Thursday, October 25, 2007

Fragrance review: Midnight violet by Ava Luxe

By guest writer Ida Meister

I am such a neophyte, that I feel a disclaimer is in order.
To begin with: it should be noted that I am neither a writer nor a perfumer.
I am simply a woman possessed by a 50 year love affair with fragrance,
who lives for her nose…known to some of you as “chayaruchama”.

Helg most generously offered me the opportunity to write a review for
you all. She had just reviewed the magnificent Madame X{click for review} by Ava Luxe, and her enthusiasm spurred me to sample quite a few of Serena Ava Franco’s works.
I was delighted to discover how gifted Ms. Franco is.

Some fragrances announce their presence with a clarion call- others insinuate their way into a room. Midnight Violet falls into the latter category.
If Madame X is a symphony, then Midnight Violet is an etude, a dark one, by Chopin.

(click to experience what such a glorious thing is!)

Not melancholic in an abysmal sense, but deep, powerful, real,
evocative, and full of feeling.
There is no strident opening, no coyness or girlish blushes, no precocity.
Conversely, Midnight Violet is not a gloomy, dank incense.

Somehow, this unusual perfume manages to be richly hued, with many
layers of depth and nuance without being opaque or heavy.
Midnight Violet opens with a shaft of light, which is heralded by the joyful notes of pink pepper, cinnamon, and galbanum.
This translates into an intensely green, dry spiciness, which then
yields to a richer, denser resinous smoke flavored with orris, the scent
of damp earth and black hemlock.
Cedar and sandalwood- very soft and creamy- ally themselves, joined by a
languid moss, wood balsam, musk and civet.
The addition of these woody and animalic accords endows Midnight Violet
with a harmonious complexity that is very satisfying and possessed of
great warmth.

My impression is of being drawn into the woods at dusk, when the light
is just beginning to falter, and discovering that you are suddenly
surrounded by the approaching night.
The moon can be spied between the branches, but the forest is dark,
quiet, and very deep.
The haunting, faint odor of sylvan violet is nestled in an earthy, smoky
bower, peaceful and contemplative.

Pic of Liv Tyler from the advertising campaign of "Lord of the Rings". Thanks to Youtube for the clip of Chopin's etude op.10 #1


  1. I've been off the net for the last week since I am studying like a mad person...Been quickly scanning my fave blogs with morning coffee but had no time to comment or anything..But how can I NOT stop and comment when I finally find something I've been craving to see for a long time? A review by dearest, dearest Chaya. High expectations met 100%, you paint such a beautiful picture. Midnight violet refuses to work on my skin and I've given my sample away because our relationship clearly was not going to work, but you make me want to revisit it, in hopes that it'd work. Thank you for reviewing this right now.. I hope Serena comes back with her batteries charged, she is so loved.

    I had something strange happening to me yesterday - while I was writing exams I started craving for one of her scents.. Strange, isn't it. Anyway, gawd, this msg is getting long and I am babbling. I guess all I wanted to say is thank you Chaya for writing, and thank you Helg for hosting!

    Hugs to both,


  2. You're very welcome, D.
    Actually this was a past review that got on top by mistake, but glad it made your day!
    Good luck with the exams!

  3. Anonymous13:31

    Dear Helg,
    Now at last I've found out more about yourself and about chayruchama, whose comments always fill me with delight when I read fragrance blogs! A truly special day indeed. The fragrance itself sounds as if I'd adore it (maybe because I've always detected violets in L'Heure Bleue?) Added to which, the Chopin etude took me back to my days at music college, where I learned many of these works... Thank you, both, again!
    Best wishes,

  4. Thank you Linda and glad you enjoyed it. Chaya is a sweetipie, isn't she? ;-)

    I love this Chopin etude, was one of my favourites to play while I was a student (and still is...).

    I do hope you find out that you enjoy Midnight Violet. Maybe Serena Ava is reading us? *fingers crossed*

  5. IDA!!! and HELG!!! TOGETHER!!!!!

    *mad applause from my corner*



  6. Anonymous08:50

    Hello you dream-team!
    What a beauty of a review!! Chaya, you're hugged for that if i meet you some day.
    Love and a thank you!
    Nina /lillie

  7. Nice to see you again Nina! I am sure Chaya will be overjoyed :-))

  8. Anonymous05:49

    Chaya, that was SUBLIME, and extra points for Lord of the Rings imagery. :-D

    I WANT this perfume now....

    I had a feeling that you were from a different generation than some of the other perfume fans on the blogs, and I am also older than many of the writers. I revere the classics myself, though I am also endlessly curious about new perfumes. Midnight Violet sounds like it's worthy of becoming a classic itself. Just like we are....

  9. Beautiful, artistic, revealing and insightful Chayaruchama!! I love you dearest. And thank you Helg for asking our lovely to contribute.

  10. I tried this perfume - it was bought based on your reveiws that make it sound so amazing! I can't wear it at all. In fact - I gave it to my husband.

    I was placated with a bottle of Hiris to replace my Frederick Malle - Le Mediterrean that I finished - and loved and now find almost impossible to buy her in Melbourne.

  11. Oh, I am sorry about that. However to give the proper credit the amazing review is by Ida/Chayaruchama, who loves this one. Myself I usually recommend that anyone contemplating a purchase should sample first.

    I didn't catch one detail though: is it the Hiris you can't find in Melbourne (or the Lus Mediteranee by Malle?)> perhaps I might direct you to the right direction if I knew more.


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