This gothic image of the impenetrable woods is a natural for violet perfume, which grew as a fragrance trend right when the gothic novel became a household name, in the Victorian era. Although woody violets are not Victorian reminiscent in their fashion style (the 19th century favored clean and transparent violet waters), they have something of the darker romanticism of a Dickens novel or Serge Lutens photography.
But of course context and the imaginative additions on the part of a perfumer accounts for nuanced effects that range from intensely mossy with upturned dirt to lighter pencil-shavings-swirled scentscapes. Notes of oakmoss, sandalwood and cedar complement the violet for a more austere or dangerous direction, like a red riding hood gathering violets in the forest oblivious to the big bad wolves in sheep's clothing lurking.
The following is a list of the more worthwhile darker, earthier violets in the woods. As always you're advised to sample before committing.
|Violets by Pre-Raphaelite painter James Dromgole Linton|
Some of the best woody, earthy violet fragrances include:
Amouage Library Collection Opus III (an opulent take on Insolence and Apres L'Ondee)
Creed Love in Black (among the better modern Creeds)
Fresh Index Violet Moss (what its name says)
Geo Trumper Ajaccio Violets Cologne (woody and masculine)
Geoffrey Beene Grey Flannel (a classic masculine fougere with the unexpected note of violet)
Keiko Mecheri Genie des Bois (a less calculated alternative to Bois de Violette)
Tom Ford Black Violet (Private Blend collection) (a proper darker violet with moss and a light citrusy top note)
Serge Lutens Bois de Violette (Feminite du Bois with violets in the forefront, dense and nuanced)
Sonoma Scent Studio Wood Violet (what its name says)
Sonoma Scent Studio To Dream (a more feminine woody violet, sans the usual cosmetic powder tones of retro violets for women)
Soivohle Violets & Rainwater (like violets trampled underfoot on a rainy day, extremely fetching)