Launched in 2011 by Tom Ford, Violet Blonde was brought to market as part of his Signature Collection.
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.
Notes: violet leaf, Italian mandarin, pink pepper, Tuscan iris, Tuscan orris butter, Sambac jasmine, sampaquita, musk, suede, cedar, vetiver and benzoin.