Skip to main content

Note Series #16 – VIOLET - viola odorata

The defining characteristic of the violet note in perfumery is its powdery floral scent. From “…earthy, powdery scent that resembles the iris rhizome when talking about the flower; metallic, green and aqueous when talking about the leaf.”

We love wearing violet and iris scents at this time of year, since they plant us in Spring mode. Both these notes have that distinctive green vegetal sap smell that wafts up when cutting new stems and leaves – almost sweet, almost woody, but more milky and rooty – but it’s the violet note that truly conveys the sweet tenderness of a Spring flower.

But violet is a trickster. The colour Violet/Purple is the hardest color for the human eye to distinguish because it has the shortest wavelength in the light spectrum. And, the ionone their scent contains temporarily desensitizes the receptors of the nose, so that no scent for the flower is detected until the receptors recover. A shy violet indeed!

Note Series #16 - VIOLET – 4 – 1ml. decants, regular $12.00 for $16.00.

Love in Black by CREED – green and powdery and elegant

CREED’s homage to Jackie Kennedy, Love in Black opens with violet, a big sweet metallic purple violet note right out of the bottle, big and loud, and not what I expect, but I decide to wait rather than be disappointed, and waiting is part of the charm of Love in Black. The dramatic violet note recedes, revealing powdery rooty iris, damp and nutty, a somewhat enigmatic note that takes me into the heart of violet and iris, a buttery leather accord that smells like old money, classic and elegant. In the base, Love in Black becomes richer, the green sweetness of violet mixing with the tart currant note, the earthy iris mixing with musk, and when Bulgarian rose joins the mix, Love in Black is darkened with a fascinating carnal edge. Waiting is worth it with this non-gendered beauty.

Blanc Violette by Histoires de Parfum   – earthy and delicate and velvety

Blanc Violette starts with the leaf and quickly leads into the delicate flower, a tangy burst of citrus from bergamot mixed with earthy iris transforms into the scent of velvety viola blooms tinged with anise, the faint licorice sweetness soon fading into powdery pale violet. In the heart, earthy violet mixes with rich banana-jasmine nuances of ylang-ylang, and this narcotic floral accord slowly unwinds as the sandalwood, vanilla, musk, and rice powder base notes surround it in a delicate powdery cloud. Blanc Violette dries down as a soft and achingly tender feminine scent, deliciously subtle, an ethereal downy trace on my skin. An olfactory artist’s vision of violets.

Balenciaga Paris by Balenciaga - floral and chic and ethereal

When I crave springtime in Paris, I pull out the Balenciaga Paris. A gentle opening of bergamot warmed with the spiciness of pepper. A green note from violet leaves gives it a slight metallic tang. As it settles, a soft, creamy violet playing hide-and-seek with carnation comes forward, but it never gets too floral or too cloying thanks to cedar and oakmoss. Patchouli and labdanum at the base have been quieted here so that they give it a gorgeous earthy-woody base that just holds and showcases the violet perfectly while never dominating it. Balenciaga Paris is refined Parisienne chic.

La Violette by Annick Goutal – fruity and green and floral

A soliflore, La Violette is no shy violet. It opens boldly with a blast of metallic violet that is soon sweetened by red fruits, so that it smells like the little purple violet candies my English aunt used to send me when I was a child. That’s what gets you hooked. It’s not long before a tangy green note appears, making the scent smell more natural - of flower, leaf and stem - as if it were a little bouquet of violets. Turkish rose is here too, adding an opulence that rounds out and warms the violet. A touch of iris gives it a powdery, vintage feel. La Violette is a pretty linear, but it’s so refined and feminine, so beguiling and entrancing that you don’t mind.

Note Series #16 – VIOLET is listed in our Decant Store.  4 - 1ml. decants for $12.00, regular $16.00.