Avon Lemon Velvet soaps, c. Nineteen Seventies
I used to be 10, an age when the plush animals that perched on my cabinets nonetheless stored watch towards closet monsters. However childhood was beginning to drift away. That yr, yr I pinned my first glossies of Marlon Jackson and Bobby Sherman on my bed room wall. I grew to become entranced by the boy I sat subsequent to at school who all the time talked about his guinea pig and made me giggle uncontrollably till Mrs. Brown separated us. I eavesdropped on my babysitter after she thought I had gone to mattress as she flirted on the touchtone telephone along with her newest conquest. I used to be solely a few years away from the regulation child blue eyeshadow, frosted pink lip gloss and platform heels that had been the tween uniform of the day, although for now, my dad made it clear make-up was off the desk. Nonetheless, I used to be starting to understand I wanted to up my sport.
Avon advert that includes Susan Dey, June 1970
So, when dad introduced that he had gotten a job at Avon – the aromatic Oz that produced these coiffed Avon girls and their magical carryalls, stuffed with multicoloured bottles formed like genii bottles, puppies, and flower bouquets – I figured he had landed the subsequent greatest gig to manning the doorway at Disneyland or being bus driver for the Jackson 5. Quickly, I received common little booklet catalogues for Avon staff of samples – tiny lipstick tubes of Winter Crimson and Iced Watermelon, miniature bottles of perfumes, powders, and splashes with romance novel names like Rhapsody, Chicken of Paradise, and Moonwind. However the perfume I yearned for was Lemon Velvet, with its Peter Max-style graphics and implied promise of year-round California sunshine, in atomizer, demistick, or the exotically-named “fragrance gelee.”
I do not forget that first spritz as fresh-cut lemon and child powder, precisely the way in which I wished it. My greatest good friend wore Love’s Child Mushy, and whereas, in fact, I additionally had a bottle, I secretly most popular citrus scents. Lemon Velvet appeared to bridge the 2 properly. In time, I had your entire vary of Lemon Velvet merchandise, together with the much-coveted “magnificence powder” with its fluffy puff and spherical self-importance desk field. Lemon Velvet grew to become my first ever signature scent.
Avon Lemon Velvet Magnificence Mud
For all these years since, I’ve been haunted by it, questioning if it will scent as I remembered it. About 10 years in the past, I used to be in a Westhampton thrift store with my different after I noticed an empty canister of Avon Lemon Velvet tub gel. My coronary heart pounded as I unscrewed the highest. It was empty. However, as I lowered my head, I caught a ghostly whiff that was unmistakable because the fragrance I remembered. A rush of reminiscences flooded again from that point, however they weren’t all completely happy ones. I put the bottle again on the desk and turned away.
A number of years in the past, curiosity and nostalgia received the higher hand, and I purchased a principally full bottle of Lemon Velvet from an eBay vendor. The highest notes had been broken and all I received was eau de talcum powder with just a few drops of very artificial-smelling lemon. Figuring my bottle had seen higher days, I then bought a full, unopened glass tea kettle of the tub gel in its kitsch Dutch pot. I’m sitting right here with it now and acknowledge it as my childhood love. It smells of lemon rind, powder, plastic, and one thing a bit natural. Objectively, it’s not a really good perfume. There’s no steadiness between lemon and powder, and the substances come throughout as slightly chemical. However, for my ten-year previous self, who wished to be just like the smiling, perfect-skinned, shiny-haired women that gleamed from my magazines.
Peter Max Love poster, 1971
I don’t open it a lot now. However after I do, its perfume flashes photos of my ten-year previous life like a slide projector. There’s my pink, crimson and white bed room with the black gentle I insisted on over a psychedelic Peter Max poster, my gray and black Tiffany lampshade over the spherical desk on the different finish, supervised by a pink canine known as Penelope, Woman the large ladybug, and Mongy the frog prince. Exterior my window is a crabapple tree with puffy blossoms, and subsequent to my mattress, my very own princess telephone. My ground is plagued by problems with Seventeen, and, on my little crimson file participant, the Jackson 5 is begging me to offer them another likelihood. My fragrance sensibilities could have moved on to slightly extra refined perfumes, however Lemon Velvet will all the time have a chunk of my Laurie Partridge wannabe coronary heart.
Notes: Lemon, powder, jasmine, vanilla.
Disclaimer: Avon Lemon Velvet from my very own assortment.
Lauryn Beer, Senior