Lanvin’s Avant Garde (2011)

© Victor Wong
© Victor Wong

The avant-garde (from French, “advance guard” or “vanguard”, literally “fore-guard”) are people or works that are experimental or innovative, particularly with respect to art, culture, and politics. (from Wikipedia)

Sorry, Ms. Shyamala Maisondieu, the nose of Lanvin’s Avant Garde (2011), your creation belongs to the Commercial Art Museum, not the Avant Garde Museum, because it shocks no one (in fact, it’s quite a crowd pleaser), pushes no boundaries and repels no one in any elevator or restaurant. In fact, it smells a little bit like Hugo Boss Bottled (1998), a sweet and friendly apple juiced-up semi-masculine cologne; and you sneakily replaced the apple with some honey, tobacco, pink pepper and white pepper to warm it up, making bad boys smell a bit friendly, and boring clean-shaven office men a bit bad boy.

All-in-all, it’s a decent modern designer scent, but what I find so interesting is not what it smells like, nor its nice bottle. What I find interesting is that I have witnessed a real-time social-media-influenced sales phenomenon happening in slow motion. I have always wanted to get Avant Garde, because I’m a Lanvin fan. I love Arpege, and I think I should also love her extended family despite some of them are only as interesting as a pumpkin. What I didn’t expect was that someone bought a bottle of Avant Garde at a discounted price and reviewed it on Youtube, which caused a domino effect of other Youtube reviewers getting their own bottle and saying how good and affordable it was. Before the Youtube reviews appeared, Avant Garde was readily available at my favourite online shop. Ever since the reviews, fewer and fewer were available (didn’t happen to other perfumes that I paid attention to), until I found out they were sold out. (Pulling hair out.) I have concluded it’s all because of Youtube reviewers! Good job, guys!


Author: Victor Wong

A perfume lover - niche, designer, modern, vintage, I love them all. I am also the owner of Zoologist Perfumes, a small Canadian perfume house. Please visit or for more info!

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