Saturday, October 27, 2012

Le Cagibi

I recently found myself exploring the Mile End area for a school assignment with my adventurous, coffee-loving friend K, which is the location of this week's café!  My fellow explorer and I found Le Cagibi – a very hipster café located on St. Laurent in the heart of Mile End, which we inevitably had to try out.

K, being an espresso man, ordered an Americano. For those of you who are not big Espresso fans (or don’t know much about them like moi) an Americano is a shot of Espresso with hot water. It’s usually quite strong and is great if you are up late working on an assignment and need that caffeine kick to keep you going. K described his Americano as “delightfully balanced” and “not too harsh and not too mild”. He finished by saying the best part of this Americano was the “nutty finish”.
Staying true to my simple coffee and hot-chocolate-loving-self, I ordered a Mochaccino, which is an espresso based drink with milk and a hint of chocolate. My drink was huge and literally came in a bowl! Needless to say, it took me a little while to drink it but it was delicious and I enjoyed every sip. It was the perfect blend of coffee-base and chocolate without being too sweet – I actually had to add in a teaspoon of sugar, even though I often don't enjoy drinks that are too sweet.

Le Cagibi was quirky, cozy and super hipster. I loved the relaxed atmosphere and homey vibe. It’s a great study spot and we saw a lot of students reading and doing work, which made me feel a little guilty for being out and not labouring over textbooks. The music was relaxing but nothing I recognized - again very hipster. After looking into this café a little more I learned that Le Cagibi invites artists to perform all the time. Click here to see their calendar of events. They recently hosted a panel discussion among various artists about art and social activism. Le Cagibi was definitely a hit and if it weren’t so far I’d be studying there all the time! 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Viaggio Collection by TOCCA

I’ve been exploring new fragrances for a while now but feel a little nervous to fully commit to full bottle of a new perfume. The TOCCA collection at Etiket recently caught my eye. I’m not sure if it was the beautiful packaging or the Old World inspired bottles, but I found myself very drawn to all 6 of the TOCCA scents. Before investing in a full sized bottle, I decided to try 3 different eaux de parfum from the Viaggio Collection. This set includes Colette, Bianca and Giulietta – 3 very flirty and feminine fragrances.

Colette is named after a Parisian novelist and performer who whose works centered around explicit themes. Her novels caused controversy when they were first published in the early 1900s, but her personal escapades – she was married three times and romantically involved with women – are the reason for her scandalous legacy. With key notes of Vanilla, Sandalwood, Musk and Incense, this perfume is mystifying and I prefer it as an evening scent. Colette captures the mysterious essence of a woman. Let her intrigue draw you in… 
Bianca is a very light and floral scent. It is inspired by teatime in Italy and reminds me of high tea at the Royal York. Intoxicatingly fresh, clean and sparkling, Bianca personifies la dolce vita with key notes of Green Tea, Rose, Sugar and Lemon. This is a brilliantly created, fresh scent that I love wearing during the day. A whisper of musk and sugar linger on the skin, capturing your imagination… 
Giulietta is my favourite scent of the three. This sweet, refreshing scent is inspired by the love story of Italian film director Federico Fellini and his wife Giulietta Masina. The scent is reminiscent of the couple’s holidays spent on the island of Corsica where the two dreamt up the director’s visionary tales. With key notes of Green Apple, Pink Tulips, Vanilla Orchid and Amber, this delicate scent transports me to vacation mode on a remote island somewhere far away…

Named after the Italian word for “touch”, TOCCA Beauty is renowned worldwide as a fragrance house of distinctive and exquisite scents. Its perfumers develop scents that are reminiscent of bygone times and familiar places yet infused with the unexpected, creating something fresh and new altogether. Leaving a touch of mystery in the air, TOCCA’s sophisticated products are meant to inspire and surprise. TOCCA’s beautiful fragrances can be found in a luxury candle collection, fine fragrances, and body products however my favourite unique product is the solid perfume intended for the sophisticated traveler. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Café Castel

When I think of autumn the sound of crunchy leaves, beautifully vibrant colours and studying at cafés all come to mind. As the temperature swiftly drops, I am reminded that snowflakes and bulky winter coats are just around the corner. Unfortunately, this also means that this is time for school to really pick up and for midterm season to begin. Regardless of the chaos and stress of school, it is time to enjoy this perfect weather and my favourite season while it lasts! I’ve decided to explore Café Castel this week and use it as my study spot for this year's midterm season!

I recently tried the Mocha After Eight, and the only way I can describe the drink is by saying it tastes like Christmas in a cup! They add a special twist to a classic mocha by adding After Eight chocolate powder, which brings a minty zing to the drink. My next new adventure at this cafe was trying the Café Olé! Translation: Café au Lait. I thought this drink was going to have a Spanish twist, however I was mistaken. If you don’t have a big sweet tooth I would not recommend this drink as it is just a normal mocha with just a lot of milk and is super sweet! After these two drinks I took a wider step out of my usual coffee bubble and tried the Chai Latté. Oh my goodness this was to die for! I ordered it on a grey, rainy day when I really needed a pick-me-up and some motivation for studying. This latté did the trick! With the perfect balance of cinnamon, spices and sweetness this heavenly drink won first place for my perfect autumn drink.

Over the course of the week I’ve visited Café Castel every single day and have tried so many new drinks! The staff members are starting to recognize me and say "hi" every time I pop in! I feel like I have VIP status now, and I love it! It’s also a huge bonus that Castel is next door to Bronfman - any management student’s home away from home. Apart from the convenient location and delicious drinks, I’d have to say that my favourite part about Café Castel is their coffee art. If I haven’t convinced you to try this place out yet, maybe my photos will. Enjoy!

Mocha After Eight

Left: Café Mocha                        Right: Chai Latté

Mocha Olé

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Atelier Cologne: Vétiver Fatal

Temperamental weather is always an issue when you live in Montreal. One minute the sun is out and another it's pouring rain. It’s a day-to-day challenge trying to dress appropriately for the entire day and it’s impossible to come home looking as good as you did when you left in the morning. The one thing I know that I can always rely on to improve my overall appearance and pick up my mood is the scent I wear.

The newest addition to my fragrance collection is Vétiver Fatal by Atélier Cologne – a niche perfume house based in Paris and New York. The name itself translates to “Cologne Workshop or Studio” and the creators are one of very few to develop scents based on the traditional Eau de Cologne. Don’t be fooled by the title “cologne” and write it off as only a men’s scent. Atélier Cologne’s fragrances are perfect for both men and women because the scent mixes with the individual’s body chemistry to create a unique scent, while maintaining the spirit of the original creation.

I love the way this fragrance feels and the fresh scent reminds me of being immersed in nature or deep in the forest. Vétiver Fatal is my evening scent because it’s light enough to smell natural but strong enough to add a hint of mystery. Each Atélier Cologne fragrance has a story and here’s my favourite…

“He was alerted immediately and called on the case, another diamond stolen mysteriously. The moment he opened the dossier, a smile sparked in his deep eyes as he recognized her signature mark. He took one of his passports, burned the file and began the pursuit. This time she wouldn’t get away…”

Vétiver Fatal, a secret agent captures a dangerous encounter between bright and mysterious, as Heart of Haitian Vetiver and Tunisian Orange Flower Absolute surrenders to seductive Violet Leaves, smoky Texas Cedarwood and dark Oud. 

With top notes of Italian Bergamot, Lemon and Paraguayan Heart of Bigaradier; heart notes of Tunisian Orange Flower, Violet Leaves and Black Plum; and base notes of Haitian Heart of Vétiver, Texan Cedarwood and dark Oud Accord, Vétiver Fatal has definitely stolen my heart. My favourite part about this sexy scent is that it really lasts all night without overpowering its wearer.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Welcome to my blog Eau de Café! I will be posting here about some of my favourite fragrances and awesome coffee shops in Montreal. Everyone enjoys coffee for different reasons; some drink it every morning, many during exams only for an extra boost, and others drink coffee to cure hangovers. I drink coffee because I love the taste! I am usually a non-daring coffee drinker and stick to my usual White Chocolate Mocha at Starbucks.

This semester, I have decided to step out of my comfort zone and explore new coffee at different cafés around the Montreal area. I have also been recently exposed to a number of different fragrances at {etiket} crème de luxe – my new favourite boutique in Montreal!

Some may wonder why I chose these two unrelated topics to discuss. Well, you’ll just have to read on and see. Enjoy!