Blog post by Gwen

Violet Blonde – floral and woody and musky

I am besotted with Violet Blonde. It's been going on for years now and will likely go on for many more. Given my penchant for violet-centric fragrances, it was inevitable that I would fall hard for this beauty from American fashion designer Tom Ford.

Tom Ford is an architect, filmmaker, and fashion designer born in Texas in 1961. Before graduating from The Parsons The New School for Design in New York City, Ford lived in Paris for a year and a half, working as an intern at French fashion house Chloé's press office. The experience inspired him to seek a future in fashion design, and his rise was meteoric. In 1990, Ford was hired as Gucci's chief women's ready-to-wear designer. In 1992, Ford became head of Gucci's ready-to-wear, fragrances, image, advertising, and store design. In 1999 Gucci took over the house of Yves Saint Laurent, and Ford was named Creative Director of that label as well. In 2006 he launched his brand, Tom Ford, with a line of womenswear, menswear, eyewear, beauty, accessories and fragrance. In 2011, Violet Blonde was brought to market as part of Ford's Signature Collection. It was signed by nose Antoine Lie.

On me, it opens with sweet, juicy mandarin and fresh, herbal, spicy pink pepper. They set the stage for the violet. The violet here comes mainly from the leaves – crisp, cool, green and metallic-tinged – it adds excitement to the fragrance.  But there are also flashes of violet flower that, true to form, play their game of now-you-smell-me-now-you-don't. As it settles on my skin, iris adds sophisticated powderiness to Violet Blonde, making it beg to be sniffed. Creamy orris root adds a gentle earthiness and woodiness while boosting the powderiness just as Sambac jasmine, sweet, opulent and indolic, appears. The jasmine counters the powderiness so that Violet Blonde never wanders into old-lady territory. The notes list something called sampaquita. A quick Google search tells me that it is a reconstitution of the Sambac jasmine scent made by Givaudan whereby 'The delicate fragrances of carnation and ylang together with a slightly green note were artistically grafted onto a rich basic accord of jasmine, tuberose, honeysuckle and rose…. It gives a new floral-jasmine effect to formulas.' It works beautifully here to give the florals in the fragrance more depth and presence. At the base, sexy musk makes it alluring, while a suede note adds softness and sensuality. Cedar and vetiver provide a green woodiness, while benzoin gently sweetens the blend.

Violet Blonde is a scent built upon contrasts, as the name suggests: demure violet, sexy blonde, powdery yet indolic, cool and warm, austere and lush. It's a fragrance that smells old-school but isn't. What is, is a well-crafted, elegant and polished fragrance.

Tom Ford says his female clientele are "strong women, … intelligent women who know their own style".  If you see yourself in that last sentence, Violet Blonde is for you.

Check out Violet Blonde in our Shop.