One of the things I assert when speaking about perfume is you do not need a big budget to make a great perfume. One of the brands I point to when backing that up is Avon. Ever since Isabel Lopes took charge of the fragrance offerings there has been a noticeable increase in quality. Ms. Lopes has been willing to offer richer styles of perfume to the Avon consumer. I have a friend who keeps me supplied with new Avon releases. It always surprises me when I come across one which shows off the idea budget is meaningless. Avon Velvet is the latest example.
The palette of multi-faceted synthetics has given any perfumer a lot of latitude to pull off any effect they desire. The perfumer behind Velvet is Gabriela Chelariu. If the name isn’t familiar to you she has been a long-time stalwart in the mass market perfume sector. Ms. Chelariu knows how to make the most of her budget. Velvet is the best perfume she has produced.
One of the techniques to getting the most out of your perfume is to find overlapping notes to form each of your accords. Velvet is at its most basic a fig, rose, and patchouli construct. Ms. Chelariu uses two supporting ingredients to each vertebra in that spine. It results in something unexpectedly great.
Ms. Chelariu opens with a creamy green fig. The red fruits of pomegranate and raspberry are used to round it out. You read that and think overwhelming sweet fruit. What you get is a green fig which is subtly sweetened. It is a fantastic accord. It continues in to the heart as rose sets up as the keynote. Ms Chelariu uses dark lily and heliotropin. The heliotropin transitions from the milky fig to the rose. The dark lily freshens up the deeply spicy rose. It leads to a smooth patchouli which is one of the variants which is a cleaner version of this ingredient. A set of musks which provide the warm skin accord is where this ends.
Velvet has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.
Velvet is a perfume which could pass for a niche release easily. Even though it is made of less costly ingredients Ms. Chelariu turns Velvet into something which smells like a $100 or more.
Disclosure: this review is based on a sample provided by Avon.