Saturday, September 29, 2007

The "Joyous Mistakes" of Armando

Introducing the redesigned website for Armando Martinez has been on the top of my 'to do' list for the past few days. And since I've taken a 'sanity break' from the office today, it was at last time to get the review posted. The solitude of being away from a frantic, stressful call center has been delightfully refreshing and has allowed more hours to research both new and 'new to me' fragrances.

For the past six years, 'Mando' has taken his love for classic fragrances and has become a designer of classic fragrances himself. He calls his potions "joyous mistakes" as did the legend perfumer Jean Carles. I prefer to just call them inspired ingenuity. Armando's work is still new to the designer scene and yet with a childlike abandonment, he strives to improve and perfect his fragrances.

He doesn't shock you with just another repackaged, renamed fragrance. His collection of five perfumes are unique and his own. He doesn't shock you with provocative ads that seem to be selling sex more than scent. Instead he packages them in simple apothecary style glass bottles that are a refreshing change of pace. He doesn't shock you with anything...he's about as honest as you can get and I predict that one day Armando will have a loving following who admire and respect his fragrances. Here are links to each of his fragrances. Enjoy! Benefactor, Kitsune, Maquillage, Pillow of Flowers, and Satyr. Armando's fragrances are available internationally online at First in Fragrance and directly from his website.

Photo from Armando Martinez website

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

La Via del Profumo ~ A bath in chocolate?

"The somehow aphrodisiac effect that chocolate perfume can have is due to it's capacity to awaken in our olfactory memory the sensual emotions experienced while enjoying cakes, pastries and creams, of which the sweet aromas of Cocoa and Vanilla are often the spirit." La Via del Profumo invites me to have a 'bath in chocolate'.

Wouldn't the ultimate fantasy be a day of chocolate spa services at the Hershey Hotel? If you can't quite fit that into your schedule, you can still enjoy the delights of the Chocolate Kit from La Via del Profumo.

Mention the word chocolate and I'm ready to party! Sampling the 'Chocolate Kit' by La Via del Profumo (The Way of Perfume) was shear joy as each of the fragrances evoked a very specific chocolate memory. Abdes Salaam Attar describes his scents so perfectly well that you know exactly what they will smell like, yet the surprise is how they will smell on you as they mingle with your specific chemistry.

My favorites were the Chocolate Orange and Chocolate Amber scents and what a close competition it was. I found it best to transfer the samples from the small bottles to a spray mist vial as the chocolate was much livelier sprayed than daubed. Within the first few minutes, the chocolate note made a very strong appearance that immediately sent me reminiscing about the tour I took inside one of the actual Hershey manufacturing plants in Illinois. Vats the size of a small house bubbled with enormous amounts of liquid chocolate as it morphed into millions of Kisses. Chocolate Orange, with a punch of orange zest gave way to whispers of frankincense and myrrh at the heart to play upon my skin. This is 'kissing under the mistletoe' chocolate and would be perfect to lavish upon yourself as a treasured Christmas gift.

Winning my heart however was the
Chocolate Amber! Highly evocative bitter sweet chocolate mingles with a dark vanilla and tonka that stays surprisingly well connected from the first spritz. But the action that follows was very surprising.
Chocolate Amber is all about chocolate gourmand! Simple and simply addicting is the reaction from everyone who would stand still long enough to test this sample with me.

Working in a very intense customer service department for a cell phone provider, I thought it would be fun to see what others thought of Chocolate Amber. It wasn't long before I singled out two of my co-workers who eagerly consented to be spritzed. For the remainder of the afternoon, each time they walked by my office their nose was literally buried in their wrist. A good sign for sure! My peers are very familiar with my love of fragrance and often ask for a quick spritz of whatever I'm wearing for the day. But this was just insane.

They loved Chocolate Amber as much as I did. Emphasis on 'did'. So now my tiny treasure is all used up and even though I brought my jar of Bath & Body Works Wickedly Hot Chocolate Shimmer Body Cream to share, they sniff and walk away with a woeful look of disappointment. Hopefully, some day in the future, I may get my hands of more of this very limited and very beautiful dream.

Chocolate Amber provided a mysterious calming effect as frequently the intensity of speaking with someone not happy about their wireless service or crazed about the overages on their bill would ramp up my body temperature and at the same time, would cause a swirl of chocolate to provide that invisible emotional support I needed! Powerful stuff indeed.

"Chocolate Amber" blends Chocolate and Vanilla with Tonka, the exotic fragrance of the famous Indian Amber in a uniquely sensual fragrance.

"Chocolate Spicy" blends Chocolate and Vanilla with the essences of these spices that Mayas used for preparing with Cocoa the "Divine drink" Theobroma Cocoa.

"Chocolate Orange" blends Chocolate and Vanilla with the essences of citruses for an aroma that make us live the emotions of a box of Christmas chocolates.

"Chocolate Mint" blends Chocolate and Vanilla with the essence of peppermint in an aroma that reminds us the classic and unforgettable "After Eight" chocolate mints.

"Cocoa" Cocoa Perfume is made with pure bitter chocolate extract.

**Warning** Clicking to this site means you'll be spending an average of two hours just enthralled with all La Via del Profuma has to offer. It's like spending the day at an aroma university, where you'll improve your education of perfuming and base ingredients and at the same time, a unique fragrance boutique where you can purchase some of the most exotic fragrances in the world.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Silky and Sensuous Bodies by Bond

Perfumer to the City of New York, Bond No. 9 is proud to announce a brand new departure that combines skin-scenting with skin pampering. Introducing 24/7 New York Body Silk, a collection of unspeakably lush creams that mark the start of a long-awaited program of sumptuous body smoothers that simultaneously soothe the skin in the city that never sleeps. I want to immediately get my hands, knees and elbows on Saks Fifth Avenue for Her 24/7 New York Body Silk, but I think this is were patience must become my virtue and I'll be waiting just a while longer. This all-white bouquet captures the fashion-forward essence of 21st century Saks, while at the same time expressing the eclectic downtown spirit of SoHo-based Bond No. 9. This is your classic gardenia eau de parfum, given a chic contemporary twist with the addition of sparkling jasmine and vetiver, along with smooth vanilla. Please hurry!!

24/7 New York Body Silk will instantly entice perfumed smoothness everywhere, including those problem areas, elbows, shoulders, knees, you know those body parts you’d formerly given up on.

24/7 Body Silk will be initially available in these Bond No. 9 scents:

Eau de New York A sense-awakening fruity-floral-green blend of neroli, white lily, gardenia, and skin musk, whose scent molecules positively whiz through the air.
Nuits de Noho An irreverent nighttime gourmand blend of jasmine, creamy vanilla, and sheer patchouli. Has the impact of a shot of icy vodka.
Chinatown Superpower meets Supercity in a sultry, mouthwatering East-West bouquet of peach blossoms, tuberose, and patchouli, with cardamom thrown in for spice.
The Scent of Peace Détente in the form of a sparkling citrussy-woody-musky mélange of grapefruit, black current, lily of the valley, and cedarwood.
Bryant Park Leading-edge fragrance fashion: a rose-patchouli-lily-rhubarb concoction with pink pepper added for dissonance.
West Side An undulating coloratura blend of dark-light, high-low, sweet-sharp, and floral-woody notes, including rose, ylang ylang, peony, amber, serious vanilla, and musk.
Chelsea Flowers An exuberant fresh-picked bouquet of peonies, tulips, hyacinth, magnolia, and rose, with vetiver, sandalwood, and musk added for a hint of insolence.

Suggested Retail Price: $105 for a 6.8 fl. oz jar and available at all four Bond No. 9 stores in New York,, Saks Fifth Avenue nationwide and online at

Saturday, September 15, 2007

"Everywhere you want to be kissed"

says Isabelle Masson-Mandonnaud, of Crazylibellule and the Poppies, her sexy line of solid scents and first foray into beauty since she and husband, Dominique Mandonnaud, co-founded, industry-revolutionizing Shop8 (ultimately sold and renamed Sephora). What tempted this industry luminary back to beauty after an eight year break? Nothing less than a burning desire to re-imagine the very essence of fragrance.

The brand was named “Libellule,” meaning “dragonfly” in French, because, like fragrance, dragonflies delicately hover in the air and then lightly touch down. “Crazy” references the female proclivity for fantasy and “the Poppies” stand for freedom in nature. So, play, layer, collect, jump unabashedly from one to the next with no sense of loyalty whatever. All this and so reasonably priced at only $16.00. What's not to love?

My favorite of the Shanghaijava collection is called Blue Orchidée with top notes of bergamot, mandarin, orange; heart notes of jasmine, rose, ylang ylang and base notes of sandalwood, vanilla, musk. Swivel this little darling and you can seduce the nape of your neck, the tender spot behind your knee, around your navel or add a delicate caress on your inner wrists with this beautiful solid twist up perfume. Use it alone or by mixing and matching it with any other scent from Crazylibellule's Shanghaijava Collection.

Available from our friend Lisa at b-glowing.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Unique Fragrance Boutique ~ The Beauty Cafe

News Flash - News Flash - News Flash!

Beauty Cafe is offering all Noteworthy Fragrances readers a 15% discount on any items purchased.
Simply add "Noteworthy" to your order to receive your promotional discount!
Thanks Lisa.
Serving up the Finest in Luxury Personal Care and Fragrances
Thymes Chocolate Candles...for the chocolate lover in us all and some of the finest candles I've ever experienced.
Chocolat Cassis
A deeper shade of cocoa embraces luscious cassis and wild raspberry
kissed with violet and mellowed with rich caramel and vanilla.
Chocolat Ginger
A fresh and uplifting take on chocolate, where bittersweet cocoa, spicy ginger root, sweet coconut and a twist of lemon come together for an unexpectedly engaging experience.

Chocolat Saffron
Chocolate, dark and passionate, infused with the intriguing scent of saffron, coconut milk and vanilla, creating a sumptuous fragrance.

Chocolat Mandarin

Bittersweet chocolate animated with the bright and clarifying zest of mandarin orange, sweet orange blossoms, neroli and a golden drop of honey
Candles: $25.00

Looking for a cappuccino or a latte? Sorry, you won't find it at the Beauty Cafe, but what you will find is Lisa Slavik, owner of this unique boutique of fragrance, located in Historic Downtown Plano, Texas. All of the merchants on 15th Street have the 'everyone knows your name' vibe and believe me...everyone not only knows Lisa, they love her!! Imagine a fragrance store so popular that tours are booked from Dallas bringing bus loads of women to meet Lisa, who gives expert advise on what's new, what's trendy and what's happening in the world of perfume. Beauty Cafe is a favorite of even the Red Hat Society! Now that's a hoot!

Stepping into Beauty Cafe is exactly being like a kid in a candy store. Lisa, the reigning queen of customer service will go out of her way to find exactly what you desire. "We search the globe to find the finest in fragrances, bath and body, cosmetics, skin care, baby care, and men's grooming fragrances! If we don't love it...we simply don't sell it." Her loyal consumers adore her and on the day I met Lisa, she received an amazing tulip bouquet from a grateful customer in Oregon.

Lisa says, "You'll never find your everyday personal care products at Beauty can find them anywhere. Instead we search for the niche products, the products that are hard-to-find, start up companies that are looking for a reputable company to introduce their products to an already established clientele. My customers often laugh or are shocked when I recommend products to them that I don't carry. If we are out of stock on an item or an item has been discontinued I'll do my best to help them locate it elsewhere and yes, I will refer them to other online retailers."

Lisa states, "I want our customers to feel good about their shopping experience with us, while we are a small company, we spend time getting to know many of our customers. Just take a look at our phone bills! We love to chat and get to know everyone, that's why if we don't pick up the phone, leave a message, we will call you back as soon as we can!! Or drop us an email and we'll be happy to answer your questions or concerns." Lisa even has a 'live help' line available so you can have a virtual conversation and find out what new items were just delivered.

It's not at all uncommon for a celeb to call Lisa personally to reorder her favorite perfume or have a luxury gift basket created and shipped out for someone walking the Red Carpet. Anyone can sell fragrances, whether online or in a retail store, but if you want that personal touch, that element of 'my best friend would never steer me wrong' and just gracious Texas hospitality, then you want the Beauty Cafe experience.

Beauty Cafe opened its online doors in July 1997. One of Lisa's passions in life is fragrances and through Beauty Cafe she's able to share her love of fragrances and learn from others!! Beauty Cafe has been fortunate through the years to have been mentioned in the following magazines: WWD, W, Jane, InStyle, Allure, Mademoiselle, Redbook and recently in Star Magazine. Lisa specializes in locating the products that you read about in the magazines, bringing them home to you.

Brands you'll find at the Beauty Cafe
What are you waiting for?
Tell Lisa that Joyce from Noteworthy Fragrances sent you!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Don't tell my husband ~ I'm in love with FRANK

FRANK - A name that salutes both heritage and forthrightness. Upfront, distinct and cutting-edge, FRANK/Los Angeles is a boutique fragrance house that keeps with the time honored tradition of artisan, small batch perfume making, smart, minimalist packaging and bold essence combinations. FRANK’s hand-crafted creations are a salute to men (and women) of this age. Okay...I'll admit that I really like this collection of 'guy juice'.

Frank: Notes - grapefruit, ginger root, green tea, bergamot, cassis, angelic seed, clove, sandalwood. The verdict: Masculine, but not to a fault. Woodsy, green, clean and just sweet enough so you won't need to add sugar thanks to the yummy, fruity cassis.

Frank 2: Notes - bergamot, white lavender, coriander, crushed plum leaves, cognac, plum, fir balsam, coffee bean essence, red maplewood, teakwood, white musk.
The verdict:
Stronger, sexier and more sophisticated than the original. Way more sillage...reminds me of Christmas incense, although don't look for Santa to be wearing this when he pays you a visit this December!

Frank 3: Notes - cucumber, casaba melon, citrus, lavender, basil, clary sage, oak moss, suede, musk, patchouli. The verdict: This is the perfect fragrance for the 'tween' season of summer to autumn with a jasmine note that makes me weak in the knees followed by the earthiness of fallen leaves in a deep forest.

Available from our friends at Lucky Scent

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Satellite of Paris ~ Technicolor fragrance

Satellite of Paris - niche perfume collection has many fragrances for your many moods.

Sandrine Dulon's owner of Satellite of Paris has unique and diversified jewelry creations which are always original. Taking a personal and stylish mix of juvenile imagination, ethological spirit and recollections from her various travels around the world, Sandrine's talent in the fashion and fragrance world is drawing attention. Her quest for a collection of perfect fragrances draws upon her experience as a traveler to exotic destinations replicating the scent of secret gardens from around the world.

The highlight of sampling these fragrances was unquestionably
Padparadscha, named for the the extremely rare glowing pink and orange sapphires of Burma. Opening with an earthy blast of black pepper, this fragrance meanders and takes several detours before it gets down to business and lets the sandalwood and musk bask in the limelight. Elusive to describe it's easier to tell you it's like a walk in a deep Evergreen forest as pine needles snap under foot releasing a resinous cedar/incense aroma. Longevity wise it was about six hours for me and I would recommend Padparadscha while wearing a silk dressing gown and sharing a glass of Shiraz as prelude to a very romantic encounter. Definitely not for the office unless you are a confident power-broker type who loves throwing caution to the wind.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Andy Tauer's Bottle on a Journey ~ Hyacinths and a Mechanic

Andy Tauer is on a mission and his newest fragrance (in testing) Hyacinths and a Mechanic is on a journey around the world to perfumistas who will provide input on this complex and contradictory scent!

While this photo was not my initial vision of Hyacinths and a Mechanic it clearly demonstrates that opposing fragrance notes can be a delightful surprise! According to Andy, "It is a floral scent, a bouquet of powdery lilacs, green hyacinths and gentle lily of the valley. A bouquet of May flowers in the hand of a mechanic with an undertone of oily skin."

Having read the earlier reviews of this perfume, I knew it would not be prudent to spritz Hyacinths and a Mechanic with abandonment, so I tenderly rubbed the residue from Raphaella's test spray onto my wrists. This was at precisely 7:20 pm. I thought, "Oh no, this could be a migraine just waiting to happen." The 'oil' note was quite pronounced and just about caused me to run to the sink and grab the lemon scented Joy dish washing detergent, but I thought I should be fair to Andy, whom I adore.

After waited the obligatory 8-10 minutes before I sniffed again, the powerfully strong oil note was still definitely present, but the florals were beginning to debut. At about 7:45, there was an incredible soft, powdery floral bouquet that emerged as totally hypnotic and captivatingly sensual and was taking over the party. Nose to wrist; nose to wrist, over and over! I had become a slave to the Bottle Journey adventure!

The oil note clung with a fierce tenacity and took a good hour to dry down to the creamy mature Hyacinth and her little Lilac sister. Checking again at 9:00 the oil note for me was returning??? How could this be? Now this took me by surprise but then, we're dealing with Andy Tauer and he is a genius at creating complex fragrances, right? What I'll now share is the honest truth: at 6:00 am the next morning....I'm still feeling the love of the perfume, so that would mean that this fragrance could last almost 12 hours with a single drop. Andy, this is some mighty strong stuff.

The Verdict: This is a wonderfully complex fragrance that does become more 'wearable' as the hours go by, but I'm unsure of owning a perfume that I could not spray with abandonment. This is one of those scents, that if I choose to wear it, I'd have to get up an hour earlier than normal to begin my routine so the oily note could have dissipated enough that my peers wouldn't think I just completed an oil change on my Nissan. Now Andy, if you could just make a version sans oil? I'd be your raving fan for life!

Visit Andy Tauer to learn more about the bottle journey of Hyacinths and a Mechanic.

Photo courtesy of Raphaella Brescia and Kathy Patterson of Sniffapalooza Magazine.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Because life has no boundaries

you'll need your VISA. Relaunched, rebalanced and released with a modern radiance and a retro glamor. Originally launched in 1945, Robert Piguet's classic oriental fragrance re introduced in the signature sleek black glass flacon is richly accented in gold.

A blend of spices, flowers and fruits from different areas of the globe, Visa Robert Piguet is perfume lovers passport to an exotic encounter. Visa opens with lush notes of white vineyard peach, pear, violet leaves and Italian bergamot and yellow mandarin essences. Mid notes include rich ylang essence mingled with rose, orange flower absolutes and immortelle. says “essence of immortelle gives chypre, floral and amber compositions a particular charisma” and characterizes the smell as “red fruit, syrupy, nut, honey-flavored, tobacco.” Indonesian Patchouli and sandalwood, vetiver, moss, vanilla beans, benzoin and a gourmand leathery accord compose the drydown.

Describing the redesigned Visa, the peachy-floral impression that unfolds for a while is a high point of the perfume that is unmistakingly sophisticated and reminds new users of the cosmopolitan world traveler theme.

The press release reminds new users of the original cosmopolitan travel theme for the perfume.

"A sophisticated woman travels the world but never gets lost in the crowd. Her signature fragrance is reminiscent of all the places she visits and sights she sees."

Visa is scheduled to be launched in October and will be sold exclusively at Bergdorf Goodman in New York, Le Bon Marché in Paris and at Harvey Nichols in London.

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