Avon Charisma

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4 reviews

75% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.8

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 3.8

Price: $$$


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Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

Charisma is an addictive, cool, green floral. This review is for a vintage EdC.

Top Notes: Neroli, Hyacinth, Coriander, Bergamot, Peach, Aldehydes.

Heart Notes: Carnation, Jasmine, Narcissus, Ylang-Ylang, Orris, Rose, Lily of the Valley.

Base Notes: Musk, Sandalwood, Amber, Styrax, Tonka Bean, Vanilla, Civetta.

Recently, I purchased some newer Avons that impressed me more than I thought they would do, so I decided it was time I investigated some vintage Avons, and Charisma was the first one I purchased. In all honesty, this is one of the nicest "old style" floral fragrances I have ever smelt. I cannot believe how well this vintage has stood up over the years. If it smells this good now, I can only imagine how wonderful it must have smelt whence it was first bottled.

At its heart, Charisma is a cool, green floral. Upon first spray I perceive aldehydes which lift the floral and animalic notes. It smells very fresh but classic. It does not remind me of any recent fragrances. I love carnation, and the carnation in Charisma is wonderful. It dances in and out with jasmine, rose, narcissus, orris, and hyacinth.

The heart notes bloom on my skin for roughly two hours! The deep dry down is green and lush. Projection and sillage are excellent for two to three hours. Longevity is excellent compared to more recent fragrances including my most expensive CHANEL Les Exclusives. Charisma is noticeable on my skin for five to six hours before it really begins to fade away. If I apply it at night before going to bed, I can still detect it on my skin the next morning.

My experience of Charisma prompted me to purchase several other vintage Avons, and whilst not every one of these has impressed me as much as Charisma has done, overall I am greatly impressed with all of the vintage Avons I have purchased thus far. If only all fragrances were made this well today!

Fragrance: 9/10

Projection: 8/10

Sillage: 8/10

Longevity: 8/10

on 10/1/2014 6:15:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Olive, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Really a 3.5. Aldehydes, neroli, peach, coriander and hyacinth, sandalwood, tonka, styrax. Charisma is a 1968 aldehydic floral wood. I turned to Charisma when my nose was tired from the challenges of traditional floral, rose, fruity or citric leather chypres that I had been wearing. Tired of smelling like gasoline, rubber, vetiver, oud, then come here :)

The first time I sniffed it, I was not really impressed - yawn. The second or third time, it felt like slipping on comfy house slippers after a day in beautiful high heels. Charisma's peach is less overt than mitsouko. Charisma's hyacinth is not pollinated powdery like chamade. The composition is progresses calmly without startling (unlike anything Routnitska). Somehow I get the impression in Charisma's green opening that it is a chypre, even though it isn't one and doesn't contain oak moss, but then I realize the feeling is due to the fact that Charisma is classically structured.

Reading about aldehydic florals (Charisma, Chant d'aromes, Chanel 5, Amouage Gold etc) caused me to think about what civet combined with citrus smells like on my skin. For some reason, I feel that I can smell the notes clearly here, which makes me happy. (Originally I gave this four stars because of that, but I knocked it back to three stars because the happiness didn't make me inclined to wear it more often). Other reviewers compare Charisma to Coco. I originally didn't see the resemblance, but now perhaps I am beginning to grasp it. The difference is with Coco, I kept wishing for stronger woods. Here, I feel like it's pretty well balanced. To me, Coco makes me think of Polge's other creation Ungaro Diva or of Prunol base which, in its original De Laire formula, is in the differently seasoned vintage Rochas Femme.

I am gravitating more towards vintage perfume, including mass market ones like Avon Charisma, Unforgettable, Occur and Persian wood or Revlon Intimate, a mass market version of Miss Dior, because I've been reading that today's luxury bottles often contain only 1 or 2 euros of ingredients for every 100 spent on the retail price per bottle. Amouage is obviously a luxury brand that prides itself on the quality of its ingredients, and Amouage Gold sometimes subs in for vintage Chanel 5 EdC in my fragrance rotation. Compared to Charisma, Amouage Gold is smoother, softer and much creamier. Gold's notes (from either fragrantica or basenotes) are something like rock rose/cistus/labdanum, lily of the valley, jasmine, sandalwood, cedar, myrrh, frankincense. I am guessing that the myrrh and frankincense might lighten and 'lift' Gold. In comparison to Gold, I imagine that Charisma opens more sharply, but when I wait for a fast evolving dry down from a dab of my snail bottle, it's a greener, older, less sweet cousin that ends up faintly green soapy (since i am not generally a fan of aldehydic floral blends, I mean this to be a compliment).

For the price, I might consider sacrificing a little smooth creamy luxury. The fact that I bought Charisma, in perfect condition, in an adorable original glass snail bottle,in its box for 10 usd (it looks like 15-20 ml) makes it even better.

Note: if you find it skunky or fusty, consider whether your bottle may have turned. I feel that people tended to display their cutesy avon bottles and unwittingly caused spoilage. However, with the relative little cost and ready availability on line, I wouldn't take away a star. Rather, I recommend you buy your vintage avon in a splash, not atomizer bottle; that you choose one that has been stored in its box; and that it not be too dark in color.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

on 9/19/2013 2:17:00 PM

Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Dry, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

I used all of my Charisma years ago. I found an old bottle in my stash boxes but it was long ago empty. I kept it for old time memories, and it is such a lovely bottle, I just could not stand the idea of throwing it away. I am hoping Avon brings back this scent for all of us, maybe one Christmas since the bottle is so Christmas like. I can not add too much to the other reviewers post other than this was always one of my favorites. I do notice that women's Mesmerize is coming back for Christmas this year and I really enjoy that one too. I wish they would bring back so many of the older scents. Topaz, Persian Wood, Moonwind, etc. Please Avon!

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Dry, Fair, Cool

Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Blue

Charisma begins heavy on the civet, wrapped in deep musky overtones of bergamot. This is a fragrance of mystery, for people who are willing to go out on dares, ladies who wear trench coats with beautiful lingerie underneath and killer heels. This is a black eyeliner, false eyelashes, red lipstick, pull out all the stops perfume. Just when you think Charisma has melted away, she will come back to haunt you with delightful fumes. This frag will surprise you.
Charisma sits low and stays closer to the skin for a reason. For when the other person takes your arm and begins to sniff your wrist, go a little higher, sniff the crook of your elbow, you'll see a difference in their eyes. This is not a child's perfume. If Charisma was developed at the turn of the 1900's, Mata Hari would have chosen it.
Luckily today, it's available at flea markets/thrift stores/Ebay etc., and if it's been properly preserved, you can enjoy the delights of it and use it lavishly. When Avon first introduced their perfumes they used quality ingredients. Their perfumes that we now call vintage are absolutely beautiful fragrances and should be explored.
I have a splash and don't get the aldehydes stinging my eyes in the initial outburst. I do appreciate the hyacinth dancing around with Lily-of-the-Valley, Jasmine, Orris Root and Ylang-Ylang. These flowers dance a waltz, they don't overpower. They're refined. Charisma has such a glorius mix of notes, blended so perfectly, it is a hidden vintage treasure for noses that appreciate the true glamour of perfume before regulations have interfered and reformulations have changed the mixes.
Charisma has been likened to Coco, but I just cannot appreciate the similarities within the two. If anything, I'd compare it to Tabu, but Tabu is for bad girls, Charisma is for both good and bad girls wanting the same effect. It's not strong in it's sillage, but it's strong in it's effect. It's a hidden power perfume. An elegant perfume that still boils down to a delicious scent that will be appreciated.
Sometimes a fragrance needs to be discovered on your body and not discovered in the airspace around you. Charisma fills this need.
Top Notes: Neroli, Hyacinth, Coriander, Bergamot, Peach, Aldehydes.
Middle Notes: Carnation, Narcissus, Jasmine, Ylang-Ylang, Orris Root, Rose, Lily-Of-The-Valley.
Base Notes: Musk, Sandalwood, Amber, Styrax, Tonka Bean, Vanilla, Civet.

3 of 4 people found this helpful.

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