Monday, January 30, 2006

REVIEW: Ava Luxe Cafe Noir

Notes: Black coffee bean, Allspice Berries, Cardamom, French Lavender, Attar of Roses, Cedar, Patchouli, Vanilla, Mocha, Sandalwood, Siam Benzoin, Ambrette seeds.

Pros: Sweet without being cloying, and unlike most, this has a true coffee aroma. Wonderully-blended and well-rounded composition.

Cons: I'd like a little more projection, but I'm not sure if my sample is EDP or Parfum. Other than that, this is a perfect composition.

Bottleworthy? Yes, this is one for the wishlist. Might just be the only coffee scent I need.

Where can I buy it?
$45 for 30ml EDP at (other sizes and parfum available)

The Bottom Line: Serena Ava Franco is a new force to be reckoned with. Similar in style to CSP's Vanille Cafe (though not as sweet), Cafe Noir's accents are beguiling - a hint of lavender at the beginning, amber in the drydown, etc. I find this preferable to Bond 9's New Haarlem.

Rating (out of 10): 9

Which coffee scents do you most enjoy?


Kim said...

I have a feeling I would like this one (I am a huge coffee lover, but don't own any fragrance with coffee notes) as it sounds delicious. I think the bottle has an elegant simplicity to it as well.

marlen said...

Kim - I'm smitten with it, and while I was out to lunch, enjoyed getting whiffs of it every time I lifted my hands to my mouth...reached a point where the perfume smelled better than the food!

lilyofbp said...

Well, I just received another indication of the extent of my sickness. I read your lovely review, decided that I MUST try this, and got as far as the Ava-Luxe site before I realized that I HAD tried it--and found it too sweet. On me at least, it is eerily reminiscent of those little coffee candies (Nips?); too bad, because everyone else seems to love it. New Haarlem, on the other hand, works quite well for me; I have it in the fragrance and the candle, and love both!
Thanks for the review and the blog,

marlen said...

Judith - that's is hilarious and I do it all the time, especially with cd's! Sorry this didn't work for you. Have you tried any other Ava Luxe scents you can recommend? Thanks for reading and posting!

colombina said...

Serena is wonderful and her Cafe NOir is delectable. But have you tried Sonoma Scent Studio's Cafe Noir. I actually prefer it just a little bit more, because it is less sweet.

lilyofbp said...

Of course, now that I am feeling smug in my lemmingless state, Marina, one of my favorite lemming-mongers chips in! No, I haven't tried SSS Cafe Noir, and apparently I must (*sigh*). Regarding Ava-Luxe, Serena IS wonderful; I haven't tried that many of her fragrances (others are much more knowledgeable), but so far my favorites are Viva, which is somewhat reminiscent of Yosh's Ginger Ciao, and Moshka, which reminds me a bit of 10 CC (they are far from identical, but both have oud and evoke similar feelings--in me at least). I also caved immediately for one of her new ones--Film Noir--since the notes sound perfect for me, but I haven't received it yet (*eagerly anticipating my mail*). j

freskagirl said...

Yay! I love this one too...and I agree, I like it better than New Haarlem, which has a bit of an Angel vibe on me. I have it in the parfum. I also love her Loukhoum, which is nothing like the SL or KM scents of the same name; it's a soft, slightly sweet, nutty comfort scent.

My absolute favorite Ava-Luxe scent is Incense, which is a gorgeous chamomile-incense scent.

Thanks for the review...really enjoying your blog.

Laura said...

This sounds lovely. Have any of you tried DSH's Cafe Noir? If so, can you compare? DSH's version is quite resinous in the drydown, as are many of her fragrances; it sounds as though the Ava-Luxe is more woody, is that right?

I agree that Bond No. 9 New Haarlem is similar to Angel, though I prefer New Haarlem because of the coffee note. The gourmand/patchouli base, however, is almost the same as Angel on me--not a plus as far as I'm concerned.

I rather like Jo Malone's Black Cafe Vetiver. It's a nice true coffee scent that dries down to a pleasant vetiver. There's some vanilla in the base as well, but it's not overdone at all.

Bond No. 9's So New York is supposed to have an espresso note in it, but it's buried under the mirabelle plum and chocolate and what have you.

Great blog--I love the photos and commentary!

marlen said...

Colombina - I have an "appointment" with Sonoma when I get home in April to interview and try as many of Laurie's scents as I can! I've heard so many amazing things about her creations!

marlen said...

Freska - Thanks for the rec's - I'm adding them to my (rather long)list of things I want to try. Thanks for reding and posting! Glad you're here!

marlen said...

Laura - I do enjoy BVC, but sadly the lasting power is apalling - gone in 5 minutes on me. I agree about the BOnd scents...I endd up decanting ALL my New Haarlem and So New York was just far too sweet. I have a sample of the DSH somewhere and try to find it and review it for you asap! Thanks so much for reading and posting! Glad you're here!

Keeg said...

Miracle Homme is a fresh, but very nice take on coffee..