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  1. #1

    teardrop's Avatar
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    Default Let's talk about Ava Luxe

    Having meant to do so for a long time, l finally ordered a bunch of samples from this line. This is what l have:

    Black Coconut
    Kama
    Love's True Bluish Light
    Ambre D'Or
    Madeline
    Nag Champa
    Opoponax lntense
    Royal Parvati
    Viva
    Tabak Kretek
    Gardenia

    l was also keen to try No.23 & Madame X, but it seems these are not currently available. l already have a generous sample of Tuberose Diabolique, sent to me by a dear basenotes friend a long time ago.

    l'm trying Nag Champa today, because this was the scent permeating the envelope containing the samples, & being a bit of a hippie chick, l adore the smell of a head shop. l'll report back here later with my full impressions.

    l'd love to hear your thoughts on these, or any from this line that you've tried or would like to try!
    Last edited by teardrop; 8th June 2017 at 02:10 PM.
    "What is this secret connection between the soul, and sea, clouds and perfumes? The soul itself appears to be sea, cloud and perfume..." - from Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis.
    Currently wearing: Jasmin T by Bruno Acampora

  2. #2

    Default Re: Let's talk about Ava Luxe

    I haven't experienced this line, but in looking forward to your thoughts.
    My only regrets in life are the people I haven't stood up for,
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Let's talk about Ava Luxe

    I also have not tried anything from this line, but I'm up for becoming a convert pending your smelling notes.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Let's talk about Ava Luxe

    Also have not tried anything from this line, so equally interested in hearing others' thoughts.
    Remember that while it is perfectly acceptable to criticize the content of a post - criticizing the poster is not.
    Mean spirited, nasty, snide, sarcastic, hateful, and rude individuals on Basenotes don't warrant or deserve my or other Basenoters' acknowledgement or respect.

  5. #5

    teardrop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Let's talk about Ava Luxe

    Thanks Kotori, Bavard & hednic! (hednic, l'm amazed there's a line that you haven't tried!!)

    Here are my thoughts on Nag Champa:

    The site describes this as "The classic scent of lndian Nag Champa incense. Smoky & resinous, the incense is accented with champa flower & amber".

    And that's exactly how it smells. For the first hour, it's a little smoky & leathery, with a faint hint of patchouli, & then it settles into a soft, powdery champa incense with an ambery base. The projection seems quite low while indoors, but while l was out walking around on this very damp & humid day, l kept getting little whiffs of it, even through my leather jacket. Six hours in it's still humming along nicely.

    Not everyone loves that "head shop smell", but if you love it as l do, l highly recommend trying this one!
    "What is this secret connection between the soul, and sea, clouds and perfumes? The soul itself appears to be sea, cloud and perfume..." - from Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis.
    Currently wearing: Jasmin T by Bruno Acampora

  6. #6

    Default Re: Let's talk about Ava Luxe

    Love Ava Luxe! This was the first indie house I got into right after joining BN and still one of my favorites. Serena Ava Franco is a wonderful perfumer, IMO. Her compositions are intelligent and rich. She clearly has a deep understanding of classics, so definitely a house for vintage lovers to try. I'm especially partial to her scents in extrait concentration.

    I've owned and drained a few bottles of AL extraits, among them Bohemian Rose and Ambra Tibet. BR is a retro, dramatic ambery red rose. Something that theater people in the late 1910s might have smelled like, in my mind. No oud or patch (or none that sticks out, anyway) of our modern bohemians. And Ambra Tibet pops up in conversation fairly often; I imagine this is among her most popular. A very easy to wear vanillic amber, not gooey or overly sweet. I drained my extrait in no time and will surely replace.

    I also owned Bakir, based on an earlier, long-gone scent of the same name, I believe. This one is for the vintage fiends; green, woody, chypresque beauty. I nearly polished this off too-sent away just the very last drops in my bottle to another BNer who also liked it to explore further. AL prices are so reasonable that it didn't hurt me a bit to do so!

    Others I've tried:

    Ambre Foncé (this one is gooey amber and not much else-not gourmand or too sweet, just dense and rich)

    China Rain

    Frangipani

    Green Tara

    Love's True Bluish Light (not for me but extremely pretty and I see why this is a popular one)

    Madonna Lily (a very realistic lily)

    Opoponax Intense (again, not "me" but good stuff, I thought; interested to read your thoughts, teardrop!)

    Palisander

    Pivoine Rose

    Sweet Absinthe

    Woodhue (like Bakir, based on an old classic, Faberge's Woodhue)

    And I think that's it. I plan to order some AL very soon; I miss having some around. Now that I have a handle on the house, I do pretty well blind-buying. And since I only allow BB treats on occasion, I'm due. Going to try Vanille Jolie this time around. Will definitely report back!

    And teardrop, please tell me more about Tubereuse Diabolique! I've waffled on a BB of this one for ages! Hopefully you can either encourage me or smack it out of me!
    Last edited by PerfumedLady; 8th June 2017 at 03:00 PM.

  7. #7

    teardrop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Let's talk about Ava Luxe

    Thanks so much for your thoughts, P-Lady!

    Tuberose Diabolique, far from being a big, scary tuberose, actually smells mostly like fresh coconut to me, with a hint of orange. You might find it a tad sweet, so l'd say try before you buy! (My review of this one is in the Directory, BTW)
    "What is this secret connection between the soul, and sea, clouds and perfumes? The soul itself appears to be sea, cloud and perfume..." - from Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis.
    Currently wearing: Jasmin T by Bruno Acampora

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Let's talk about Ava Luxe

    I own a bottle of Red Tara, but I can't recall what it smells like and I don't have access to it now to resniff. I have previously owned Cafe, which is exactly what it smells like, coffee. Would like t try others.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Let's talk about Ava Luxe

    I own a small bottle of Madeline, wonderful Christmas scent.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Let's talk about Ava Luxe

    I've been looking forward to this thread! AL is a line that has piqued my interest for some time.

    A couple of their ambers have shown up with the odd swap bottle, but I haven't really tested any of their pther stuff. Like PerfumedLady says, their prices make this line a no-brainer. I'm especially interested in the compositions that reference vintage or classical perfumes (of course)--Bohemian Rose sounds right up my alley, as does Bakir. And I've read a lot about the legendary (and currently unavailable) Madame X. I'm also interested in anything with violets, especially the makeup/lipstick scents. And, since I'm a fiend for incense, Nag Champa has been on my testlist for some time. I didn't dare hope that it would be what it said, but reading your review, teardrop, has convinced me.

    PerfumedLady, when you have a chance, could you post some general impressions about Pivoine Rose? Thanks!

  11. #11

    Default Re: Let's talk about Ava Luxe

    Quote Originally Posted by teardrop View Post
    Thanks so much for your thoughts, P-Lady!

    Tuberose Diabolique, far from being a big, scary tuberose, actually smells mostly like fresh coconut to me, with a hint of orange. You might find it a tad sweet, so l'd say try before you buy! (My review of this one is in the Directory, BTW)
    Great review! And yes, I can tell from it that this is a "could go either way" scent for me. But that orange note does sound enticing. Will definitely sample first!

    Now Madeline, this I can blind buy, I think! It does sound really good, Ms. Beaverhausen!

    I messed up my list; I forgot I also went through a bottle of Pivoine Rose extrait. So yes I can talk about it, tds! First, the Pivoine means peony (which you probably know), so it's a Pink Peony. Ultimately, I've decided I'm probably not a peony perfume gal. I have a great big, old peony bush in my yard and for me, nothing comes close to burying my face in a sun-warmed peony. BUT-for those who do need peony perfumes, this is a must! It's the most realistic one I know. Gets much closer to the real thing than Penhaligon's Peoneve (which has a metallic note that just doesn't appear in my real peonies). I suspect this, and most other "peonies" really rely on roses and musk to create the accord. And it's worth knowing, in this case, that I'm no big fan of modern musks. Real peonies are musky, but the old-school naughty kind. Sniffing the first bloom of the year always takes me by surprise-as if I just walked in on something I don't need to see. I know of no peony perfume that captures this nuance. But for as close to real as possible, this is the one, IMO. Added points for not being a ditzy mall scent peony, too. To me, it comes off as a niche-ier smelling Narciso-style scent, with a well-done, not overly synthetic-smelling peony accord laid on top. It's fun and light-hearted but still smart.
    Last edited by PerfumedLady; 8th June 2017 at 06:08 PM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Let's talk about Ava Luxe

    I adored ADORED Madame X extrait - it came in the most beautiful 10 ml glass dauber bottle, and was simple exquisite. If I could ever find that exact formulation again, I'd snap it up immediately, bills be damned!

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Let's talk about Ava Luxe

    Quote Originally Posted by PerfumedLady View Post
    Love Ava Luxe! This was the first indie house I got into right after joining BN and still one of my favorites. Serena Ava Franco is a wonderful perfumer, IMO. Her compositions are intelligent and rich. She clearly has a deep understanding of classics, so definitely a house for vintage lovers to try. I'm especially partial to her scents in extrait concentration.

    I've owned and drained a few bottles of AL extraits, among them Bohemian Rose and Ambra Tibet. BR is a retro, dramatic ambery red rose. Something that theater people in the late 1910s might have smelled like, in my mind. No oud or patch (or none that sticks out, anyway) of our modern bohemians. And Ambra Tibet pops up in conversation fairly often; I imagine this is among her most popular. A very easy to wear vanillic amber, not gooey or overly sweet. I drained my extrait in no time and will surely replace.

    I also owned Bakir, based on an earlier, long-gone scent of the same name, I believe. This one is for the vintage fiends; green, woody, chypresque beauty. I nearly polished this off too-sent away just the very last drops in my bottle to another BNer who also liked it to explore further. AL prices are so reasonable that it didn't hurt me a bit to do so!

    Others I've tried:

    Ambre Foncé (this one is gooey amber and not much else-not gourmand or too sweet, just dense and rich)

    China Rain

    Frangipani

    Green Tara

    Love's True Bluish Light (not for me but extremely pretty and I see why this is a popular one)

    Madonna Lily (a very realistic lily)

    Opoponax Intense (again, not "me" but good stuff, I thought; interested to read your thoughts, teardrop!)

    Palisander

    Pivoine Rose

    Sweet Absinthe

    Woodhue (like Bakir, based on an old classic, Faberge's Woodhue)

    And I think that's it. I plan to order some AL very soon; I miss having some around. Now that I have a handle on the house, I do pretty well blind-buying. And since I only allow BB treats on occasion, I'm due. Going to try Vanille Jolie this time around. Will definitely report back!

    And teardrop, please tell me more about Tubereuse Diabolique! I've waffled on a BB of this one for ages! Hopefully you can either encourage me or smack it out of me!
    Had you smelled the original BAKIR? Just wondering how similar the two scents are. (I loved the vintage version!)

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Let's talk about Ava Luxe

    I have tried quite a few Ava Luxe scents, and was briefly enamored of KAMA until my husband refused to be in the same room with me while I was wearing it!

    Truly, it is the most animalic and "skanky" scent I have ever tried, and I'm a daily wearer of MKK. It smells heavily of smoke and mothballs and dirty musk. It is indole-heavy throughout its long lifetime. I really have never smelled anything like it. I can't wait to hear what you think of it!

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Let's talk about Ava Luxe

    Quote Originally Posted by Anastasia Beaverhausen View Post
    I own a small bottle of Madeline, wonderful Christmas scent.
    Me too! It's VERY strong (I think mine is the perfume version)

    I also loved her disco'd Absinthe and the cult-classic Midnight Violet.
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Let's talk about Ava Luxe

    Quote Originally Posted by cazaubon View Post
    I own a bottle of Red Tara, but I can't recall what it smells like and I don't have access to it now to resniff. I have previously owned Cafe, which is exactly what it smells like, coffee. Would like t try others.
    I've always been curious about this one. I may have smelled and forgotten. I have a DSH scent by the same name, IIRC, which is excellent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starblind View Post
    I have tried quite a few Ava Luxe scents, and was briefly enamored of KAMA until my husband refused to be in the same room with me while I was wearing it!

    Truly, it is the most animalic and "skanky" scent I have ever tried, and I'm a daily wearer of MKK. It smells heavily of smoke and mothballs and dirty musk. It is indole-heavy throughout its long lifetime. I really have never smelled anything like it. I can't wait to hear what you think of it!
    Sounds scandalous in a most wonderful, Basenotey way!
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  17. #17

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    Default Re: Let's talk about Ava Luxe

    Thanks for all your comments, folks!

    tds, l am happy to enable you!

    Zephyr, l think l would love Madame X, such a shame l couldn't include it here.

    Starblind, l'm pretty sure my Mr would hate Kama too, l'll make sure to try it when he's not around!

    Nag Champa is still wafting softly after thirteen hours. l'll be trying another tomorrow, hard to decide which one, though!
    "What is this secret connection between the soul, and sea, clouds and perfumes? The soul itself appears to be sea, cloud and perfume..." - from Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis.
    Currently wearing: Jasmin T by Bruno Acampora

  18. #18

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    Default Re: Let's talk about Ava Luxe

    I've been wearing Black Coconut today for Synch Friday (tropical fragrances). The notes for this one are listed simply as coconut & rum.

    This is a true coconut "soliflore", on the dry side to begin with, but slowly turning sweeter & creamier. l don't pick up on the rum at all, but perhaps this is what gives the coconut a bit of depth here, rather than being flat or one-dimensional. The projection is very good for the first few hours, becoming softer around five hours in, & seven hours in it's still going.

    l would recommend this to anyone looking for an authentic coconut fragrance, & if you're into layering this would probably work quite well.
    "What is this secret connection between the soul, and sea, clouds and perfumes? The soul itself appears to be sea, cloud and perfume..." - from Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis.
    Currently wearing: Jasmin T by Bruno Acampora

  19. #19

    Default Re: Let's talk about Ava Luxe

    That does sound nice, teardrop! My experience so far has been that ALs are sometimes deep, complex and classic in feel, sometimes soli or duo note simplicity. Madonna Lily and Frangipani were also just what they say, and do it well at that. I like both faces of AL.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starblind View Post
    Had you smelled the original BAKIR? Just wondering how similar the two scents are. (I loved the vintage version!)
    Sadly, I haven't smelled original Bakir. I was hoping for even a small glimpse of what it might have smelled like when I ordered the Ava Luxe. Original Bakir sounds like a KNOCKOUT! And I thought the AL was, too. The descriptions sound the same but how they read to the nose-well, you know. Especially in the case of someone like you, very familiar with the original, differences may stick out like a sore thumb. But worth a try, I think; you may find it suits your tastes even if not an exact dupe. I can gladly recommend AL's Bakir as a great scent in its own right.

    I did know original Woodhue when I tried the AL version. This one was spot on to my memory of the original; it was quite surprising! An excellent dupe.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Let's talk about Ava Luxe

    I've tried the following Ava Luxe scents:

    Shisha - honeyed tobacco, a little boozy
    Love's True Bluish Light - sweet, condensed-milky vanilla and musk
    No. 23 - smooth sandalwoody/spicy/floral
    Nude Musk - have a small bottle of this one. Soft, clean, your skin but better musk. A dead ringer for Perfect Veil.
    Orange Flowers - pure, true, sweet orange blossom
    Opopanax Intense - resinous and powdery oriental
    Tabak Kretek - clove cigarettes with a subtle animalic undertone
    Frangipani
    Roses
    "I felt something so intense, I could only express it in a perfume." - Jacques Guerlain
    Currently wearing: Farnesiana by Caron

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Let's talk about Ava Luxe

    One that I'm curious about is Vanille Jolie. I wonder how this stands out as a vanilla compared to others of its genre as well from this house. I haven't smelled any fragrances from this house.
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  22. #22

    Default Re: Let's talk about Ava Luxe

    Quote Originally Posted by N.CAL Fragrance Reviewer View Post
    One that I'm curious about is Vanille Jolie. I wonder how this stands out as a vanilla compared to others of its genre as well from this house. I haven't smelled any fragrances from this house.
    And so you shall try it! I probably won't order until next month but I'll send a dab when it arrives. And she usually includes a few samples with bottles-if there are extras this time, I'll pass those along too for a mini intro to AL. I do think there are some things in this house that you may like!

  23. #23

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    Default Re: Let's talk about Ava Luxe

    l look forward to reading your impressions, P-Lady & N.CAL!

    Today l tried Gardenia, which is listed in the BN Directory as Gardenia Musk. The notes are the same: gardenia, water lily & star jasmine, & interestingly there is no musk listed. Neither do l smell any.

    This is a very fresh white floral in the beginning, dominated by the water lily & jasmine. After a few moments l detect hints of gardenia wafting from my arm, but only in a very abstract sense. This not a creamy gardenia, & it has none of the "blue cheese" aspect that is sometimes attributed to it. Over the first two hours it becomes quite heady & sweet, before fading to a green & grassy jasmine base. lt did survive being covered with sun cream, & baking in the sun for a few hours before l went for a shower nine hours in, though!

    l have other gardenias that l much prefer, but this was worth a try, & might suit those who prefer their gardenias on the lighter side.
    "What is this secret connection between the soul, and sea, clouds and perfumes? The soul itself appears to be sea, cloud and perfume..." - from Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis.
    Currently wearing: Jasmin T by Bruno Acampora

  24. #24

    Default Re: Let's talk about Ava Luxe

    Cafe Noir, Ambre Fonce, Amber Tibet, The Noir, Madame X, Love's True Bluish Light, Madeline, No. 23...

    I've had a lot of them! I just visited her site and it says Madame X is coming back! I want to get that and try the new one called Sorciere too.
    Currently wearing: Les Années 25 by Tauer

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Let's talk about Ava Luxe

    Quote Originally Posted by Caron33 View Post
    Cafe Noir, Ambre Fonce, Amber Tibet, The Noir, Madame X, Love's True Bluish Light, Madeline, No. 23...

    I've had a lot of them! I just visited her site and it says Madame X is coming back! I want to get that and try the new one called Sorciere too.
    The site has said this (about Madame X) for quite some time, but I'm still holding out hope for its re-release--I've read so many glowing reviews of this fragrance!

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Let's talk about Ava Luxe

    I bought Cafe Noir. A great coffee scent that opens with the bitter smell of roasting coffee, before transitioning into a creamier coffee. There's a good amount of cardamom, lavender, and patchouli in there. My only complaint might be that the lavender and th patchouli sometimes give it more of a mentholated aspect than I want, but overall it's a great gourmand coffee scent that doesn't get too sweet. I'd say it leans to the more traditionally masculine side of the spectrum if one is concerned about these things.

    When I bought Cafe Noir they included a sample of Vanilla Musk. I opened it, but as I generally dislike sweet scents and vanilla scents I wasn't willing to try it on my skin. It smelled too much like vanilla confectionery.
    1. No, never blind buy (I do, but do as I say, not as I do. I'm taking no responsibility for your fragrance gambling).
    2. Get them both. You're a Basenoter and you know you're going to end up purchasing them both eventually.
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  27. #27

    Default Re: Let's talk about Ava Luxe

    Madame X in extrait is an experience. Fantastic! A shame the raw materials obviously became unavailable.

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    Default Re: Let's talk about Ava Luxe

    PL, thanks for letting me know about Pivoine Rose. I'm not mad about peony fragrances, either; I usually find them to be a vague rose with an aquatic effect added on the top, and (as you said) they don't smell much like peonies. I figured you weren't a great fan of modern musks! But I saw PR in your wardrobe, so I had to ask.


    Quote Originally Posted by Starblind View Post
    The site has said this (about Madame X) for quite some time, but I'm still holding out hope for its re-release--I've read so many glowing reviews of this fragrance!
    I've seen the same announcement there, and I do check back every couple of months. We can hold out hope, can't we?

    And Kama sounds like it's straight up my alley.

    Sounds like I'll be ordering some samples soon. I love that her samples are so generous, but I would have liked an option for a set of smaller samples that cost a little less--nearly 3ml of something you're not crazy about is a lot of perfume to have hanging around. Am I missing something on the website, or is this how the samples work?

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Let's talk about Ava Luxe

    Quote Originally Posted by thediamondsea View Post
    PL
    I've seen the same announcement there, and I do check back every couple of months. We can hold out hope, can't we?

    And Kama sounds like it's straight up my alley.

    Sounds like I'll be ordering some samples soon. I love that her samples are so generous, but I would have liked an option for a set of smaller samples that cost a little less--nearly 3ml of something you're not crazy about is a lot of perfume to have hanging around. Am I missing something on the website, or is this how the samples work?
    I thought I remembered regular sized samples. Have things changed recently?

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Let's talk about Ava Luxe

    Quote Originally Posted by Larimar View Post
    Madame X in extrait is an experience. Fantastic! A shame the raw materials obviously became unavailable.

    Is there another scent that you would compare Madame X to? I'm dying to know what it smells like and don't think I'm going to get the chance.




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