this is by no means an old lady fragrance, its all about chemistry. A couple of sprays and I get compliments all over the place. Not the greatest lasting scent but thats to be expected being an eau de cologne, but for the price you can afford to top it up more often. A classic oriental which isn't as dated as the likes of opium and not as harsh. I recommend giving this a go its affordable and a lovely scent.
I have the Avon Imari Summer Frost Body Spray.
I get compliments everytime I wear this.
For a body spray in a can it is very long lasting
The fragrance is quite strong and is definately not your typical candy sweet spray scent.