The Santa Monica Convention Center was the venue for the 6th Annual LA Chocolate Salon and LA Artisan Fragrance Salon, where presented chocolate masters, authors and chocolate aficionado’s from throughout the LA and the nation to select the best of the year. Attendees were enjoying the Chocolate Salon area, as well as a premiere salon devoted to international perfume makers who were competing for specific awards.

The Chocolate Crowd

The panel of judges, including Santa Barbara based food, travel and lifestyle writer Bonnie Carroll, Larry Davis editor of, Amy Riley, book author and editor of Life of Riley, Kevin Herrera from SM Daily Press, Babette Pepa of, Susan Irby, KABC Radio host, and food & wine writer Andrea Rademan, who all perused the salon tasting chocolate bites and interviewing chocolate makers on their ingredients, latest offerings and unique preparation techniques. Selections were made online before the September 27 deadline at

Competitors for 6th Annual LA Luxury Chocolate Salon awards Amano Artisan Chocolate, Mignon Chocolate, Amella Caramels, Butterfly Brittle, The TeaRoom Chocolate Company, Marti Chocolatt, Chuao Chocolatier, Marco Paolo Chocolates, DEUVO Gourmet Sweets, Plumeria Flours, The Toffee Box, CocoTutti, Kallari Chocolate, Pacari Ecuadorian Organic Chocolate, Droga Confections, La Dolce Vita Gourmet, Gourmet Blends, Farm Fresh To You, Honest Tea, Pure Swiss Water, Jerk’NPickle, Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savories, Trade Office of Ecuador in Los Angeles (ProEcuador), Le Cordon BleuCollege of Culinary Arts, Yelp,, TasteTV, Chocolate Television,and more.


Students from Le Cordon Bleu were busy creating intricate Halloween cakes, and some memorable bites from chocolate makers included the artistic and delicious designs of Minion Chocolates, the fabulous toffee samples from Toffee Box, Cocotutti’s smokey chipotle chocolate flavors, exotic Marti Chocolates with inspirations from the Philipinnes. There were so many unique samples to savor this year, it was all sensational.

The perfume salon was a first, and scentsational. Designers from around the world joined together in the salon to explain their process and offer samples of their premiere perfumes for the season. I once spent four hours in the Apothecary Cottage at the Ojai Valley Inn making my own perfume creation, and experienced first hand what a labor of love this process is, and the skill required by professional perfume makers.

The Perfume Salon Sign

Meeting these talented people and discussing ingredients, inspirations, and intent of their offerings was fascinating. I felt Le Voyage by Joanne Bassett was made for me, Cocno Scent was a very modern perfume with chic packaging that got high points from the hip young crowd, Ayala Moriel’s Etrog from Israel was enchanting, Sebastian Signs collection plus their perfume extender was a smart and inviting presentation and Olympic Orchids took me on a sensual mind trip to Kauai. The scents, beautiful packaging and imagination of the talented artisans competing for an award at the event were inspiring.

Winners for these two scentsational competitions will be announced in Hollywood at the TasteTV awards in January 2013. For details visit:



by Bonnie Carroll