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Violets

8 samples of violet perfume have been sitting in my collection for a year now.  I never got around to them for some reason or another.  Now that it is the first day of Spring, I thought this would be a good time to dust them off and give them a sniff…

*Stephen Jones by Comme de GarconsStephen Jones is what I classify a modern violet.  It is very unique and unlike any other violet fragrance I have smelled.  It opens with a hyper-clean scent.  Cool and metallic with a sparkling brilliance. The violet note is slightly soapy and grassy. When I smell this, I think of a bright white room.  Contrasting against the  stark white room is a metallic vase filled with a bouquet of purple violets.  Even though it is unisex, there is a cologne quality to this fragrance that makes me think it leans more toward the masculine.  My husband thinks it is nice and would wear it.  A clean and invigorating scent, I can see myself wearing this when temperatures rise in late Spring and all throughout Indian Summer.  Stephen Jones has a paranoid android futuristic vibe. The mystery of this scent is intriguing.  Wear this if you want to stand out from the crowd.  Average longevity and sillage.  Retails for $175.  Notes: violet leaf, meteorite, cloves, carnation, rose, violet, jasmin, heliotrope, gaïac wood, magma, black cumin, vetiver, amber. Nose: Antoine Maisondieu

*Madcap Violet by L’Aromatica: Madcap violet smells of romance and innocence. A linear scent of powdery sweet crushed candied parma violets and the green leaf and stem of its flower.  Demure, feminine, youthful, and uncomplicated.  I really like this one. Although, its fleeting longevity and low sillage is a disappointment. The perfume oils retail for $30 and EDT for $50.  Notes:  sweet clover, mimosa blossoms, violet petals, incense, powdery orris root, dark amber. Nose: Loreto Remsing

Deadly Nightshade by Alkemia Perfumes: Deadly Nightshade is what I call a sinister violet. It opens with a strong leather note and a hint of powdery violets.  It dries down to a soapy leather.  One of the few dark and brooding violets out there. Excellent sillage and longevity. Deadly Nightshade is a perfume oil and retails for $12.  Notes: deep purple violets in a hypnotic chypre of sueded dark leathers, aged patchouli, midnight-black amber, and a narcotic swirl of opium. Nose: Sharra

*Wood Violet by Sonoma Scent StudioWood Violet is a spicy, woody, fruity floral.  It opens with an intriguing smell of plum and soapy wet bark.  As it develops, a dry spicy wood and syrupy coffee comingles with sweet powdery violets.   This is very warm, woody, and masculine at the same time has a fruity floral feminine side.  Wood Violet is a very complex, unique fragrance.  My husband says it reminds him of Thierry Mugler A*Men Pure Coffee mixed with violet candy.  He loves this one.  I do too!  Excellent sillage and longevity.  Retails for $65. Notes: Violet, plum, cedar, cinnamon, clove, sandalwood, violet leaf, musk. Nose: Laurie Erickson

Voile de Violette by Sonoma Scent Studio: Voile de Violette is a bohemian violet soliflore.  Voile de Violette is a softer and more feminine version of Wood Violet.  It opens into a meadow of soapy violets.  Slightly green and I can detect a bit of dryness from the hay.  Unfortunately, on my skin, it gets more and more powdery by the minute as it dries that the scent reminds me of roll-on deodorant.    Excellent sillage and longevity.  Retails for $65.  Notes: Violet, iris, hint of rose, cedar, vetiver, violet leaf, tonka bean, hay, myrrh. Nose: Laurie Erickson

**La Violette by Annick Goutal: La Violette starts off with a light dusting of confectioner’s sugar over violet petals. The scent gives off images of candied violets garnishing the tops of white wedding cakes. It then morphs into fresh and clean green of the violet leaf. I love how the violet accord is not cloyingly sweet and the violet takes center stage without being heady. Simple, delicate, pretty, young yet classic, and unabashedly feminine. I see myself wearing this in the daytime lunching with ladies. Average sillage, excellent longevity. Retail Price $135. Notes: violet flower and leaf, and Turkish rose. Nose: Isabelle Doyen, Camille Goutal

Violets and Rainwater by Soivhole: Voilets and Rainwater is a reality scent that smells exactly like its namesake.  It smells as if you are planting violets in your garden after a Spring rain shower.  The scent of green leaves and powdered purple violets on a background of ozone and soil. Clean and refreshing.  For me, the scent is too realistic to wear as a fragrance but as an atomospheric spray, it would be wonderful! Everytime I smell this, I picture raindrops on violet petals.  Average sillage and excellent longevity.  Retails in various sizes. The 11ml bottle retails for $35.  Notes: Parma Violet Flowers, Violet Leaf from Absolute, Fresh Turned Soil, Rainwater, Iris, Light Patchouli, White Musk, Labdanum Absolute, and a hint of Centifolia Rose. Nose: Liz Zorn

**Guimauve de Soie by DSH PerfumesGuimauve de Soie means “Silk Marshmallow” and, as the name suggests, is a violet gourmand.  The notes in Guimauve de Soie is a seamless composition of cool and creamy sweet violet milk.  Smooth and silky. I love how it blends into my skin. This is the type of perfume that becomes you.  I can picture myself wearing this at a black tie event.  A beautiful, elegant, sophisticated fragrance that is a perfectly executed floral gourmand without coming off as juvenile. Excellent sillage and longevity. Comes in various sizes and as a body cream.  The 1oz EDP retails for $110. Notes: Ambrette seed, Anise, Austrialian sandalwood, bergamot, bitter almond, Bulgarian Rose Otto, Civet, Cocoa Beans, Oakmoss, heliotrope, mimosa absolute, lemon, musk, orris, concrete, ozone, parma violet, vanilla bean, violet leaf absolute. Nose: Dawn Spencer Hurwitz

* = my top picks
** = ultimate top pick; full bottle worthy
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