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Musings about Perfume and Life
Ava Luxe Cafe Noir
Suzanne’s Perfume Journal
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A Conversation on Arabie

A Package from Ines

A Package from Lavanya

A More Affordable Olfactionary

A Week of Wearing What I Like

Amouage Dia (pour femme)

Amouage Dia (pour homme)

Amouage Epic Woman

Amouage Gold

Amouage Interlude Man

Amouage Jubilation 25 

Amouage Lyric Woman

Amouage Memoir Woman

Amouage Opus I

Amouage Opus III

Amouage Opus IV

Amouage Opus V

Amouage Opus VI

Amouage Tribute

Amouage Ubar

Annick Goutal Ambre Fetiche

Annick Goutal Encens Flamboyant

Annick Goutal Heure Exquise

Annick Goutal Petite Cherie

Annick Goutal Sables

April Aromatics Calling All Angels

April Aromatics Bohemian Spice

April Aromatics Jasmina 

April Aromatics Nectar of Love

April Aromatics Rose L'Orange

Aroma M Geisha Green

Aroma M Geisha Rouge

Arquiste Boutonniere no. 7

At the Moment (Chanel 22 & Marshall Crenshaw)

At the Moment (Contemplating Change & Habit Rouge)

At the Moment (Marron Chic & Paris)

At the Moment (More Midsummer Delights/Epic/Geisha Noire)

At the Moment (Saki & Lubin Idole edt)

At the Moment (Secret de Suzanne /D'Orsay L'Intrigante)

At the Moment (Spring Pretties/Un Air de Samsara)

At the Moment (Summery Things...Love Coconut)

At the Moment (Vera Wang & Fireman's Fair novel)

Ava Luxe Café Noir

Beatnik Emptiness Incense

Best of 2009

Bond No. 9 Andy Warhol Silver Factory

Bond No. 9 Brooklyn

Bond No. 9 Little Italy

Bond No. 9 New Haarlem

Bottega Veneta eau de parfum

Breath of God

Byredo Green

By Kilian Amber Oud

Calyx by Prescriptives

Canturi by Stefano Canturi

Capote, Truman & Evening in Paris

Carner Barcelona D600

Caron Aimez-Moi

Caron French Cancan

Caron Parfum Sacre

Caron Tabac Blond

Caron Tubereuse

Caron Yatagan

Cartier II L'Heure Convoitee

Cartier IV L'Heure Fougueuse

Chanel 31 Rue Cambon

Chanel Bel Respiro

Chanel Chance

Chanel Coco

Chanel Coromandel

Chanel Cuir de Russie

Chanel Egoiste

Chanel No. 5 (vintage)

Chanel No. 22

Chantecaille Petales

Chantilly Dusting Powder

Clive Christian C for Women

Comme des Garcons Daphne

Comme des Garcons LUXE Champaca

Comme des Garcons Series 7 Sweet Nomad Tea

Costes by Costes

Coty Ambre Antique

Coty Chypre

Coty Paris

Creature by Kerosene

Creed Acqua Fiorentina

Creed Fleurs de Bulgarie

Creed Virgin Island Water

DSH Perfumes Bancha Extreme

DSH Perfumes Quinacridone Violet 

DSH Perfumes Vert pour Madame

Deneuve

Devilscent Project

Dior Diorissimo (vintage)

Donna Karan Black Cashmere

EnVoyage Vents Ardents

EnVoyage Zelda

Estee Lauder Private Collection

Estee Lauder Private Collection Jasmine White Moss

Etat Libre d'Orange Rien, Rossy de Palma & Noel au Balcon

Faberge Woodhue Cologne

Favorite Fall Fragrances

Fendi Uomo

Fragrances for Sweden

Frapin 1697 Absolu Parfum

Frederic Malle Angeliques Sous La Pluie

Frederic Malle Bigarade Concentrée

Frederic Malle Carnal Flower

Frederic Malle Geranium Pour Monsieur

Frederic Malle Iris Poudre

Frederic Malle Le Parfum de Therese

Frederic Malle Lipstick Rose

Frederic Malle Noir Epices

Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady

Frederic Malle Une Fleur de Cassie

Frederic Malle Une Rose

Geoffrey Beene Grey Flannel

Ghosts of Perfumes Past, Present & Future

Gone Fishin'

Gucci Eau de Parfum

Gucci L'Arte di Gucci

Gucci Pour Homme

Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Lys Soleia

Guerlain Aroma Allegoria Exaltant

Guerlain Attrape Coeur

Guerlain Chamade

Guerlain Jicky

Guerlain Mayotte

Guerlain Parure

Guerlain Samsara Parfum

Guerlain Un Air de Samsara

Guerlain Vega

Guerlain Vetiver (vintage)

Guy Laroche J'ai Ose (vintage)

Happy Solstice

Hermes 24, Faubourg

Hermes Caleche (vintage)

Hermes Eau des Merveilles

Hermes Hiris

Hermes Iris Ukiyoe

Hermes L'Ambre des Merveilles

Histoires de Parfums 1740

Histoires de Parfums 1828

Histoires de Parfums Blanc Violette

Histoires de Parfums Vert Pivoine

Hometown Portrait, State College, PA

Honore des Pres Vamp a NY

House of Matriarch Carmine

How I Store Decants

Il Profumo Cannabis

In Memory (w/mention of Lanvin Arpege)

Jacomo #02

Jacomo #09 (Link to my review in Sniffapalooza Magazine)

Jean Desprez Bal a Versailles

Jean Patou Joy

Jean Patou 1000

Jo Malone Sweet Milk Cologne 

Juliet by Juliet Stewart

Kai Eau de Parfum

Kenzo Jungle l’Elephant

Kenzo Summer

Lancome Magie Noire (vintage) 

Lanvin Via Lanvin (vintage) 

L'Artisan Parfumeur Nuit de Tubereuse

L'Artisan Parfumeur Orchidee Blanche 

L’Artisan Parfumeur Passage d’Enfer

L'Artisan Parfumeur Seville a l'Aube

L’Artisan Parfumeur Tea for Two

La Via del Profumo Balsamo Della Mecca

La Via del Profumo Hindu Kush

La Via del Profumo Milano Caffe

La Via del Profumo Oud Caravan Project

La Via del Profumo Sharif

La Via del Profumo Tawaf

Le Labo Gaiac 10

Le Labo Patchouli 24

Le Labo Poivre 23

Little Lists

Lorenzo Villoresi Yerbamate

M. Micallef Vanille Orient

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Absolue Pour le Soir

Maison Martin Margiela (untitled) eau de parfum

Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Eau des Iles

Message In A Bottle 

Michael Storer Winter Star

Miller Harris L'Air de Rien

Miscellany

Missoni (original) by Missoni

Molinard Habanita

Mona Di Orio Nuit Noire

Mona Di Orio Oud

Mona Di Orio Vanille

Montale Black Aoud

Montale Boise Vanille

Montale Intense Tiare

Montale Patchouli Leaves

Montale Red Aoud

More Roses (rose cookie recipe)

My Heart Has Skipped a Beat (summer smells)

My Perfumes Have Theme Songs

Nasomatto China White

Neila Vermeire Creations Bombay Bling

Nina Ricci L'Air du Temps

Nez a Nez Ambre a Sade

Northern Exposure "A Dash of Chanel No. 5"

Odin 04 Petrana (Link to my review in Sniffapalooza Magazine)

Olivier Durbano Black Tourmaline

Omar Sharif Pour Femme

Oriscent Pure Oud Oils

Ormonde Jayne Frangipani

Ormonde Jayne Ormonde Woman

Oscar de la Renta Oscar for Men

O Tannenbaum Joint Blog Project

Parfum d'Empire Azemour

Parfum d'Empire Cuir Ottoman

Parfum d'Empire Equistrius

Parfum d'Empire 3 Fleurs

Parfumerie Generale Bois de Copaiba

Parfumerie Generale Indochine

Parfumerie Generale Un Crime Exotique

Parfums de Nicolai Sacrebleu

Parfums DelRae Amoureuse

Parfums Karl Lagerfeld Sun Moon Stars

Parfums MDCI Chypre Palatin

Paris, je t'aime

Pascal Morabito Or Black 

Perfume Quotes - The English Patient

Prada Infusion d'Iris Absolue

Pretty Perfume Bottles 

Prince Matchabelli Aviance Cologne (vintage) 

Profumum Roma Acqua Viva

Profumum Roma D'Ambrosia

Puredistance I

Puredistance Antonia

Puredistance BLACK

Puredistance M

Puredistance Opardu

Ramon Monegal Cherry Musk

Recipe for Socca

Regina Harris Amber Vanilla Perfume Oil

Regina Harris Frankincense-Myrrh-Rose Maroc Perfume Oil

Robert Piguet Fracas

Robert Piguet Visa

Rochas Mystere 

Rome Vacation Photos

Sarah Horowitz Parfums' Joy Comes From Within & Beauty Comes From Within

Scented Reading

Scents of the Mediterranean

Scentuous Reading: One Hundred Years of Solitude

Serge Lutens Arabie

Serge Lutens Borneo 1834

Serge Lutens Boxeuses

Serge Lutens Chêne

Serge Lutens Chergui

Serge Lutens Fille en Aiguilles

Serge Lutens Five O’Clock Au Gingembre

Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque

Serge Lutens Miel de Bois

Serge Lutens Muscs Koublai Khan

Serge Lutens Tubereuse Criminelle

Serge Lutens Un Lys

Serge Lutens Vetiver Oriental

Slumberhouse Rume

Snow Days

Sonoma Scent Studio Incense Pure

Sonoma Scent Studio Jour Ensoleille

Sonoma Scent Studio Voile de Violette

Sonoma Scent Studio Winter Woods (brief mention)

SoOud Ouris Parfum Nectar

S-Perfume 100% Love {More}

Stone Harbor, NJ Vacaton pix (non-perfume related)

Strange Invisible Perfumes Lyric Rain

Sweden Is For Lovers

T is for Taxes

Tauer Perfumes: Incense Extrême, Incense Rosé, Lonestar Memories, & Reverie au Jardin

Tauer Perfumes Vetiver Dance

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

The Diary of a Nose, Book Review

The Different Company Jasmin de Nuit

The Intimacy of Scent

Thoughts of a Perfume Collector

Tightly

Tokyo Milk Ex Libris

Unlocking an Unknown: Webber Parfum 6T

Velvet & Sweet Pea's Purrfumery Bed of Roses

Venimus Vidimus Vicimus, or How 3 Perfume Bloggers and a Husband Took Rome

Vero Profumo Kiki, Onda, and Rubj

Vero Profumo Mito

Viktoria Minya Hedonist

Viktor & Rolfe Flowerbomb

What I’m Lovin’ Now

Xerjoff Mamluk

YOSH Perfumes Ginger Ciao

Yves Saint Laurent Nu

COFFEE CONOISSEUR

What perfume is to me, coffee is to my husband: a passionate hobby that has taken the shape of a collection, one that hails from all parts of the globe.  We have an entire cupboard dedicated to organic green coffee beans, and though the collection waxes and wanes like the moon, at various times it has contained beans from the Chiapas region of Mexico, the Blue Mountains of eastern Jamaica, the Republic of Yemen, the Indonesian island of Sumatra, and the list goes on: Papua New Guinea, Ethiopia, Colombia, Costa Rica.

He has the requisite equipment, too: a professional-grade coffee grinder that allows for 15 different grind sizes; a coffee roaster (that he no longer uses, as he enjoys the process of hand-roasting the beans in a pan); and a rather low-tech looking device called the Aerobie® AeroPress Coffee Maker, which allows one to brew an incredibly strong cup of coffee (or espresso) with none of the bitterness in about 30 seconds.  I completely pooh-poohed the AeroPress when I first saw it—a plastic, syringe-like cylinder with plunger that produces just one mug of coffee at a time and requires the user to boil water first and to manually press one’s cuppa.  Now, however, I’m hooked: the AeroPress produces coffee that is infinitely better than anything I’ve had served to me by a barista, and I’ve got the process down pat now, so I can do it lickety-split.  It’s not an economical way to make coffee (making a single cup of espresso-strength coffee requires a heaping amount of ground beans), but, you know, some habits are worth the expense.  Sounds like I’m saying that in some flippant, Heather Locklear-ish, Loreal-hair-commercial kind of way (“because I’m worth it!”), but I am actually being sincere.  My husband and I are thrifty at heart—we live in a small, older home, we share a car—but we do love our coffee!  Not to mention our coffee perfumes.

I’m now on my second bottle of Bond No. 9 New Haarlem, but I also have Ava Luxe Café Noir, which is equally delightful and very similar to New Haarlem.  In fact, they are so similar that I almost can’t resist writing about them as if I were the Glamour magazine writer who does the “splurge vs. steal” column.  Both fragrances share notes of coffee, lavender, cedar, vanilla, and patchouli.  If lavender sounds difficult to you, have no fear: both fragrances employ a gentle, almost gourmandy variety of lavender that imparts a deliciously licorice-like feel to the scents; in fact, the lavender is essential to these fragrances—it is the note that keeps things interesting, that ensures these scents won’t stray into the too-sweet category, or even into the too-coffee-ish category.  What I like about both New Haarlem and Café Noir is that there is no reminder of Starbucks here—of obscenely big lattes in paper cups.  Instead, there is just enough of a coffee note in them that they spark the mind to dream of places like the French Quarter—of having chickory coffee and beignets at Café du Monde—or Milan, where sipping espresso in petite ceramic cups is not just fashionable, but a delightfully civilized ritual.  It involves sitting down to a table, people watching, or if you’re with someone, intimate conversation.

Anyway, here is how the scents are similar: both New Haarlem and Café Noir have their dark notes of coffee at the beginning of the scent, soon softened by undertones of caramel and a light licorice quality (from the aforementioned lavender).  Both fragrances also have a nice amount of woodiness to them as the base notes develop, thanks in large part to warm, enveloping cedar.  How they differ is that Café Noir has a bit of spiciness and mocha in its top and middle notes, lending the fragrance a hint more darkness than New Haarlem, whereas the Bond scent takes a creamier route that I like to describe as “butterscotched.”  After quite a bit of side-by-side (opposite wrists) testing, I find that New Haarlem is much longer-lasting, and the cedar in it is of extremely high quality: it reminds me of the really fine cedar accord that you find in Andy Tauer’s scents.  On the other hand, while Café Noir doesn’t last as long and it’s cedar note is not quite as expensive-smelling, it does have a fabulous sandalwood note that is scrumptious.

There is difference enough to warrant owning both, but if forced to choose between them, this might help:

Bond No. 9 New Haarlem falls into the “splurge” category, at $125 for a 50 ml bottle (this is an eau de parfum, by the way)—and if you like your coffee scent on the creamier and longer lasting side—with an exquisite dose of cedarwood—this one is for you.

Ava Luxe Café Noir falls into the “steal” category, starting at $45 for a 30 ml bottle of the eau de parfum.  (Café Noir also is available in a parfum extrait form, but my review is based on the edp concentration.) If you prefer a slightly darker, slightly spicier coffee scent with a hint of mocha, this is your ticket.   For someone with “scent-eating” skin, Café Noir probably won’t last as long as the New Haarlem, but both fragrances have enough heft that longevity shouldn’t be an issue.

New Haarlem can be purchased at either BondNo9.com or BeautyCafe.com.  Café Noir can be purchased from Ava-Luxe.com.

Image is from Viator.com, a travel website.

Posted by Suzanne Keller, 8/13/2008.
 

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