“ Brand: Avon / Type: Fragrance / Concentration: Eau de Toilette / Gender: for women „
Group: Chypre floral
~ INTRODUCTION ~
In the past years I've bought about seven bottles of Avon fragrances as inexpensive stand-by scents for more casual occasions or travel. One of these I have is Surreal Garden, the second and only limited edition spinoff of Surreal Eau de toilette I bought because of the lotus note I love so much in green tea - lotus flower blends.
~ THE PACKAGING ~
Avon have chosen the same packaging as for Surreal changing only the colours. The tall, curvy bottle itself is now sea green topped with a lime-green slanted plastic cap. The look of the bottle is eye-catching and has a sheer, semi transparent, tropical feel to it. The carton box it comes in is greenish-yellow.
~ THE FRAGRANCE ~
Top notes: lush green
The first notes bursting forward when I spray the fragrance are luscious, damp, dewy green notes with a sharp, astringent feel. The name lush green is indeed spot on and it isn't some kind of a marketing name, it's the more easily pronounceable name for the mouthful cis-3-hexenal also known as leaf aldehyde commonly found in green grass and leaves and used extensively in perfumery.
I distinctly detect this green note in Estee Lauder's Beyond Paradise too or Avon's Absynthe, though in Surreal Garden it's mostly on its own so you get a more full-on experience. Beside the somewhat bitter green grass feel, I get a citrus-melon facet mixed with something I'd describe as a sparkling ice tea note. It's very prevalent and basically makes up the backbone of the fragrance with other notes being appended to it.
Heart notes: lotus flower
Impressively, the tope notes lasted for quite a while, for about 30 minutes and an hour, before a softer, floral character of the fragrance started to develop. In the heart Surreal Garden presents its floral facet, surrounded by lush, green vegetation and the fizzy ice tea note. Another olfactory parallel would be like making some ice tea with green tea leaves, dried lotus petals accompanied by a dash of lemon juice.
Surreal Garden's lotus note is subtle with just a hint of sweetness. It isn't projected far from the skin and to compare, the floral note is a lot less sweet than in Hermes' Un Jardin sur le Nil, my favourite green mango - lotus cologne that is actually classified as a unisex fragrance. The floral heart does give the fragrance a more feminine, softening feel and preventing it from becoming too linear, citrusy or grassy due to the ever present backbone which does make it a modern chypre, an olfactory family composed mainly of grassy-woody-mossy accords.
Base notes: patchouli
The patchouli is the note lurking around for the last few hours that gives Surreal Garden that earthy and woody feel in addition to the ever-present bitter greenish tone. Altogether, they do not resemble any of the sophisticated patchouli found in fine perfumes like Agent Provocateur or Prada. It's crude and watery here, and also void of any characteristics of the oily substance when burned in incense sticks. To sum up, the overall accord was slightly sharp, green and aquatic in feel with just a hint of floral that will barely change from now and stayed on for about two - three hours.
~ CONCLUSION ~
For such and inexpensive fragrance, I was impressed with Surreal Garden's staying power which was 6 - 7 hours in hot weather, just the entire time you'd need to spend outdoors while on holiday, in town or on a day trip. It doesn't blend with your skin oils or transpiration, its sheer, airy and non-sticky notes stay above the skin giving a cool and fresh sensation to the wearer.
Inexpensive, commercial perfumes are made up of aromatic synthetics only which make a perfume have a rather linear or circular development unlike the traditional pyramid structure where natural molecules break up at different speeds depending on their molecular structure. I normally take it as a drawback though when you have temperatures continuously above 33°C, fresh, natural molecules like citrus will evaporate in seconds and you'be be left with the sticky remains of the heavier floral or base notes.
Surreal Garden is the answer for the problem. When I put it on a few days ago, smelled it at the beginning like the others and went on my way in town. With a different perfume on, an hour later, I would be have been left with a sticky, nondescript residue or if less lucky, my own skin scent drenched in sweat. Luckily Surreal Garden was standing the heat. About four hours on, still in the heat, I caught a whiff of Surreal Garden, chunky, sparkling bits of aromatic freshness bouncing off my skin, slightly bittersweet but fresh, like a nice tonic water spiced with cardamom and greens.
I absolutely recommend Surreal Garden if you can get hold of a bottle, it's become a rare item to find as with many of Avon's better offerings. It's a blend that you may find a bit masculine or sharp to wear in colder weather, it really is a treat when the heat is on!
~ PRICE AND AVAILABILITY ~
Being a limited 2007 edition, Avon has now taken this fragrance off its website. You may be able to get a 50ml Eau de Toilette on ebay for around the £5 - £10 mark + postage or from your Avon lady who may have some old stock left.
Thanks for reading.
©powered by lillybee also posted on ciao.co.uk